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05/05/12
"===>"

pair of METAL ROBOPANTS.

...

It occurs to you that you probably could have thought this to yourself in a less suggestive way.

05/05/12
"===>"

that

BEAUTIFUL

SEXY

LUSCIOUS

05/05/12
"===>"

ALL

the FUCK

OVER

05/05/12
"Sollux: Invade privacy."

You do that.

You don't really have a choice in the matter.

Like.

REALLY you don't.

You are drawn to Tavros. Mesmerized. You've never felt like this before. You can't explain it.

You just want to get your

hot

messy

ectoplasmic form

05/05/12
"Tavros: Hide in bathroom."

You do that.

In fact, you end up hiding in your bathroom and sobbing for MUCH LONGER than expected. You hope nobody noticed. That would be embarrassing.

But you just. Can't handle this. With everything with Gamzee and Equius and Karkat and Sollux and Sollux AGAIN--you've pretty much got your shit fucked up with every friend and quadrant you've got except Aradia and Nepeta, and you're sure you're only okay with THEM because you haven't talked to them lately.

The last thing you need is a postmortem love confession if that's what that was from one half of your failed ashen quadrant.

So yeah. You'll just. Hide here a while.

18/02/12
",,,,,,,,,,"

,,,,,,,,,, uH,
uHH,
uHH,
i,
uHHHH,,,,
i, i, uHHH,


As nice as it is to finally know whether Sollux likes you or not this isn't the answer you were expecting WHAT THE HELL.

i,
aM,
gOING,
tO GO,
iNTO ANOTHER BLOCK,
tO THINK ABOUT THIS,
iN A CALM, rATIONAL, lOGICAL MANNER,
aND THEN COME BACK,
wHEN I HAVE FINISHED THINKING.


You go into the ablution chamber, lock the door, and scream into a pile of towels.

What the heck.

Now what?

18/02/12
"Be Tavros."

You haven't slept a wink all day.

You spent several hours crying all over Sollux's lusus. And all over your lusus. And all over a half dozen other suitably soft and lovable animals. But mainly Sollux's lusus.

When you ran out of tears, you got online to troll Sollux, in case Aradia's message was wrong--maybe somebody had hacked her account, or maybe somebody who just LOOKED like Sollux had died. Or maybe he'd come back to life since her message.

But before you could even think about what to say to him, you saw that he was signed off.

Sollux Captor was not signed into Trollian.

That was all the evidence you needed.

After another half hour of crying, you attempted to troll Karkat (although you couldn't manage anything more eloquent than "TN: arE yOU oKAY/"), but he didn't respond. Of COURSE he didn't respond, he's in the HOSPITAL! Karkat is in the hospital and Sollux is dead!

All because of you.

Despite the fact that you have absolutely no evidence backing up this hypothesis at all, you are completely totally 100% convinced that Karkat and Sollux were mutilated/killed in a fight with each other that you weren't around to break up.

Even though Sollux was supposed to be on Troll Britain.

Who knows? Maybe he flew to Surrogia JUST TO FIGHT KARKAT.

Stupid, stupid, stupid! You are stupid and a failure and a worthless auspistice and an even more worthless moirail and it's no wonder every single troll in your conciliatory quadrants are hospitalized or worse if they are relying on YOU to keep them calm and--

Okay. Okay. Calm down. You are a big troll, and you are strong, and you are popular, and you are... reasonably intelligent... and, um... and you are...... well, you're brave enough...

And you're a prince.

A PRINCE. Remember that. Act like it.

Yes, Sollux died, okay? And Karkat got hurt. However, they still need you. Based on the fact that Sollux is keeping his job post-mortem, it's pretty clear that he must have come back as a ghost. Which means he and Karkat will probably find SOME WAY to get into fights and you'll need to break it up.

So. Keep it together. They need you, remember? They need you. This whole fiasco proves it. Don't let them down.

You just...

You just wish you could talk to them both. Especially Sollux. You want to make sure that he's... well, relatively okay, and to make sure that...

... well...

wow okay this is going to sound stupid but you want to know whether or not you were his friend. You always felt like you were just the third wheel between Aradia and Sollux, and you know SHE considered you her friend, but did he? You don't know. You don't know! You think he just put up with you because Aradia pities you. The fact that you're in a quadrant with him doesn't prove anything because he and Karkat didn't realize you've been auspisticing them. And now he's DEAD and you didn't even ever find out and you think that now, that now, you just... want to know.

Did he ever like you?

...

Wait.

Is

is that

a flying bucket.

No no wait that's a paint can. Oh. Okay. Much better.

...

Why is there a randomly levitating paint can outside your window?

16/02/12
"Sollux: Abscond."

How the fuck were you supposed to know the library has a no-poltergeists policy, it's not like you've ever been a poltergeist before. This is an outrage! GHOSTS ARE TROLLS TOO!

Damn.

Okay, on to plan 2. Plan 2 is better than Plan 1 ANYWAY.

You head for Troll Mexico.

16/02/12
"===>"

All of the sudden, you have a very bad feeling.

PUT. THE STICK. DOWN.
uh--
AND STEP AWAY. FROM THE COMPUTER.
but ii was ju2t--
STICK DOWN.
2eriiou2ly ii know what iim--
AWAY FROM COMPUTER.
dude lii2ten iim a fuckiing pro wiith--
STICK.
hey all iim tryiing two--
DOWN.
ii ju2t want two--
AWAY.
look dude do you know who ii--
COMPUTER.
...
...
can you even hear me
FIVE.
of cour2e you cant hear me
FOUR.
fuck

16/02/12
"===>"

Second time's the charm.

16/02/12
"===>"

Right.

Note to self: when you want to point at something on the screen, point with the CURSOR. NOT the STICK.

Now you know.

16/02/12
"===>"

Yep.

Yep.

Fucked that up big time.

You almost duck for cover, until you remember you are dead. So you stay put. The explosion passes harmlessly through you.

It's kind of fucking awesome.

16/02/12
"===>"

That is not what you meant to do.

Well...

Shit.

16/02/12
"===>"

About fucking TIME.

Now, all you have to do is try to remember that sea dweller's name.

Erwynn? Erroll? Er-something. Ericka? Eriell? You think Eriell is close, you don't know why. Sounds appropriate for a sea dweller. It is... mertroll-ish.

The fuck are you thinking, Ericka is a girl's name.

You could probably Trollgle it, but with the way your typing is right now, it would take WAY more than fifteen seconds.

Okay. Okay. You will troll karkatVantas and hope the sea dweller is still hacking his account.

16/02/12
"===>"

Okay. So. All you need to do is poke the keys with your stick. No problemo. And way safer than trying to type telekinetically.

GodDAMN this is slow.

Holy SHIT.

Can't you just possess computers or something?! You were practically one with your computer in life, YOU SHOULD BE ONE WITH A COMPUTER IN DEATH!

16/02/12
"===>"

The fuck is wrong with these trolls? They act like they've never seen a randomly levitating stick before.

The one at the computer bank quickly vacates the scene. You don't know why. It isn't like you need his computer, one is plenty for you.

16/02/12
"Be Sollux again."

Look at that architecture!

Look at that lighting!

Look at those statues!

Look at that woodwork!

Look at those BOOKS! Good lord! A troll would have to live as long as the sea dwellers of mythology to read all of these books! What an endless wealth of knowledge! What sheer limitless literary JOY!

Meh.

What a waste of dead trees.

You figure if you can't find it within fifteen seconds on Trollgle, then it isn't worth finding.

Somehow, while we were busy being the stick, you figured out how to get the stick inside the library despite the fact that the sliding door wouldn't open. That was very clever of you.

Okay, to business.

04/02/12
"===>"

Heeey, a stick!

Just what you needed!

All right, time to head inside.

04/02/12
"===>"

Well, whatever. He was dissing Aradia, and you're not about to stand for that.

It's not like she doesn't already have enough assassination attempts. She doesn't need another rabble-rouser encouraging more.

Besides, he was just a subjugglator. Not a productive member of society, like a doctor or something.

04/02/12
"Sollux: Blast."

What the fuckering fuck was he doing here?

04/02/12
"Be the land dweller lowblood with the heartwrenching history."

Your name is CORDIS JOCURE and you are an ENEMY OF THE HEMOSPECTRUM.

You are a DOCTOR. A very talented doctor with an inquisitive scientific mind--however, you are NOT A SUCCESSFUL DOCTOR.

Because of your blood.

You are treated like a nurse, or sent to run errands, or given only the simplest patch-up jobs, even though you are qualified to do SO MUCH MORE. You are UNDERVALUED, ABUSED, AND IGNORED by your superiors, your so-called "peers," and your own patients. And when your personal investigations and research yield STUNNING MEDICAL DISCOVERIES, the credit for your work is often STOLEN BY HIGH BLOOD DOCTORS AND SCIENTISTS.

It SUCKS.

You are convinced that this sad state of affairs is because of Aradia Megido's rule. Which is why you are here, PROTESTING. So far all you've run into are confused gold bloods asking you what the fuckering fuck you're doing here. You have been more than happy to explain. You are starting small, yes, but at least the message is spreading.

And maybe, someday, there will be revolution.

Maybe, someday, someday SOON, there will be change.

Maybe, someday, lowbloods, ALL lowbloods, will get access to the rights and respect they deserve.

Maybe, someday--

31/01/12
"Sollux: Hover spookily in front of the nearest library."

This is the largest library in the gold quadrants, the ONYX GOLD BIBLIOBSERVATORY. There's a fucking telescope on top.

It's basically considered the ROYAL LIBRARY. Even though it isn't really. The OFFICIAL royal library is in the catacombs of the royal hive. However, the official royal library mainly holds official documents dating thousands of sweeps back, and occasionally some works that previous Imperioi wrote or wanted to preserve. This one has some actually useful shit. Like computers. And a fucking telescope on top.

Before you relocated to Troll Britain, you visited this library a few times, although typically only royals are allowed inside. Sometimes Aradia would send you to get some anthropological or archaeological text, and Karkat would send you to get some could-be-fucking-anything text; they'd send you because you're close enough to royal that you could get in if you received a notarized royal pass, and because they didn't want to use some other intermediary who would judge them for taking time off for fun reading.

They stopped sending you when they stopped having time to read.

However, you DID visit often enough to know they have public computers. Hellishly old computers that almost gave you a little hacker heart attack when you saw them, but you HOPE they can, at the very least, handle Trollian. (Given, you are the sort of troll who gets a new computer every three perigees, so almost ALL computers look hellishly old to you.)

Better head in.

God, you're trolling a SEA DWELLER from a ROYAL LIBRARY. This has got to be one of the lowest points of your life.

Thinks the troll who recently committed suicide.

14/01/12
"Keep continuing with the fucking expositing."

And by the end you were talking to her every night. Sometimes during the day.

You immediately trolled her when you thought that she had died and you had gone blind. And again, just a few hours later, when you thought you died again, and the half of your mind that was disconnected from this reality completely lost any sense of rationality at all. You trolled her whenever Aradia or Tavros or even Karkat visited and told you that you were writing things on your wall that you couldn't see.

And she trolled you when she was bullied and beaten by other, slightly higher sea dwellers, for being a witch. She trolled you on the rare days that she woke up in the middle of her Gl'bgolyb-induced dreams instead of after them and she needed help sorting out reality from her lusus's mad hallucinations. She trolled you when she just needed to talk about her feelings, even though you were a terrible listener, because she didn't have anyone else to share them with.

Neither of you were very good at it, but you did your best to try to help each other sort out reality. At least you made each other feel better. And for a while, you called each other moirails.

It makes your ghostly stomach turn just to think about it.

The last time you talked to her was the night before Karkat hooked you up to the weird ghost busting machine he got from a friend and put you in a coma for a perigee.

The next time you woke up and signed on to Trollian, you discovered that she'd sent you countless messages, asking how you were, asking where you went, letting you know she'd gotten back together with her old moirail but she was still worried about you…

You sent her a single message, "ii'm fiine, 2top worryiing," and then blocked her.

So. That's how you know her. You met her when you were INSANE and doing things that you now EXTREMELY REGRET.

This is why you don't want to talk to her.

… On the other hand, she's pretty much the only sea dweller you know. Meaning that, if you fail to find Eridan by trolling him, she's your only lead.

Not because you assume she knows where he is--or that she knows WHO he is--or that she is on the same PLANET on him--or that she is still ALIVE--but because if you cannot contact him directly, then you will have absolutely no clue where he is, and at that point you might as well start trolling totally random assholes for information. And you figure totally random sea dweller assholes are more likely to have a clue where another sea dweller asshole is than totally random land dweller assholes. And she's the only sea dweller asshole you know.

In any case, you have to find a computer before you can troll Eridan or her. Next stop is the nearest library.

17/12/11
"Continue with the fucking expositing."

Fiiiine. Sheesh.

While you didn't keep in contact with most of the trolls you mistakenly tried to talk to--either because they didn't want you to or because you didn't want anything to do with them--she was one of the few you kept talking with for the duration of your insanity. Because she let you. And because you thought you were supposed to be close to her.

twinArmageddons [TA] began trolling cuttlefishCuller [CC]

TA: hey CC look
TA: ii want two apologize for fliippiing my 2hiit off the handle at you liike ii diid ye2terday

CC: O)( cod.
CC: You again?

TA: yeah
TA: iit wa2 liike the handle wa2 a rabiid hoofbea2t bronco

CC: W)(at?
TA: and the 2hiit wa2 2ome haple22 rodeo bozo who wa2 tryiing two e2tablii2h hii2 domiinance by holdiing on whiile the hoofbea2t triied two rever2e dry hump hii2 entiire crotch untiil hii2 2hame globe2 popped liike double layer water balloon2 fiilled wiith 2eedy expiired jelly
CC: O)( my god, w)(at are you talking about?
CC: I blocked you!

TA: except 2omeone grea2ed the 2addle 2o the rodeo bozo got fliipped off before he reached the poiint where he needed extreme geniital recon2tructiive 2urgery
CC: STOP!!!
TA: iit2 ok about the blockiing
TA: no offen2e taken
TA: ii would have blocked me two

CC: )(ow are you even glubbing at me again?
TA: oh that
TA: iim a hacker
TA: ii hack thiing2
TA: ii know all the code2
TA: all of them

CC: glub
TA: hey lii2ten
TA: ii mean look
TA: iim 2orry ok
TA: ii am liike actually certiifiiably loony
TA: a2 iin, iif my blood were a few degree2 lower, ii would be put on 22 piill2 a day
TA: 2opor and antiip2ychotiic2 and 2tiimulant2 and depre22ant2
TA: ii would be able two drop them all over my appleberry bla2t iice cream and everyone would thiink they were giiant 2priinkle2

CC: For someone trying to apologize, you're still not making any sense! >8(
TA: ok ok 2orry 2hee2h
TA: patiience priince22 iim doiing the be2t ii can

CC: You called me that last time too!
CC: Either stop making foam of me or leave me abalone!

TA: IIM NOT MAKIING FUN OF YOU
TA: ok look here iit ii2
TA: you dont have to beliieve me but you 2hould becau2e iit2 the fact
TA: or maybe you 2houldnt, ii dont know anymore

CC: W)(ale?
CC: I can't be s)(ore if you don't tell me!
CC: *sure

TA: ok here2 the deal
TA: there ii2 half of me that2 totally ratiional and 2ane and exii2t2 on alterniia liike everyone el2e
TA: that2 the part that youre talkiing two riight now
TA: and then there ii2 the half of me that2 totally ratiional and 2ane and know2 that alterniia ii2 dead and that only twelve of u2 are 2tiill aliive
TA: that2 the part you were talkiing two la2t tiime

CC: You just clammed t)(at bot)( )(alves are rational and sane
TA: that2 becau2e both halve2 thiink they are
TA: and ii dont know what two beliieve
TA: and the half that thiink2 everyone ii2 dead thiink2 youre priince22 feferii peiixe2 abdiicated empre22 two be

CC: W)(AT?
TA: whiile the half that thiink2 everyone2 2tiill aliive and on alterniia ha2 no fuckiing clue who you are but ii2 pretty 2ure youre a wiitch
CC: I am. 8(
TA: iif youre the priince22 and were playiing the game then ii thiink we 2hould be gettiing along and iif youre ju2t 2ome 2ea dweller who miight be the wiitch then ii dont want anythiing two do wiith you
TA: 2o iim not tryiing two mock you or harra22 you
TA: at lea2t not on porpoii2e

CC: 8/
TA: the porpoii2e wa2 uniintentiional
CC: So...
CC: T)(e porpoise wasn't on porpoise?

TA: riight
TA: oh
TA: eheheh
TA: iit2 a 2x porpoii2e combo

CC: )(-E )(-E
CC: Ok, t)(ank you for explaining, sir.
CC: Good lake trying to regain your sanity
CC: Do you have a moirail?

TA: that2 another thiing ii dont know
TA: iit 2ort of depend2 on whiich ver2iion of realiity iim iin
TA: although iive only ju2t kiind of 2ort of got one iim iintere2ted iin iin one realiity but ii dont know iif 2/he feel2 the 2ame about me a2 ii feel about hiim/her
TA: and iin the other realiity iive got jack 2hiit
TA: ii thiink
TA: ju2t for the record iim not tryiing two make you piity me or anythiing ii mean ii know you ju2t broke up wiith ED and all but moviing iin on that ii2 the la2t thiing iim attemptiing here 2o dont try two get the wrong iidea
TA: ii mean ii thiink you broke up iin thii2 realiity

CC: W)(o's ED?
TA: miight have been the other one
TA: 2orry ii meant eriidan
TA: fuck iit wa2 probably the other realiity forget ii 2aiid anythiing

CC: No, you're rig)(t...
TA: oh
TA: ok cool

CC: Did I mention t)(at to you last time?
TA: fuck iif ii know
TA: 2orry for briingiing that up agaiin

CC: It's fin, I don't reely mind t)(at muc)(
TA: although yeah ii gue22 iit probably ii2 a more 2en2iitiive topiic wiith hiim than wiith you 2iince you iiniitiiated the break up
TA: and you're off pokiing floatiing braiin2 and collectiing grii2t whiile he2 hangiing around lowaa huntiing angel2 or 2ome 2tupiid 2hiit

CC: )(u)(??
TA: 2hiit forget iit
TA: ju2t 2orry for beiing crazy at you and iill try two prevent iit from happeniing agaiin

CC: Ok, t)(anks.
CC: Actually...
CC: Eel free to talk to me again if you want!
CC: W)(en you're in a sane mood, preferrably.

TA: eheh yeah ii can do that
TA: iin fact ii probably dont need two bother you agaiin untiil KK giive2 me the next 2tupiid 2tep on hii2 2tupiid project regii2urp mii22iion

CC: )(u)(?
CC: 8?

TA: eheheh yeah
TA: iit2 a 2hiitty name ii2nt iit
TA: anyway 2ee you 2oon

CC: U)(, s)(ore
CC: "Sea you soon" I guess.


twinArmageddons [TA] ceased trolling cuttlefishCuller [CC]

CC: ... )(ee)(ee.


See?

And she just

she started playing along.

Crazy fucking sea dweller witch-bitch playing you for a sucker while you were vulnerable.

Like you said, you were NOT FRIENDS.

Yeesh.

Yeeeesh.

15/12/11
"Exposit on what's up between you and CC."

NOTHING IS UP BETWEEN YOU AND CC. JEGUS.

It's just that it's possible that there might have HISTORICALLY been something BRIEFLY between you that DIDN'T EVEN REALLY COUNT because you were COMPLETELY INSANE AT THE TIME.

Really. It was when you were COMPLETELY insane.

When you spent half a sweep split in two. Half your mind was on Alternia where it belongs. The other half was going on loopy joyrides through an imaginary dimension with a dozen or so too-colorful too-symbolic planets. Planets stuffed with monsters, with strange machines that could make fantastic new inventions out of cards and gems, and with a further bizarre internal bifurcation. Bifurcation between waking and dreaming, between white and black, between past and future, and space and void, and doom and hope, and life and breath, and...

Yeah.

When you snapped, you snapped big time.

You became convinced that you knew trolls you had never heard of in your life. You thought you knew their names, their Trollian handles, their blood. You became convinced that the trolls you already knew, you "knew" wrong.

Despite the fact that you knew damn well that Karkat had the 6LUH 6LUH FANCY 6L99D, you became simultaneously convinced that you had no idea what his blood color was and that bright red blood didn't even exist. Despite the fact that you knew damn well that Aradia was a princess and possible empress-to-be, you became simultaneously convinced that she was the lowest of lowbloods possible, and furthermore, dead.

Despite the fact that you had never, to your knowledge, had contact with any sea dwellers further than hearing them among the screams of the imminently deceased, you became simultaneously convinced that you knew two of them very well. And that one of them went by the tag cuttlefishCuller, and that this sea dweller was a witch, a princess, and named Feferi Peixes.

By some insane and bizarre chance, you happened to be correct. Except about the princess thing.

twinArmageddons [TA] began trolling cuttlefishCuller [CC]

TA: ii am 2o 2orry ii havent gotten you out yet
CC: Umm... w)(o is t)(is?
TA: iit2 TA
CC: 8?
CC: T)(at DO-ESN'T )(ELP!!
CC: Sir.

TA: look your hiighne22 ii am TRYIING two help but ii dont have the game yet
CC: My w)(at-ness?
CC: Sorrrry, no need to be sarcastic!

TA: iim not iim ju2t kiind of fliippiing the fuck out over the fact that ii dont have the game two play yet
CC: W)(AT game?
TA: the 2uper iimportant one
CC: W)(AT????????
TA: ii2 2he ok for now
CC: W)(O?
CC: W)(o AR-E you?!

TA: gliibgiilob or whatever
TA: 2ollux captor

CC: )(u)(?
CC: W)(at about Gl'bgolyb?

TA: ii meant glbgolyb iis who iim a2kiing about and 2ollux ii2 me
CC: I figured t)(at out!
CC: Is t)(is some kind of sick joke? >8/

TA: ii wii2h
TA: actually, ye2
TA: ye2, that2 exactly what iit ii2

CC: W)(y play it on M-E? 8( I don't even know you!
TA: iit2 the uniiver2e playiing the mo2t unfunny practiical joke ever on all of u2
TA: liike realiity iit2elf dropped a biig 2oggy 2ack of fre2h liiquiifiied viiral laden fecal matter on the front entrance platform of the hiive of 2entiient liife
TA: and then 2et iit on fiire
TA: and 2at back and watched a2 the flamiing 2hiit 2ack 2et the hiive on fiire and burned iit down wiith everyone iin2iide
TA: THAT kiind of practiical joke
TA: and iit2 on all of u2

CC: W)(AT T)(-E S)(-ELL?!
TA: are you iin the game yet?
CC: W)(AT game! T)(IS ISN'T FINNY!
CC: *funny

TA: iit2 been two long
TA: we 2hould have 2tarted playiing hour2 ago

CC: Nobody's playing anyt)(ing!
TA: ii know
TA: that2 the problem
TA: that mean2 glbgolyb2 glub ha2 probably kiilled me by now

CC: W)(at?
CC: OH MY GOD!

TA: yeah ba2iically
CC: But my moirail and I just fed )(er tonig)(t!
CC: *ex
CC: S)(e can't be glubbing!
CC: Are you a g)(ost?!

TA: ii dont know
TA: iim confu2ed

CC: But you're Y-ELLOW! I'd )(ave )(eard from all t)(e dead royals FIRST before lower gold bloods started keeling over!
CC: Besides, W-E F-ED )(-ER!

TA: no iim defiiniitely probably dead by now
TA: ii have two be

CC: W)(Y AR-E YOU BOT)(-ERING M-E?
TA: becau2e iim your fuckiing 2erver player why el2e
CC: NOBODY'S PLAYING ANYFIN!
CC: LOOK! I don't know w)(o you are but w)(y are you trolling M-E?
CC: Is it just because I'm t)(e witc)(?
CC: It's not like I C)(OS-E to be!
CC: -Eridan and I are doing our best to K-E-EP YOU LAND DW-ELL-ERS ALIV-E!
CC: So w)(y are you bot)(ering me?
CC: R-E-ELY? 8(
CC: Do you want to be black wit)( me or somet)(ing? IS T)(AT W)(AT T)(IS IS?
CC: I'M NOT INT-ER-EST-ED!!!!!!!!
CC: I don't want a kismesis rig)(t now
CC: and even if I did I wouldn't want one TONIG)(T because I just went through a nasty pale break-up
CC: and even if I )(adn't I WOULDN'T WANT TO BE BLACK WIT)( YOU!
CC: AR-E YOU STILL T)(-ER-E?
CC: )(-ELLO?
CC: )(--------ELLO???
CC: ?????

TA: 2orry AA dragged me off for a biit
CC: W)(O?
CC: Aug)(, I DON'T -EV-EN CAR-E!

TA: 2he doe2nt even know 2he2 dead
TA: ii had two try two conviince her

CC: W)(at are you talking about?
CA: If t)(is is some bizarre roleplay t)(ing, will you let me go if I play along for a little bit?

TA: p222ht no iit2 not that kiind of game
TA: and we dont have a choiice we have two play iit all the way through

CC: ARRRRRG!
TA: 2o when are you comiing over two kii22 me?

cuttlefishCuller [CC] blocked twinArmageddons [TA]


Yeah. Completely insane.

That was you.

08/12/11
"Contact your sea dweller ex-friend, cuttlefishCuller."

WHAT?!

CC??

Why CC??

Why do you have to contact CC?! You don't want to contact CC! You haven't talked to her in SWEEPS! AND SHE WASN'T EVEN YOUR FRIEND! SHUT UP. SHE WASN'T. SHE'S A FUCKING SEA DWELLER HOLY SHIT why did you even think of her holy fucking shit.

As far as you're concerned, she doesn't exist.

Yikes.

Any other suggestions PLEASE.

08/12/11
"Sollux: Be the anti-auspistice."

Is anti-auspistice a thing? Rather than assisting in the break-up of a bad blackrom, you're assisting in the make-up of a bad blackrom. Is there even a name for what you are now?

Oh yeah.

A fussy meddly pushy obnoxious busy-body match-making ASSHOLE.

Karkat would never let you live it down if he knew what you were doing. And not just because of WHAT you're doing, either. He'd probably try to tell you that you're doing it WRONG.

Stupid romcom-watching self-proclaimed "romantic-expert" nookhead. He owes you for this. The fact that you messed up his relationship in the first place doesn't mean anything. He drove you to your death first, so that combined with this favor means he still owes you.

... Except, he didn't really. You died because you were a moron. He brushed you off because he was trying to doing his job like an effective person. Like YOU should have been doing. Meanwhile, you were bullshitting around on the computer and looking for someone to validate your pathetic existence. It's not his job to validate you, it's his job to be the top advisier. You can't resent him for that. If anything, you owe HIM for ruining his night yesterday. Who knows how much bullshit he had to put up with because YOU died? How much shit he could have gotten done?

But he's known you for sweeps. He knows what you're like. If anything, shouldn't that have ENCOURAGED him to pay attention to you for like a measly five minutes? If you were getting up in a mood like you were, a mood where you were even turning to HIM for company out of all the trolls in the universe, he should have only needed half a think pan to predict where your mood was going next. If being productive was his priority, he should've known that ignoring you then was not conducive to your OR his interests. Which means his treatment of you was just pure cold apathy. And he calls himself your friend. HAH.

Congratulations. Over the span of two minutes, you succeed in getting pissed at Karkat, forgiving him, and getting pissed at him again, despite the fact that you have neither spoken to him nor physically seen him for hours.

This is not bipolarity. Bipolarity is a pendulum swinging back and forth, going tick-tock like the beat of a heart, sometimes slowing so that it will be days before the next tick, perigees before the next tock. Sometimes for a time, it freezes in the middle, and you can breathe easy and clear your head. The emotions are not nearly as neat and tidy as a pendulum, but the process, the process is.

This is not bipolarity.

This is insanity. Not the tick-tock of a pendulum but the tacktacktack of a pinball machine. The swings are jagged and irregular, not back and forth but lurching all over creation. You're lucky when you get to hold on to an emotion for more than a fleeting moment.

You haven't been "bipolar" in sweeps. You miss being bipolar. It was better than this unidentifiable monstrosity.

No it wasn't! Ha ha ha, what are you talking about? It was even MORE horrible compared to this! At least this way you're guaranteed to not have to put up with a bad mood very long.

... Except that you usually switch from one bad mood to another bad mood.

Okay, stop floating in the air attempting to psychoanalyze yourself. You worthless sack of ectoplasmic shit. You never did anything useful in life so at least hop to it and be productive in death.

First order of business is tracking down that stupid sea dweller. You don't want to try to mess with Aradia's weird Ouija computers. You cannot--to your eternal embarrassment--make heads or tails out of them. Plus, it might wake her up. And considering the property damage you've already rendered to Karkat's quarters alone, you don't want to risk blowing up anything in the rest of the royal hive.

So, you'll have to find somewhere else to use a computer.

Where's it going to be?

And once you're online, what's your first order of business in trying to track down the brinebrain?

03/12/11
"===>"

You've got a ship to unsink.

...

You have no idea why you decided that ships are good metaphors to describe relationships, though. Maybe because a sea dweller is involved?

Oh God, you're making sea metaphors. And you haven't even tracked down the guy yet.

This isn't going to end well.

But maybe you can get this stupid kismesissitude fixed up before Karkat wakes up.

If you're lucky, maybe he'll ignore the notes you left on his walls.

03/12/11
"===>"

And abandoned Karkat.

Way to fucking go. You are an AWESOME fucking friend. You loser.

Of course, you DID already perma-revoke your friendship, as a self-punishment for screwing up Karkat's caliginous quadrant and potentially all hope for him ever becoming romantically stable (because God knows he isn't about to do it on his own), but still. You just abandoned him. After making sure his blood transfusion was going fine, but...

So you came to Aradia to report to her, and because you hoped that the royal hive would be less infested by the voices of the imminently deceased. (It is.) But she was asleep, and you just... you can't wake her up just to tell her that you're a douche again. Seriously, why the fuck would you do that? That's a moronic idea.

You ended up just kinda sitting around.

Like a useless lump.

... Well.

At the very least, you can try to do something to fix this idiotic mess you caused.

03/12/11
"Sollux: Why are you here instead of watching after Karkat?"

Because the voices came back.

The voices of the imminently deceased.

You didn't notice it while you were distracted--while you were worrying over Karkat, trolling his pathetic semi-kismesis, talking to Aradia...

At first you thought it was just trolls talking outside the room.

No.

You know what the voices sound like.

You recognize them.

You have not heard them in three and a half sweeps. The last time you heard them, you were completely insane.

When you heard them again, you flipped out and tried to get as far away as possible.

02/12/11
"===>"

oH, aRADIA, sO THAT'S WHERE YOU--
uHHHHHHMMMMMM,,,,,,
i, uH, uH, uM,
i SEE YOU, uHH, mADE A NEW, uH, fRIEND,
uHH, uM, uH,
wHERE, dO YOU THINK, aRE YOUR, uH, cLOTHES?
,,,, uH,
nEVER MIND,
yOU JUST, kEEP TALKING, tO, uH,
tHE IMAGINARY INVISIBLE DEAD TROLLS,
aND uH, i'LL FIND THEM, fOR YOU,


Now, Aradia and Tavros laugh about it. Which you think is seriously insensitive. It's seven sweeps later and you're STILL embarrassed.

