When last we saw our intrepid hero, Dahlia...
...Actually who are we kidding? The word "hero" is a thing that has only ever been applied to Dahlia Asher in the official sense (that is, as the Hero of Space), and while we cannot accurately number them, the amount of fucks nobody gives about what Dahlia's been up to between here and there could be fairly described as "astronomical".
If one were feeling particularly puckish.
Which we are.
-- inaneFixation [IF] started pestering spiraMirabilis [SM] --
IF: i had better be spelling this thing right. :T
IF: dahlia if this is you i'm building on your house.
SM: Nothing, huh?
SM: Man, I really do have all the luck.
For once, she wasn't just doomsaying.
...Actually let's be honest with ourselves here: in the span of something under twenty-four hours, Dahlia Asher has gone from the safety of her daily routine, to the sudden meteor apocalypse, to chasing what may or may not be a robot dinosaur through a subterranean tunnel network on a planet populated by talking blue iguanas in search of their missing Victorian-era building materials. In the meanwhile, the following had happened, in no particular order:
- Got her ass handed to her by her mother. Rather handily, even. This was such a common occurrence that it wasn't even worthy of noting, and she would have even been thankful for it since it was pretty much the only way the two of them ever really "communicated" anymore, except for the fact that said inglorious ass-kicking occurred in front of...
- Page, who holds the rare distinction of being one of three people who changed the course of her life, and the only of them who completely forgot about her afterward. Also some odd confusing feelings of attachment which just made life all the more difficult. Par for the course, given Dahlia's opinion of her own luck, but rather overshadowed by...
- The fact that Dahlia is not Dahlia, but in fact something called Subject Delta, which to her present knowledge was a secret project to create some manner of pseudo-cloned artificial life. Also there were meteors involved, and apparently it was the source of Sburb? Seriously there was no part of that which made it any less confusing than it already was, and her understanding of it all was certainly not aided by the fragmentary presentation of what sparse historical records there were. It was almost like someone was explicitly trying to mess with her for dramatic effect.
- Told she was the replacement for some other guy everyone liked (or at least tolerated), which according to Guardian was unusual enough (the replacing, that is, not the tolerating), except that apparently she was supposed to have been in that spot all along, evinced clearly by the fact that her clock was already there. Except she's not aware of that, given that said clock is back in her home universe somewhere, and she had long since accepted that her chances of seeing that place again were roughly on par with the average person's chances of being killed by a falling star.
- More Page stuff. Really didn't want to think about that anymore. For... reasons.
- Got sent off to chase a/some dinosaur/s by a bunch of overexcited lizards of questionable intellect and grasp of English vocabulary, which is where she finds herself now.
- Destroyer's Apostle. Yeah, we're just gonna leave that whole thing alone. Crazy goddamn lizard cultists is what's up. Preparing the world for a change? The only change this world needs is to stop sucking.
Given all this, it was understandable that Dahlia gave as few fucks as humanly (or otherwise) possible about any portion of what was going on right now. Including the conversation, which she once again found herself only barely paying attention to as she sprinted through dimly-lit caverns in pursuit of a dinosaur and/or dinosaurs and/or armored dinosaurs and/or a factory and/or robots and/or quite possibly an armored robot dinosaur factory, because between paying attention a conversation which drew attention to her failed trolling attempts and doing whatever ridiculous thing she was doing at the moment, Dahlia Asher vastly preferred the option that was only privately shameful.
Armo-dino-robo-factory-saurs it is, then.
And also conversation. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she cursed her ability to multitask. For the sake of our readers' sanity, however, we'll do our best to keep it to the relevant snippets. After all, you've all read this before, haven't you?
SM: I hope it doesn't come to open violence too soon. I was kind of looking forward to stabbing you all myself, instead.
SM: That was a joke. You'll have to forgive my mood. I just spent far longer than I wanted to listening to idiot lizards rambling about pancakes, and before that
and before that I was doing all those things I said above that I really don't want to be thinking about right now so can we change the subject, please and fuck you.