...

Oh, yeah, and you've seen Aradia naked since then. Under non-insanity-induced circumstances. Not that that's anybody's business but yours and hers.

... And not under THOSE circumstances, either. Yet.

Or, er. Ever. Considering that you're. Yeah. Dead.

Again, not that that's anybody's business.

BUT THANKS FOR ASKING.

02/12/11
"===>"

Neither of you were in your right mind at the time. You just kind of, found each other. You were not entirely conscious of each other--just of the fact that she spoke the ending of the deaths you only heard the starts of, and you spoke the start of the deaths she only heard the endings of.

You don't have a clue why she was naked.

But you don't have a clue why you were naked, either.

Insanity rarely makes sense.

02/12/11
"Sollux: This is the first time you've seen Aradia naked, isn't it."


HAHAHAHA not by a long shot.

You MET her naked.

When you were THREE.

01/12/11
"Sollux: Stare."

You can totally handle that.

0_0

01/12/11
"Be the afterlife dweller gold blood."

You can't do that! Characters in the afterlife are unplayable.

This shady figure makes sure of that.

Who is that, anyway? The shady figure looks familiar--but is it because we are seeing the figure's true form, or because this is now what we expect to see?

It could be anything.

In any case, you probably do not actually want to be a gold blood in the afterlife. Just a dead one.

01/12/11
"===>"

You quietly make a vow to never think of this again.

The idea that your blood color spontaneously changed itself has all sorts of possible implications you'd rather pretend don't exist.

So. Nope. Never happened.

What now?

And what's Sollux up to, anyway?

01/12/11
"===>"

Wait.

What.

WHAT.

WHAT.

WHAT.

FUCK!

WHAT?!

You look down at the bags beside your bed--all of them tinged green. Definitely green.

And the faint blood stains on your shirt--some of them are a little green, you guess from after you started getting a blood transfusion.

YOU WERE DEFINITELY GETTING GREEN BLOOD!

HOW THE FUCK DID THIS HAPPEN.

HOLY. FUCKING. SHIT.

HOW IN THE HELL

WHAT

WHAT

01/12/11
"Check out your new blood."

Oh hell yes. This is going to be so great.

Your strife deck is not impacted by your stupid stupid encryption modus, so you withdraw your favorite CUTLERYKIND weapon.

Yeah, cutlerykind. Hey, if somebody tries to assassinate you during dinner and you already have a knife in your hand, rather than waste valuable nanoseconds tossing it down and retrieving a sickle, why not just use the knife? You tried explaining that logic to Aradia and Sollux one time. They were skeptical. Of course, they've never seen you disarm two suicide bombers using a bent spoon.

You figure your blood won't actually be yellow-green. Since it's mixing with your red blood, odds are better that it will come out looking orangish-brownish instead. But hey, anything's an improvement.

You prick your finger.

01/12/11
"===>"

The needle isn't even--

Wow, that card vault hurts. You shove it off your legs, send it crashing to the floor, and resume narration.

The needle isn't even plugged into your arm. It was just being held against your arm under the bandages, for some reason. And there are little puncture marks all over the current bag. You guess that Sollux decided you had had enough blood, took the needle out, stabbed open the bag, and used it to paint the walls. Wow, what a fucking awful friend. What if you had NEEDED that blood, huh?

But luckily, you did not need it. The fact that you are still alive and not dead from blood loss proves that.

As well as the used bags all over the floor. This is not the first time you have almost bled to death. (Which you suspect is the reason why they are out of mutant red blood and had to go with the more common green: there are not many 6L99D donors, and you have really been going through the spare blood.) In your experience, when you get REALLY low, it takes about, oh, thirty-ish bags to replenish what you lost. Scattered on the floor (what a mess) are around a hundred empty bags. With a painted message on the floor reading "leave me the 2pare2 2o ii can talk two hii2 iimperiiou2ne22, thank2 ~Lord Sollux Captor, High Surveillahacker." They must have decided his credentials checked out, considering all the bags all over the floor.

WOW.
SO YOU CAN SPELL OUT YOUR NAME PROPERLY, BUT YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE THE FUCKING CLASS NEEDED TO SPELL OUT "HIS IMPERIOUSNESS"?
OR AT LEAST CAPITALIZE IT?
REAL FUCKING NICE.
... SOLLUX?


No answer. Where the fuck is he?

... Well, as long as you're alone...

01/12/11
"Karkat: Why is that sack of blood empty?!"

... Duh? Isn't that the fucking POINT of a blood transfusion? To get the blood out of the bag and into YOU?

You do not know how long you were hooked up to this thing and unconscious, but you are guessing several hours. (At the very least, enough time for Sollux to repaint the walls.)

You would be more worried if you had spent all this time lying here and the bag WASN'T empty.

30/11/11
"===>"

FFFFFFFFUCK.
OW
SHIT.
FUCK.


Eridan still has your keys. Including the HACKSTER KEY. Which Sollux gave to you so you could automatically hack open your stupid ENCRYPTION MODUS card vaults. Without the HACKSTER KEY, trying to get shit out of your sylladex will give you nothing but a heavy encrypted brick.

A VERY heavy encrypted brick.

Such as the one that just fell on your injured legs.

You happened to have this computer out yesterday when Eridan stole your keys, so you made sure to carry it around in your pockets rather than captchalogue it. You guess you must have forgotten not to captchalogue it when you were busy passing out from blood loss.

Wow. You sure are a loser when you're dying of blood loss.

Until you get that key back, if you want to take anything out of your sylladex, you will have to hack the card vaults open yourself.

... Of course, for you to even attempt hacking open the card vaults, you'd need a computer.

FUCK.
SOLLUX, WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU?


Maybe he knows a work-around.

You know he's got to be in the area since he wrote all over your walls. You haven't bothered reading it yet because it's in nice, orderly, neat, sane rows, and isn't filled with strange drawings and schematics and giant overlapping words like DOOMED or KIILL YOUR2ELF or TWOWARD2 THE HEAVEN2.

So there's probably nothing to worry about. After all, he hasn't had a "problem" with writing in blood on walls since the half-sweep after his mental breakdown on your sixth wriggling day. And you don't think this is a relapse. It's just--for some creepy reason--the way he's decided to communicate.

Doesn't mean you plan on reading it any time soon. It's probably him starting a one-sided fight with you, apologizing for it, starting another, apologizing again...

30/11/11
"===>"

Oh

shit

THOSE.

You remember THOSE.

Stop stop stop you didn't mean to uncaptchalogue it don't fall don't fall don't fff--

30/11/11
"Karkat: Agonizingly drag your bleeding husk to the nearest computer in a desperate attempt to get to work."

Why would you do that when you have a perfectly good portable computer sitting in your sylladex? Really. That would be fucking stupid. You always carry at least three computers.

You are almost certain that someone told you to carry no less than three computers on you at all times, like a sensible person.

So, no problem. All you have to do is take out your computer, and...

31/01/12
"Karkat: Now what?"

Good question.

You're alive and awake. You're also still in a fair deal of pain. There are aches and stings all over, and you can't move a good third of your muscles without receiving a sharp bolt of pain in response. Your head is throbbing. Your eyes are functional, but the room is still a bit darker, pinker, and blurrier than you think it's supposed to be.

That was the best duel you've had in perigees.

You are pleased to see that you didn't imagine up the green blood transfusion. You look foward to using it to troll the shit out of the empire. Or at least the church.

Otherwise, you cannot say you are in a terribly good mood. You have no idea how much time has passed--or, more specifically, you have no idea how many duties have fallen through the cracks--while you were busy being hospitalized.

And not just being hospitalized. Also when you were "busy" fumbling around your room like a blind idiot. Or dueling Eridan. Or arguing with Sollux. Or playing a game while riding on the train. Or sitting down by yourself to have a stupid fucking solo feelings jam. Or personally tracking down and hauling in Eridan to interrogate him about Vriska (and he didn't even fucking know anything about Vriska). Or worrying about whether or not a stupid goddamn sea dweller was going to try to emotionally manipulate stupid goddamn Nepeta into a stupid goddamn quadrant. Or writing your latest romcom script, even though you yourself know that script is a load of rotting musclebeast diarrhea.

Way to fail. Way to fucking fail. Here you are half-running the empire and yet you wasted half a night on total bullshit. Wow! Look at you! Model fucking Advisier, right there! Meanwhile, in the rest of the empire, there are giant robots going haywire and fires burning down a continent of food crops and unquarantined disease-ridden colonies and eldritch abominations sneaking onto space ships and overpriced clothing monopolies driving wigglers into poverty and spreading riots and attempted rebellions and ongoing genocides and on and on and on...

And you spent half a night flirting with a finface.

You haven't been awake five minutes and you already want to throttle your past self.

Seriously, if you had known yesterday what you were going to do, you could have spent ten seconds on Trollian going "HEY, ERIDAN, WANNA BE MY FUCKING KISMESIS," waited two seconds for his blathering desperate acceptance, and got back to work. Seeing as that's the only thing you accomplished yesterday, and it isn't even a fucking accomplishment.

Fuck. Okay. Wasted day, no problem. You next scheduled yourself to get a full day's sleep in... five days? But since you just had one in the hospital, you can skip that sleep cycle, use the time to make up for the work you didn't do yesterday, and then get back on schedule by not sleeping again for another two weeks. No big deal, it just means you'll go... uh... twenty-one nights before you next get to sleep. Considering that currently, you only sleep every fortnight--that's sixteen nights, for the record--twenty-one nights isn't THAT big a stretch.

So, again: now what?

26/11/11
"Karkat: Wake up."

Yeah.

You have that dream all the time.

The love interest changes, but the plotline stays the same.

The love interest is typically your most recent hate date, who's always all flushed and sappy and happy with Jegus Kryst. Sometimes it's just this simple--staring into each other's eyes like a couple of gooey fools--and sometimes it's more. A date or sloppy makeouts or full blown pailing.

And then somebody brutally murders the love interest. Sometimes no more than a scythe through the back--sometimes the love interest is violently beat into a pulp.

Jegus starts sobbing over his dying beloved.

And then realizes that the murderer is behind him.

And the murderer is you.

You have no clue what it means, but you wake up freaking the fuck out every time you have it.

.... For some reason, you tend to have it most often when your most recent hate date was a sea dweller. Go figure.

26/11/11
"===>"

26/11/11
"===>"

26/11/11
"===>"

Shit.

26/11/11
"Karkat: Dream."

What--?

Oh.

Fuck.

Yeah.

This dream.

This is a recurring dream.

Not with Eridan specifically, but in general.

... The genderbending is new, though.

You have this dream all the time.

All the fucking--

22/11/11
"===>"

She held up her end of the bargain. So you hold up yours.

You tell her everything she needs to know.

You know damn well that the neophyte legislacerator on Vriska's case has compiled a MOUNTAIN of evidence against Vriska.

However, she hasn't filed it with the legislacerators.

She has been shuttling it back and forth between herself and the Advisier. Since he's director of the threshecutioners, that means that whenever the evidence file is in his hands, it's not legislacerator property. It's threshecutioner property.

And you know for a fact that, at this present moment, that file is in Vantas's hands. Some of your friends in the threshecutioners have confirmed that yesterday, Vantas mounted a raid on somebody who was supposedly a collaborator with Vriska, and he had the file at that time.

It's almost certain that the Neophyte expected the Advisier to pull some not-quite-legal strings to get the file out of the threshecutioner system and into legislacerator hands before the trial. Normally, such a process could take days. Possibly weeks in particularly sticky cases. But if he were to get involved, it could take minutes.

However, the Advisier is currently out of commission. He is not around to pull not-quite-legal strings.

You know the person currently in charge of the threshecutioners.

You know how obsessed she is with order. But she will likely be undecided as to whether order is best served by detaining a criminal, or by following the law.

You also know that she will listen to you.

<3

If the Neophyte attempts to present any evidence against Vriska in court, all Vriska has to do is ask if it was properly submitted as evidence. Ask the Neophyte to provide proof that the legislacerators have the legal right to use that evidence.

Nearly all her evidence will be invalidated.

Vriska is almost guaranteed to walk free.

As long as that evidence file stays in threshecutioner hands.

The Neophyte still has SOME evidence against Vriska which isn't contained in the threshecutioners' file: most of it comes from yesterday. Vriska can easily dismiss that as circumstantial evidence--the fact that she was in the presence of sea dwellers doesn't mean she was working with them, or even that she knew who they were. But, in the conviction-happy Alternian court system, that defense is fragile at best. Vriska would be best served by claiming that she had recently learned who they were but was not working with them, and confessing everything she knew about them to the interrogators before the court date.

For all other evidence the Neophyte tries to use, make up a hate crush and try to call Spades Act. Even better if it's on somebody who actually hates Vriska. The Advisier and Neophyte are the best targets, especially if somehow Vriska can arrange things ahead of time to prove that the Advisier does, indeed, have a hate crush on Vriska (since you are both well aware that he does), or if she can manage to fluster the Neophyte enough in court to make her reveal her hate crush. That would be ideal, since it would undermine the Neophyte's credibility in front of His Honorable Tyranny.

The only other thing Vriska has to worry about is her Trollian logs. But if Vriska gives you her blessing and a list of her accounts, you will gladly personally hack into them all and delete all the logs. You will have to do it soon, before the Neophyte submits a request for and receives permission to hire a hacker to break into Vriska's accounts.

Unfortunately, you suspect that a casual hacking rival of yours has been hacking Vriska's files already. However, you also know that he is recently deceased, so his info might have been lost. Either way, it can never hurt to delete Vriska's logs anyway.

As long as you do it with Vriska's permission, and before the Neophyte gets permission to hack Vriska's accounts and therefore legal jurisdiction over them, you are not breaking the law by hacking them first. Alternian law sure is weird.

You try not to think about all the illegal hacking you have already done on Vriska's behalf.

She agrees to let you delete her logs, but she seems displeased by the whole affair. You're sure she expected you to do more on her behalf.

This is all you can legally do. But it should be quite enough to give her a fighting chance in court.

Your business here is done. You half-sincerely wish Vriska luck and take your leave, to get on with your hacking and to troll a certain interim director of the threshecutioners.

You let Vriska keep the remaining cookies and tea.

22/11/11
"===>"

Looks legit.

All 612 pieces, neatly split into seventeen clusters of four stacks of nine coins.

2o 6eaut1ful.

Of course, you'll have to get it checked out to see if these coins are actually old enough to possibly be the real deal, but you have no doubt that this is the artifact Vriska believes to be the true 612 pieces of silver. Even if it turns out to be a fake, it certainly won't be Vriska's fault. And you can still sell a convincing counterfeit to the right buyer--one with a sense of humor. Or no sense of skepticism. Vriska held up her end of the bargain.

The co1n2 are 2tuck.
They're locked in place.
I found it that way.
It needs some kind of candle in the middle to unlock the coins, 8ut I don't know what kind or where to find it.

Huh.

You captchalogue the artifact again.

........ That doesn't 8other you?
You can't even get the dough. ./

1t'2 not my pro6lem.
2er1ou2ly, 612 anc1ent co1n2? W1th all the 1nflat1on 21nce the2e co1n2 were 1n u2e, that'2 6arely pocket change.
Try1ng to get the co1n2 off 12 the pro6lem of whatever r1ch collector want2 to buy them up.

Are you SERIOUS?
Troll Vat1can C1ty Planet get2 f1r2t d162.
Ah hahahahahahahaha!
You're SERIOUS?!
All that just to S8LL IT AG8IN?
You 8eautiful, terri8le person!


She's furious at you. But in the most delighted way possible.

You could have made the greatest kismesisses.

Oh well.

22/11/11
"===>"

She hands over the captchalogue card, although from under her cape you can't see where she was storing it. Not her sylladex, since that was confiscated. Which is why you told her to always carry the 612 pieces of silver outside her sylladex. That way, after she got arrested and lost her sylladex, she would still be able to pay you.

You suspect she has some secret compartments on her robotic arm where she's been storing this card. It is very crumpled.

Doe2 1t 2t1ll work?
Of course it f8cking w8rks.
Like I'd l8se a priceless fucking treas8re 8y 8eating up the c8rd.


She's bitter. You're okay with that.

Her life is now completely in your hands. She has no bargaining chips she can use against you. All she can do is wait, cross her fingers... and hope you don't betray her.

Just another reason for her to hate you.

You uncaptchalogue the pieces of silver to make sure they're all right.

22/11/11
"===>"

2o.
Hand over the payment and let'2 get go1ng.
You know what 1'm after.

Uuuuuuuuggggggggh.
What's wrong, 6a6y?
You've got 1t, r1ght?
1 told you not to 2tore 1t 1n your 2ylladex.

Duh, I've got it!
8ut does it have to 8e THAT????????
That's the second most valua8le 8ooty I've got!


The first being her octet, you're sure. It holds little appeal to you.

How valua6le 12 1t go1ng to 6e 1f you keep 1t and d1e?
8luh, you can 8e so mor8id sometimes!
Hey, 1f you want to keep 1t, go ahead!
Enjoy the cook1e2.
1'll 6e watch1ng your tr1al.

........ ugh.
What'2 that?
We agreed on that payment sweeps ago!
I thought 8y now you'd want something more practical!
I can tell you a8out the terrorist cells.
ALL OF THEM.

You'll tell everyth1ng you know to the 1nterrogator2 anyway.
Only if they want to cut a deal!
Otherwise, I'm not sharing ANYTHING.
Unless it would help you help my case. ,)


They will offer to cut a deal with her. Meaning you will get the information on the terrorist groups from her even if she doesn't share them with you now.

All cl1ent2 get a flat rate.
1 tell you what 1 want up front,
and what 1 want 12 exactly what 1 want, and the only th1ng 1 want.
1 won't accept anyth1ng le22, and 1 don't g1ve add1t1onal 2erv1ce2 1f you pay me more.
6ecause for that flat rate, you get everyth1ng 1 have to offer.
Of cour2e, you're free to 2hare whatever you have on your all1e2 1f you want. 6ut 1t won't change what 1 do for you.

Like hell.
Okay then!
2o 1t'2 the 21lver or noth1ng.

... Fine.
AFTER you advise me.

Payment alway2 come2 f1r2t.
F8CK!
If I p8y you first, h8w can I tr8st y8u to h8ld up y8ur end of the 8arg8in?!

You can tru2t me 6a2ed on my 2terl1ng reputat1on.

You always help the clients who pay. Even when you could take the money and walk off, you never do. Everyone who knows anything about you knows that you never betray your clients.

Even Vriska knows.

That doesn't mean she trusts you.

1f you don't hand 1t over, 1'm leav1ng.
1t'2 up to you.

D8mm8t.

Vriska hates trusting anybody but herself.

But she doesn't have a choice.

22/11/11
"Cherna: Go for the silver."

The 612 pieces of silver given unto the Covetous Apostate Ioudas Iscari. The holy grail of the church's seedy underside. Or it would be if a "holy grail" were a concept that exists in the church. Which it isn't.

Vriska was a very, very accomplished Flarper. In her time flarping, she amassed a vast hoard of treasures. Just ducking into a flarping forum and bringing up the notorious Marquise Spinneret Mindfang sets off a flurry of legends and rumors. If Vriska is half as successful as her legend, then she probably owns half the planet's Flarp booty.

But the only prize you want is the silver.

Vriska has been taunting you with the promise of these coins for three sweeps now.

The reward given to Ioudas Iscari for lawfully betraying Jegus Kryst.

You swear you are a devout and orthodox follower of the church. You observe the holidays. You watch the weekly sermons of three Pontifeces Maximi and attend the weekly sermons of one Pontifex Minimus. You pray daily (nightly? Stupid Surrogia) to the Sufferer, and occasionally to the Replicus.

You are NOT some kind of weirdo who worships Ioudas.

But just imagine how much the original 612 pieces of silver would be worth.

22/11/11
"===>"

You are here to offer Vriska the same bargain you offer all your clients.

Although, in most cases, you have never met the defendant before. Much less worked with her BEFORE she was arrested.

You are not proud of what you have done because of her.

You.

Er.

Don't feel like expositing on your connection to her.

... Well. So much for "full disclosure."

In any case, you are giving her the usual bargain. You will go over her case, find every last hole in the procedure and gap in the evidence, and give Vriska whatever she needs to get off scot-free. Given that you have been working on Vriska's case since before she was even arrested--but you really don't want to get into that--this should be no problem. The prosecuting legislacerator is a newb on her very first case, all enthusiasm and no procedure. Giving Vriska a sufficient defense will be a breeze.

Of course, preventing her from getting lobotomized BEFORE the trial is an entirely different problem. But it's not YOUR problem. You will have already rendered your service and received your payment before she even knows she is scheduled for a lobotomy. But, if she should survive it with her mind mostly intact (hah), she will still be able to make use of your advice in her trial.

So. That is what you are offering her.

What do you expect in return?

22/11/11
"===>"


There are trolls who worship the Covetous Apostate Ioudas Iscari--cults and splinter sects and such. But you are not one of them. You use his symbol to represent your philosophy: profits come before all else. Legally.

You obey the law ALWAYS to the letter and ONLY to the letter, setting aside morality and ethics in the interest of self-benefit and the almost mechanical act of acquiring profits. That's your lifestyle.

Hence, 612.

Ioudas turned against Jegus, which now is seen as a monstrous sin. However, what he did was not ILLEGAL. He--presumably a Subjugglator himself--reported a known rebel and mutant to the nearest Subjugglator authorities, in return for a cash reward. What he did was, at the time he did it, completely supported by the law.

As are the things you do. Your actions may look treacherous or subversive, BUT they never go against the established legal order.

See, in troll society, there is no such thing as a defense attorney. There is not even a word for a defense attorney. All they have are legislacerators, who act as bounty hunters, detectives, CSI, forensic analysis, prosecution, and everything else in between. The only defense a defendant receives is her own self. She IS allowed to speak and defend herself, but, of course, she doesn't know the law as well as the prosecuting legislacerator.

For a fee (or, rather, a bribe), a crooked legislacerator like you lets a defendant hire you before her court date, to go over her case and tell her where the prosecuting legislacerator has holes in her case, and thus, how the defendant might be able to get a "not guilty" verdict.

Crooked, corrupt, and lapsed legislacerators like you are often the only hope a defendant has of receiving a "not guilty" verdict. And what you do is not illegal. Mainly because even trolls recognize that their legal system causes many unfair convictions.

However, although it's not illegal, it IS considered CORRUPT AS ALL HELL. It is a subversion of everything a legislacerator stands for. Legislacerators live to uphold the law in letter AND spirit, to make sure no criminals ever go unpunished, regardless of whether any innocents receive unfair punishments. To trolls, ensuring that no crime goes unpunished is JUSTICE, regardless of any innocent casualties.

And any legislacerator caught helping a defendant--ESPECIALLY for profit--is instantly branded as a black sheep. Most who do what you do only start after they quit (or get fired); even when they don't, the decision to offer defendants help often comes very soon before they leave the force--either because they are fired, or because they are arrested and executed on trumped-up charges. You are quite possibly the only legislacerator who does it openly and frequently.

And you get away with it because you're one hell of a legislacerator.

You never advise your own targets, never let them slip off the hook, never throw trials for them. But you will gladly advise anyone else's. Thus, you still have a sparkling, shining, perfect record--and even your bosses know it would be a loss to the force to fire you.

Plus, whether they know it or not, you have friends in high places.

If they want a suspect arrested that they cannot afford to let go, a suspect near uncatchable and highly valuable, they send you. Both because they know you can do it, and because sending you ensures that you will not help the suspect escape.

They would have sent you after Vriska, if the neophyte had not insisted on taking the case.

You wish you had received the case.

22/11/11
"===>"

Your name is CHERNA SHAPKA and, as you have said, you FIGHT TO DEFEND AND UPHOLD THE LAW. Your first priority is the LAW, your second priority is PROFIT, and your third priority is EVERYTHING ELSE: RELIGION, QUADRANTS, HACKING, BAKING...

As a legislacerator, your job is to defend the law. Your duty is to track, arrest, and convict criminals. You perform your duty flawlessly, and you have spent much of your career with the highest arrest and conviction rates of any living legislacerator.

You fight to defend the law at the expense of defending justice.

And at the expense of defending morality.

Just like your role model.

22/11/11
"Cherna: Use exposition on yourself to let Vriska know the plan."

Why in the world would you do that? Vriska knows your modus operandi already. She understands exactly why you are here. She does not need some weird coded message telling her what you are up to.

Besides. There is no "plan." You do not have any tricks. You are not here to pull some big scheme to let Vriska escape. You are not a schemer, and you don't want to help Vriska. Your interests just happen to coincide.

All you do is defend the law.

22/11/11
"===>"

Yeah. 2o. Well.
1t'2 safe to say that happened.

A8solutely.
And now, 1t 12n't happen1ng.
2o let'2 get 6ack to keep1ng th12 profe221onal.

Right.
For now.

Th12 12 noth1ng more than a 6u21ne22 exchange
6etween two 6u21ne22 partner2.
Agreed?

Agreed.
For now.

Vr12ka, YOU CUT THAT OUT!
Fiiiiiiiine.
You know you enjoyed it, 8a8y.

Never 2a1d 1 d1dn't, 6a6y.
6ut 2top.
1've got the key2 to your 2alvat1on, 1t'2 up to you 1f you want the key2 or a k122.

OK, OK! I'll stop!
For now.


Vriska is the perfect combination of fun and infuriating, and here you are without a kismesis.

This shall be a difficult conversation. She is hardly one of your typical clients.

By the way, you have been rather cagey about expositing on yourself and your motives. This makes you uncomfortable. You prefer full disclosure, laying everything out on the table where everyone can see it. After all, you pride yourself on being the most upright, forthright, crooked legislacerator in the force.

Should you go ahead and exposit on yourself? Or should you skip the stupid exposition and just get on with business already?

22/11/11
"Cherna: Have sloppy makeouts with Vriska."

FINE, DARN IT.

The caliginous tension between you two was getting thicker than cookie dough. (At least, from your end. As far as you know, Vriska considers this all a game.) From the moment you decided to visit Vriska, this was inevitable.

You still wish it hadn't happened.

Right. Stop that. This is getting too silly.

22/11/11
"Cherna: Have sloppy makeouts with Vriska."

No! You will not have sloppy makeouts with Vriska.

You will have a tea party with Vriska. You brought tea and biscuits.

Cookies. They're called cookies on Surrogia.

Well, look at all this.
Aren't you prepared.

1 never 1nterv1ew an 1nmate w1thout 2ometh1ng to make 1t a 61t more plea2ant.
2nack2 keep the whole ordeal le22 try1ng for everyone 1nvolved.

Of course! And I guess your clients end up paying 8ack your cookie expenses anyway, don't they?
Naturally.
And it all 8utters them up, tricking them into trusting you that much faster.
Sharp, Shapka. Very sharp.
You really know how to manipul8te your victims for all they're worth!

... No.
Everyth1ng 1 do 1s totally legal, decept1on-free, and a6ove the ta6le.
1 don't man1pulate any6ody.
That'2 YOUR jo6.

Suuuuuuuure.
I just call it like I see it.

6ecau2e your eye21ght 12 2o rel1a6le.
12n't 1t, 6a6y?

Low 8low!
2ure, 2ure.
6ut you know full well 1'm not out to "man1pulate" troll2 l1ke you do.
1 make my l1v1ng hone2tly.

I knoooooooow!
You're as honest as the night is long.
Which is saying something on Surrogia.
While here I am, my honesty 8arely as long as an Alternian night on the shortest night of the sweep.

Hehehe, 1 can't argue w1th that.
8ut all that means is I know how to slide 8ack and forth 8etween truth and lies.
You're not honest 8ecause you're any 8etter than me.
You're honest 8ecause you're an idiot who confesses to all her dirty deeds.

And 1'm go1ng to come out clean 6ecau2e of 1t.
You're going to end up with your head on a pl8te 8ecause of it!
Unless you learn how to use your light side.
Which is why I'm helping you.

Nuh-uh, 6a6y.
You're not help1ng me w1th anyth1ng 6ut the payment for my 2erv1ce2.

And do your regular services include hacking into a fellow legislacer8tor's account in order to assist a wanted suspect?
... 2hut 1t.
And she of the eternal Surrogian night is already 8eginning to "lighten up"! ,)
Now you DO have a few skeletons 8uried on Surrogia's light side.
Give me a couple more perigees with you, and I'll even make Surrogia rot8te.

What, 12 that 2uppo2ed to 6e a threat? You'll g1ve me 2ecret2 and then 6lackma1l me 6y threaten1ng to reveal them?
Hahaha!

Do you have to transl8te my metaphors?
Ye2.
And 1 g1ve you po1nts for try1ng, 6ut 1'm un6lackma1la6le, 2erket!
What you've got on me 12 noth1ng. 1'll come out of th12 clean.

Hahahahahahahaha!
.... What.
Nothing, just thinking.
Your p8tron saint would 8e so proud.

F1r2t, he'2 not my "patron 2a1nt." 1 don't have a "patron 2a1nt."
2econd, attempt1ng to equate 1ouda2 12car1 to a we6-weav1ng skeleton-h1d1ng dece1ver completely m12repre2ent2 everyth1ng he 2tand2 for.
Th1rd, he ha2 noth1ng to do w1th th12 conversat1on and you're just try1ng to throw me off track.

8S, why would you defend him if he wasn't your p8tron saint?
6ecau2e you're wrong! Hehehehehehe.
And why do you use his quirk?
1t'2 2elf-deprecat1ng humor. 1 know what my reputat1on 12.
Why, look! You DO know how to lie!
The only question is........
are you lying to me
or to yourself?


Welp. There's only one way to respond to that.

22/11/11
"Cherna: Help Vriska escape."

Oh, yes, that's an absolutely wonderful--

NO.

Your name is CHERNA SHAPKA and YOU FIGHT TO DEFEND AND UPHOLD THE LAW. Not to defend JUSTICE--just THE LAW. Only THE LAW. Always THE LAW. You are one of the MOST SUCCESSFUL LEGISLACERATORS ON THE FORCE due to your single-minded dedication to the law.

Well. Almost single-minded. You have a SECONDARY DEDICATION TO PROFIT which you DO NOT SEE AS CONFLICTING WITH YOUR PRIMARY DEDICATION IN THE SLIGHTEST. And should your dedication to law and your dedication to profit ever come into conflict, THE LAW WINS. NO EXCEPTIONS.

... Well. Maybe a few exceptions. Thanks to this bitch here. Of which you are very, very ashamed. VERY, VERY ASHAMED.

This is where you make up for your crimes. You are not going to help Vriska escape.

You might help save her life and eventually get her back on the streets--nothing illegal in that--but you would never help her, or any other arrested criminal, "escape."

But. Now that you're here with her, where do you two start?

22/11/11
"===>"

Hey your2elf, 6a6y g1rl.
Hehehehe.


Flight's over. You're on solid ground. Escape routes in every direction. This cell looks just like the ship's cell--a nice disorienting psychological trick, you figure the cells on every planet look the same, just to psych prisoners out--but you can tell the difference. In the ship, you could feel the total lack of minds outside, on all sides of the ship. But in this cell, you can feel the walls reflecting your psychic power back at you. You can't penetrate the walls. It means you don't know what's going on outside, sure, but it also means you know you're on a solid planet.

And here is your extra life, your one last chance.

WH4T
W41T
WH4T
YOU KNOW 34CH OTH3R
YOU KNOW 34CH OTH3R?
OH MY GOD
OH MY GOD.
OH. MY. GOD.
OH.
MY.
GOD.

Hm?
What a8out Karkat?

WH4T? WHO S41D 4NYTH1NG 4BOU--
OH
RUD3! >:O
YOU SHUT UP 4BOUT K4RKL3S

"K8rkles"????????
1M NOT T4LK1NG TO YOU 4NYW4Y
SH4PK4
*YOU* KNOW VR1SK4 S3RK3T?

1 m1ght have talked to her 6efore.
Why?
Do you have a problem w1th 1t, neophyte?

H4!
M3? PROBL3M? OH NO
1T JUST CONF1RMS WH4T 1 4LR34DY THOUGHT 4BOUT YOU
NO
WH4T 3V3RYON3 THOUGHT 4BOUT YOU

Of cour2e 1t doe2.
6ut 1 don't care much a6out what everyone th1nks of me.

G3T TH4T FROM YOUR P4TRON S41NT
DON'T YOU

...
... 1f you'd k1ndly step out, neophyte.
1 have the author1zat1on to 2peak w1th your caged an1mal alone.
1f you'd l1ke to 2ee 1t?

1 KNOW YOU H4V3 1T.
YOU DO YOUR 3V1L BY TH3 BOOK. >:/

........ Thanks.
1'm flattered.
Now 1f you would plea2e, neophyte.
1'm 2ure you know the rules a6out lett1ng a leg12lacerator have pr1vate 2e221on2 w1th 1nmate2.

USU4LLY TO 1NT3RROG4T3 TH3M
How do you know that'2 not what 1'm go1ng to do?
1n any ca2e, 1f you know tho2e rule2, them 1'm 2ure you al2o know that good, 6y-the-6ook leg12lacerator2 o6ey the rule a6out *leav1ng* 1f the leg12lacerator do1ng the "1nterrogat1ng" a2k2 them to.

Y34H Y34H Y34H 1 G3T 1T
1M L34V1NG
BUT DONT TH1NK 1 WONT B3 R3PORT1NG TH1S.

Report1ng what?
1'm not 6reak1ng any rules.
The mo2t you can accu2e me of 12 know1ng a cr1m1nal, wh1ch 12n't 1llegal.

NO
1TS NOT 1LL3G4L
1 JUST TH1NK 1TS MOR3 PR4CT1C4L TO ST4RT COLL3CT1NG TH3 DOCUM3NT4T1ON FOR YOUR FUTUR3 CR1M1N4L 1NV3ST1G4T1ON *B3FOR3* W41T1NG TO C4TCH YOU 1N TH3 4CT
1LL JUST T3LL TH3M TO 4DD 1T TO YOUR F1L3.

Hehehehe.
You do that, neophyte.
Just another useless p1ece of paper.

... F1N3.

Terezi leaves.

1'm really 2t1ck1ng my neck out for you, 61tch.
6etter 6e grateful.

Like you don't do this all the time!!!!!!!!
Approach a cr1m1nal *f1r2t*? No. 1 don't.
Then I'm honored.
What you 2hould 6e 12 u2eful. Th1nk you can manage that?
Jegus, so snappy tonight! Of coooooooourse I can 8e useful. Aren't I always?
I can't pay you jack shit if that's what you want, 8ut I'm sure we can arrange something.

From you? Money? No. You've got 2tuff far more valuable than pocket change.
Don't you know it? ,)
You know 1 do, 6a6y.
Hehehehehe.


Cherna Shapka, the one guardian angel to be found in the labyrinth of brutal Alternian law. The corrupt legislacerator. She is every criminal's best friend. And the bane of the law--because she never breaks the law.

At least, she didn't before you got to her.

22/11/11
"Be the depressed land dweller cerulean lowblood psychic cyclops on Surrogia who is currently in a jail cell. NAMED VRISKA SERKET."

Which Vriska Serket?

The one that Eridan knows or the one that Cuvier knows?

...

Oh, wait.

Never mind.

You fail to be the depressed land dweller cerulean lowblood psychic cyclops on Surrogia who is currently in a jail cell named Vriska Serket.

Because you aren't depressed.

Why WOULD you be? "Depression" isn't a thing that happens to you! Do you know who depression happens to?

People who have lost hope.

Which certainly doesn't describe you! Of course not!

How could you have lost hope if you never had any?

Yep! That's you! Still hopeless, and still going strong--not in spite of it, but BECAUSE of it!

See, you've got this figured out. You have everything figured out! ALL OF THE THINGS!!!!!!!! You understand life. You understand yourself. You understand what it takes to be happy in this world.

And it DOESN'T take hope.

Hope is the single most destructive force in the world.

Hope is a drug--more beautiful, more addictive, more poisonous, and more murderous than sopor slime. Hope fills your think pan with mirages and clouds your vision with candy-colored phantasms, illusions of a better world that DOES NOT EXIST. Hope hides reality, turning off all the lights so that you can shut your eyes and hide in the dark, playing make-believe that something will save you. Magic or miracles or luck or some other fakey-fake idea. You believe in luck, sure, but only because you know all too well that luck can be bad.

Hope lets you abscond from reality; but YOU always advance. YOU don't shut your eyes and hide in the dark. YOU don't turn away from the light. You acknowledge reality, face the light, even at the risk of blinding yourself. You let yourself see truths that most trolls fear to face, because they're too busy clinging to their hopes. You are rational, objective, and triumphant. And the light that most cowards fear to face is the fire that you use to heat your irons...

Oh. Bluh.

Listen to you.

You're waxing poetic about sunlight. BLUH.

You lived with Kanaya too long.

Aaaaaaaanyway, the bottom line is you haven't given up hope because you never had any in the first place!

You're playing a game with no ending, not to win but to get as far as possible. There is no final boss, just one level after another.

You can't win, no. But you CAN get the high score.

And even if you die now, your score will still be the highest of anyone's you know.

Not that you plan on dying.

After all.

You just picked up an extra life.

Aaaaaaaahahahahahahahaha!
The guardian angel herself!
Hey there, 8a8y. ,)

22/11/11
"[SC] Se/ec+ions from +he Apocrypha: 1"

Haha, who-s =her=?

+he canonica/ +e*+s don-+ say much abou+ his upbringing. In fac+, a passage from +he Gospe/ of /apinear says +ha+ he didn-+ even come from +he brooding caverns:
"d HE was begot not from the dark caverns b
d but came unto us from the harsh daystar b
d whose core was like unto a holy egg b
d the fire of which incubated 9UR G9D b
d from where else could HE possibly have come b
d HE whose mortal fate was great SUFFERING b"

~~ Lapinear 1.5:1-6:2
+ha+-s +he c/oses+ any of +he canonica/ +e*+s ge+ 2 saying how he was ha+ched. & +ha+ passage was cu//ed from +he Gospe/ of /apinear during +he B/ack Reforma+ion, when a/mos+ a// references 2 Jegus being associa+ed wi+h +he sun & /igh+ were removed from +he C9DEX.

+he Gospe/ of /apinear a/so con+ains +he on/y canonica/ descrip+ion of his /usus, or /ack +hereof. She says =d thus HE was was HIS own guardian and charge b / d raising HIMSELF whilst HE HIMSELF was raised b / d for naught but G9D could dare to raise a G9D b= (Lapinear 1.38:7-9). +his has been +radi+iona//y in+erpre+ed 2 mean +ha+ Jegus didn-+ have a /usus a+ a//, bu+ somehow (because of his divine powers or some+hing I guess) raised himse/f.

Bu+ science has some+hing e/se 2 say abou+ +ha+! During Condesce Pecora-s con+roversia/ ru/e, she au+horized a series of e*perimen+s 2 +ry 2 ar+ificia//y rep/ica+e Jegus Krys+-s 6L99D under /abora+ory condi+ions. By +hen, i+ was known wi+hin +he scien+ific communi+y +ha+ Jegus-s 6L99D AND SYM69L come from a mu+a+ed form of a gene found in +ro//s wi+h +he more common green b/ooded varian+ of +he SYM69L. +his gene had a/ready been found & iso/a+ed in o+her +ro//s +ha+ had +he 6L99D bu+ no+ +he SYM69L. Wi+h Pecora-s permission, severa/ gene+icis+s successfu//y crea+ed samp/es of b/ood from green SYM69L +ro//s, wi+h +ha+ one gene changed so +ha+ i+ a/so had Jegus-s SANGUINE 6L99D co/or.

+heir u/+ima+e goa/ was 2 crea+e a c/one, bu+ a// +heir e*perimen+s fai/ed. Nobody had found ou+ ye+ abou+ +he o+her genes a SANGUINE 6L99DED +ro// needs 2 survive wi+h +he defec+ive gene. However, even +hough +hey didn-+ make a c/one, +hey DID make enough 6L99D 2 do some e*perimen+s. 1 of +heir +es+s was 2 see wha+ kind of /usus species wou/d be a++rac+ed 2 i+s scen+.

Wha+ +hey found was +ha+ severa/ species were a++rac+ed 2 +he b/ood:
"Most of the species which have shown an interest in the blood are crustacean in nature; with especial interest from crabs and lobsters* Curiously enough; the majority of these species are found in the Oxicem Gulf; half a planet away from where Jegus was believed to have lived* Beyond them are a few large predatory birds; chief among them being the South Nacirema Blackened Sky-beast; which; as it can be found on land in nearly all non-tropical areas; could easily have lived wherever Jegus emerged from the brooding caverns*

~~ anonymous, “A Study on the Empirical and Biological Aspects of SANGUINE 6L99D.”"
Since +he on/y known +ro// wi+h +he 6L99D AND SYM69L 2 /ive since Jegus has a /usus from 1 of +he species uncovered by +he s+udy, i+ seems 2 ho/d up pre++y we//.

Fur+her research over +he years in2 +he /usus species iden+ified in +he above s+udy found ou+ +ha+ of +hem, severa/ evo/ved from a common ances+or +ha+ e*is+ed during +he Sufferer-s +ime & even came from +he same par+ of +he p/ane+ as him. +he crab pic+ured above is an ar+is+ic recons+ruc+ion of wha+ +ha+ crab /ooked /ike.

+ha+ par+icu/ar species was hun+ed 2 e*+inc+ion ages ago. I+ was considered a de/icacy by sea dwe//ers, bo+h be4 & af+er Jegus-s +ime. Figures, doesn-+ i+?

I don-+ know if his /usus was par+ of +he SANGUINE REV9LUTI9N, +hough. Since i+-s never men+ioned, probab/y no+. & i+ wou/d have been a rea//y sma// crab.

I-m no+ +aking any o+her /ive c/asses from any scho/eviscera+ors or educaradica+ors righ+ now. I on/y ge+ 2 go 2 /ive c/asses when Medena signs me up 2 +ake a c/ass wi+h her, 2 he/p carry her books & s+uff. Even +hough I-m jus+ indigo, +he schoo/hive she was going 2 was okay wi+h i+ because I was rea//y on/y +here 2 be a servan+, & since I kep+ fai/ing +he c/asses she +ook me 2 i+ isn-+ /ike I was /earning any+hing anyway.

Bu+ since I passed Scho/eviscera+or Cogi+a-s c/ass, +hey go+ nervous & asked her no+ 2 bring me anymore. +hey said I was +aking up a sea+ +ha+ cou/d go 2 a s+uden+ wi+h more 2 offer.

Bu+ I-m s+ill +aking +he manda+ory s+andardized on/ine c/asses jus+ /ike everybody e/se has 2 +ake. I don-+ know +he names of my on/ine educaradica+ors, +hough.

I guess I-m kind of worried abou+ i+. But I figure +ha+, even a+ +he very wors+, +here wi// a/ways be researchers who need s+rong /owb/oods 2 he/p +hem dig up ruins & s+uff. +hey-d probab/y prefer some1 who-s had some e*perience digging up ruins be4, & I-ve he/ped Scho/eviscera+or Cogi+a. P/us, I-d be actua//y in+eres+ed in wha+ we found, no+ jus+ doing i+ 4 +he paycheck!

So hopefu//y I can do +ha+.

Oh my gosh I-m so sorry! I-ll change it immediately, I promise! I didn-t mean 2 offend you! =(

Is this better? I-m sorry, I-m not very educated, I guess I just didn-t know what would be annoying for some1 who actually knows how 2 read. I asked Medena if this is less annoying, & she said yes. Is this okay?

I didn-t want 2 insult you or anything. Please don-t cull me.

… Now I can-t figure out how 2 use any math signs except the minus sign. I sound so negative…

DoctorSmashem, believe it or not, it sounds like you-re talking about the Dolorosa folktale, so I just combined these 2 questions together. =)

Probably almost all of you reading know about Dolorosa as the supposed =1st rainbow drinker,= but I-m going 2 talk about her early historical context be4 I get 2 that.


The Dolorosa was a popular character for a long time be4 she was even associated with rainbow drinkers, but there-s no evidence that she actually existed. The earliest documented tales mentioning her didn-t start showing up until a few centuries after the REV9LUTI9N, which implies that they weren-t talking about an actual historical character. If she WAS real, & if she was very, VERY young during the REV9LUTI9N, she might have lived long enough 2 still be around when the first stories were told, but that-s a long shot, & still doesn-t explain why she was never mentioned earlier.

Her story was first told in the style of psionic slave ballads, which is a poetic style that predates Jegus-s time. It was written mainly by gold blooded slaves & was a corruption of some of the forms of poetry they sometimes heard from their sea dweller masters. Psionic slave ballads were raised in2 a loftier & more formalized status after the REV9LUTI9N, although I think there were some groups that thought gold bloods should give up the kind of poetry they made when they were slaves & use sea dweller poetic forms, because it was more =elite= or something. People thought in weird ways a long time ago.

Anyway, this is one of the earliest poems that tells the whole tale of the Dolorosa:

"Tell tale of a silph most forlorn
Syng hygh to Warydy syng hygh
Syng song of a silph most forlorn
Barred from the caves of lyfe yn scorn
Havyng met God she couldn’t return
And was called the Ladi Despayr, Despayr
She the jade-blood Ladi Despayr

She lyved safe yn Mother Grub’s caves
Syng hygh to Malenge syng hygh
She heard tales yn Mother Grub’s caves
That God fought for rust bloods and slaves
Aflame, she chose to joyn the braves
And ascended to the fresh ayr, fresh ayr
Absconded up to the fresh ayr

Past dawn, she came to joyn hys war
Syng hygh to Asaly syng hygh
God sygned her up to joyn hys war
Sayd Y9UR KIND I HAVE N9 USE F9R
Y9U KN9W N9T FIRE N9R 6LACK RANC9UR
IN WAR A VIRGIN CAN’T C9MPARE, C9MPARE
N9 VIRGIN LIKE Y9U CAN C9MPARE

I’LL MAKE Y9UR HEART A LIVING PYRE
SING FIE 9N NANA’A SING FIE
MAKE Y9UR HEART A FUNERAL PYRE
AND 6URN Y9U 9UT WITH FLUSHED DESIRE
WHEN Y9U’RE REDUCED T9 ASH FR9M FIRE
Y9U MAY J9IN ME THEN IF Y9U DARE, Y9U DARE
J9IN MY 6LACK WAR THEN IF Y9U DARE

She took God’s task and burned her heart
Syng hygh Buluubery syng hygh
She dyd God’s deed and burned her heart
And joyned hys ranks to do her part
But bi the tyme she was to start
Her ashen black heart dyd not care, not care
Bi then her black heart could not care

Tyll then she’d lyved to iyeld more lyfe
Syng hygh Zambara’u syng hygh
Yn shaded caves she iyelded lyfe
But ‘neath God’s gaze she wyelded stryfe
To those she’d hatched she took her knyfe
And slaughtered the ioung and the fayr, the fayr
She herself hatched these ioung and fayr

And when at last the war was won
Syng hygh Iungyiungy syng hygh
When fynalli the war was won
Her gaze dropped from the blyndyng God
When she saw all her hands had done
Yt bleached the black nyght from her hayr, her hayr
The blood she spylt colored her hayr

She fled for home that veri nyght
Syng fye on Wangavu syng fye
Fled to her caves that veri nyght
But was dryven awai yn fryght
God’s perverse lyght had turned her bryght
She became the Ladi Despayr, Despayr
She the jaded Ladi Despayr"

There-s really a lot in this that could be analyzed, but I-m not that good at literary stuff, so maybe I-ll find some1 else who can do it later. Sorry. =/ In the meantime, I-ll do the best I can.

It-s important 2 note that, at the point when this ballad was written, =jade blood= didn-t mean =any troll with green blood=, it meant just jade specifically. Also, =turning bright= didn-t necessarily mean becoming a rainbow drinker back then (although that was one of its meanings), it just meant =cursed= or =outcast= or =goes out in the day= or other things associated with the sun. In fact, before Jegus-s time, trolls with the 6L99D were also described as =bright.= So back then, Jegus was probably called a =bright troll,= 2. (=Jegus is a bright troll= sounds really weird 2day, huh? =6LUH 6LUH, I D9N’T CARE IF Y9U’RE HIGH 9R L9W, I WANT T9 SUCK Y9UR 6L99D RIGHT N9W!= Hahaha. …Do =low= & =now= count as a rhyme?)

The names listed in this are different gods from a pagan slave religion thing. I don-t know a lot about it so I-ll have 2 do more research on it before I can describe it much more. But even after that religion had basically totally died (I think), references to it were still made a lot in literature & stuff. & I remember reading somewhere that some things from that religion are still around 2day, but the thing I was reading didn-t explain what those things are. Bluh.

This poem actually might have been written by somebody who still followed the pagan religion, or at least by some1 who didn-t worship Jegus. It portrays him & his REV9LUTI9N really negatively. It also seems 2 imply that Jegus used the Dolorosa concupiscently, which goes against his typical portrayal as transcending the quadrants & thus a virgin. Also, he-s very specifically compared 2 the sun throughout. & not in the =but that-s okay= way that the early church tried 2 do.

There-s even a subverted rhyme in there that makes it really obvious. The rest of the ballad has an ABAAACC structure, but in the next 2 last stanza, it does ABADACC. The A lines end with =won= & =done,= but the D line ends with =the blyndyng God=. However, if it had ended with =sun=, it would have fit the rhyme perfectly, & the line would have made more sense. So, they-re saying =-God- is the same as -sun-= by not actually saying it.

Or maybe it originally said =sun= but then the word got changed in later versions. I don-t know.

But despite all that anti Jegus stuff, the psionic slave ballad style suggests it was written by one of the gold bloods that benefitted from the REV9LUTI9N, not from a bitter lowblood. & it definitely isn-t saying that sea dwellers should still be in charge. In fact, it talks about the gold bloods sympathetically at the beginning (so it-s definitely pro gold blood), but then toward the end even when it talks about how horrible it is that she-s killing trolls, it never describes the enemies as violet bloods or sea dwellers. Maybe that was because killing violet bloods wouldn-t have been seen as something that she should feel bad about, but if they don-t mention their blood color then her pain was more sympathetic? Hahaha, I don-t know, I-m making this up.

Plus, reading this with a little knowledge of the historical context (which I have ;) ) makes 1 of the interpretations less likely: that the ballad was trying 2 say Jegus seduced the Dolorosa. During that point in history, it would have been REALLY weird 4 a male 2 make the 1st move romantically if the troll he was propositioning was female. (Except in the ashen quadrant.) Like, a male could flirt & drop hints like crazy, but he couldn-t actually make the move. & that was 2x true around jade bloods. Trolls weren-t very enlightened back then. It-s true that Jegus turned a whole lot of other normal rules upside down (duh), but if he-d also gone around asking women 2 pail him, that would have been a big enough deal that it-d show up in a lot of apocrypha. So it-s more likely that in this ballad, he wasn-t trying 2 pail with the Dolorosa, he was just telling her 2 go pail with some1 else & then come back. Which is a really weird criteria 4 joining an army, because I think at the time jade bloods were thought 2 be such effective caretakers & guards 4 the Mother Grubs because they were fueled by repressed quadrant urges, but whatever.

Anyway, her story was told over & over in a lot of different formats. I did a search on Troll IMDB & there are 100s of movies that mention her within the first 5 clauses of their titles, & like a jillion times more that list her anywhere in the title at all. Of course, that-s because she-s now associated with rainbow drinkers, so a lot of them are horror movies or adolescent romance movies. But that-s just an example of how famous she is.

& you can also see from even this ballad some of the things that came 2 be associated with her later: that her hair was rainbow colored (in here, it-s dyed by blood), that she was =turned bright= by sunlight (since =God= means =sun= in here), etc.

I don-t know at what point in history she was 1st described as a rainbow drinker, but by about 2000 sweeps after the REV9LUTI9N, pretty much every version of her story described her that way.

& that-s the basics on the story behind the Dolorosa. If any1 else has any interesting info on her, let me know.

BTW, I don-t like my new quirk. =( It doesn-t feel right, but I don-t want 2 get culled. Does any1 have any suggestions 2 make it better?



[image]
LOL, BS!! You don-t even have a real IND account! Troll harder, bro.

I-ve got like a 1,000,000 asks saying stuff like this, but I posted yours because you-re the first 2 pretend 2 be an actual IND so far. So for every1 let me clarify this now:

I can-t be monitored or punished for =blasphemy.= Blaspheming against ANY religion isn-t illegal. All I-m doing is trying 2 bring 2 light some historical facts & religious documents that are in the public domain but that aren-t common knowledge. I-m not doing anything illegal. I checked.

You can-t even argue that blaspheming specifically against Jegus could be interpreted as slander against the Advisier. I checked that 2, & found this news quote from almost 1 sweep ago:
MA: So, do you have any plans of taking the Church’s recommendation to add “slander or libel against an Imperious’s ancestor” to the list of crimes which count as verbal treason?

KV: OH HELL FUCKING NO.

MA: You seem pretty firm on this.

KV: YOU THINK?

MA: Would you like to share why?

KV: FUCKING DELIGHTED TO. FIRST OFF, IF I WERE TO DO THAT, IT WOULD BE PRETTY FUCKING BLATANTLY INTENDED TO PREVENT PEOPLE FROM BADMOUTHING HIM [Jegus Kryst], SINCE IT’S NOT LIKE THERE ARE ANY OTHER IMPERIOI RUNNING AROUND WITH BIG-SHOT ANCESTORS THAT PEOPLE WANT TO TAKE POTSHOTS AT. SO IF I CHANGED THE LAW LIKE THAT, THERE’S PRETTY MUCH NO WAY THAT WOULDN’T BE MIXING RELIGION AND POLITICS. AN IDEA WHICH IS, ON THE ONE HAND, ILLEGAL, AND ON THE OTHER HAND, RETARDED.

SECOND, WHY THE FUCK DO I CARE IF ANYBODY DISSES HIM? HE ISN’T ONE OF THE CURRENT IMPERIOI. HE PREDATES RECUPERACOONS, FOR FUCK’S SAKE. HIS REPUTATION HAS ABSOLUTELY NO BEARING WHATSOEVER ON CURRENT POLITICS.

AND THIRD, WHAT THE HELL WOULD “SLANDER AND LIBEL” BE DEFINED AS FOR SOMEBODY WE DON’T ACTUALLY KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT? AND A RELIGIOUS FIGURE, NO LESS? TO A BELIEVER, SAYING “HE ACTUALLY DID HIS DUTY TO THE DRONES LIKE EVERYONE ELSE” INSULTS HIS CHASTITY; TO A NON-BELIEVER, SAYING “HE DIED A VIRGIN” INSULTS HIS ROMANTIC COMPETENCY. TRYING TO DEFINE “SLANDER AND LIBEL” FOR HIM WOULD NECESSITATE LEGALLY DEFINING HIM AS EITHER MORTAL OR DIVINE, WHICH WOULD BE THE GOVERNMENT TRYING TO DECLARE WHAT’S TRUE ABOUT RELIGION. WHICH IS NOT THE GOVERNMENT’S FUCKING JOB.

MA: What do you say to claims that the Sufferer’s reputation could reflect back on you?

KV: I SAY THAT ANYBODY WHO HONESTLY EXPECTS ME TO RAISE THE DEAD BY RAPPING AT A CORPSE IS GOING TO BE UNBELIEVABLY DISAPPOINTED. WHAT HE WAS REPUTED TO BE LIKE AND DO HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH WHAT I’M LIKE AND WHAT I DO.

MA: Be that as it may, there are many trolls who associate you with Him anyway. In their case, they would understand any slander against the Sufferer as slander against you. What concerns do you have about slander against your ancestor that reaches this audience?

KV: NONE. IT’S THEIR PROBLEM, NOT MINE. IF THEY DON’T HAVE THE MINIMAL COMMON SENSE NEEDED TO COMPREHEND THAT A TROLL WHO DIED A MILLION FUCKING SWEEPS AGO IS A DIFFERENT TROLL FROM ONE HATCHED TEN SWEEPS AGO, THEN THEY DON’T HAVE THE MINIMAL COMMON SENSE NEEDED TO BE A THREAT.

MA: The Church can’t be pleased by your stance.

KV: AGAIN, THEIR PROBLEM, NOT MINE. EVERYONE’S FREE TO KEEP ON SAYING WHATEVER THE FUCK THEY WANT ABOUT HIM.

MA: “Him” meaning the Sufferer?

KV: WHO ELSE, TROLL WILL SMITH? BUT I FUCKING SWEAR TO GOG, THE NEXT PERSON TO SEND ME PORN OF HIM IS GETTING THEIR HANDS CUT OFF.”

MA: “Of him” meaning “of the Sufferer” or “of Troll Will Smith”?

KV: ARE YOU STUPID? TELL ME YOU’RE NOT THIS STUPID. I MEANT THE FIRST ONE.

MA: Is there that much porn of Him floating around?

KV: IS THAT A SERIOUS QUESTION?

MA: Of course.

KV: I’M SORRY. MY BAD. I DIDN’T REALIZE YOU’VE NEVER BEEN ON THE FUCKING INTERNET BEFORE.


As a side note, Advisier Vantas is the only contemporary troll I-ve ever seen use the word =gog,= although I-ve seen him use =god= too. =Gog= has a really weird etymology, I-ll cover it sometime.

Anyway, that covers that. This blog is totally legal. =) The Advisier & Replicus himself says so.


[image]
Oh, no, there were like, NO major nobles at all! It was like suddenly, for fifty sweeps, the aristocracy just completely vanished! Which is why Jegus-s army took over so easily. It was because all the nobles had disappeared. It was totally crazy.

Just kidding. Of course there were nobles, what kind of a question is that? It-s not like the violet bloods had some kind of chaotic war torn busted empire where they couldn-t get anything done. In fact, after the REV9LUTI9N, the structure of the empire that the sea dwellers set up was kept the same. It changed a lot over time, but initially, it was the best system the gold bloods could come up with.

I guess I don-t know if you-re trying 2 ask something more specific?

Because I mean, yeah. Of course there were nobles. What else do I say 2 that?

07/11/11
"===>"

This douchebag looks like the kind of guy who should be wearing a button-up shirt instead.

Unfortunately, button-up shirts are not a thing in troll culture. Buttons are a waste of time, especially when you have to do up like five or six of them at once.

Poor, poor, t-shirt-wearing douchebag.

"+his is +erinn Cogi+a (or cassiusAssassin), +he bes+ scho/eviscera+or & +he smar+es+ +ro// I-ve ever me+! He +augh+ us a// abou+ +he his+ory of +he SANGUINE REV9LUTI9N, inc/uding a bunch of s+uff +ha+ even +he church i+se/f doesn-+ know abou+! He does a// his own research & has dug up /oads of firs+ hand documen+s abou+ +he revo/u+ion. He even /e+ me come he/p him a+ 1 of his e*cava+ion si+es! I don-+ care if +he mains+ream scho/eviscera+ors DO +hink he-s a g/oryhounding conspiracy +heoris+ who on/y fo//ows wha+ever crackpo+ ideas he +hinks wi// ge+ him +he mos+ a++en+ion. I know +ha+ he-s rea//y a genius.

So, +hank you 4 ge++ing me in+eres+ed in his+ory! Good /uck con+inuing your research back on Surrogia! & if you don-+ come visi+ A/+ernia be4 I move off p/ane+, +hen I /ook 4ward 2 seeing you again on Surrogia!

Anyway, I hope you a// enjoy my b/og on his+ory. If you have any+hing in par+icu/ar you wan+ 2 hear abou+, or if you have any his+orica/ +idbi+s you wan+ 2 share, /e+ me know! +hanks!

S+anni Segu// (superiorConduc+or)
"

This douchebag's name is STANNI SEGULL, and if any1 were 2 +ry & describe her verba/ mannerisms, 1 migh+ say +hey-re very basic. Any less basic and she'd be throwing in square root signs and exponents.

She runs a blog. It might have some interesting historical tidbits.

Or else the crackpot ideas of a gloryhounding conspiracy theorist.

07/11/11
"... Who's this douchebag?"

Some douchebag with a blog.

"Hi! My name is S+anni Segu//, & I-m an ama+eur his+ory buff. I don-+ have +he bes+ educa+ion. I-ve on/y had 6 c/asses in a schoo/hive, & I fai/ed +he firs+ 5, bu+ +he 6+h 1 changed my /ife! Which is why I wan+ 2 /earn as much as I can abou+ his+ory, especia//y abou+ +he SANGUINE SUFFERER-s +ime. Bu+ every+hing I pos+ here is probab/y going 2 be o/d news 2 any1 wi+h a rea/ educa+ion, so, sorry! I guess +his is more of a b/og 4 o+her /owb/oods who don-+ have an oppor+uni+y 2 /earn s+uff /ike +his on +heir own.

I-m 7 sweeps o/d & /ive near +he coas+ wi+h my /usus, who-s a bird. 4 +imes a week I go in/and 2 work 4 Medena Cyprum. She-s +he 1 who /e+ me +ake a schoo/hive c/ass in +he firs+ p/ace! +HANKS MEDENA! <> (bu+ p/a+onica//y)

I a/so wan+ 2 +hank +he scho/eviscera+or who +augh+ +he his+ory c/ass +ha+ +augh+ me so much, & 2 +hank him 4 opening a who/e new wor/d of informa+ion 2 me.
"

Some douchebag with a history blog.

Huh.

04/11/11
"===>"

IIM A SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIP!

)(-E-E )(-E-E )(-E-E!
I can't R-EM-EMB-ER ψ)(en I last )(ad a )(elmsman ψ)(o did somet)(ing more interesting t)(an sob all t)(e time!
)(OΨ -EXCITING!

WHY WOULD II SOB??
IIM A FUCKIING SH
IIIIIIIIP!!
I KNOΨ!
Oo)( oo)(, do a barrel roll!

iis thiis shiip buiilt 2 do barrel rolls?
Ψe're about to find out!
Ψ)(at's t)(e ψorst t)(at could )(appen?

we miight diie
YOU might. I ψill be fine.
so IIm the one riiskiing death here?
I suppose. Ψ)(o cares?
Do a barrel roll, )(elmsman.

...
...
yeah sure why not
HOLD ON!

PCHOOOOO!!
Ψ)(-E-E-E-E-E-E!! 38D


It was then that you discovered your one

your only

your other half

your true love

your honey piie

your matespriit.