And try not to take those last four words as a clustered literal sentiment. That would be lame and unfunny.
And so she changed the subject.
Mostly by swearing loudly in a way that was absolutely guaranteed to ruin whatever element of surprise she may have had in pursuit of her quarry, but damn it, she almost got the little bastard. Thing. Robot? She was definitely thinking robot now. At first it was just the clanking noise that made her suspect -- perhaps there was a factory down here or something, who knows, crazier things have happened -- but now she was quite certain that the shiny metal thing she was pursuing was most definitely either a robot, or something doing its very best to impersonate a robot. Chasing a steam-belching robot through a maze of twisty little passages on a planet populated by Victorian English talking blue iguanas and the entire cast of The Land Before Time. This was her life. And it was ending one stupid non sequitur at a time.
SM: I don't know why people keep trying to throw swords at me.
SM: I mean I know why she did, she was trying to kill me.
IF: maybe she was apologizing for something? <_<
Were she feeling a bit more introspective, Dahlia might have pondered at this point just what it said about her, that the company she kept (that being Gita, whom Zach was clearly referring to) were the sort of people who could chuck swords at you and not even seem out of the ordinary. Instead she vaguely pondered the question of just how long it had been since she was actually introspective, rather than just snarking and kicking her own ass without ever really learning anything.
She then decided that the fucks she didn't give-- oh you heard this one already? Alright then.
Somewhere around there, the clanking little monster had well and truly given its pursuer the slip, leaving Dahlia groping around in the darkness at what seemed to be a dead end. To nobody's surprise, she immediately and correctly surmised that there was some manner of trap door in the rock wall which had enabled the imp-sized robot to make its escape, because it's not like that wasn't tremendously obvious or anything. Finding the latch, however, proved rather more difficult -- impossible, in fact, and eventually she gave up on clawing uselessly at the wall. Perhaps they had some sort of emitter that allowed them passage, rather than relying on such hackneyed literary devices as secret switches. So much for that idea.
Blowing up the wall was one possibility. A rocket pack (like the one presently residing in her sylladex) rigged properly would probably suffice for explosives. The problem there, being underground, would be the potential of triggering a cave-in in ways that she hadn't planned for, and while running around doing quests for retarded blue lizards was not especially high on the list of Things Dahlia Wants To Do Today Or Ever, it ranked rather higher than spending the remainder of her relatively short life trapped underneath a ton of rock. So that one was out too.
As the adrenaline filtered out of her system, it suddenly dawned on Dahlia that on top of all the running around she'd done lately, she also hadn't slept in something very nearly approaching forever and a day, give or take an eternity. She slumped against the cave wall, catching her breath as she finished the remainder of her conversation with Zach. There was nothing more to accomplish here; she would return with a plan, or at least a stick of dynamite. Perhaps both. Concluding the equally-exhausting exchange with her longtime victim, Dahlia pushed off the wall and began trudging out of the cave, bidding farewell to her new victim-to-be.
Next time, door.
Some time later, Dahlia returned to her house, which was now equipped thanks to Zach with several new devices which she spent some time toying with (most of which just ended up making a green ectoplasmic mess on the floor), and a substantial cache of grist which she would put to use in an alchemy montage which would put all her prior wastefulness to shame. There would be time for sleep in a few hours, but for now, she would scour the house for anything and everything that might potentially make interesting tools, weapons, or outfits. She would conclude the venture with a sylladex stuffed full of useful gadgets, fully equipped to handle whatever challenge came her way. And it would all be set to a thoroughly appropriate soundtrack for getting shit done, just like she said.
> [S] DA: Alchemy montage
Nope screw that.
END ACT 2 CHARACTER ARC
-- Subject Delta --
-- God's Favorite Chew Toy --
-- Destroyer's Apostle --
-- Dahlia Asher--