...

...

The Battleship Condescension.

<3 <3 <3 <3

... Right. Uh.

Let's get back to the present.

04/11/11
"===>"

SUCK MY BUUUUUUUULGE!!

04/11/11
"===>"

IIM A SHIIIIIIIIP!

04/11/11
"[image]iioniic: Exposit on your"

Whoops. Wrong title.


Helmsman: Exposit on your new job.

IIM A SHIIIIP!

03/11/11
"Were you harboring romantic feelings for him?"

Who the fuck asked this question? Ubasti?

That is the most moronic question you have ever heard in your life and you will not dignify it with a response.

Go away.

Just go away.

03/11/11
"Jegus: Why did you REALLY not save him?"

Oh, sorry, was "you didn't want to save him" not good enough for someone? What's wrong? Do they want it in rhyme?? Fine! Here it is!

I'LL STAND AND WATCH THE SHIP FLYING AWAY
WITH9UT A FUCKING SMIDGEN 9F REGRET
AND N9 I D9N'T WISH I C9ULD MAKE HIM STAY
IN FACT, I'D RATHER THIS WH9LE DAY F9RGET


That's a fucking quatrain in iambic pentameter.

Is everybody happy now?!

ANY MORE STUPID QUESTIONS?

03/11/11
"===>"

Because.

Because.

... You

didn't want to save him.

You didn't want to save him.

Of course not.

03/11/11
"===>"

03/11/11
"===>"

03/11/11
"===>"

03/11/11
"===>"

03/11/11
"===>"

03/11/11
"Jegus: Exposit on why you didn't rescue [image]iioniic."

02/11/11
"===>"

Wellll wellll.
What have we here?
A two-faced doublle-cross!n llow-down eell !n the kellp.
Don't tellll me your god abandoned you?

...
.... he's
he's not my god

HA.
! shoulld hope not.
He'd be a fuck!n worthlless one !f he was.
What k!nd a god abandons h!s most devout follllower?

shut up shut up
II faiiled hiim
II faiiled hiim
II don't deserve hiis help
II don't deserve--

Shut up.
Shut your mouth and your llunat!c doublle tallk!n.
You m!serablle ll!ttlle snot-bllooded sh!t.
Do you remember when ! used to say that you were usefull when you weren't !nsane?

that's not what you saiid
Wellll, !t was someth!n ll!ke that.
Anyway.
! just thought you'd ll!ke to know,
where you're go!n,
!t doesn't matter !f you're sane or not.
Space sh!ps aren't ll!ke sea sh!ps

oh
god
oh god oh god

Oh, have you heard?
They can dra!n your power stra!ght out a your th!nk pan,
whether you're sane or not,
whether you allllow !t or not.

oh god oh fuck oh god oh fuck
h helmsman
II II II II'm go!ng 2 b be a HELMSMAN??

You shoulld be honored.
!t'llll be the most noblle serv!ce you've ever performed.

n no no
no no no no

! must confess mysellf jeallous.
Do g!ve my regards to Her !mper!ous Condescens!on

NONONONONONONONO
NO NO JJ NO JJ JJ
JJ PLEASE JJ COME BACK
JJ COME BACK JJ PLEASE
YOU NEED ME
II NEED YOU
COME BACK
JJ!!

! don't th!nk your god can hear you, ps!on!c.
Sorry, a course ! mean hellmsman

.... jj....
!n fact, ! don't th!nk he even cares.
! can't say that ! bllame h!m.
!'m not too fond a you e!ther.


That will be the last you ever see of him.

Wow. Your future sucks.

02/11/11
"===>"

Your master's most well-known title was Sharpeye Sharklaw.

He was a douche.

For the record, as far as sea dweller slave holders go, he was less of a douche than many--but he was the only one you ever had, and you certainly do not remember him fondly.

You are quite glad you and his other slaves revolted against him.

You are even more glad that you will never have to see him again.

Never ever ever ever.

You are quite fortunate that you cannot tell the future.

02/11/11
"===>"

But not until long after you lose contact with everyone.

With your master.

With your allies and half-lovers and near-friends.

With your leader, the most important person in your universe.

Your voice changes a lot when you spend several thousand sweeps not having to use it.

02/11/11
"[image]iioniic: Flashback to exposit on how you got your accent."

LLookout's detected a storm com!n, ps!on!c.
yes siir.
shoulld ii adjust our course, siir?

A course not.
!'m just warn!n you to prepare.
! don't want to llose another mast to ll!ghtn!ng because you coulldn't reell your m!nd !n.
Understood?

uh...
yes siir.

Probllem, ps!on!c?
no probllem siir.
no lliightniing.
understood.

Good.
You're sharp when you're sane, ps!.

yes siir, thank you siir.
You shoulld be sane more often.
... ii...
Heh.
But you can't hellp !t, ! know.

riight...
Ah wellll.
W!th your bllood ! suppose we can onlly expect so much.


You acquired your accent the same way any troll does. The way ALL trolls do.

By listening to your guardians.

A troll newly emerged from the brooding caverns learns to make sounds from his lusus, sounds which often become incorporated into his speech patterns as he grows and starts using troll language. (Such speech patterns--troll words inflected with animal sounds--are often rendered in English as puns.)

As a troll grows, he is expected to drop the animalistic sounds he learned from his lusus and adopt a more "universal" accent. However, even without the lusus sounds, a troll frequently develops an "individual" accent. Such as a hiitch in his voice, or a wwavvering quality.

And some "community"-wide accents exist, like the generic sea dweller accent, a manner of speaking that most sea dwellers adopt from long lives spent interacting with each other almost to the exclusion of land dwellers. (Sea dwellers, of course, do not think they have an accent--but they think all other trolls have a generic land dweller accent.)

But enough about linguistics.

You had your lusus to learn from, true. (And even into adulthood, you still occasionally buzz when you're particularly ticked off.) But you also learned to speak from a second "guardian." If he could be called that.

The moment you and your lusus emerged from the brooding caverns, you were snatched up and caged. As are nearly all troll children. The trials do not end with the brooding caverns.

Highblood children--blues and indigos--are pitted against each other in one-on-one fights to the death. Only the survivors are allowed to leave. Sea dwellers go through a similar tournament, but the survivors of the first round are then put through a second round. Thus is one of the methods the Condesce uses to keep the population of highbloods small and strong.

If the highbloods think that trolls with middling blood are getting too populous, then the highbloods will cull children with the appropriate blood colors--greens and teals, sometimes yellows, sometimes ceruleans. But if the population is stable, then the middle-blood children will all be rereleased, untouched.

And lowbloods like you are shipped to the coast, to be sold as slaves to any higher bloods who can pay.

Lowbloods who are not sold within a perigee are set free in the wild.

You were sold.

Your master personally managed most of his slaves' work. Consequently, you heard his voice nearly as much as you heard your lusus's. You never p!cked up allll a h!s speak!n manner!sms. But iit was iineviitablle that you'd llearn 2 use at lleast some of them.

When you escaped him, you fought to eliminate every trace of his influence from your speech.

You will eventually succeed.

01/11/11
"[image]iioniic: Have a random flashback."

What??

Who??

YOU??

Oh stars you didn't realize anybody was watching you. You were just. You know, you were. It was only. Er.

Don't tell JJ that you were watching him sleep again, okay?

You won't be happy if someone tattles to JJ

... And JJ wouldn't be very happy to find out. Eheheheh....

Er. Flashback. Right.

What in the world are you supposed to flashback to? You're just a worthless snot-blooded slave.

At least, you WERE one.

Now you're just a worthless snot-blooded member of Jejuss Kryste's Merry Band of Revollutiionary Friiendsolldiiers. Although you're the only one who calls it that.

Make that Revolutiionary Friiendsoldiiers. You're trying to break the double-L habit.

It should also be noted that you have no idea how to spell "Jejuss Kryste's" name.

Right. So. Again. What should you flashback to?

31/10/11
"===>"

And also, apparently, genetic.

31/10/11
"Be the only other RED 6L99D you haven't been yet."

There are a FUCK TON of RED 6L99DS that you haven't been yet.

And yet, somehow, you became the right one.

You are now KARKAT FUCKING VANTAS and you are UN FUCKING CONSCIOUS.

Yes, still.

Due to the fact that you are a highblood--or at least due to the fact that you have a special enough lineage to be considered an honorary highblood--the painkillers mixed into your blood transfusion are completely artificial. There is not a trace of sopor in them. Sopor-free painkillers are quite expensive and thus only used for highbloods or for trolls who can afford it. (Most of the time, those two categories overlap.)

On the up side, this means you will not suffer any of the ill side-effects that come from sopor-based painkillers.

On the down side, this means that there is nothing to help assuage the terrible visions of blood and carnage that plague your dark subconscious.

You are currently dreaming about being skewered on a double culling fork wielded by a giant monster, who from the waist up is a witch and from the waist down is a mess of Gl'bgolyb tentacles.

Your current dream MIGHT have something to do with the little musical number you participated in yesterday. You still do not know why you joined in. But, hey, Eridan was singing, Nepeta was singing, it seemed like the thing to do at the time.

You are not sure how you even knew the lyrics, you hate Troll Disney.

When you wake up, you are going to discover the room COVERED in notes from Sollux. Partially because he legitimately wanted to apologize to you and partially because he is getting antsy, without computer access, and very very bored.

And yes. He is just watching you sleep.

And watching.

And watching.

And secretly worrying about you.

And watching.

Depending on your perspective, it is either heartwarming or terrifying.

29/10/11
"===>"

You are seven sweeps old and you're both morons.

Otherwise you'd know that a blackromcom is NOT the best movie for a redrom date.

Nothing ever comes of your mutual emotions. You do not even let Ubasti kiss you. ... Although the emotions never go away.

And she never gives up.

And you never can quite convince yourself that you wish she would.

Right. Enough of these two. Let's be someone else.

29/10/11
"Jegus: Skip to the end."

It had a happy ending after all.

Didn't I tell you it was a comedy?
S9 Y9U DID.
Did you like it~?
YES I DID.
Good.
... THANK Y9U.

She DID get you into the theater, after all. Which is like, the nicest thing anybody has ever done for you. After finding out your blood color, that is.

You can't help but pity her for pitying you so much.

And for a bunch of other reasons.

But that's the one coming to mind right now.

27/10/11
"Yeah, that guy."


You're now Jegus for some reason.

9H MY D9G, U6ASTI, I D9N'T FUCKING GET THIS.
WHY W9ULD SHE DUMP HIM AT THE DR9P 9F A HAT?
THIS GUY'S SUPP9SED T9 6E HER KISMESIS
WHAT THE HELL DID HE D9 T9 DESERVE THAT?

Jegus...
N9THING
HE DID N9THING AND THIS IS UNFAIR
WHAT 9THER RIVAL C9ULD EVER C9MPARE
T9 HIM?
WHERE W9ULD SHE 6EGIN
T9 SEARCH 9UT AN9THER
CALIGIN9US L9VER--

Jegus, we're five minutes into the movie and he's the romantic lead.
They're going to get back together.
Now shhh.

I TH9UGHT THIS WAS G9ING T9 6E A C9MEDY. ),:B
It IS a comedy.
Just
just be quiet
and watch.

6UT--
HSSSSS.
s9rry.

27/10/11
"Be the RED 6L99D on this planet in the past."

FINE. No need to be so impatient. Jegus.



27/10/11
"Be the RED 6L99D on this planet in the past."

Wait, what?

But you were just Daivat. What's wrong with being Daivat?



27/10/11
"Be the RED 6L99D on the other planet."

You have been

reading

bullshit

about Karkat

all

fucking

day.

You are so exhausted it isn't even funny.

Your think pan is totally fried.

According to legit news, apparently his quarters in the royal hive were attacked by someone for some reason, and Karkat is currently hospitalized.

And you cannot even bring yourself

to give a single

fucking

fuck.

This would be the perfect time for you to get your blood registered and get off Alternia.

If you had any intention of leaving Alternia.

Which you do not.

Ever.

It's almost evening--almost time to head to the shuttle station.

You have no intention of moving from this very spot.

You'll just

keep on reading.

In case something important happens.

Maybe Karkat will die.

Bluh.

27/10/11
"Be the RED 6L99D."

WHAT?

Oh hell no, back the FUCK off, you are NOT being him.

Because--

Becuase he's too cool for you to be him is why. Even if you happened to catch him not looking very cool. He wasn't expecting anybody to bother him. Especially not under the label RED 6L99D.

Because he is quite sure that his blood is NOT red, and ESPECIALLY not of the six-L-double-nine-D variety, so stop looking at his fucking eyes already he wears shades for a fucking reason.

...

Not that he's telling you anything about his blood.

Okay, forget you heard that. He didn't deny that it was red. He didn't deny anything.

But seriously.

Piss off.

25/10/11
"===>"

And now for someone completely different.

25/10/11
"===>"

Sexy.

This is the real deal.

No knock-off could ever taste this sexy.

You are holding Ahab's beautiful

BEAUTIFUL

beautiful

sexy

Crosshairs.

25/10/11
"Cuvier: Do evening-after damage control; check your strife deck."

Well.

Hello there, sexy.

Where in the world did THIS pretty thing come from?

You are quite sure this is not what you think it is. Your glasses are missing, you cannot see it clearly, while drunk you probably wasted half your pocket money on a cheap knock-off.

But.

But.

It's just

so...

25/10/11
"Eridan: Do evening-after damage control; check your strife deck."

Yep.

Still busted.

During your bender, you apparently changed your strife specibus from riflekind to glasseskind. At least you know where your normal glasses went. Of course, that leaves the question of where in your stupid sylladex you stuck Ahab's Crosshairs. Probably in a Key Items card, that's where big fancy legendary artifacts usually go...

... No. Not there. Maybe...

Nope, not there either. Hmm. Well, then, maybe...

No.

Well.

... Well.

Then.

...

WHERE THE FUCK IS YOUR RIFLE?!

25/10/11
"===>"

And then they got kicked out.

25/10/11
"Surrogia: Fondly regard procreation."

You're a planet, not a pervert!

Although you are quite willing to share that they both got each other's names wrong. Twice.

Eridan called Cuvier "nep" and "fef."

Cuvier called Eridan "vr!ska" and "you gllubb!n moron."

And Eridan cried at the end.

No relation to the "moron" comment, he didn't even hear that.

He probably just thought that crying was the thing to do.

25/10/11
"And then they were tanglebuddies."










































What?

No, this command isn't illustrated.

Of course not.

Don't you know this is a innocent, clean, child-friendly story?

We're talking Troll Disney here.

Sheesh.

25/10/11
"Cuvier: Question why you want this wweirdo's ullt!mate weapon."

Yep.

That's a question, all right.

You would never have gone through with it if you hadn't kept reminding yourself.

As an interesting side-note, at the moment right before you went through with it, you performed a fascinating trick.

The trick is an amazing psychological feat, bordering on precognition, which can be performed by species which are fated to play a certain little game with Skaia. And ONLY by species which are fated to play the game. Even if a species should defy their fate and fail to play the game--such as by splitting off onto another timeline--the ability to pull off this amazing feat still remains hardwired into their DNA, a vestigial but awe-inspiring talent. It's a talent that is only supposed to fully manifest in the species's true Hero of Time, but that can still be expressed by many other members of the species.

The feat you performed was regretting having pailed this loser before you even pailed him.

Absolutely awe-inspiring.

Of course, despite your regret, you did it anyway. After all, how could you regret having done it if you did not go ahead and do it?

So you did it.






25/10/11
"Eridan: Question why this we!rdo wants your ultimate wweapon."

Why the fuck would you question that?

Who WOULDN'T want your ultimate weapon?

Clearly, you were too drunk to remember that NOBODY wants your ultimate weapon.

...

Except Karkat.

Only. What he wanted was. The other half of your weapon. Because. Blackrom. Instead of redrom. And yeah.

Troll anatomy sure is confusing!

23/10/11
"===>"

wwell howw about it
...
!f ! do w!llll you trade

23/10/11
"===>"

The legend that Cuvier then spent the next fifteen minutes drunkenly attempting to explain to Eridan runs thus:

In the time of the Sufferer, there were two legendary rifles.

The rifles and the stories around them are mentioned again and again throughout the religious apocrypha.

The apocrypha are a vast array of rumors, testimonies, legends, and gospels that, for one reason or another, were left out of the Codex of Suffering. Since the Sufferer actually lived, uncountable records of varying reliability have been forgotten--or suppressed. Those stories that HAVE survived have done so by chance, as obscure little religious footnotes only known to the most dedicated historians, archaeologists, and conspiracists. Most of the apocryphal stories are not true. But some of them are.

The stories about the rifles disagree on their origins: pro-church stories say that they were built by gold blood slaves for highbloods and subsequently stolen back by their creators; anti-church stories say they were made by land dwelling blue bloods for sea dwelling patrons, and then stolen from their rightful sea dweller owners by marauding gold bloods; more neutral stories claim that the rifles were owned by a sea dweller who joined the Sufferer's ranks.

Their origins don't matter so much as the claim that, at one time, they were both sea dweller weapons; and that during the Sufferer's revolution--either through pillaging and plundering or through backstabbing and turncoating--they came into land dweller hands.

The myth goes on to claim that, after the Sufferer's victory, both rifles were stolen back by a sea dweller. Some versions even claim that they were stolen from the Sufferer himself. The thief apparently made a rather stirring speech before departing, none of which was recorded. Although several different myths (which might have been copying each other) record the Sufferer's supposed retort:

"G9 FUCK Y9URSELF WITH AN 9CT9PUS."

The myths disagree on whether or not he then suggested that the thief make a video recording of the recommended act of bestiality.

There are usually very good reasons why an apocryphal story was not included in the Codex.

In any case, the stories about the rifles generally claim that the thief went on to be a great villain and warmonger, fostering disrest and fomenting discord wherever he went, collecting a motley crew of wicked sea dweller scum to help him in his evil.

They generally claim that.

The stories written by sea dweller supremacists say that he was a hero, a born leader, a charismatic and bold man who should have led his sea dweller brethren to overthrow the land dweller elites--but who was struck down too early to see his goal fulfilled. A man who lived and died for his cause. A beacon of hope.

A loser.

But. It is the duty of a descendant to finish an ancestor's work. This is a superstition held by all troll society in general. Even the most rational, intellectual, educated trolls don't always escape the superstition. And it's held most strongly by the very bottom of the hemospectrum.

It is the duty of a descendant to win where the ancestor lost.

After the theft of the rifles, many campaigns were launched against the thief--and then against the thief's crew--and then against the thief's fleet--trying to get them back. For a while, war was waged on the sea, gold pirates against finned pirates, where the only booty to be won was the two rifles. The rifles switched sides many times.

The myth does not keep track of them very well after that. The exchanges are mentioned but not recorded. For a few millennia, both vanished.

One of them resurfaced--Ahab's Crosshairs. It again spent several millennia as a prize traded back and forth between the highbloods and lowbloods before it vanished once more.

The other--the Pequod Reticle--was never found.

Until about a century and a half ago.

By Cuvier Safiro, on Alternia, in an ancient chest bearing his symbol.

It contained many other suspicious- and important-looking artifacts, including what appeared to be a journal which was undoubtedly full of convenient exposition. This journal had regrettably fallen into unreadable pieces and is thus irrelevant and shall not be mentioned again.

All that was readable was the metal cover, which had a name engraved into it: Sharpeye Sharklaw.

Cuvier made the obvious assumption about Sharpeye Sharklaw's identity. Partially because it's hard to come to many other assumptions when one finds a chest wearing your symbol and containing a legendary weapon, and partially because he thought that the obvious assumption was much cooler than any other assumptions. Like maybe his ancestor had been a furniture maker who specialized in building treasure chests that could be used to hold rifles, and he stamped his symbol onto the treasure chests he built. That would have been a shitty assumption to make. It is equally plausible and much cooler to decide his ancestor was the thief.

And it is this that Cuvier attempted to explain to Eridan.

He did not do very well.

yeah uh
thats pretty fuckin great
but
i didnt get it

yeah ! guess !ts k!nd a m!ndbllow!n
me hav!n th!s
fuck!n awesome ancestor an allll

yeah
huh
i just found this one wwhile i wwas fuckin flarpin
in a box
wwith some dice
an a fuckin certificate a authentha... tici... cy
from the flarpin company
sayin it wwas ahabs crosshairs

...what
an it doesnt evven shoot straight
WHAT
wwell some a the time
sometimes it does
its just luck or somefin

WHAT WHAT WHAT
THATS...
... ! mean
wanna trade


Although the weapons are equally legendary, Ahab's Crosshairs is a fuck of a lot stronger.

Everybody knows that.

wwhat
m!ne shoots stra!ght
water you say

uh...
...
...
...
wwanna fill a bucket

uhhhh...

23/10/11
"===>"

oh shit
yeah
yeah

holy fuckin shit
thats what !m tallk!n about
its like
its like
shit
its like
twwo rifles

yeah
but theres only one a them
yeah
damn fuck!n stra!ght
an you know why

no
no
i dont havve a fuckin clue

because b!tches !s why
wwhat
you heard me
cod daaaamn
yeah
b!tches llove doublle r!flles

huh
wwait
wwait wwait wwait
is this
is this some kind a

what
is this a epheme
euthanas
yiffenema
bluh
uh

euphem!sm?
yeah that thing
damn
fuck!n
stra!ght
!t !s

so
the double rifle
it stands for...

whalles
wwhales
i kneww it

AND sharks
HOLY SHIT
yeah
you sea
you sea
th!s r!flle
!s
a fuck!n
llegend

no
fuckin
wway
...
wwhat legend?

23/10/11
"Surrogia: Fondly regard overcompensation."

no m!nes llonger
like shell it is
no
reelly
llook

i think wwe
i think maybe wwe
got them crooked

oh
fuck

or lopsided
or
somefin

yeah
uh

like
sea that
theyre not
theyre not lined up
at the ends

yeah wellll
wellll
llook at th!s

22/10/11
"Surrogia: Fondly regard machinations."

Yeah.

No way is anybody deciphering this tomorrow evening.

Just as well, since trolls are capable of neither time travel nor creating clones from multi-thousand-sweep-old ashes.

... The fuck does that even SAY?

22/10/11
"===>"

wwhy the fuck didnt wwe think a that
!
! dont
know

that wwas a fuckin helpful guy
yeah
upr!ght decent a h!m


They should have tried a sea dweller bar in the first place.

22/10/11
"===>"

^ why doncha battle him underwater
^ get him in a liquid battlefield and hes fucked

uh...
^ think about it

22/10/11
"===>"

wellll we
we grab h!m
r!ght

kar is fuckin hard to grab
wwe gotta beat him in battle somehoww

yeah
youre the one that llures h!m !nto battlle

yeah but look ivve battled him before an that guy
he cant be beat
hes fuckin not beatable
howw the fuck wwould i beat him

oh
wellll
that
hmmmm...


^ hey
^ you two
^ ya fuckin terrorist punks

wwho us
yeah thats us what about !t

22/10/11
"Surrogia: Fondly regard cooperation."

These two morons are trying to scheme to bring down either the highbloods in general or Karkat Vantas in particular, or maybe something in between, whichever they can manage.

...

... Cahoooooooots.

but wwhat do wwe do about step four
right here

ok ll!sten
ll!sten
what we do !s
after we
... after
we
what d!d we just do

krill kars matesprit for arrestin one a the vvris?
wwe nevver figured out wwhich vvris it wwas

no no that was a earll!er step
oh
no !ts after we
uh
k!dnap vantas

oh right right
wwait but thats step four

r!ght an then we take h!m to a !r!s base r!ght
yeah yeah
i get to guard him right

shore but why woulld you want to
because
i wwanna steal all a his wweapons
and make bitter passionate hate to him

you
are realllly creepy

i knoww
ok so after that
we ransom the church

wwhich church
the church a the fuck!n sufferer wh!ch church do you th!nk
ohhhh
oh oh ok
that makes moray sense

wh!ch church were you th!nk!n
you
reelly
reelly
dont wwant to knoww

oh
can you tellll me

later
not in public

ok cooll
... uh
what were we tallk!n about

the plan after wwe kidnap kar
r!ght r!ght
so we demand a ransom r!ght

right
and what we ask for !s
how
to f!nd...
...
...
the cube

... the wwhat?
the cube
wwhat cube
the cllubs cube
wwhat the fuck is the clubs cube
oh wa!t ! was say!n !t wrong
! meant
THE CLLUBS CUBE

ohhh
... yeah no i dont get it

youre fuck!n hellplless
ok ll!sten up
accord!n to some k!nd a
fuck!n
llegend myth th!ngs

wwhat kind
apocryphall sh!t
oh
you can allways fuck!n trust apocryphall sh!t
anyway
they say
when the sufferer d!ed
!nstead a gett!n lleft out to rot !n the sun
h!s corpse got burned down to ashes
an stuck !n a box

thats fuckin wweird
yeah
wellll
! f!gure
!f they d!dnt
peoplle woulld a stolle h!s corpse and ll!ke
mollested !t or someth!n

yeah they probably wwould
but wwait i thought the offishial story wwas he ascended back to heavven or somefin wwhen he died

tellll me you dont fuck!n bell!eve that whallesh!t
no but im just sayin
wellll THE CLLUBS CUBE !s reell
do you havve to keep sayin it like that
its kind a annoyin

f!ne whatever
so we get the cllubs cube from the church r!ght

right
and then
we use !t
to cllone jegus kryst

that
is the fuckin wworst plan i evver heard

what
youre talkin about makin another jegus
thats fuckin stupid
is clonin for ashes evven a thing people can do

i dunno maybe
its science

oh
science
ok
its still fuckin stupid though

no but then
then we kr!llll h!m

oh ok
but then wwhats the point
wwe could just
leavve him dead

thats where the t!me travell comes !n
oh
so thats the part wwhere wwe send the dead one back into the past to replace the original one
so that hes like
dead
and not
revvolutionary and shit

wa!t what
wwhat wwasnt that the plan
wellll
ok ! ll!ke that better than my pllan

wwhat wwas your plan
never m!nd
so we replace the or!g!nall jegus w!th the dead one
and then
sea dwellllers w!llll have allways been on top

its fuckin brilliant
but wwhat if it causes a time paradox

that what the backup pllan !s for
the giant record and the needles?
r!ght
right

but you nevver answwered my question
what quest!on
wwhat about step four
howw do wwe kidnap kar

oh
er

21/10/11
"===>"

can ! have some moray m!nt
an !s !t organ!c


They got kicked out of that bar, too.

21/10/11
"===>"

oh
whalllle
because
...

...

gllub







19/10/11
"Surrogia: Fondly regard aggravation."

WHY !S THE RUM GONE
wwhiskeys fin
BUT WHY !S THE RUM GONE
wwhiskeys fin
NO
GLLUB GLLUB BLLUH

glub glub shrug
but ! asked for rum
they said they ran out a rum
but ! asked for fuck!n rum
youvve already had rum all day wwhats the big eel
! want a moj!to
... you havve a mojito in fount a you
but !ts not enough
you havvent finished it
can i havve it if you dont wwant it

no
! want the m!nt
one moj!to never has enough m!nt
never
you need two
at lleast
to get enough m!nt

oh
huh
wwhellk then
...
wwhy dont you ask for mint

19/10/11
"Surrogia: Fondly regard detonation."

That was the fourth bar they...

... er...

Left before they would have liked.

Cuvier was trying to demonstrate how the brand of whiskey that Eridan was currently drinking could, when combined with shaving cream, form a cheap and powerful explosive.

He succeeded.

18/10/11
"===>"

That was the third bar they got kicked out of.

Admittedly, the song they chose does not go over very well with land dweller audiences.

18/10/11
"Surrogia: Fondly regard harmonization."

You can totally handle that.

Please take note of the fact that Cuvier Safiro is performing the "drunken attempt to balance" cling, whereas Eridan Ampora is performing the "took the 'drunken attempt to balance' cling the wrong way" cling.

oh come allll ye scallllywwags
s!ng allong ww!th me
for wwe are the royall trolllls
the terrors a the sea
wwe p!llllage and pllunder
and wwe nevver comprom!se
wwellll sa!ll these rag!ng wwaters
t!llll wwe take our gllor!ous pr!ze

wwe run from no enemy
and wwe can feell no pa!n--

18/10/11
"===>"

That was the second bar they got kicked out of.

18/10/11
"===>"

BUT SEARIOUSLY
WWATER THE ODDS

! KNOW R!GHT
THIS !S COMPLLETELLY FUCK!N !NSANE

ALL A THE INSANITY
ALLLL A !T
HAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

18/10/11
"===>"

anyway about wwhy !d rescue a fuck!n lland dwellller
yeah
!ts because !m fuck!n fllushed for her
oh
wwhat seriously

! tolld you that allready
no you d!dnt
reelly
yeah reelly
oh wellll anyway
!m fllushed for her

ok
and !t sucks
because shes probablly treat!n allll a th!s ll!ke a fuck!n game
ll!ke fllarp or someth!n

do you flarp
fuck no
what do you th!nk ! am a tadpolle
bes!des The Red has the!r d!rty hands !n fllarp too

fuck are you searious
hellll yeah thats why there are no good cllasses for sea dwellllers to pllay
wwhat about gamblignants
gambll!gnants arent for sea dwellllers theyre for lland dwellllers that want allll a the perce!ved benef!ts a be!n a sea dwellller w!thout hav!n to be one
theyre try!n to steall what ll!ttlle we got go!n for us an make us !rrellevant

holy fuckin ship
i wwas a gamblignant

sorry to tellll you
but know!n !s better than not

yeah
knowlledge !s the onlly weapon weve got aga!nst the oppress!ve ranks a the h!ghblloods
i knoww i knoww but its still disappointin
no wwonder i sucked at bein a gamblignant
so you flarped right

shellll no ! just sa!d ! d!dnt
oh right
but she d!d
she wwho
she the she !ve been tallk!n about
the one that got arrested

oh her right
hey i used to know a land dwweller that flarped that got arrested today
or yesterday or wwhatevver

hey what a co!nc!dence
yeah thats kinda fuckin wweird huh
!s she the one youre !n llove w!th
s!r pr!nce er!c

no
she flarped too but she wwasnt arrested

hey
d!d e!ther a them have th!s annoy!n hab!t a do!n stup!d th!ngs just to glloat when she somehow pulllls them off

yeah the one that got arrested
wow m!ne too
huh another fuckin coincidence
hey does she evver try to screww ovver innocent trolls just for fun and then act like shes doin them a favvor by challengin them

yeah allll the t!me
and ! st!llll dont know !f shes just be!n a monster or !f she actually bell!eves shes hellp!n

yeah me neither
does she make fun a stuff peoplle bell!eve !n just to make them feell worthlless
ll!ke as part a some k!nd a psychollog!call m!nd game

coddammit all a the fuckin time
shes the reason i chose the gamblignant class instead a the wwhite magillusionist class
cause she kept callin me a stupid grub since magic isnt reel

!t realllly !snt reall you know
i knoww i knoww but thats not the point
i sucked roe at flarp i shoulda gone wwith the magillusionists

harsh
yeah
and hey does she do this thing wwhere she drags out her wwords
like
cahooooooooots
fuck i think that wwas too long

yeah yeah
cahoooooooots

yeah
and rellaaaaaaaax
she keeps tellll!n me that
allll a the t!me

ALL A IT
ALLLL A !T
you fuck!n beat me to !t

she does that too
yeah she does that too
and havvin irons
!n the f!re
YES
in the fiiiiiiire
fuck that wwas too short

f!!!!!!!!re
ll!ke that

yeah youre fuckin good at that
and does she do a 8 thing
like replacin b wwith it

yeah
and sp!der th!ngs
ll!ke w!th her sm!ll!es

yeah
this is fuckin crazy

! know r!ght
hey

wwhat
!s her name vr!ska serket
HOLY SHIP
what
THATS IT THATS HER NAME
VVRISKA SERKET

HOLLY SH!P
TH!S !S THE CRAZ!EST FUCK!N CO!NC!DENCE

SEARIOUSLY
just think
JUST THINK

YEAH !M TH!NK!N
they must be like fuckin identical to each other
theyvve got the same name and evverythin

! know r!ght
yeah wow
water the odds a two lland dwellllers do!n a sp!der th!ng and fllarp!n and be!n obnox!ous !n the same way AND hav!n the same name

gotta be like next to nofin
yeah
hey do you th!nk they know each other

i dunno i should ask my vvris
oh wwait shes in jail

oh yeah m!ne too
damn
fuck

18/10/11
"===>"

what
why

cause youre one a my heros
no
fuck you

so wwhich is it
what
is it no or is it fuck you
youre sendin me mixed signals here

uh
look as much as i admire you and shit id actually be fin wwith either red or black
i got both ships sank today so either wway id be grateful

its no
not a fuck you
just no

oh
oh
ok fine
dont wworry about me im used to it

good

18/10/11
"Surrogia: Fondly regard inebriation."

You can totally handle that.

so anyway she got arrested
right
and now ! have to rescue her
ll!ke !m some k!nd a lland dwellller rescu!n tooll

wwhy the fuck wwould you rescue a lland dwellller
thats just wwhat The Red wwants you to do

dont you talk to me about The Red
! wrote the fuck!n book on The Red

sure wwhatevver you fuckin say
no sear!ouslly
!scar!r!s !s one a my pen names
! wrote the book

holy ship
YOURE iscaririris

yeah
you put too many r!s !n !t

iscariris
yeah that
thats me

holy fuckin shit
can i get a autograph or somefin

yeah you got a pen
no
you got a copy a the book

no
nevver mind
wwanna pail instead

16/10/11
"===>"

That was the first bar they got kicked out of.

16/10/11
"===>"

you havve the fuckin stupidest lookin fins ivve evver seen
youre !n a sk!rt
your glasses are stupid
your face !s stup!d
your insults are stupider
your ha!r !s stup!dest

16/10/11
"===>"

.........

.........

16/10/11
"===>"

wwhos the land dwweller NOWW smart ass
YOURE the lland dwellller dumb ass
then wwhat about my...
what about your wha...

16/10/11
"Surrogia: Do it anyway."

What.

How is this--

How did you--

Whatever!

Fine! Exposit away!

an then she
an then she
she got arrested

uh huh
ll!ke r!ght fuck!n !n front a me
what the shellll

wwhat a bitch
! know r!ght
ll!ke where does she get off
gett!n arrested !n front a me

fuckin land dwwellers
yeah
yeah
goddamn fuck!n lland dwellllers

cant fuckin trust them
nope
allll they ever do !s fuck us over

right
right
theres this gull i knoww right

r!ght
and
an shes supposed to be my hero right

r!ght
like my prince eric or somefin
oh my cod ! llove that mov!e
oh my cod i lovve it too
shes my knight
and im her princess

thats so fuck!n beaut!full
yeah
and
id do anythin to be wwith her
i put on a fuckin dress for her
and sang wwith her
wwe sang and danced and wwhatevver
and you knoww wwhat she did

she got arrested
yeah
wwait
no
i got arrested

you b!tch
wwhale it wwasnt on purpose
oh
oh ok ! gotcha

but wwhat she did wwas
she fuckin pale zoned me

what the FUCK
yeah
that b!tch
i knoww right
like wwhere does she get off
pityin me the wwrong wway

fuck!n lland dwellllers
fuckin land dwwellers
hey
wwhat
hey why are you tallk!n about lland dwellllers
ll!ke youre not a fuck!n jade bllood

you better shut up before i gut you
im a pure sea dwweller and fuckin proud a it
youre the coddamn jade blood

fuck you !m the sea dwellller
then wwhats wwith your symbol ya dirty scallywwag
!ts a fuck!n d!sgu!se
what about yours

mines the one thats a disguise
im the one in disguise here

then where are your f!ns ya lland llov!n knave
did you just call me a fuckin knavve
! D!D callll you a fuck!n knave
wwell fuck you i hid my fins
wwhere are YOURS huh

! h!d them
like shell you did
ll!ke shellll YOU d!d

16/10/11
"Surrogia: Flashback to exposit on what happened yesterday."

You are a PLANET.

You cannot exposit.

That's not a thing that planets do.

16/10/11
"Cuvier: Flashback to exposit on what happened yesterday."

Uh.

You would if you could.

All you can remember is rum, mezcal, and Faygo.

And singing. You think there was singing at some point.

And. You might have. Got kicked out of a few bars.

And... vaguely... at some point... you and somebody else whipped out something to compare lengths holy fuck what DID you do yesterday?

All you know for sure is that after you arrived on Surrogia, you established that Vriska was on a transit that would not arrive for another several hours, and that you couldn't get any more information at that moment, so there was no point in worrying about her for the time being.

You checked around to ensure that all members from the compromised Troll Canada base had made it safely to other locations, and to ensure they hadn't been tailed.

Then you set a few other members to the tasks of hunting down information on the legislacerator that uncovered you, trying to discover more about the mysterious sea dweller who had bluffed his way into saving the lives of everyone at the compromised base, and scouting out new bases.

Then you handed command over to a couple of senior members and went out to get wasted.

Since you were in disguise, you figured the first bar you went into might as well be highblood. You can't get quality mezcal at lowblood bars.

You do not remember much after that.

When you came to, you were curled up on a couch in the lobby of a random IRIS base, several hundred miles from where you started. You do not know how you do it, but even when you are blacked-out drunk, you always manage to find your way to an IRIS base. You always get home.

The only question is what you did between the start of the day and the end.

15/10/11
"Be the MALE modern sea dweller lowblood."

What? No! Come on, is it really that hard to--

Fuck it.

You are now CUVIER SAFIRO.

You are waiting for one of your double-agents to get you news on Vriska's status, trying to figure out how you're going to explain to your agents that IRIS will be mounting a rescue for a fucking land dweller (what the glubbing hell are you thinking?!), and wincing your way through a minor hangover.

And wondering where in the galaxy your glasses are. You KNOW you had them when you arrived on Surrogia.

You can't read without your glasses.

What the hell did you do yesterday? ... Last night? Day? Night? Stupid Surrogia.

15/10/11
"Be the MODERN sea dweller lowblood."

Okay, SOMEBODY just completely ignored the "one of your descendants" note.

But fine. You are now--briefly--this modern sea dweller lowblood.

Although it is a bit of a stretch to call you a "lowblood." Or "modern." Or even really a "sea dweller."

More like an ancient ship dweller royal blood.

For the record, this is what carelessly untamed chaos looks like. Ironically, you are the only witch to ever have your psychic connection with Gl'bgolyb completely break.

You seem to be distracted by something. You might be disturbed by sounds echoing down from the top of your vast, glorious, dirt-enclosed empire.

Or, you might be thinking about cake.

Could be both.

Could be neither.

Could be pants.

Okay! NOW can we get back to our main character?

Yeah. Good.

15/10/11
"Be the sea dweller lowblood."

You are now...

Whoa wait.

Really? Are there not enough LIVE sea dwellers to be? Now you are going for dead ones?

You are now ORPHAN PITHOS. Like all other sea dwellers captured during and after the Sufferer's revolution, you are a slave to the rust bloods, who killed your lusus and stole half your name. But you still remember the rest.

Later, you will escape, and take on the name ORPHANED TWINGASH.

And you will leave one fuck of a legacy.

Your legacy will be carried on by your descendant ORPHANER DUALSCAR.

Which will then be carried on by some other douchebag.

But enough about you. Let us shoot for one of your descendants.

And not Dualscar, either. The other douchebag. We really should get back to him.

14/10/11
"===>"

You then proceed to have the most poignant and heartfelt feelings jam in the history of the past sweep of your moirallegiance.

Admittedly, as far as feelings jams go, that does not set the bar very high.

There are so, so many things that you still do not share with each other.

You do not tell him about your involvement with Tavros. Equius still needs so much help figuring out his own feelings, how could you ask him to help you figure out yours?

You tell him that you made a red proposition to the sea dweller you mentioned earlier, and that he rejected it; you do not tell Equius which red quadrant you were proposing.

(Equius, to his credit, makes a very good effort at being properly supportive and sympathetic before he mentions again that perhaps you should be reaching a bit higher on the hemospectrum.)

You do not tell him about the doubts you are having about yourself.

As he does not tell you about the doubts he has about himself, his life, his culture.

There are some things that cannot be shared. Even with a moirail.

Sometimes especially with a moirail.

Or so you two tell yourselves. Assuming you tell yourselves anything at all.

But, you try your best. And for now, that's good enough.

We should probably leave you alone for now. Feelings jams shouldn't have audiences. It's just indecent.

Who should we be now?

14/10/11
"===>"

You hope this is the right choice.

EZ: +--) Yes
EZ: +--) Well
EZ: +--) I realize
EZ: +--) It's atypical
EZ: +--) Perhaps "inappropriate" w001d be the better term
EZ: +--) Depraved, even
EZ: +--) It's not like I can help it
EZ: +--) as STRONGLY as I try

NL: :DD < what do you s33 in him?
EZ: +--) I'm not sure I can e%plain
EZ: +--) Why
EZ: +--) Is this on your wall

NL: :33 < not yet
EZ: +--) Really
NL: :33 < really
NL: :33 < buuuttt if you're that interested...
NL: :33 < maybe you should try to purrsuade me to add it ;33

EZ: +--) To be honest
EZ: +--) I'd much rather be dissuaded
EZ: +--) This is all so wrong

NL: :33 < h33h33, well i can definitely help you with dissuasion
NL: :33 < if that's what you really, really, R33LLY want
NL: :33 < but i want to hear your side furrst

EZ: +--) If you're sure
NL: :33 < i'm pawsitive
EZ: +--) Very well
EZ: +--) Then I will try my best

NL: :33 < yessssss
NL: :33 < *nl pads over to ez's pile of stuff, delicately climbs over the robot purrts, and curls up comfurtably in her meowrail's lap*

EZ: +--) Oh
EZ: +--) *EZ, in the interest of not being the spoilsport that his moirail seems to think he is*
EZ: +--) *Pretends that, within the conte%t of the roleplay %enario, he is not 100dicrously STRONG*
EZ: +--) *In order to more easily enable him to stroke his moirail's fur without injuring her*

NL: :33 < purrrrrrrrrrr~
EZ: +--) We are pretending you have fur in this present %enario, I assume
EZ: +--) *EZ as%*

NL: :33 < yes we are
NL: :33 < now get jamming!!!

14/10/11
"===>"

You still remember

PAINFULLY well

what happened the last time you tried to manipulate someone else's quadrants.

At the very, very least, you owe it to Equius to listen.

14/10/11
"===>"

The dreaded MATESPRIT-AUSPISTICE/MOIRAIL-AUSPISTICE/KISMESIS-AUSPISTICE 3x DOUBLE REACHAROUND COMBO.

The MsA/MrA/KA 3x double reacharound combo is a pure quadrant clusterfuck. Each unfortunate participant has three quadrants screwed up by the reacharound combo, as they swing back and forth between a matespritship-moirallegiance-kismesissitude triangle and an auspisticism.

You don't want to end up like that.

But--if by some crazy twist, Equius and Tavros DID end up in a matespritship--you would.

How could you NOT end up like that?

Or, to put it a bit differently:

How could you, in good conscience, cross the proper battlelines of caliginous conduct by maintaining a pale relationship with a troll your kismesis loves, or hurt your pale partner by continuing a caliginous rivalry with the troll your moirail loves?

How could Tavros freely share his most terrible side with one troll and his most vulnerable side with another troll if he knows those two trolls are going to share everything they know about him with each other?

How could Equius fairly split his red affections between two trolls locked in concupiscent enmity--and how would he be able to tolerate standing back and watching them hurt each other if he knew he could just as easily stop them?

The whole mess would inevitably collapse into an auspisticism. And then it would try to shakily pull itself back out, because you are quite sure that none of you would WANT to be ashen. You do not want someone mediating between you and Tavros, you want him to be your enemy. And you do not want Equius spending his time keeping you and some other troll apart, you want to be able to help each other like moirails do. And if Equius <3 Tavros ended up a thing that happened, you are also quite sure that they would rather be pale or caliginous with you and flushed with each other than stuck ashen.

But even if you got out of the auspisticism, it would not be long before you fell back into it again.

That is how these things work. You have seen it a hundred times.

After all, MsA/MrA/KA 3x double reacharound combos have been a sitcom staple for eons.

So no. No, no, no, you do not ship this.

You do not ship this at all.

But.

14/10/11
"Nepeta: React."

You're trying.

But hesitating.

You don't support this ship. You really don't support this ship. You really, really don't.

It is not like you have never considered putting Tavros and Equius together in a quadrant. After all, you know they know each other. That alone is reason enough to consider shipping a couple of trolls--and not even a MANDATORY reason.

But it would not work.

You think you understand why Equius would go flushed for Tavros: because he's royal, and yet crippled. You know that Equius made Tavros's legs. He had to have seen Tavros at his weakest. (How that happened, you have no idea; Equius never explained the circumstances, and he asked that you not try to find out. It was the first secret ever withheld in your moirallegiance.) A physical handicap attracts a LOT of pitying attention, and for good reason. And to someone like Equius--someone who values strength above all else, someone who thinks royalty should be flawless--such unfortunate circumstances would be especially attractive.

But, a handicap is only nervous system-deep. It explains nothing about who a person REALLY is.

And Tavros is not a "cripple."

He is missing his legs, true. Over half of his physical height is fake--metal stilts for a half-person.

But that does not slow him down in the slightest.

No, he's Mister Social Butterfly, high enough on the hierarchy and lucky enough in alliances that he does not even need a proper job. He has a sinecure with the cavalreapers, and occasionally a few other little duties, but he does not need them. From what you have seen of him, he spends most of his time brainwashing new animals to add to his little private menagerie, or else schmoozing around with other gold bloods that have nothing better to do. For what he spends most of his time doing, he does not NEED legs. Thus is the life of royalty.

Even so, he can certainly hold his own in a fight. You have to grudgingly admit that he IS strong enough to take out most contenders--and his metal legs just make him stronger.

Despite Tavros's pitiable looks, he does not deserve Equius's pity. In fact, there are more reasons for Equius to DISLIKE him: he keeps all those animals caged up in his own home; he is cowardly and wishy-washy, always avoiding confrontation; he is one of the many useless elite who hold all the power but do nothing with it; the list goes on.

(You have QUITE a long list on Tavros. You and he are kinda... on-again, off-again. "On" more frequently than "off." Currently "on." Secretly. You are both trying to keep this quiet until you are both sure you can actually make this work--otherwise, neither of you want to risk the political and social turmoil that would inevitably come from making your rivalry public. You haven't even told Equius. Another secret.)

And Tavros wouldn't pity Equius. He is terrified of lowbloods. Whenever he passes one, he always tenses up and gets this wary look in his eyes, like he's about to spring into fight-or-flight mode. All lowbloods are the same to him: a bunch of scary hulking brainless murderous psychopaths. You have seen the way he acts around them. You have seen how nervous he gets around blue bloods. Seen how nervous he gets when he even thinks he is going to be around some. Why would he think of Equius any differently?

And there is another reason why you do not think they would work out.

Because of the triangle that would form.

12/10/11
"Equius: Prove you have pecs."

Uhhhhhhyyyyyyeeeeah.

You, uh.

You pull that off with aplomb.

For heaven's sake, it is far too early in the evening for you to be this sweaty.

12/10/11
"THIS"










Of course, you ignore the fact that your moirail is about to be jobless and jump straight to the crack ship.

12/10/11
"SHIP"

12/10/11
"DON'T"

12/10/11
"YOU"

12/10/11
"===>"

WHO'S THIS DOUCHEBAG?

This cannot be Equius!

EZ: +--) Nepeta
EZ: +--) Hello

NL: :33 < i'm here
NL: :33 < yes
NL: :33 < you did that right

EZ: +--) Oh
EZ: +--) Good
EZ: +--) Thank you

NL: :33 < yeah
EZ: +--) Nepeta
EZ: +--) I'm done
EZ: +--) You can have your turn now
EZ: +--) Are you still there

NL: :33 < yes
EZ: +--) Oh
EZ: +--) Sorry

NL: :33 < i'm just
NL: :33 < thinking

EZ: +--) You can think to me
EZ: +--) Since it's a feelings jam
EZ: +--) I guess

NL: :33 < right
NL: :33 < so...
NL: :33 < i guess my purrimary thought issssss
NL: :33 < WHAT kind of a compassion are you STALKING ABOUT?????

EZ: +--) Um
NL: :33 < don't you um at me, buster!!
NL: :33 < THIS IS A F33LINGS JAM!
NL: :33 < NO SECRETS!
NL: :33 < i can smell them straight through my scr33n
NL: :33 < and it smells like stinky secretive sweat!

EZ: +--) I don't know what kind it is
NL: >(( < SURE YOU DON'T
EZ: +--) Have mercy
EZ: +--) I really don't know
EZ: +--) I'm still trying to figure this out
EZ: +--) I honestly don'tunderstand my own trot process right now

NL: :33 < "trot"?
EZ: +--) That was a typo
NL: :33 < ... ok
NL: :33 < i believe you
NL: :33 < if you say you don't understand, i'll trust you
NL: :33 < but if that's the case, we're going to furgure it out together
NL: :33 < ok?

EZ: +--) No
NL: :33 < no???
EZ: +--) That is
EZ: +--) No I don't think it's ok
EZ: +--) I'm not sure if I want to figure it out
EZ: +--) However

NL: :// < if you don't want to, that's exactly why you have to
EZ: +--) Precisely
EZ: +--) So
EZ: +--) Go ahead

NL: :33 < ok
NL: :33 < i have ONE question fur you
NL: :33 < and you have to answer it!

EZ: +--) Ok
NL: :33 < can you picture yourself and tavros facing an imperial drone together?
EZ: +--) Oh my goodness
EZ: +--) Why would you a% that

NL: :33 < just answer it!
EZ: +--) Maybe
NL: :33 < maybe what?
EZ: +--) Maybe I c001d picture it
EZ: +--) Hypothetically
EZ: +--) That's my answer

NL: :33 < does "maybe" mean "yes"?
EZ: +--) Maybe
NL: :33 < does "maybe" mean "no"?
EZ: +--) No
NL: :33 < i see
NL: :33 < ok
NL: :33 < one other question

EZ: +--) Yes
NL: :33 < TAVROS NITRAM???
NL: :33 < WTF???????????????


Equius<3Tavros??

EQUIUS<3TAVROS????

EQUIUS<3TAVROS??????

12/10/11
"Nepeta: Talk to Equius."

Gamzee went silent after that little <3 confession.

You have been glued to your tiny screen since then.

You have to know what's going on. SO MUCH INTRIGUE.

NL: :33 < gamz33?
NL: :33 < hello?
NL: :33 < are you still there?
NL: :33 < hair did you go???

EZ: +--) Nepeta
NL: :33 < equius?!
EZ: +--) Yes
EZ: +--) I apologize for that revolting display

NL: :33 < it's fine!
EZ: +--) And for any delays in my responses
EZ: +--) Or typose
EZ: +--) My glasses are broken so I can't read very well

NL: :33 < that's ok, i'm just glad you're on!
EZ: +--) I don't blame you
EZ: +--) I read your conversation with Gamzee
EZ: +--) If it can be called that

NL: :33 < h33h33, he wasn't that bad
NL: :33 < he did say something weird, though

EZ: +--) I noticed
EZ: +--) Let me assure you that his e%pressed emotions are far from mutual

NL: :33 < are you SURE?
EZ: +--) Abso100tely
EZ: +--) My feelings for the subjugglator are completely <3<

NL: :OO < EQUIUS!!!
NL: :DD < REALLY???

EZ: +--) Really
NL: XDD < YESSSSSS I KNEW IT!!!
EZ: +--) You can addthat to your wall, I suppose
NL: :33 < oh
NL: :33 < something happened to the wall

EZ: +--) Oh
EZ: +--) I'n sorry to hear that

NL: :33 < it's ok

If he's telling the truth, then this is the most exciting news he's ever given you.

But you don't know if he's telling the truth.

EZ: +--) Thank you for contacting me again
EZ: +--) Reall
EZ: +--) You have no idea how greateful I am to hear from you

NL: :33 < equius...
EZ: +--) Nepeta
EZ: +--) Sorry, you go first

NL: :33 < no, it's ok, you go furrst
NL: :33 < really!

EZ: +--) Uh
EZ: +--) If it's an order

NL: :33 < no no no, it's not
NL: :33 < you can do whichever you purrefur

EZ: +--) In which case
EZ: +--) If it's all the same to you

NL: :33 < ...
NL: :33 < equius?

EZ: +--) I mean you no disrespect and I'm abso100tely not trying to contradict you especially considering that we are currently going through a difficult time that I still hope we can work through but I spent all yesterday being asked to mak e e%tremely significant decisions by somebody whom I am severly underqualified to order about and so I w991d STRONGLY appre%iate it if you c001d take the initiative this time
EZ: +--) Nepeta, are you still there
EZ: +--) I'm sorry, that was long

NL: :33 < it's ok!
NL: :33 < i was just purrocessing it
NL: :33 < thank you for telling me how you really f33l
NL: :33 < fur once

EZ: +--) You're welcome
EZ: +--) I realize I haven't been as open about my emotions as I sh001d have been
EZ: +--) Especially with you
EZ: +--) I'm sorry

NL: :33 < and i'm sorry too
NL: :33 < i haven't b33n listening to you, either
NL: :33 < or to anybody, really...

EZ: +--) Oh
EZ: +--) I hadn't noticed

NL: :33 < really?
EZ: +--) Really
NL: :// < really?
EZ: +--) Really
EZ: +--) Well
EZ: +--) Maybe I did notice that you weren't always as attentive as you c001d have been

NL: :33 < i kinda thought so
EZ: +--) Actually
EZ: +--) If we're being completely honest
EZ: +--) I noticed a lot

NL: :33 < oh...
EZ: +--) Sorry
NL: :33 < why do you k33p apologizing?? you don't have to
EZ: +--) I guess because I feel sorry
EZ: +--) I think
EZ: +--) I'm not very good at this

NL: :33 < at what?
EZ: +--) I don't know
EZ: +--) Feeling, I guess

NL: :33 < lol! equius, EVERYBODY's good at f33ling
NL: :33 < you just n33d to learn how to talk about it better
NL: :33 < and you're doing just fine!

EZ: +--) Ok
EZ: +--) Thanks
EZ: +--) I'm trying


And in retrospect, it didn't even matter who went first.

In fact, after saying he wanted you to take the initiative, he went ahead and did it himself without your even having to say anything.

Maybe that's a good sign. You're actually TALKING, instead of arguing over etiquette.

EZ: +--) Just to clarify
EZ: +--) Are we having a veelings jam at this point

NL: :33 < ummm not really
NL: :33 < but we could
NL: :33 < if you want
NL: :33 < i do

EZ: +--) As do I
EZ: +--) There are some things I tihnk I sh001d share

NL: :33 < me too
NL: :33 < i'm on a pillow pile

EZ: +--) Ok
EZ: +--) Then
EZ: +--) C001d you wait a moment while I move the roboti%s pile in front of my computer

NL: :33 < sure


You are glad he needs a moment to prepare. You are nervous. You have to gather your feelings and calm down.

For the record, Equius already has his pile gathered. He is just nervous, too.

Somehow, you are going to have to tell Equius that you were--maybe still are--pale for someone else. Even if it will hurt. Moirails cannot hide something like that from each other.

How do you explain? You have not had a real feelings jam with Equius in a long time. For the past few perigees, you have been much closer to Eridan. Even though you and Eridan never had a feelings jam--and even though Eridan pretty clearly never reciprocated your feelings--emotionally speaking, you were cheating on Equius.

In moirallegiances, emotions are more important than anything else.

How in the world are you going to start this?

EZ: +--) Ok, I'm ready
NL: :33 < ok
EZ: +--) Are you
NL: :33 < yes
NL: :33 < are you?
NL: :33 < wait you just said you were
NL: :33 < h33h33

EZ: +--) Right
NL: :33 < sooo
NL: :33 < should we start

EZ: +--) I guess so
NL: :33 < right
EZ: +--) Right
NL: :33 < ok
NL: :33 < *nl takes a d33p breath to steady her nerves*
NL: :33 < equius...

EZ: +--) You wre right about Gamzee and me
EZ: +--) And now we're kismesisses
EZ: +--) And without going into an inappropriately 100d amount of detail, I'll say that I just had the most horrible day of my life with him
EZ: +--) And I don't know why I didn't listen to you earlier
EZ: +--) But I di%overed that when he's e%tremely ospored he goes flushed for me
EZ: +--) And I don't want to end up in a raecharound with that loathesome creature
EZ: +--) So I don't know what to do
EZ: +--) And in addition I'm about to lose my job
EZ: +--) Or quit it I gues
EZ: +--) since it's half deliberate
EZ: +--) Because I cannot make up with you AND keep Gamzee out of trouble AND pick up Jhonen from the shuttle station tonight
EZ: +--) Jhonen was my neighbor on Alternia by the way, he'd like to meet you sometime
EZ: +--) So I give up
EZ: +--) I wasn't going to keep the job for long anyway
EZ: +--) And I like it no better than any of the others
EZ: +--) It's bornin and monotonous and the machines I repair break within a day again anyway
EZ: +--) so why not do the same thing somewhere else
EZ: +--) And in any case, His imperiousness Vantas will be calling upon me in the ne%t few nights for a vehicle repair job
EZ: +--) And I owe a hospital a door repair job
EZ: +--) And His Highness Nitram is owed the second half of a surgery job
EZ: +--) So I don't even have the time to do my own job and would lose it for absence within a few days anyway
EZ: +--) And I find I really don't care
EZ: +--) I really, really don't care
EZ: +--) I was telling the truth when I said that I didn't care about losing my last job
EZ: +--) And I don't care about losing this one
EZ: +--) What's the difference
EZ: +--) I'm going to find another job soon
EZ: +--) And it will give me enough money for food and rent and electricity and laundry
EZ: +--) And I will give them tune-ups on machines that anybody with a wrencha nd a bit of eye-hand coordination can fi%
EZ: +--) They won't remember me when I leave and I won't remember them when I leave so what's the difference
EZ: +--) I'll just 100k for another
EZ: +--) And fnally
EZ: +--) I think there is a slight possibility
EZ: +--) Far-fetched though it ight be
EZ: +--) But as you are my moirail I figured I sh001d share it anyway
EZ: +--) That I might possibly have somehow
EZ: +--) To a very slight e%tent
EZ: +--) Developed emotions for His Highness Nitram that might potentially be a bit different from the deep but impersional respect that w001d be appropriate for someone of my stature towwrd someone of his statuer
EZ: +--) Let's call this hypothetical emotion that may or may not be there" compassion"
EZ: +--) I really don't think it's anything, but
EZ: +--) As long as we're feelings jamming
EZ: +--) I thought it w001d be appropriate for me to mention it
EZ: +--) And that's all
EZ: +--) Did I do that right



10/10/11
"Equius: How do you feel about all this?"

How do you feel?

How do you feel?

Yesterday, you and Gamzee missed the pail.

While you were cleaning the mess up, Gamzee decided to urinate in your ablution trap.

While you were washing it out, Gamzee decided to defecate in your sink.

While you were fighting the urge to rip out the load gaper and use it to beat Gamzee into a fine gritty slime, Gamzee decided to stage a tactical retreat, escaped your respiteblock, and tripped down the stairs.

All of the stairs.

When you reached the bottom and began yelling at him, he managed to haul himself up, fling his arms around your neck, and start wailing. He honks when he wails.

He still had his pants around his knees from when you pailed him and from when he relieved his bladder and bowels.

And then the neighbors came outside to see what the fuss was about.

After you heaved him back up to your respiteblock, locked him inside, and stammeringly apologized to the neighbors for the disturbance, you STILL had to clean your sink.

In your fury, you accidentally scrubbed the sink too hard, and cracked the basin.

Or, rather, shattered.

You also ruined two towels, because you absolutely refuse to reuse them now that they've touched Gamzee's feces.

When you finally went to sleep, Gamzee insisted on getting in the recuperacoon with you, and he was so whiny and you were so tired that you let him.

Despite the fact that he was too sopored to function, he still managed to transform your dreams into a chucklevoodoo fiesta.

You got four hours of sleep. And that's not accounting for all the times you woke due to nightmares.

And due to Gamzee's "snoring."

He honks in his sleep.

Over the course of your extended nightmare nap, you discovered that, when over-sopored, Gamzee's blacker feelings for you turn inexplicably flushed.

More than once you woke up to discover him sleepily cuddling you, stroking your hair, and mumbling about how "mOHeRfcKiN PrETy" you are. KISMESISSES DON'T CUDDLE.

When you finally woke up for good this evening, it was only to discover that half the sopor slime in your recuperacoon was MYSTERIOUSLY missing.

Along with the clean clothes you had laid out for yourself.

To cover yourself, you are having to reuse the towel Tavros gave you yesterday, which you feel is a gross insult to the towel and everything it stands for.

And now

Gamzee is on YOUR computer

and has been for HEAVEN KNOWS how long

talking

to

YOUR

MOIRAIL.


By the Sufferer's scythes why do you find this imbecile so attractive?!

+--) Gamzee
+--) What
+--) Do you think
+--) You're doing

dUuUUuUuuDe!
cHeC It hE mtHeRUcK Ut, TIs BOs GT lIE tiS tiRtY HrEe TInG stTiN Up o Th fRot Of lL F hI TeX AnD Ro
I OnT OtHefUcKNg uNdrStAD iT :o?
HoNk

+--) ...

You loathe it when he talks dopey to you like that. <3<

You resist the urge to make out sloppily with him. (If you initiated it, you would probably knock his teeth out.) Instead, you haul him out of the chair by the back of his--sorry, by the back of YOUR shirt, drag him into the ablution chamber, tie up his wrists and ankles with some floss, and leave him in the ablution trap. That should keep him tame for a while.

And then you go back into your respiteblock.

You move aside the chair and shift your pile of spare robot parts in front of the computer.

It might be handy. Maybe.

You don't know, but...

Well, it can't hurt to be sitting on a pile of stuff. Just in case.

Since you're talking to Nepeta.

... What in the world do you say to her?

09/10/11
"===>"

NL: OH MY GOD
NL: why are you on EQUIUS'S COMPUTER???

EZ: i
EZ: UhHhhH
EZ: dnT raLlY NoW Ow AL i uP Nd O ThI ThIG
EZ: mOHeRfuUuUUuU

NL: what's going on???
EZ: i Dot Knw............
NL: are you in equius's respiteblock?!
EZ: uHhHHhHhh
NL: look around
NL: do you s33 robot parts

EZ: dO i hAt o I d aBot Wht Th fUc?
NL: BLARRRRRRGHRAWWWRGHGLHGHLKSENFL
EZ: :oC
EZ: bRo oUrE Ot POnUniAtIG wIH yOR tYInG Oo GOd

NL: I CAN'T UNDERSTAND YOU
NL: are you with equius or not right now?

EZ: mAn I AnT VeN UcKig Tel
NL: look fur him
NL: is he nearby?

EZ: yEaH
EZ: Es AL mtHeRUcKi tIrd Up nD seEpIG aN ShI

NL: he's still asleep?
NL: why?

EZ: i DunO
EZ: iM al Lie FuuUuC ItS NoThr MoThrFuCIn DY wIH mIAcLe aNd hIt o Wht Th fUc iS P wIH sLEpIn aT T

NL: you're impawssible to understand
EZ: :o(
NL: why are you with equius???
EZ: cAuS He lL ad MoThEFuCknG crRiE Me oMe iTh iM lkE
NL: ok
NL: did you just say
NL: he carried you home with him

EZ: hOnK
EZ: EaH E dId


Why would he do that??

After telling you over and over that he hated being around Gamzee but not in a caliginous way, why would he go find Gamzee and take him home?

Was it because of you?

Was it because you broke up with him?

Maybe he thinks that you dumped him because he wouldn't go black for Gamzee.

...

In a way, maybe that IS why you dumped him.

You've been so, so horrible to Equius.

Did he do this to try to impress YOU?

NL: what happened?
NL: what did he do?

EZ: mAn aM O OtHefUcKNg FZzY N tH FuCInG EtAiLs f Wht Al wAs oInG OwN
NL: can't you tell me anything????
EZ: uhHhHHhHhhH
EZ: m bUlG HuRS

NL: ... your bulge hurts
EZ: mOtHRfUc :o(

Wow, this is awkward.

NL: oooooook
NL: what else
NL: how did he say he f33ls about you
NL: and how do you f33l about him???
NL: what exactly are the f33lings here

EZ: mAn hAtS a oT o mOteRfUKiNg eElIGs T Be FElIn uP IkE UcH wtH smEbOY
EZ: i Dot Evn MThEruCkIG kNW wH AlL Ou rE

NL: just tell me what you think about him
EZ: i ThnK hs A ReTt mOteRfUKiN HoIc bRo hAt o Be pEnDNg TIs QAlIt fUciN tmE tgEtHR wIH lIE tHS
EZ: aN I wuLdN Be iNdIG iF HiS Ot T Be rEglAr hInG O hAPeN
EZ: Es GT aL ThI MoThrFuCIn SImE HaTs n Hi rEcpErAOoN IkE DoN GeT O mOE
EZ: dId oU koW h lOos Lie He hOuL Be oMe KNd O FuCIn MViE TaR

NL: what?????????????
EZ: hOnK <3
NL: <3?
NL: <3???
NL: <3???????????

EZ: HoNk :o)
NL: TELL ME YOU LEFT OFF A <
NL: TELL ME YOU MEANT <3<

EZ: wHaAAaAaaA
EZ: nO
EZ: wy WolD i HaTe y BrO QuIuS?
EZ: <3


WOW, THIS IS AWKWARD.

Congrats, you REALLY messed this one up.

... Unless

Equius secretly pitied Gamzee all along but was ashamed to admit it because of how messed-up Gamzee is and so he pretended to platonically hate him instead but that was why he was always mad at you when you said he and Gamzee should be kismesisses and he never admitted it to you because he thought you were dead-set on seeing them black together but then yesterday after you broke up with him he finally decided that it didn't matter anymore and that combined with his grief and the sudden red void in his life drove him to take flushed solace in Gamzee's arms the way he had secretly wished to for so many sweeps?????

Why does your shipping wall have to be in such disrepair? You need to account for this possibility.

09/10/11
"Nepeta: Flashback to exposit on your relationship with Equius."

... Yes.

Yes. If you really think about it, if you really try to remember--yes.

At one point, you WERE good moirails.

You KNOW you were good moirails.

You know that, even now, you could be.

Because you can remember this conversation.

CT: +--) And e%actly how long have you felt flushed for Lord Vantas
AC: :33 < ummmm...
AC: :33 < about a w33k? :33

CT: +--) Is it "Lord" Vantas, by the way
CT: +--) I'm not sure what his precise title of address sh001d be
CT: +--) Given his b100d's position outside of the hemospectrum
CT: +--) In contrast to his nevertheless lofty status

AC: :33 < i dont really know
CT: +--) Neither "his lordship" nor "his highness" seems quite fitting
CT: +--) And he isn't "his imperiousness" yet

AC: :33 < hes never told me purrsonally
AC: :33 < and ive only s33n him around furiends who dont give him a title anyway

CT: +--) Perhaps "his divinity"
CT: +--) I'm not very religious but that's the only thing I can think of

AC: :33 < actually that one would purrobably make him mad
CT: +--) Oh, w001d it
AC: :33 < yeah, karkitty throws a real hissyfit whenever someone treats him like the replicus
CT: +--) Then "his lordship" I suppose it will be
CT: +--) So, a week

AC: :33 < yesss
AC: <33 < wed be purrfect together

CT: +--) Are you quite sure you're flushed
CT: +--) It's been only a week

AC: :33 < of COURSE im sure
AC: :33 < you cant make mistakes about something like that
AC: :33 < karkitty and i are MADE FUR EACH OTHER

CT: +--) Are you really, really sure
AC: :33 < equius..........
CT: +--) What
AC: :33 < *ac twitches her nose in the direction of her computers scr33n*
AC: :33 < are my twitchy kitty whiskers sniffing out a whiff of disappurroval??

CT: +--) You don't have whiskers
AC: :33 < do too!
CT: +--) And even if you did, whiskers can't sniff
AC: :33 < MRAWRRRR!
CT: +--) And screens don't give off scents
AC: :33 < EQUIUS, STOP THAT! XPP
CT: +--) I don't think disapproval has a scent anyway
CT: +--) Fine
CT: +--) But I do confess to having a few concerns about all this

AC: :33 < like what?
AC: :33 < it cant be the b100d difference, we are close enough!

CT: +--) Nepeta, why are you doing the 100 thing
AC: :33 < h33h33
AC: :33 < b1000000d!

CT: +--) Stop that
AC: :33 < because its funny
CT: +--) Please stop it anyway
AC: :33 < ok ok
AC: :33 < anyway, like i was saying
AC: :33 < karkitty and i are close enough on the hemeowspectrum
AC: :33 < he basically IS a gr33n blood except fur one little mutation
AC: :33 < so even you cant complain

CT: +--) What are you talking about
CT: +--) In no way is Lord Vantas green

AC: :33 < actually he is!!
AC: :33 < in his dna
AC: :33 < thats where the 6L99D comes from, its gr33n blood with an itsy bitsy t33ny w33ny mutation that makes it look totally diffurent

CT: +--) Oh
CT: +--) Really

AC: :33 < yes
CT: +--) I didn't know that
CT: +--) Be that as it may, I'm still concerned for you
CT: +--) This seems to have happened very suddenly
CT: +--) And even if his geneti% put him near you on the hemospectrum, the combination of his 6100d and sym69l do not
CT: +--) *6l99d and sym69l

AC: :33 < he doesnt care about that silly hemospectrum stuff!
CT: +--) As the advisier-to-be, I'm quite sure he does
AC: :33 < well, ok, in a pawlitical way he does
AC: :33 < but not romantically

CT: +--) Yes, I think I've heard some rumors to that effect
AC: :33 < no no i dont mean THAT stuff
AC: :33 < i mean karkittys a shippurr like me!

CT: +--) What
CT: +--) You're joking

AC: :33 < nuh uh
CT: +--) Yes
AC: :33 < no
CT: +--) Yes
AC: :33 < no no no
CT: +--) 100x yes
AC: :33 < 33x69 no!
CT: +--) But he's far too level headed to stoop to such f001ishness
CT: +--) There's no way he c001d waste so much time on such shenanigans as painting impractical romantic possibilities all over his walls

AC: :33 < theyre not impurractical
CT: +--) Are too
AC: :33 < are not times infinity
AC: :33 < besides hes not THAT kind of a shippurr
AC: :33 < he takes an analytical appurroach, he says
AC: :33 < hes always mewing about psychology and sociology and the foundations of a good relationship and what makes a pairing work
AC: :33 < and he writes romantic movie scripts
AC: :33 < ive s33n some

CT: +--) Really
CT: +--) I had no idea

AC: :33 < he k33ps it purretty secret
AC: :33 < i think im the only one who knows about his scripts
AC: :33 < (which just goes to show he already trusts me with some secrets)
AC: :33 < that means you cant tell anybody else too

CT: +--) Of course I won't
CT: +--) What happens between moirails stays between moirails

AC: :33 < unfurtunately, he ships all the wrong trolls
AC: :33 < even in his own scripts
AC: :33 < buuut...

CT: +--) But you think that about everybody
AC: :33 < h33h33 right
AC: :33 < ANYWAY!
AC: :33 < the point i was TRYING to make
AC: :33 < is that he believes that the hemospectrum doesnt matter when it comes to romantic f33lings
AC: :33 < or at least that the hemospectrum doesnt dictate love the way it dictates rank
AC: :33 < he thinks that if the f33lings are there, then blood doesnt matter
AC: :33 < and that in some cases being really fur apart can help a relationship balance

CT: +--) That's very
CT: +--) Liberal of him

AC: :33 < liberal isnt a bad thing
AC: :33 < like you s33m to think it is

CT: +--) No comment
AC: :33 < XDD equius!
CT: +--) No
CT: +--) Comment

AC: :33 < h33h33h33 ok ok!
AC: :33 < besides, im romantically liberal too, so karkitty and i fit together that way

CT: +--) Abso100tely
CT: +--) No
CT: +--) Comment
CT: +--) At
CT: +--) All

AC: :33 < sure, but i know inside youre disapurroving
CT: +--) I'm disapproving outside, too
CT: +--) But we won't get anywhere if we halt to address this tangent

AC: :33 < ok ok fine XDD
CT: +--) Unfortunately liberal attitudes aside
AC: :33 < ("unfurrtunately" is a comment)
CT: +--) (Fine, so I commented)
CT: +--) What makes you so sure you and Lord Vantas w001d work together

AC: :33 < we just WOULD!!!
AC: :33 < hes always so grouchy and cranky and hissed off about everything
AC: :33 < and it just makes me pity him sooo much
AC: :33 < because he has every reason in the universe to be happy!
AC: :33 < and i want to make him happy

CT: +--) An admirable goal, but
CT: +--) Can you tr001y see yourself with him

AC: :33 < yes!!!!!!
CT: +--) I mean
CT: +--) In the important ways

AC: :33 < what do you mean "impurrtant"?
AC: :33 < we could do things like go to the same movies and talk about romance and play purretend games

CT: +--) Does he play pretend games
AC: :33 < i think hed like it if he tried
CT: +--) Nepeta
CT: +--) I understand you can invent plenty of romantic scenarios you think you c001d play out with him

AC: :33 < i CAN actually play them out!!
CT: +--) I'm not saying you can't
CT: +--) I'm just saying that if you are honestly considering pursuing him as a matesprit, then you are past the point where you can afford to be romantic

AC: :33 < lol! but matesprits are all about being romantic
CT: +--) In a sense, yes
CT: +--) But besides that, there are times in your life when you have to be practical
CT: +--) This is one of them

AC: :33 < is "purractical" what you call your f3333lings for gamz3333???
CT: +--) What
CT: +--) Why are we talking about him
CT: +--) No
CT: +--) He is the polar opposite of practicality

AC: :33 < is that the reason why you wont admit your f33lings for him???
AC: :33 < hrrrrrrrrmmmmm??????

CT: +--) No
CT: +--) There are no feelings
CT: +--) Please cease this f001ishness, we are not talking about the indigo b100d
CT: +--) We're talking about your feelings for Lord Karkitty

AC: XDD < LOL!!!!!
CT: +--) *VANTAS
CT: +--) I meant Lord Vantas

AC: XDD < H33H33H33H33H33H33
CT: +--) You know I meant Lord Vantas
AC: XDD < I KNOW BUT
AC: XDD < LOLOLOL

CT: +--) Please stop that 1010101ing, I'm trying to make an important point here
AC: :33 < fiiiine, go on
AC: :33 < whats impurractical about KARKITTY and me being matesprits?

CT: +--) Nothing inherently
CT: +--) But
CT: +--) If I may have your permission to be blunt

AC: :33 < purrmission granted
CT: +--) When you try to imagine having a future with Lord Vantas
CT: +--) Although you can picture yourself engaging in frivo100s romantic activities with him
CT: +--) Pardon me for my 100dness, but
CT: +--) Can you picture yourself and Lord Vantas facing an imperial drone together

AC: :OO < ewwww, equius!!
AC: :33 < im not even stalking about that yet!
AC: :33 < why do you have to take a totally normal confursation and make it so W33RD?

CT: +--) I'm not being weird
AC: :33 < yes you are
CT: +--) No I'm not
AC: :33 < yes
CT: +--) No
AC: :33 < yes
CT: +--) No
AC: :33 < yes yes yes
CT: +--) No no no
AC: :33 < yes yes yes yes yes yes
CT: +--) 100k just listen
CT: +--) Weird or not, eventually whoever you choose for your concupi%ent quadrants WILL be the trolls with whom you face the drone
CT: +--) I'll admit to lacking the emotional finesse to understand the comple%ities of the highb100d courting processes

AC: :33 < and the emotional finesse to not talk to your meowrail about pailing with her flushcrush
CT: +--) I didn't mention pails, you did
CT: +--) All I mentioned was the drone

AC: :33 < same thing!!!
CT: +--) My point is
CT: +--) Lofty romantics aside, I can at least grasp the lowest, basest level of concupi%ence
CT: +--) Lower than romance, and lower than love and hate
CT: +--) And you sh001d strive to remember the basic levels yourself before you get tangled up in the higher levels of romance

AC: :33 < *ac makes a little kitty snort at silly ct that sounds almost like a sn33ze*
AC: :33 < and you n33d to lift your head up and take a nibble at something higher than your "basic levels" sometimes :PP

CT: +--) Fair enough
CT: +--) But for now
CT: +--) I'm di%ussing the level of pure survival
CT: +--) Any lover with whom you w001d hesitate to face the drone is a lover who threatens your life
CT: +--) W001d you hesitate with Lord Vantas

AC: :33 < fssssssss!!
AC: :33 < i dont knowwww, i havent even thought about that yet

CT: +--) Maybe you sh001d
AC: :33 < equius theres more to romance than just PAILS you know
CT: +--) I know
CT: +--) And I'll confess to not being as confident about my understanding of the higher concepts
CT: +--) But still

AC: :33 < whats the big deal anyway??
AC: :33 < you never made this much of a fuss over any crushes ive had in the pawst
AC: :33 < and this ones more serious than any of the ones i had before

CT: +--) Just like each of them were more serious than the ones preceding them
AC: :33 < well yeah
AC: :33 < they get purrogressively more serious
AC: :33 < naturally

CT: +--) Naturally
AC: :33 < so why are you all worried about the idea of whether me and karkitty can face a drone????
AC: :33 < its not even any of your business!

CT: +--) Well
CT: +--) To be completely honest
CT: +--) And this shall pass no further than your eyes

AC: :XX < my muzzle is sealed
AC: :33 < what happens betw33n meowrails stays betw33n meowrails

CT: +--) I'm worried that if you engage in any 100d activities with Lord Vantas
CT: +--) You might catch something from him

AC: :33 < like what?
AC: :33 < fleas?

CT: +--) You know darn well what I mean
AC: :33 < what?
AC: :33 < ohhhhh
AC: XOO < 333333WWWWWW EQUIUS!
AC: XPP < YOURE SO GROSS!

CT: +--) No I'm not
AC: :33 < are too
CT: +--) Are not
AC: :33 < are too
CT: +--) If anyone is gross it's him
AC: :33 < nuh uh
CT: +--) I'm just pointing it out
AC: :33 < he is not!!
CT: +--) Is too
AC: :33 < is not
CT: +--) Is too
AC: :33 < is not not not
CT: +--) Is too
AC: :33 < no
CT: +--) Yes
AC: :33 < no
CT: +--) Yes
AC: :33 < NO!
CT: +--) Yes
AC: :33 < NO!!!
CT: +--) Yes


You did not listen to Equius at the time.

Not that you ever ended up Karkat's matesprit, much less filling a pail with him.

It was just that you dismissed most of Equius's advice.

You read it, you processed it, and you decided it wasn't really relevant to you and you tucked it away.

As usual.

... But yesterday

when you were trying to decide whether you should keep pursuing a moirallegiance with Eridan, or whether you should switch to a matespritship

you automatically went back to Equius's advice.

You were eight when you had this conversation. It's been over two sweeps since you had this conversation. Almost three.

Although you didn't listen to him at the time, his advice has stuck with you until now.

As painful as it was for both you and Eridan, you know you made the right decision in not shooting for a matespritship with him.

Because you can't see yourself facing the drone with Eridan.

And you made that decision because of Equius.

Even when you don't realize it, you're helping each other.

You know you weren't always as bad as you are now. There was a time when you and Equius could talk about your feelings freely, when you would listen to each other, when you were near equals instead of highblood and lowblood. When you could share secrets without a second thought--when you could tell him a secret that had been entrusted to you by your flushcrush, when he could tell you his honest negative opinion of somebody lightyears above him on the hemospectrum. When you could disagree and be stubborn without getting into a fight and without resenting each other.

Maybe there's hope for you yet.

At the very least you can talk to him, now that you've calmed down.

When you try to troll him, the first thing that pops up is several messages he left for you after you signed off. You just ignored them last night. Now you feel awful.

EZ: +--) What do you mean
EZ: +--) History
EZ: +--) You can't mean
EZ: +--) Nepeta
EZ: +--) Come back
EZ: +--) I'm sorry
EZ: +--) I was out of line
EZ: +--) We can talk about Gamzee too if you want
EZ: +--) There's still nothing there but we can at least di%uss it if you want to
EZ: +--) I'm sorry
EZ: +--) I shouldn't have said that
EZ: +--) Please
EZ: +--) Come back


nepetaLeijon [NL] began trolling equiusZahhak [EZ]

NL: :33 < equius?
NL: :33 < are you on?
NL: :33 < i'm so sorry about flying off the scratching-post at you yesterday
NL: :33 < it's not time fur you to go to work yet, is it?
NL: :33 < equius?
NL: :33 < *nl's pointy kitty ears droop a bit as her big shiny eyes widen*
NL: :33 < *she mews pitifully and scratches at ez's door, hoping he'll let her in*

EZ: mOtHRfUuuUuUK
NL: :33 < equius???
EZ: yOu oT te Mot MohErFCkIn pRetY txT o fUciN clOr hAtS P oN OuR CrEe
NL: :33 < what??????
NL: :33 < why are you typing like that?
NL: :33 < where's your +--)?
NL: :33 < what's wrong equius?

EZ: eQuIS
NL: :33 < this isn't funny!!!
NL: :33 < did your keyboard break again?
NL: :(( < or is this because of yesterday?

EZ: fUuUCk EUiUs s Lie
EZ: My eStETeSt
EZ: oThEFuCknG bo
EZ: RihT a rIgt No

NL: :33 < WHAT??????????
NL: :33 < PLEASE tell me you're not really equius
NL: :33 < who are you and WHAT ARE YOU SAYING????????????

EZ: yOuR ExT loKs Jut LiK MoTErFukIn oPoR LiMe :o)
EZ: HoNk OnK HNk hOK HoN hOnK oNk hnK

NL: :33 < oh my god
NL: :33 < you're honking
NL: are you GAMZ33????

EZ: wHaAAaAaaAt/

09/10/11
"Nepeta: Troll Equius."

...

...

...

...

...

... Why?

What would you do with him?

TALK to him?

Or, rather, talk AT him?

All this happened because he was a terrible moirail. Because every time you tried to talk to him about his feelings, he did not want to. He always said he was FINE! He NEVER had any feelings he wanted to share! He NEVER had any problems he wanted to discuss! He completely shut you out!!

And he never tried to help you with your problems. When you shared your feelings, he would listen, and he would sympathize in the appropriate places, but he wouldn't help. At most he would give polite generic advice, usually hemospectrum-appropriate suggestions, but nothing that could help YOU!

Like in your last conversation with him, he acted like he pitied you, and then he criticized your choice in blood color, and then that was it. He had nothing else to give you.

How can you talk to him? He wasn't being a moirail for you, and he wasn't letting you be a moirail for him.

... Or maybe--

--a guilty pit forms in your stomach, thinking about your last conversation with him--

Maybe it was the other way around.

Maybe you weren't being a moirail for him, and you weren't letting him be one for you.

You know now that what you were doing to Eridan was wrong. Whenever you talked to him and he talked about Feferi, you dismissed what he was actually saying--that she was his moirail and he was happy that way--and just read what you wanted to read. You shipped him flushed with her despite everything he was saying, and then you tried to force him into it too. And that was horrible. You realize that now.

You have been doing the same thing to Equius.

Even though he told you REPEATEDLY that his hatred for Gamzee is platonic, you kept on bugging him and bugging him about it. You have been fussing and meddling with him about Gamzee for SWEEPS. You never listened when he told you that you were wrong, you never stopped when he told you to, you never took his wishes into account. You were so sure that you knew his feelings that you disregarded what he SAID his feelings were. No wonder he got so furious when you brought up Gamzee. No wonder he refused to talk to you about him.

No wonder he refuses to talk to you about anything.

How much of what he's been trying to say have you been completely ignoring?

Is that why he stopped giving you advice, too? Was it because you stopped listening?

... Or did you ever listen?

Did he ever offer any advice?

As far as you can tell, he did not notice a change in your moirallegiance lately. Maybe, from his perspective, this is what it has always been like. Maybe you were both worthless moirails all along. Maybe you were fooling yourself into thinking there was something pale between you and Equius--the same way you fooled yourself into thinking there was something pale between you and Eridan, something flushed between Eridan and Feferi, and something caliginous between Equius and Gamzee. Maybe Equius never said anything because he thought even a bad moirallegiance was better than no moirallegiance, or because he is too emotionally thick to realize anything was wrong, or because... or because he could not bring himself to reject a highblood.

...

Were you EVER good moirails?

08/10/11
"Try green."

You are the huge bitch.

It's you.

When you came home yesterday, you had planned on revising your shipping wall. Removing you <> Eridan, confirming Karkat <3< Eridan, finding new caliginous ships for the other options you had considered for Karkat...

You ended up destroying your wall.

After seeing all the people you were shipping even though they do not know each other, even though they already have their quadrants filled, even though you know they do not think of each other that way...

Is Eridan right? Were you just messing around with him because he's a sea dweller? Because you CAN mess around with him?

... But...

He helped you figure that out, didn't he?

Isn't that what moirails do?

BLLLLRAAAAAAWWWWWLLLLLRRRRGHGGHGHGH YOU DON'T KNOW ANYMORE!!!!

You need to talk to someone about this but you CAN'T! You don't HAVE anyone to talk to!

Because Eridan rejected you and YOU rejected Equius.

You really messed things up.

What in the world do you do now?

08/10/11
"The OTHER bluh bluh huge bitch."

2orry, th12 12 the wrong 61tch! Try aga1n.

08/10/11
"Be the other bluh bluh huge bitch."

SORRY, TH1S 1S TH3 WRONG B1TCH! TRY 4G41N. >:/

08/10/11
"Be the bluh bluh huge bitch."

Sorry, this is the wrong 8itch!!!!!!!! Try again. ::::/

10/10/11
"Why are you telling us all this junk, anyway?"

Whoops! You must be hearing things!

You are quite sure that nobody just called the history of the CHURCH 9F THE SANGUINE SUFFERER junk.

RIGHT?

... Maybe we should be someone else again.

10/10/11
"So what's with the weird sketchy illustrations anyway?"

Those are the actual illustrations from the C9DEX 9F SUFFERING!

... Sorta.

The thing is, for a long time, not all of the Codex was written down. Instead, it would be half written and half illustrated, on the walls of caves and later on the walls of churches. For a while, the art was random, but after a while it got standardized--certain illustrations were uniformly used for every scene. And since sometimes the illustrations explained things that weren't contained in the text itself--such as the Apostate's posture when the Sufferer approached him--they had to become part of the canon in order to tell the whole story. The C9DEX OF SUFFERING is both verbal and visual.

Yes. The holy book is a giant comic book.

However, the illustrations now standardized in all versions of the Codex, such as the ones that have been shown up until now, are not competely accurate.

Due to the fact that the original copies of the Codex used bad paint.

The way the pictures were made was that, first, the figures would be scraped into the wall, and some sort of chalky substance--usually ground bone--would be worked into the scrapes to create the outline. And then the figures were painted with their blood color, or a reasonably close shade. Typically grubs were culled to get the needed paint colors, or else adult trolls donated some of their own blood (willingly or unwillingly) to a codex project.

The one exception was the paint for the Sufferer, since his DIVINE 6L99D was too rare to collect for paint. That, and it was a sin to cull trolls with his blood color. Instead, his figures were painted with the juice from a fruit that left shiny red stains. (Coincidentally, it was the kind of fruit produced by the tree he had cursed.) Other colors--such as the bright yellow used in gold and horns--came from another plant.

The problem is, over time, the colors fade.

When the Codex was finally being produced for a paper copy, all of the earliest graffiti Codeces had faded, some worse than others. Some of the images could only be partially recovered through the most painstaking of efforts. Figures of the Sufferer could all be recognized, since the shiny red fruit juice always faded to a recognizeable shade of purple. All other trolls weren't as lucky.

As it happens, given enough time, troll blood on cave walls all eventually fades to the same color. It is impossible to tell a gold blood from a jade blood from a violet blood. In recent centuries, SOME of the original colors have been recovered, thanks to meticulous chemical analyses of the paintings to search for proteins that are only found in certain blood colors. But so far maybe fifteen percent of the original colors have been determined. Current researchers think that there is a good chance that up to half may never be recovered. For the unknown blood colors, the colors had to be guessed from context.

Which is quite annoying.

10/10/11
"Jhonen: Skip the poetry, get to the good parts."

But the poetry IS the good part! The Sanguine Sufferer was the master of poetry! He is the standard to which all subsequent poets have been held! You cannot hope to beat the Sufferer in a rap-off. He is simply the best there is.

It does not occur to you that, if he is the standard to which all poets are held, then that means he is being defined as "the best" regardless of his actual skill.

Anyway, the symbol in the picture above? That red spade? That is the symbol representing Jegus Kryst's RIGHTE9US CRUSADE 9F PITYING HATE. The Sufferer's ability to hate pityingly is what drove him on his H9LY QUEST to fix the hemospectrum--the power to hate something so much that you pity it, and want to fix it. Kind of like a matesprit-kismesis double reacharound, except not really, since that just bounces back and forth between two emotions. It's more accurate to say that the Sufferer's pitying hate went beyond the four quadrants, transcending the grid entirely.

That was how much he hated the screwed-up empire that he came to Alternia to fix.

And that was how he hated the Covetous Apostate for his treachery.

He hated him so much that he took pity and spared his life.

Okay, there is going to be some more poetry, so everyone is just going to have to deal with it because you think it's really cool. Like, really REALLY cool. Someday you want to ask Karkat to read it out loud so you can try to get a sense for what it might have actually been like for Jegus to say all this but you think that would offend him so you haven't asked yet. But you do imagine it being read in Karkat's voice.

When Ioudas saw Jegus, he begged him to set him free. And this was Jegus's response.

IN THE DAY IT T99K Y9U T9 G9 FR9M MY 6R9 T9 MY F9E
I SEE Y9UVE GR9WN A LITTLE 6IT 9LDER
6UT I W9ULD SURMISE Y9U'RE GR9WING N9 WISER
6UT RATHER A LITTLE 6IT 69LDER
6RAIN SNAPPED FR9M THE STRAIN 9F TRYING T9 STAY SANE
DEMANDING WARMTH FR9M HE Y9U MADE C9LDER
YEAH Y9U'RE WHEEZING IN FRIGHT SQUEEZING SUNLIGHT
LIKE 6L99D FR9M THIS 6L99DLESS 69ULDER

SEE MY HEART IS ST9NE AND 9VERGR9WN
FR9M WHEN IT 9NCE WAS S9FTER
THE NITTY GRITTY'S Y9U DID T9 MY PITY
WHAT WINTER D9ES T9 WATER
A6USING MY RED FLIPPING IT 9N ITS HEAD
MY HATRED 6URNS THAT MUCH H9TTER
MELTING THE FR9ST LEFT 6Y THE L9VE L9ST
WHEN Y9U SHEPHERDED ME T9 THE SLAUGHTER

THERE 9NCE WAS A TIME I'D IGN9RE ANY CRIME
AS L9NG AS Y9U STAYED MY FRIENDS9LDIER
6UT Y9U DEFILED MY EM6RACE Y9U SH9WED Y9UR SEC9ND FACE
WHEN Y9U SW9RE FRIENDSHIP Y9U DID NAUGHT 6UT PERJURE
Y9U FILLED MY NIGHTS WITH PARAN9ID SIGHTS
AND 6Y DAY ALL MY DEM9NS Y9UD C9NJURE
AND THE H9UR Y9U SW9RE THAT I WAS Y9UR W9RLD
Y9UR INTENT WAS T9 INJURE AND T9RTURE

H9W SH9ULD I FEEL N9W THAT Y9U'RE 6R9UGHT T9 HEEL
AND I CAN SEE Y9UR WET EYES
A 6LENDED RED6LUE THE M9ST HIDE9US HUE
AND THE 6L99D C9L9R I M9ST DESPISE
I'D LIKE T9 GIVE YA A LAST 6IT 9F TRIVIA
TH9UGH T9 Y9U IT WILL 6E N9 SURPRISE
THAT LIKE N9 9THER ENEMY Y9UR IRIS 9FFENDS ME
Y9UR F9UL 6L99D HAS EARNED THIS PRIZE

S9 G9 9N AND 6EG 6UT Y9U W9N'T FIND A DREG
9F PITY LEFT IN THIS SHELL
I'LL ADMIT Y9U'RE 6RAVE T9 RISK 6EING ENSLAVED
IN 9RDER T9 QUELL THIS RE6EL
6UT EVEN IN SHACKLES Y9U STILL RAISE MY HACKLES
S9 6R9 I'LL LEAVE Y9U THIS FAREWELL
EVEN IF I 9UTLIVE Y9U I'LL NEVER F9RGIVE Y9U
F9R THE DAY Y9U DRAGGED ME T9 HELL


And then he took his sickle and carved "612" into the naked flesh of Ioudas's chest.

Because Jegus Kryst is JUST THAT BADASS.

It should be noted that, just because the Sufferer said that stuff about despising Ioudas's blood color, that does not mean he has something against all trolls with violet blood. That is absolutely not what he was saying, because the Sufferer was totally fair and unbiased.

REALLY.

See, what he was actually saying was...

... Erm, was that...

Well, you know, it's kinda...

Anyway! The fascinating thing about this scene is that it is not found in any of the sixteen gospels of the 699K 9F REV9LUTI9N. After all, nobody witnessed it but the Sufferer and Apostate themselves.

But it IS recorded in eight separate extra chapters.

The authors of each of those chapters had two things in common. First, they were all highly psychically gifted gold bloods, the kind who were most susceptible to chucklevoodoos. Second, they all had near-death experiences.

During those near-death experiences, they would be met at the Four Heavenly Gates by Jegus Kryst.

If they tried to speak to him, they would find themselves paralyzed, suspended by something wrenching their wrists above their heads.

And Jegus would say the above speech directly to them. And end the speech by carving 612 into their chests.

At which point they would be set free, and would quickly wake back up in the living world.

This COULD have been interpreted as just a strange dying delusion. Except for the fact that it happened to eight separate trolls who had never heard of each other. When they woke up, they EACH wrote down the exact same speech, word-for-word.

Since their time, many other gold bloods who have near-death experiences have seen the same sight. Except it's not such a big deal now, since there is always the possibility that all those other trolls are just remembering the speech that they had already heard. But the FIRST eight, THEY definitely saw the real deal. They did not hear it from each other.

The best theory anyone has on that strange vision is that, when the Covetous Apostate died, he left behind a chucklevoodoo in the shape of Jegus Kryst, to torment the susceptible who came to the threshold of death.

Since nobody is quite sure how death works, there has yet to be any sort of scientific study that could even begin to try to test that theory.

The mystery of Ioudas Iscari's chucklevoodoo is one of the things you, as an aspiring paranormal investigator, would like to investigate.

06/10/11
"===>"

He broke those cuffs.

F9R T99 MANY SWEEPS I'VE 6EEN PLAGUED 6Y A VISI9N
9F FIERY IR9NS, 9F CRIES 9F DERISI9N
F9R T99 MANY SWEEPS I'VE PRAYED IT'S ILLUSI9N
AN9THER FANTASM, A V99D99 DELUSI9N
F9R T99 MANY SWEEPS I'VE F9LL9WED SUPERSTITI9N
TRYING T9 ESCAPE MY DREAM SELF'S C9NDITI9N
S9 THANK Y9U F9R THIS REVELATI9N
THAT MY 9NLY H9PE T9 ESCAPE THIS MUTILATI9N
T9 EVADE MY F9RET9LD ANNIHILATI9N
CAN'T C9ME FR9M PRAYERS 9R P9IS9N P9TI9NS
FR9M 6EGGING T9 G9D, FR9M INCANTATI9NS
N9, MY 9NLY H9PE F9R EXTRICATI9N
IS T9 H9LD FAST T9 MY SPIRITUAL IS9LATI9N

MY 9NLY MISTAKE WAS T9 TRUST
IN I9UDAS

LISTEN!
I AM THE LIGHTNING A69VE Y9U ALL
THE ST9RM STANDING AL9NE, THE T9RNAD9 TALL
THE FR9ZEN RAIN THAT WILL NEVER FALL
THE ICE HEART C9LLAPSED INT9 A HAIL 6ALL
I'M THE C9LD WIND THR9UGH Y9UR R9YAL HALL
THE TEMPEST'S H9WL IS MY 6ATTLE CALL
S9 FIGHT THE LIGHTNING IF Y9U HAVE THE GALL
LISTEN

T9 ME
T9 THE R9AR IN THE SKY
T9 THE TEMPEST 6ATTLE CRY
T9 THE P9UND 9F MY FEET
F9R THE S9UND 9F THE 6EAT
9F MY HEART IS THE S9UND
9F Y9R L99MING DEFEAT
LIKE A THUNDERING CL9UD
STRIKING T9 THE GR9UND
6EF9RE Y9U RETREAT
Y9U TERRIFIED CR9WD
FEARING THE S9UND
9F THE 6EAT
9F MY HEART
F9R THE 6L99D IN MY VEINS WILL TEAR Y9U APART
AND IT'S FAR T99 LATE T9 ST9P
MY 6L99D'S STUCK IN A RUT
FL9WING 9NE WAY--T9 THE T9P
WITH EACH SLICE AND EACH CUT
I'M A SUN-P9WERED JUGGERNAUT
WILLING T9 SLICE 9PEN THE GUT
9F Y9UR C9NDESCE AND LET HER R9T

6EF9RE Y9U STRAP ME T9 THE JUT


And by the end of that all of the Subjugglators were dead.

See?

See?

Jegus is totally badass.

He never doesn't talk like that.

06/10/11
"===>"

And the Covetous Apostate.

In return for betraying the Sufferer, the Subjugglators betrayed him.

The prisoners were taken to the Subjugglators' dungeons. They locked up Jegus Kryst separately, with plans to put him on the flogging jut once the sun had fallen.

But the Subjugglators made one fatal mistake.

They let the Sufferer hear their plans.

He was sent into a H9LY RAGE--one that, to the untrained reader, might seem like terror--but of course the Sufferer would never feel terror--and vowed that, by any means necessary, he would avoid that fate.

He swore that if they cuffed him, he would break those cuffs.

They told him he could not break those cuffs.

06/10/11
"===>"

The Subjugglators attacked the army before dusk.

Many of the Sufferer's devout followers were killed or captured.

As was the Sanguine Sufferer himself.

06/10/11
"===>"

To the Sufferer's ill fortune.

The day before the Sufferer planned on invading a coastal city, the Apostate slipped away from the army at high noon, and ran to the Subjugglators to tell them all he knew about the Sufferer and his plans. The exact details of that meeting are unknown, since there were no disciples present to record it for their gospels.

However, later chapters--compiled from anecdotes, from confessions, from unearthed records, from ancient memories, and from generations of word-of-mouth--claim that he betrayed the Sufferer for 612 pieces of silver.

Which explained why the number 612 had already been associated with the Apostate even before those chapters were written.

06/10/11
"===>"

The story of the Covetous Apostate is told in bits and pieces scattered throughout the 699K 9F REV9LUTI9N. The story is told in seven of the sixteen gospels in the 699K 9F REV9LUTI9N and is mentioned or partially retold in twenty-two other chapters scattered throughout the C9DEX 9F SUFFERING. It should be mentioned that the entire C9DEX 9F SUFFERING is really ridiculously huge.

Chronologically, the first time the Covetous Apostate is mentioned--either by his title or by his real name--is toward the end of the revolution. This is around the time when the Sufferer's army has begun to pick up converts from the blue bloods and violet bloods, including some sea dwellers. According to the Codex, these converts are brave, honorable souls who were led to the truth by the ENLIGHTENING SPEECHES of the SANGUINE SUFFERER, and therefore these blue and violet bloods are seen as saints and heroes who were the first of their castes to embrace the truth of the hemospectrum. In fact, one of the sixteen gospels was written by a sea dweller.

See, a lot of people think that the Church of the Sanguine Sufferer hates lowbloods. And that is just not true. You have to explain this all the time, since you are a lowblood pontifex minimus in a zone that is almost exclusively populated by lowbloods. The only violent bloods that the Church is opposed to are those that go against the hemospectrum--such as the Imposter Condesce and her armies--but it has nothing against any that believe in Jegus Kryst and accept their position. It does not even have anything to do with blood color--the Church is equally critical of jade bloods and gold bloods that refuse to accept the Sufferer's divinity or that reject the hemospectrum. It's totally fair and unbiased!

Really.

As shown by how the Sufferer embraced the blue bloods and violet bloods who joined his army. According to the texts, sometimes he LITERALLY embraced them. Especially the sea dwellers. Since everything else written on him indicates that he was the exact opposite of a touchy-feely guy, his tendency to hug these converts has baffled theologians for millennia.

Especially the really detailed passages, like, "And HE did step briskly toward the aquatic maiden, captchaloguing HIS SICKLE as HE did, so as to become unarmed; and HE did clasp HIS ARMS tight around her in gratitude for her profession of allegiance to HIS righteous army; and HE did pull her close to HIS DIVINE 69DY, and hold her thus for a long moment; and when HE drew back from her, HIS FACE had miraculously taken on the H9LY FLUSHED GL9W of his DIVINE 6L99D."

The general interpretation is that, since the blue bloods and violet bloods had much more invested in their warped upside-down hemospectrum than the other castes did, it was an even greater victory than usual when the Sufferer got one of them on his side. Which was why he got so excited over it. It certainly does not mean that he liked sea dwellers more than land dwellers or anything. He was totally fair and unbiased!

Really.

Anyway, since Ioudas Iscari was not mentioned until this point in Jegus's revolution, he was either (1) not important enough to mention before then, or (2) one of the violet-blooded converts. The second is more likely. Especially since a hug is mentioned at one point.

So. Again.

The blue bloods and violet bloods who converted to the Sufferer's army were, of course, treated like saints and heroes. Since that is what they were. And obviously not self-centered power-hungry politicians who saw that Jegus Kryst was winning and wanted to be on the victorious side.

The one exception was, of course, the Covetous Apostate.

He was one of the Sufferer's closest disciples.

06/10/11
"Jhonen: Continue exposition on this Apostate guy."

Sure! You do not know why you are being asked, but, SURE!!

Okay so the story about the Apostate is one of your favorites because it involves the Sufferer being super badass. Like, even more badass than normal, which is already pretty badass. There's this crazy awesome fight, and this awesome speech, and--

Oh, uh, yeah, might as well just tell the story then, huh?

05/10/11
"Be Eridan again."

Yeah, yeah, sure, you sorta know about that stuff. Sorta. The Condesce and the Apostate are evil bluh bluh bluh.

Lies. All of it.

Everybody with half a brain--WHICH APPARENTLY MEANS ALMOST NOBODY--knows full well that it's all propaganda to make violet bloods look eviller.

Now. Why were you thinking about the Imposter Condesce and Covetous Apostate again?

I wanna pity him
But something's pulling me away from him
Jegus is--


Riiight, Troll Lady Gaga.

WHY IS THAT SONG STILL IN YOUR HEAD?

Jegus is my virtue
But Ioudas is the angel I cling to
I cling to--


FUCK.

05/10/11
"===>"


Much is unknown about both figures--neither the blood color nor symbol of either was recorded. Although logically the Condesce's color had to be that of a witch; and the canonical texts indicate that the Apostate was a land-dweller with a shade of violet, suggesting he was one of the Subjugglators who defected to Jegus's side toward the end of his revolution.

Even the Condesce's name was forgotten with time--deliberately culled from all historical records--though the Apostate's was recorded: Ioudas Iscari.

In place of their true signs, they are depicted with symbols indicative of their religious roles: for the Condesce, a double culling fork, the symbol of both her authority and the way her power ended up being a double-edged sword; for the Apostate, the number of silver coins he received in return for betraying Jegus to his highblooded brethren.

The Condesce and Apostate represent two different kinds of enemies, the kinds that, in human languages, would be easily differentiated with the word "friend" and "enemy." But since to trolls it's all the same, they describe them as the enemy without--the rival leading the opposing army, the one in front of your face--and the enemy within--the foe you think you can trust, the one behind your back.

The only reason they are not literally demonized is because the church does not want to elevate either of them--particularly the Condesce--above the status of mere mortals. The church does not want to suggest that there is anything divine about witches, even if it is divinity of the most diabolical variety.

But, they are the closest thing the church currently has to devil figures.

Incidently, several apocryphal texts suggest that the Condesce was a mean baker. The church banned the consumption of cookies and cakes for a while, although it later decided this was stupid.

05/10/11
"Somebody more well-informed than Eridan: Exposit on the devil figure."

The Church of the Sanguine Sufferer does not emphasize any particular devil figures, primarily due to the fact that they could not find any quotes from Jegus mentioning devil figures. And THIS is primarily due to the fact that Jegus considered himself a devil figure, and so concluded that he would not have much of a case if he referred to anyone else as such. Pots and kettles casting aspersions about each other's hues and whatnot.

It should be noted that in troll language, the word for angel is exactly the same as the word for devil.

The closest they have to an actual quote from Jegus about devil figures is a rather funny story about this one time when Jegus was really hungry, see, so he went up to this fruit tree, right, but the tree was completely barren, so he cursed the tree for being fruitless, called it an angel's tree (or devil's tree, depending on how you feel like translating it, same difference), and declared that it would never bear fruit again. And he was right.

Because he then chopped the tree down.

The funny part of the story is that it was completely the wrong season for the tree to have any fruit, so he was kind of stupid to expect it to be in season in the first place.

Later on, Jegus clarified that most fruit trees are perfectly fine; it was just that tree in particular he had a grudge against.

Of course, in the many millennia since Jegus died, theologists have interpreted the story in many symbolic ways. The truth is he just totally forgot when the tree was supposed to be season.

But that is not the point.

The point is that the church does not have any formal devil figure. So, for a while, it borrowed one.

Like all religions, the newly-formed cult of Jegus Kryst had to compete with many other, more well-established religions for followers. Like many religions, one of the ways it did this was by demonizing the primary deity of the biggest rival religion Jegus's worshippers could collectively think of. Since the largest subsection of his followers came from generally the same region and background as Jegus, they knew of the same religions as Jegus, which is why they happened to settle on the Dog God.

If graves were actually things that trolls had, Jegus would have rolled over in his.

They demonstrated their hatred for their chosen devil by creating some truly hideous stained glass windows of him, the kind that would make any self-respecting window-maker cringe in pain. Since trolls typically do not visit places of worship during the day, they never got very good at making stained-glass windows.

However, over the ages, as the religion evolved, the Dog God--more often referred to as the Devilbeast--was dropped from the mainstream beliefs. Although several other devilish figures have cropped up in various sects, overall, the Church of the Sanguine Sufferer does not have one unifying "devil."

In its absence, the two closest figures it has are the Imposter Condesce and the Covetous Apostate.

05/10/11
"Eridan: Exposit on the devil figure of the Church of the Sanguine Sufferer and whether or not this devil is linked to cakes."

What?? Er. Sure, why not.

You yourself, as a sea dweller supremacist and an atheist, are both philosophically and religiously opposed to anything having to do with the Church of the Sanguine Sufferer. But, as an intellectual sea dweller supremacist and atheist, you have naturally educated yourself on the beliefs of the church.

And you, uh, think that they do not exactly have a devil figure? MAYBE the last sea dweller empress--or the "Imposter Condesce," as she is often called. But is she a devil figure? Er. Well, she IS known as a witch. And is associated with evil and magic (HAH) and chaos and insanity. Especially insanity. The church likes to play up her supposed insanity, and emphasize that she is representative of what all sea dwellers would be if not kept in their place and kept out of power. So, maybe that counts as a devil figure, but...

Or maybe it was a dog, you think you remember something about a dog.

What do cakes have to do with anything?

04/10/11
"===>"

Oh. Troll Lady Gaga.

Not a bad likeness, either.

You do not like Troll Lady Gaga. You remain convinced that she is only popular because she is a royal. Her blood is high enough that if she had any interest in the throne, she could be a serious contender--that is reason enough to dislike her. Plus, she bleaches her hair, which just pisses you off on principle. You were born with a bleached streak that you cannot even afford good dye to hide, and she goes off and bleaches hers on purpose. Just waving her blood color in everybody's faces! It's infuriating!

If she asked, you would hate pail her in a bladderbeat.

Her music is all right, though. In fact, you decided about five seconds ago that "Paparazzi" should totally be your and Kar's song, even if every other kismesissitude in the universe already considers it their song. It actually MAKES SENSE for you since he's this big fucking celebrity and you're this non-celebrity trying to make his life miserable, so all of those other kismesissitudes can just go find some other song. You will have to tell Karkat about your new official song later.

But even if Troll Lady Gaga's music is okay, it's way too catchy. All you have done is LOOK at her and you have one of her songs stuck in your head.

I'm just a holy fool, oh pupa it's so cruel
but I'm--


FUCK. No. Get out. Stop it!

--still all flushed for Ioudas, pupa
I'm just a--


NO goddammit STOP IT.

This is going to be in your think pan ALL DAY if you do not stop this now.

QUICK. THINK OF ANOTHER SONG!

Yes, you want her
Look at her, you know you do
Possible she want you, too
There is one way to ask her
Ioudas, Iouda-a-a, Ioudas, Iouda-a-a--


COD FUCKIN DAMMIT ALL TO SHELL.

04/10/11
"===>"

Unfortunately, your hangover does not appreciate your athletic prowess.

Why did you think that was a good idea?

You get a chance to retaste everything you consumed yesterday during your angst-fueled bender. Unfortunately, this time around, it tastes less like rum, whiskey, and grape Faygo, and more like puke.

Too bad nobody is watching. This display would pretty much win you enough instant pity-points to get ANYBODY in a quadrant.

On the other hand, you doubt anybody would go flushed for an upchucking sea dweller, and the last thing you need is to get pale zoned yet again. And to be honest, if somebody DID go flushed for you because you vomited, would you WANT that as a matesprit?

... Actually, right now, your standards are low enough that you think you would go for anything.

Hey, what's this drawn on the dumpster?

04/10/11
"Eridan: Flip the fuck out of the dumpster."

Okay, so it is not exactly a pirouette, but "acrobatic fucking pirouette" sounds cool.

This is one of the most badass things you have ever done that nobody but you will witness.

Talk about a fucking perfect flip. And this is the day (night?) AFTER you got banged up something awful fighting Karkat. For everything else the highbloods get wrong, they are at least right when they say that lowbloods are durable as hell.

(You have no problem with embracing the stereotypes when they make you sound better.)

No matter how terrible Vriska says you were at flarping (and to be honest she was probably right), you clearly learned SOMETHING from all that time you spent gamblignanting about. If ninjaquatics were a real thing that actually existed rather than a fakey thing you totally made up as an illustrative example of something that is too cool to actually exist, you are sure a flip like this would cause them to hire you on the spot.

02/10/11
"===>"

02/10/11
"===>"

02/10/11
"===>"

02/10/11
"Do the singy thing."

02/10/11
"===>"

Your name is ERIDAN AMPORA, you have a ROTTEN BANANA PEEL on your head, and for some reason you CANNOT SEE OUT OF YOUR RIGHT EYE.

You are ten solar sweeps old and fast approaching your eleventh wriggling day, and in a single night you filled and lost both your concupiscent quadrants. Of course, as usual, you BLAME THE STATUS QUO RATHER THAN YOUR OWN FAILINGS.

In lieu of your childhood GENOCIDE COMPLEX, which you developed in hopes of forcing people to pay a little more attention to you, you have developed a NEARLY SOCIOPATHIC INABILITY TO PITY ANYBODY BUT YOURSELF, and a corresponding FANATICAL NEED TO FORCE YOUR ACQUAINTANCES TO PITY YOU. Both your former genocide complex and your current pity-mongering stem from the same need, but, oddly enough, the GENOCIDE COMPLEX MIGHT HAVE BEEN HEALTHIER.

You have an obsession with SOCIO-POLITICAL HISTORY AND REVOLUTIONARY LEADERS. Due to the controversial nature of your idols and your ideals, you must keep quiet about them in most situations, and thus you constantly INTERNALLY JUDGE AND CRITIQUE THE SOCIO-POLITICAL FORCES at work around you. Your tendency to personalize all of these forces and assume they are out to get you leads to IMPASSIONED EMOTIONAL OUTBURSTS, and thus most people tend to regard you as a BIT OF A FOOL.

Even though you no longer want genocide, it is still your dream to somehow OVERTHROW ALL LAND DWELLERS in order to ascend to a less benighted social status. Failing that, you would be glad to THROW AWAY YOUR SEA DWELLER SOLIDARITY and ascend to a less benighted social status all by yourself, like a MERMAID PRINCESS RESCUED BY A ROYAL KNIGHT.

Whether you are shooting for revolution, riches, or romance, you live by one and only one rule: to NEVER GIVE UP HOPE.

You suppose you had better get this peel off your horn, fix whatever is wrong with your glasses, and figure out where you are. Regardless of yesterday's comedy of errors, you cannot simply take a break from your full-time job: attempting to fill your empty quadrants. You're not gonna successfully woo anybody if you smell like a dumpster.

After all, you did not successfully woo anybody when you smelled like a sewer, did you?

What will you do?

And who are you wooing in which quadrant, anyway?

... As if there is any question.

As if there is ANY question!

You had them.

You had them both.

Two quadrants filled in a single night. BOTH concupiscent quadrants! You were READY for the fucking imperial drone! YOU WERE SET!

And now you are back where you were this time yesterday.

With no matesprit and no kismesis.

Well, THIS time, you are not about to give up and start over. You had the pity and love of a highblood, and you had the hatred of the Imperious Grand Advisier and descendant of the Sanguine Sufferer.

And if you DIDN'T have that, THEN YOU WILL YET.

So you know exactly who you are going to woo.

And you know exactly what you are going to do.

02/10/11
"Be the Sea Dweller Lowblood."

This is actually a pretty typical afternoon for you.

There are rarely times when you do not hate being a SEA DWELLER. Being at the bottom of the hemospectrum is a death sentence, no more and no less, slower and more painful than being repeatedly keelhauled until your body falls apart. On days like this, you half consider slicing off your own fins. It won't change your blood color, but even a perpetually-stoned clown-worshipping SUBJUGGLATOR would have a better shot at filling his quadrants than you.

But self-mutilation would probably make your hangover worse.

You wonder what you did yesterday.

05/10/11
"Be the dumpster."

What?

Fine.

You are a fucking dumpster.

Painted on you are some douchebag's name, a romantic confession, a bucket boast, a political slogan in support of Suweet Broski, a religious allusion to the Covetous Apostate, and a breathtakingly beautiful chalk drawing of a well-known celebrity.

The drawing is on the far side of the dumpster. Sorry.

Since you are a dumpster, you do not obey any commands.

Way to waste our time.

Here is a suggestion: try being a sea dweller instead.

01/10/11
"===>"

...

Really?

Again?

01/10/11
"Rufio: Take curtains to your bestest bro."

mOtHeRfUcKiNg BiTcHtItS, bRo!
dO YOU LIKE THEM?
FuUuUuUuCk, Do YoU hAvE tO aSk?
I'm AlL aBoUt To GeT mY lIcK oN aLl OvEr yOuR FaCe In GrAtEfUlNeSs. :o)

hAHA, eWWW,
yOU DON'T HAVE TO DO THAT, }:)

hAhAhAhA, wHaTeVeR yOu SaY bRo.
MaN, tHiS iS mY fAvOrItE mOtHeRfUcKiNg CoLoR

yEAH,
i KNOW.

... i MiSs JaDzIa.
yEAH,,,
i KNOW.


... Are you two going to be okay?

oH, yEAH, jUST FINE.
SuRe ThInG, jUsT gEtTiNg A LiTtLe MoThErFuCkIn NoStAlGiC hErE.

If you're sure.

sHiT, iT aIn'T nO pRoBlEm.
YoU gEt On WiTh AlL tHoSe FuCkIn SeA dWeLlEr LoWbLoOdS aNd WhAtNoT.
hAhA, i CaN't EvEn KeEp ThEm FuCkInG sTrAiGhT aNyMoRe.


All right, then.

So much for these two.

Enough time has passed.

We can get back to our hero.

What is showing on the fourth wall?

01/10/11
"===>"

oH WOW, mORE CURTAINS! }:D
aND THEY'RE sHAGGY'S FAVORITE COLOR, tOO!


Yes, they are. That was the idea.

gREAT!
hE'S GOING TO BE SO EXCITED, wHEN HE GETS THESE,
sO, uH, cAN i...?


Knock yourself out.

tHANKS, }:)

01/10/11
"Be tomorrow."

01/10/11
"===>"

You will not be doing anything for several hours.

Not until tomorrow.

It has been a long, long, long night.

Day.

Night.

Whichever.

It does not matter.

In any case, it has been far, far too long.

It is high time for this night, this day, to became tomorrow.

01/10/11
"===>"

You try to troll Aradia back, to ask what happened, to ask her where you can find whatever is left of Karkat and Sollux; she does not answer.

For some idiotic reason, you try to troll Karkat and Sollux.

Of course, neither answer.

You go home in a state of pure shock.

01/10/11
"===>"

You

are

the

worst

most useless

most pathetic

most incompetent

auspistice

in

the

universe.

01/10/11
"===>"

herImperiousCondescension [HIC] began trolling customContactList930

HIC: This is a highly classified message, and is n0t, under any circumstances, t0 pass bey0nd y0u individuals wh0 are receiving it.
HIC: T0 my regret, I must share s0me bad news.
HIC: His L0rdship S0llux Capt0r, High Surveillahacker and Apiculture Netw0rk Master, is recently deceased.
HIC: H0wever, he is n0t 0therwise impaired, and is expected t0 sh0rtly resume his usual duties.
HIC: In additi0n, His Imperi0usness Karkat Vantas, Grand Advisier and Threshecuti0ner High Direct0r, has been severely injured.
HIC: As in, he was a little bit dead, but he g0t better.
HIC: He is n0w in serious but stable c0nditi0n.
HIC: That's all the news f0r n0w.
HIC: I just th0ught y0u all sh0uld kn0w.

herImperiousCondescension [HIC]
ceased trolling customContactList930


,,,

,,,

01/10/11
"Tavros: Be trolled."

What is this? Aradia is trolling you. You have no idea why, there is no particular reason for her to troll you. You wonder if something happened.

(Somewhere, a doctor is fuming about the fact that some idiot keeps using Trollian in the hospital.)

As it turns out, she is not trolling you personally; rather, it is a group message to several trolls. You wonder what...

...

...

30/09/11
"===>"

When you and Gamzee get back to your hivestem, you do exactly what everybody expects you to do.

30/09/11
"===>"

... He didn't hear it.

Tonight, you are the luckiest troll in the universe.

Er. Today. Stupid Surrogia.

Tavros seems to be distracted with his shiny blue newfangled contraption. It looks state of the art. VERY HIGH TECH.

You would be jealous if you were allowed to be jealous of royalty.

Your STRONG fingers would probably break it, anyway.

You say a brief farewell to him, which he ignores. To be expected of royalty. ... Although not usually of Tavros.

You leave with Gamzee.

You refuse to get your run on.

30/09/11
"Equius: Take Gamzee home."

You stick the sandwich in your sylladex, to eat during the train ride home, and go to drag Gamzee out of the hospital.

Gamzee has the same idea. But not quite in the way you were expecting.

bRo I'vE gOt ThE mOsT bItChTiTs IdEa.
SO FIRST I PUT UP MY HANDS ON YOUR SHOULDERS.
and get to lifting my normal leg.
AND THEN, YOU MOTHERFUCKING RUN.
it'll be a MoThErFuCkInG SHIT BLAST.


You try not to wonder what a shit blast is.

+--) Abso100tely not
+--) I w001d rather keep you in one piece
+--) Or at least not be the one responsible when you inevitably get yourself mutilated

nah bro, it's fine.
YOU JUST GET YOUR RUN ON.
i KnOw WhAt AlL i'M fUcKiNg DoInG. :o)

+--) No
aWwW fUcK.
BUT IT'LL BE MOTHERFUCKING OK.
i'm not gonna get me hurt up again.
NOT SO LONG AS YOU DON'T DO ANY OTHER SHIT LIKE AS WHEN YOU THREW ME OUT THE WINDOW EARLIER.

+--) Oh god shut the hell up

Please don't let Tavros have heard that PLEASE don't let Tavros have heard that.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE COME ON.

28/09/11
"Be Hearts."

You suddenly sense something.

A disturbance.

A very great disturbance indeed.

You don't know where

or who

but somewhere

someone

in fact, a pair of someones

desperately needs you to scream at them in outrage until they stop being morons.

You do not even know if they are two COMPATIBLE morons. All you know is that they're being morons at each other and it's making you mad.

Well. This is going to bother you for the rest of the day.

Night.

Whatever.

Stupid outer space.

28/09/11
"===>"

Yep.

There's that.

This was pretty much inevitable, wasn't it.

i MEAN,
hAPPINESS IS A GOOD THING,
aND i'M EQUALLY HAPPY WITH EITHER SANDWICH,
aND MORE HAPPINESS IS GOOD,
sO MAKING YOU HAPPY IS...
uHH,,,
hAPPIER.

+--) Oh
+--)
+--) Is that utilitarianism

uHHHHH MAYBE?

Wow, you have no idea what he just said.

OKAY, NOW I'M MOTHERFUCKING SURE OF IT.
it ain't my slime what's making me all dizzy.
iT's DeFiNiTeLy BeInG yOu TwO bRoS tAlKiNg.

+--) You shut up

You don't even pay attention to which sandwich Equius takes.

Man, way to go, making this all awkward. Because obviously YOU are the only one making this awkward. Rather than just being one partner in an elaborate Awkward Tango, in which you are both stepping all over each other's feet and trying to figure out where to put your hands and wondering if you should admit to each other that neither of you learned how to tango.

Nope. Clearly all the awkward is coming from you.

Since you are pretty obviously making him uncomfortable here. Considering that Equius is really super-orthodox about the hemospectrum. The only reason he deals with you is because you order him to, after all.

Which is naturally why you plan on keeping your current emotions hidden. If he knew about them, he would probably feel morally obligated to try to reciprocate. Even though you are absolutely sure a guy like him would never pity a highblood.

Particularly one like you. Who uses him.

So you will just have to avoid saying stupid things like about how you want to make him happy. Which is a stupid thing to say.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

You are stupid.

This is stupid.

And awkward.

Did you mention awkward?

28/09/11
"Tavros: End awkward moment by offering food."

You offer food.

You fail to end the awkward moment.

... You are not sure if you should be alarmed or amazed at how quickly he soaks the towel you loaned him.

Er. GAVE him. You do not think you will ask for it back.

In any case, it is probably better than any of his own towels.

sO, uH, aNYWAY,
bEFORE,,, yOU AND gAMZEE GO,,,
i SHOULD GIVE YOU YOUR SANDWICH.

+--) ... Uh
+--) MY sandwich, your highness

yEAH, uH,
sINCE, yOU DID ALL THE HARD WORK AND ALL,
aND i FIGURED YOU'D BE HUNGRY,

+--) Oh, no thank you
+--) I mean I'm
+--) Er
+--) That is
+--) I don't need a
+--) Uh
+--) You know

... nOT REALLY?

For some reason, Equius is more flustered than usual. You wonder why. Is it something you said to him?

Yeah, it was probably the stuff you said about Gamzee.

You probably creeped him out.

Somehow.

+--) It's just
+--) I w001dnt really feel comfortable with
+--) Er
+--) Not that my comfort is your concern
+--) But
+--) I'm perfectly capable of taking care of my own needs
+--) You do not need to waste resources on me

eQUIUS, yOU'RE NOT A WASTE OF RESOURCES, }:(
+--) Thank you, sir
bESIDES, i ALREADY GOT TWO SANDWICHES FOR US, aND i DON'T KNOW WHAT i'D DO WITH THE SECOND ONE,
+--) Oh
+--) In that case
+--) I'd be more than happy to a%ept

oKAY,
i JUST ASKED FOR TWO RANDOM ONES,
tHERE'S A SPICY ONE AND THERE'S A MEATY ONE,
oR SO THE LABELS SAY,
aLTHOUGH THEY KIND OF LOOK THE SAME TO ME,
bUT ANYWAY, wHICH ONE DO YOU WANT?

+--)
+--)
+--)


Yeah, you should have expected that.

+--)
+--)
+--) Uh
+--) You
+--) Want ME to choose?

yEAH,
iF YOU HAVE A PREFERENCE,
bECAUSE i DON'T, rEALLY.
i WOULD HAVE GOTTEN ONE YOU LIKE IF i KNEW WHAT KIND OF SANDWICH YOU WANTED,
bUT, i DIDN'T,
sO,
iT'S ONE OF THESE,

+--) ...
+--) Are you SURE you want me to--

yES, i'M SURE i WANT YOU TO CHOOSE!
+--) Yes sir
+--) Sorry sir

... uHH, i MEAN, iF YOU WANT TO.
GET TO THE FUCKING POINT!
you motherfuckers are MaKiNg Me GeT mY MOTHERFUCKING DIZZY ON!

gAMZEE, tHAT'S THE SOPOR,
oh yeah.
eQUIUS, cHOOSE A SANDWICH,
+--) Of course
+--) If you command it, your highness
+--) ... But
+--) If I may be permitted to a% a single question, please

sURE,
iN FACT, yOU CAN, uH,
jUST ASSUME YOU HAVE PERMANENT PERMISSION TO ASK ME A QUESTION, aT ANY TIME,

+--) Oh my
+--) Are you quite sure, your highness

yEAH,
+--) You w001dnt think such an arrangement to be
+--) Somewhat
+--) Improper

wELL, iT WILL SAVE US TIME, iF YOU FEEL THE NEED TO ASK ME PERMISSION TO ASK A QUESTION IN THE FUTURE,
aND, iF IT GETS WEIRD, i CAN JUST REVOKE IT,
bUT i DON'T THINK IT WILL GET WEIRD.

+--) Then
+--) Thank you
+--) Very much
+--) Your highness

iT'S NOTHING.
rEALLY.

+--) I just wondered
+--) If you yourself have no preference on sandwich sele%ion
+--) Then
+--) Er
+--) Not to pry, but
+--) Why does my preference make a difference to you

bECAUSE, i WANT YOU TO BE HAPPY,
+--) ...
+--) What
+--) Why


Yeah okay, that is the second time IN THE SAME NIGHT you have said that to him, SURELY by now you could have come up with a less awkward way to phrase it! You're an idiot.

... It is kind of heartbreaking, how baffled he seems by the fact that you want him to be happy.

Although "heartbreaking" is not the right word.

It's... heart-something-ing.

Er.

28/09/11
"===>"

OH GOSHDARN IT ALL TO HECK.

FUCK.

+--) I
+--) Er
+--) Uh
+--) Just
+--) Feel that
+--) It w001d be
+--) Impolite to
+--) Er
+--) I have to be uh
+--) Decent
+--) About
+--) Stuff
+--) And things

,,, eQUIUS?
+--) What
+--) I mean yes
+--) Sir

i THINK i HAVE A SPARE TOWEL iN MY SYLLADEX, sOMEWHERE,
+--) You have no idea how grateful I w001d be
yEAH, i KIND OF THOUGHT SO.

AND YOU JUST GOT EVERYTHING SORTED OUT WITH GAMZEE.

WHY DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING.

28/09/11
"Pretend things aren't totally awkward now."

You fail miserably.

uHH, i GUESS, i SHOULD LET YOU GO,
sINCE IT'S LATE, aND THERE'S NOT A LOT MORE YOU CAN DO HERE,

+--) If you're sure, your highness
yEAH,
oH, bUT i SHOULD PAY YOU FIRST,

+--) Oh no
+--) That's not necessary
+--) Being able to serve you is reward enough on its own

iT'S NOT A REWARD,
iT'S SO YOU CAN GET RID OF THE CHUCKLEVOODOO gAMZEE GAVE YOU,
sINCE THAT WASN'T SOMETHING YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO HAVE TO DEAL WITH.

+--) Oh

There are several ways to get rid of a chucklevoodoo. The cheapest is waiting for it to fade away on its own, but that can take anywhere from a perigee to sweeps. The second cheapest is a four-day sopor-based medicine regime, and even it is far too expensive for you to afford.

Of course, Tavros would be able to afford it easily.

+--) Er, still
+--) That's quite all right
+--) I'm completely capable of dealing with it myse--

tAKE THE MONEY. }:|
+--) Yes sir
+--) Thank you sir

yOU'RE WELCOME }:)

bY THE WAY,
i, uH, i GUESS,
gAMZEE KIND OF LIVES NEAR YOU, rIGHT?

+--) Er
+--) I'm not sure
+--) Although we % paths with some frequency

oKAY, wELL, uH,
sINCE gAMZEE GOT INTO THE SOPOR AGAIN, tHERE'S REALLY NO POINT IN KEEPING HIM HERE,
yOU KNOW.
tO DO THE TESTS i WANTED TO DO ON HIM AND STUFF.
sINCE, yEAH.

+--) My apologies again
iT'S FINE.
i THINK WE'RE STARTING TO GET ON THE DOCTORS' NERVES,
sO THIS IS PROBABLY BETTER ANYWAY.

+--) Yes, sir
sO,
sINCE YOU'RE GOING THE SAME WAY,
cOULD YOU DO ME A FAVOR, aND ESCORT gAMZEE THERE?

+--) WHAT
i JUST DON'T KNOW IF HE CAN MAKE IT BACK HIMSELF, SO...
+--) You
+--) You w001dn't rather keep him in your care

,,, i,
i WISH i COULD,
bUT i CAN'T,
cONSIDERING WHERE i LIVE,
aND,
aND WHO HE IS,
iF HE FOUND A WAY TO WANDER OFF IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD, hE COULD GET CULLED JUST FOR BEING THERE,

+--) Er
+--) Yes, I see the problem

sO CAN YOU TAKE HIM?
+--) I'm
+--) Er
+--) Just to clarify
+--) I w001d be abso100tely responsible for his welfare

yEAH,
pRETTY MUCH,,,

+--) I don't
+--) I don't know if I can handle such responsibullity
+--) ... bility

wHAT IF IT'S AN ORDER?
+--) Oh my goodness
+--) I mean
+--) Of horse I w001d obey
+--) But
+--) Considering my er
+--) Emotional entanglements with him
+--) Are you sure...

eQUIUS.
+--) ... Yes, sir
cAN YOU PROMISE ME, nOTHING REALLY *REALLY* BAD WILL HAPPEN TO HIM,
iF I LEAVE HIM WITH YOU?

+--) Of
+--) Of
+--) Of course, your neighness
+--) Highneigh
+--) HIGHNESS

nOT JUST BECAUSE i ORDERED IT,
oR BECAUSE HE'S MY MOIRAIL,
bUT BECAUSE, wELL...
bECAUSE YOU HAVE TO NOT DO ANYTHING THAT WOULD PERMANENTLY DISABLE YOUR KISMESIS,
rIGHT?

+--)
+--)
+--)
+--) Are
+--) Are you
+--) Giving me
+--) I mean
+--) Giving US
+--) Your blessing
+--) Sir

uHHH,
i, gUESS, i AM,
i MEAN,
yOU HATE HIM,
aND, hE HATES YOU,
sO,
,,,
,,, sO THAT'S GOOD,

+--) ...
+--) Holy cow
+--) I mean
+--) Thank you, your highness
+--) So much
+--) For your blessing
+--) Or your permission, or
+--) Er
+--) ... Are
+--) You sure you trust ME
+--) To not und001y harm your moirail

,,,
,,,
,,,
iT, dOESN'T REALLY MATTER,
iF i TRUST YOU ABOUT THAT,

+--) Pardon
aS LONG AS THIS IS A BUSINESS THING ABOUT ME TELLING YOU TO MAKE HIM A LEG,
tHEN YEAH, i CAN ORDER YOU TO NOT HURT HIM OR ANYTHING,
sO i CAN SAY, dON'T MUTILATE HIM, oR ANYTHING, wHILE YOU'RE TAKING HIM HOME,
bUT,
oUTSIDE OF THAT,
i'M JUST gAMZEE'S MOIRAIL.
i'M NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT HAPPENS IN HIS CALIGINOUS QUADRANT.
eVEN IF IT MIGHT HURT HIM.
aNYTHING THAT GOES ON THERE IS...
iS BETWEEN HIM AND HIS KISMESIS.
wHICH MEANS YOU.


... Oh.

You cannot imagine how hard it was for him to do that.

To have the power to protect his moirail from a freakishly strong lowblooded brute--

and to let him go.

How can he bring himself to stand back and hand his moirail over to... to someone like YOU?

You cannot imagine Nepeta ever taking such a passive stance about YOUR other quadrants.

You cannot imagine yourself allowing Nepeta to... to even DATE a troll below her station. Not without at least an argument first.

You cannot imagine yourself not doing everything in your power to keep her away from anyone you thought endangered her.

How can TAVROS do that?

+--) I'm honored beyond words, your highness
+--) I will do my uddermost to treat him well
+--) Utmost

eQUIUS, yOU DON'T HAVE TO BECAUSE OF ME,
jUST, jUST TREAT HIM LIKE YOUR KISMESIS.
tHAT'S WHAT HE IS NOW.
tRY TO FORGET THAT HIS MOIRAIL IS A HIGHBLOOD, fOR A BIT, oKAY?

+--) No
+--) It isn't that
+--) It has nothing to do with your b100d
+--) E%quisite though it is

uHHHHH,,,,,,,
oOOO, kAAAAY,

+--) Sorry
+--) Did that sound awkward

yEAH.
rEALLY, rEALLY AWKWARD.

+--) My apologies
iT'S FINE.
+--) It's just that
+--) I...
+--)
+--)
+--)
+--) Uh
+--)
+--)

eQUIUS?

Wait where are you going with this?

Is there a way to say "I think I now pity you too much to want to do something that would cause you so much emotional distress" without making it sound like you think you now pity him?

Because you don't.

28/09/11
"===>"

You try. But you do not quite succeed.

You swallow the pill.

+--) I'm
+--) Sorry, your highness
+--) I am tr001y sorry
+--) I assure you, this is not representative of my typical behavior

nO, uH, iT'S OKAY,
yOU COULDN'T HELP IT.

+--) But
+--) I don't mean to contradict you, but
+--) I sh001d have helped it
+--) I sh001d have controlled myself better

nO, eQUIUS, iT'S FINE,
iT'S MY FAULT, i GOT YOUR SCHEDULE MESSED UP,
i WAS THE ONE WHO TROLLED YOU AT A WEIRD TIME.
sORRY, }:(

+--) That's
+--) Merciful of you to say, your highness
+--) But, I
+--) I really can't a%ept such an apology

oH,,,
+--) Er, I mean, uh
+--) Unless you want me to
+--) I w001d if you wish me to

uHHH, nO, nOT IF YOU DON'T WANT TO ACCEPT IT
+--) Er
+--) I sh001d clarify
+--) It's not that I do not wish to, er, forgive you
+--) It's just that I don't think someone of your stature needs to apologize to someone of mine for something like this
+--) So there's nothing to forgive

oH, oKAY, yEAH, i GOT THAT,
+--) ... Unless you believe it w001d be appropriate for you to apologize, your highness
,,,,,, uHHHHH,,,
i, uHH,
i,
rEALLY, rEALLY,,,
i, dON'T HAVE A CLUE,

+--) ... Ah
,,,
+--) ...
,,,,,,
+--) ...
+--) Neither do I

oH,
wELL,

+--) Well
i GUESS THAT MAKES TWO OF US
+--) Indeed
hAHA,,,

WOW, THIS IS... actually not as awkward as you would have expected.

Actually, you feel a bit... relieved.

For a moment, you and Tavros are the same. Equally clueless. Equally overwhelmed by the hemospectrum's nebulous demands. Equally lost in the social system. Equally terrified of slipping up in front of someone outside your class.

Equal.

... Of course, the moment you realize that you were momentarily on equal footing with a royal, you get even MORE awkward.

How depraved.

28/09/11
"===>"

Wow, this is awkward.

+--) I
+--) Uh
+--) Q
+--) Quite a while

hOW MUCH DO YOU USUALLY TAKE?
+--)
+--)
+--)
+--)
+--) ... Five
+--) Per night
+--) Ma%imum

dID YOU HAVE THAT MUCH TONIGHT?
+--) Yes
+--) ... But
+--) A long time ago
+--) Much longer than I w001d typically go without sopor
+--) I did not expect to be up this late

i SEE.

He says that like he was expecting your answer. Like he already KNEW your sopor had worn off.

You must have been acting atrociously. Like a barbarian. Like a delinquent. Like a psychopath.

Like a lowblood.

Like a violent blood.

Like what you are.

Like what you try not to be.

sO, mAYBE YOU SHOULD,,,?
i MEAN, tO BE SAFE,,,

+--) ...

You suppose you should.

+--) Of course, your highness
+--) E%cuse me


You make sure to turn away from Gamzee before taking out your bottle of sopor capsules.

This will be your sixth for tonight. Six in a single night. One more than the recommended MAXIMUM allotment for someone of your weight, age, and blood color.

Even the maximum isn't STRONG enough to keep you calm.

You try not to think about what you are doing.

You try not to think about what happens to trolls that start out needing more than they take, and end up taking more than they need.

You try not to think about what has happened to you whenever you accidentally took too much in the past.

You try not to think about what too many sixth pills will eventually do to you.

28/09/11
"Nervously await Tavros's decision."

,,,
,,, wELL,,,
i GUESS,
nOTHING TOO BAD HAPPENED,,,


What.

If this is going where you think it's going, you are SO lucky.

... BUT WHAT IS WRONG WITH HIM?

HE IS TOO FORGIVING FOR HIS OWN GOOD.

Not that you are going to complain.

+--) If you say so, your highness
yEAH.
aND IT'S BEEN A LONG NIGHT,

+--) Yes, sir
aND YOU'RE PROBABLY PRETTY TIRED,
rIGHT?

+--) ... I suppose so, yes
+--) I admit that I am not usually awake at this hour
+--) Although that hardly e%cuses my behavior

wELL, nO, bUT,,,
,,,

+--) Is
+--) Is there something else you wish to say, your highness

yYYEAH, uH,
eQUIUS,

+--) Yes
hOW LONG HAS IT BEEN SINCE YOU, uH, hAD YOUR SOPOR?

... Oh.

26/09/11
"Tavros: Don't punish him."

Yeah, um.

You...

You don't think you could do that even if you wanted to.

Listening to him talk about what happened, it's like he already completely blames himself for this whole mess. He blames himself. Completely. He throws out a few comments about Gamzee's own misbehavior (and you know he is probably toning it down because you are Gamzee's moirail), but at the end, Equius hardly factors Gamzee into his judgment. He blames himself.

And it is very hard not to feel bad for him. Because all his self-blame just reminds you how much he is NOT to blame.

Despite the fact that he despises Gamzee, he did his utmost to make sure that he got a new, quality leg. Under YOUR orders.

He came from the other side of the planet on extremely short notice to do this. Despite the fact that he has almost no tools or materials, he gladly used what little he had--two ancient tiny robot legs and a pickaxe--to try to obey your orders. It was probably exhausting.

And holy crap, this was AFTER a long night of work, wasn't it? Since there is no real "time" on Surrogia, everybody has a different sleep schedule depending on what their work demands, so this is, like, late night for you, certainly long before you would need to sleep. But when Equius responded to you earlier, when he got on Trollian--didn't he say something about just getting off from work? And that was HOURS ago.

He looks exhausted. He probably should be asleep now. And he's probably starving. And his sopor has probably worn off now, you don't know what dosage he takes or how long ago he took it; that would explain the pickaxe-to-hair incident, at least.

You cannot blame him for being tired and unnecessarily violent. After all, that was basically your fault.

That does not mean he deserves some big reward--he DID almost attack your moirail--but... but he worked hard tonight. Far harder than he should have had to.

You need to do SOMETHING for him.

25/09/11
"Tavros: Deal with Equius."

While Gamzee is distracted by his sandwich PB&J hot dog monstrosity, you do that. You have him report what happened while you were gone. And he does so. Including a rather elaborate description of a rather silly dream. You suppose it's your fault for insisting he tell you "aBSOLUTELY EVERYTHING" that happened.

... So.

On the one hand, you DID catch him about to mutilate Gamzee's hair (and perhaps the skull under it) with a pickaxe. And he did let Gamzee get into sopor again.

On the other hand, how much of it was his fault? You've been pushing him very hard, he probably couldn't help falling asleep. And he DID give Gamzee a leg.

And, for better or for worse, you just had the first real conversation with Gamzee you've managed in a long, long time.

So, what do you do with Equius now?

25/09/11
"Equius: Just stand there. And watch."

You guess you don't have much choice in the matter. After all, Tavros did not tell you that you can leave, you cannot really interrupt to ask to be dismissed, and there's nothing behind which you can hide discreetly.

Your emotions toward the two parties in question make this particularly awkward. NOT THAT YOUR EMOTIONS TOWARD HIS HIGHNESS ARE AT ALL IMPROPER OR QUESTIONABLE. They consist of respect and a dutiful desire to assist him in whatever way he needs.

Pay no attention to the half-developed jumble of maybe-almost-pity in the top right corner. IT DOES NOT EXIST AND YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT'S DOING THERE.

Fortunately, they do not actually end up in a full-out feelings jam right in front of you. In the past, you have ended up in multiple situations where a highblood has been acting... er... indecorously, and you have been forced to just stand there and watch. It would always make you uncomfortable whenever you had to just stand there.

And watch.

25/09/11
"Tavros: Cling to your bestest pale bro for balance."

wElL tHiS iS mOtHeRfUcKiN cOzY.
... hey bro.
DUDE, YOU CRYING OVER SOMETHING? Do:

n, nO gAMZEE, i'M,
i'M FINE,

mAn ThAt'S fUcKiN bUlLsHiT
you had better
MOTHERFUCKING TALK TO ME
wHaT tHe FuCk Is GeTtInG mY bRo AlL dOwN lIkE tHiS?

oH MY gOD gAMZEE,,,,,,,
wHaT?

You can't remember the last time Gamzee was both sober enough and calm enough to actually act concerned about you.

i'M,
i'M JUST,
hAVING A HARD DAY,

sounds pretty motherfucking harsh.
AND NOT IN THE BITCHIN WHIMSICAL WAY.
wAnNa TaLk AbOuT iT?
hOnK.

uHH,
dO YOU, wANT TO?

hell mOtHeRfUcKiNg YES, BRO.
i got me a bunch of busted down drone bones over there.
I COULD MAKE IT UP INTO A STRICT LITTLE BONE PILE FOR US TO GET OUR SIT DOWN ON.
if you don't mind the mess.

uHHH, tHAT'S, oKAY, gAMZEE,
wE CAN JUST DO IT LIKE THIS,

YOU MOTHERFUCKING SERIOUS?!
yEAH,
i LIKE GETTING TO HUG YOU, }:)

feelings jam
STANDING UP?
bro, when did you go all MoThErFuCkIn KINKY ON ME?

,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
sOMETIMES YOU MAKE IT REALLY, rEALLY HARD TO IGNORE THE WEIRD THINGS YOU SAY,

man i get that all the motherfuckin time
i KNOW, }:)
hOnK! :o)

25/09/11
"Gamzee: Cling to your bestest pale bro for balance."

bRo
BrO
HeY
bRo

... g,
gAMZEE,,,

HEY BRO I'M TALKING AT YOU
wHAT?
i can smell it bro.
ALL OF THE MOTHERFUCKIN COLORS.
you got for me some MoThErFuCkIn PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY!
didn't you? :o)

g, gAMZEE,
yOU CAN WALK,

wOoOoOoAaAaH!
I CAN?
... wait.
BUT I WAS THINKING THAT WAS aLwAyS something i could up and get at doing...
... HUH.
so we gonna get our MoThErFuCkIn SNACK ON, BRO?

23/09/11
"===>"

Or, for that matter, to remember that you never learned how to ride a one wheel device.

...

Yeah, even that shouldn't be able to explain this.

23/09/11
"Go get that PB&J."

You have just enough sopor in your system to not realize that you technically shouldn't be able to balance.

23/09/11
"Gamzee: What's that smell?"

you smell

MOTHERFUCKING

pEaNuT bUtTeR aNd JeLlY

that is your FaVoRiTe MOTHERFUCKING FOOD.

besides the eyeballs of your enemies.

BUT YOU ALREADY HAD SOME OF THAT A FEW MINUTES AGO.

aw hell bro, you hAvE gOt To GET SOME OF THAT PB&J

22/09/11
"===>"

+--) Oh goshdammit

That did not quite come out the way you intended.

what is uUuUuUp MY SHIT-BLOODED BRO?
would you look at
WHAT ALL I UP AND MoThErFuCkInG hunted down?
HoNk. :o)

,,, eQUIUS,
wHAT,
iS,
gOING,
oN,
}:|

+--)
+--)
+--) The picka%e is for his hair
+--) I swear, your highneighss

tHAT DOESN'T EXPLAIN THE REST, }:(
+--) I
+--) I suppose it doesn't
+--) Does it


You are so getting culled.

And if you DON'T get culled, you do not know which you will be more likely to do: contact the nearest pontifex minimus and ask how to formally convert, or contact the nearest legislacerator office and reporting Tavros for obstruction of justice.

Seriously. You really DO deserve to get culled over this.

... HOLY MOTHERFUCKER.
how did i get me this bItChTiTs WHEEL UP ON MY LEG?
... where's my motherfuckin leg?


Well, at least he's almost back to normal.

22/09/11
"Equius: Clean yourself and Gamzee before Tavros gets back."

You would if you could! Unfortunately, in your rush to obey His Highness Nitram's orders to come to the hospital, you neglected to bring either a towel or a spare set of clothing.

In any case, since you were also carrying Sarada's legs at the time, you would only have had room to take one or the other. Your captchalogue deck is woefully small, consisting only of the four cards that initially came with it. Hey, you live a spartan life.

Besides, you cannot buy more cards. There always seem to be so many other, more important things for which you need to save your money.

Like next perigee's rent.

And food.

And laundry detergent.

And sopor.

Since you have never known what it is like to have more than four cards at your disposal, you cannot say you feel restricted. You cannot imagine ever needing more than, oh, say, six at the most. Besides, having too many cards would make attempting to navigate your fetch/queue modus a nightmare, so you are glad to have four.

You poor, deprived thing.

And you cannot risk leaving Gamzee alone long enough to go find something with which to clean him. Who knows what trouble the idiot would get up to next. So, unless somebody comes by to clean up this mess and decides to clean Gamzee as well, you are not getting him clean before Tavros gets back.

... Although you ARE tempted to try combing his hair.

Some people might claim you need a comb to comb hair. Some people ALSO might claim you need a scalpel to perform surgery. You have the same retort to both claims.

And you see a certain snarl of hair that looks PARTICULARLY knotted...

22/09/11
"===>"

+--) What
+--) No
+--) Stop that
+--) Oh goodness

need to get your towel on, bro?
+--) Just shut up
+--) And spit that arm out
+--) How can you talk with that thing in your mouth, anyway
+--) Wait, don't answer that--

MOTHERFUCKING MIRACLES!
+--) ... I knew you were going to say that

Well, at least he seems a bit calmer now.

You are going to be in so much trouble when Tavros gets back.

22/09/11
"===>"

+--) Don't you "sup" me, you filthy lowlife
+--) 100k at this mess
+--) This is revolting
+--) YOU are revolting

if you get all up and offended over this
THEN YOU'VE GONE MOTHERFUCKING SOFT.

+--) Snrrrt
+--) Soft
+--) Hardly
+--) You know darn well e%actly how STRONG I am, but that doesn't mean I can't also be civilized

civilized, like to be throwing a poor motherfucker from out a window?
IS THAT ALL WHAT YOU'RE CALLING MOTHERFUCKING CIVILIZED NOW?

+--) You were a%ing for it
ha fuckin ha.
+--) You were
+--) And for pity's sake, spit that thing out

NO.
i like the taste
MAKES THE MOTHERFUCKING HOLE IN MY HEAD FEEL FILLED UP.

+--) You've spilt more blood than you've consumed
+--) You probably got less than a proper capsule worth of sopor into your system
+--) If you think you feel better, it's just your imagination playing tricks on you

man, that's all the motherfuckin slime does up to the think pan anyway.
PLAY TRICKS AT IT.
or so you're calling it.
I'M CALLING IT MOTHERFUCKING MIRACLES.
honk. :o)

+--) Stop that
HONK.
+--) STOP THAT YOU
+--) You imbecilic
+--) Worthless
+--) Feeble-minded
+--) Feeble-bodied
+--) Delusional
+--) Noisome
+--) Bothersome
+--) Loathsome--

22/09/11
"Just stand there. And watch."

You can totally handle that.

The good news is that Gamzee did not attack a REAL troll. Instead, he is savagely mutilating a drone--a hospitroll. They are expendable.

The bad news is that hospitroll blood is used to make sopor slime. And you were not supposed to let Gamzee have sopor. In an unrefined state, hospitroll blood is not nearly as effective as a sopor capsule. However, consumed in sufficient quantities--and Gamzee certainly seems to be trying to consume a sufficient quanti--IS HE EATING THE HOSPITROLL?!

+--) GAMZEE MAKARA
+--) What the HECK do you think you're doing

... uhhhhhh.
SUP, MOTHERFUCKER?

22/09/11
"Go see what that idiot is doing."

Sigh. You bet you are not going to like this--

oh god you don't like this

19/09/11
"Screams: Suddenly happen."

You are the worst guard.

It's you.

You should be culled for your criminal negligence.

You have failed a royal, and thus, by proxy, everyone else in the hemospectrum--everybody between you and him; everybody above Tavros who is relying on him; and everybody below you who should be looking to you as a role model.

You failed so hard.

Of course, this is all Gamzee's fault.

You had better go stop him from causing any more damage.

19/09/11
"===>"

You totally can't handle this.

19/09/11
"What is Gamzee up to?"

Well, since he did not wake you up, he must have been fairly quiet. Maybe he fell asleep. Or passed out. Or is quietly plotting your murder.

Hah. As if his poison-addled think pan is capable of "plotting." More likely, he is quietly struggling to find the muscle coordination necessary for him to make a laughably stupid attempt on your life.

Well, whatever he thinks he is going to throw at you, you are sure you can totally handle it.

... Er.

19/09/11
"===>"

Congratulations.

Every troll who has outgrown the "little wigglers who don't have enough common sense not to poop their diaperstubs yet" phase knows the three rules of sleep. Your little nap just broke ALL THREE rules. Those rules being:

1. Never fall asleep outside a recuperacoon.

2. If you do, never do so anywhere near a subjugglator.

3. If you do, make sure the subjugglator is properly sopored.

Way to go. Breaking all three AT THE SAME TIME. No wonder you now have a voodoo doll in your head.

Although, admittedly, you did have a hard night. After a long shift at work, instead of getting to sleep, you had to go to the hospital and put up with Gamzee Makara's shenanigans. Tomorrow at work is going to be miserable. Even if Tavros returned right now and told you to leave, you would still only get a few hours of sleep before your next shift. But of course you cannot miss work, so you suppose you will just have to deal with it...

And that is just everything that has PHYSICALLY exhausted you tonight. You would prefer not to dwell on the emotionally exhausting events of tonight. You never dwell on your emotions.

Well. Time to drown your exhaustion in work. What trouble has Gamzee gotten up to during your ill-timed nap?

19/09/11
"===>"

THIS IS COMPLETELY TERRIFYING

OH GOD OH GOD OH MAN OH GOD

GET IT OFF GET IT OFF GET IT OFF

It did not occur to you that your prodigious PHYSICAL strength might not be very useful against a PSYCHIC threat.

You have figured that out now.

HOW DO YOU GET IT OFF?

19/09/11
"===>"

THIS IS COMPLETELY...

...

This is completely pointless. It is not even that scary. It looks like an ugly hoofbeast doll.

So that stupid voodoo doll is the source of this trouble? Well, it should not be that hard to deal with. You are more than STRONG enough to eliminate that gosh darn little cretin before it causes any more

OH FUCK IT'S IN YOUR FACE GET IT OFF GET IT OFF

19/09/11
"===>"

+--) OH MY GOSH WHAT
overr their

WHAT IS THAT THING?

19/09/11
"Unexpected visitor: Suddenly hapen."

HElloo dude 8^y
+--) Erm
+--) Greetings, your highness
+--) ... This is a dream, isn't it

uuuuhhhhhh DUHHH???????

For the record, an aspect of Suweet Broski's powers--and an aspect that, to his annoyance, he cannot turn off--is the fact that he immediately and invariably induces lucid dreaming. The moment a dreamer (such as you) notices his presence, the dreamer knows that he is dreaming.

You are relieved to have at least a partial explanation for why all of this is so random.

+--) If you will pardon my ignorance, your highness, to what do I owe the honor of a visit from
+--) Wait

waht
+--) You
+--) You're no royal

psssSSSSSHHHHHHHTT
of COURSSE i am1

+--) No
+--) You're that mutant sea dweller
+--) Aren't you

HELL
FOCKING
NMO
for like the INFINITITHITH time
i am a PURE LAND dweler

+--) Higher authorities than you have said otherwise
HIGHGER ASSORITIES you say??
HAH
HAH
HAHH
of cours a lowblod idoit like YOU, would belief evrthying he read,
woulddn't you

+--) I
+--) Erm

lissen
THERE IS NO HIGER ATHOROTY THAN me
understend

+--) ...
I ASSEKD IF YOU UNDERSTANE VIOLENBLOOD
you WILL answer WHEN you're SUPERORORS ask you A questoin
you useles TOOL

+--) Yes
+--) Yes sir
+--) My apologies sir

JUST STOPP IT with ALL the FUCKIN SIRS jeeeeegus
say YOUR HEIGHNESS

+--) Of course your highness
+--) I'm e%tremely sorry for my attitude
+--) I meant no disrespect your highness

tha'ts batter
nowwwwww
make it YOUR IMPERUOISNESS

+--)
+--)
+--) As
+--) As you wish, your im...
+--)
+--) No
+--) I'm sorry, but I cannot
+--) While I mean you no disrespect, your highness
+--) You are guilty of high treason
+--) And my loyalties lie with Her Imperious Conde%ension Empress Megido

gog fucking DAAAAMNN your annoyinf
+--) I'm sorry
bluhh bluh bluj im sory im sory im sooooorrry
WHATAVER
and hear i am hear to do
YOU a fucking FAVER

+--) Wh
+--) Er
+--) While I am tr001y honored, your highness
+--) I hardly consider myself worthy of such a
+--) A generous offer

calm the fukc DOWN its not EVEN a bigdeal
i jusst decidid to stop here and help becaus
I Was heade dto another dreamer i want to revibit
and i Like to hepl torlls when isee there bobbles have the chucklevoodos

+--) The what
CHOCK
EL
VOO
DOO
S
everyboddy gets SOOOO surprprised when I com help them aboat they're chucklvoofoos
i JUSTT like to clen up infistatins when i SEE them ok?

+--) But why w001d I have
+--) When did
+--) Where is it

16/09/11
"===>"

Even so, it would be rude to murder someone with your sign.

... You hate this place. You hate this place so much.

Why does she get to be more symbolically rendered than you?

16/09/11
"Female mutant-looking clone of Equius: Suddenly happen."

Oh.

Er, well. She DOES have the same sign as you. Which means she must be your sibling.

You, er. You were not aware that siblings could have different blood colors from each other. Much less freakishly bright blood colors that are most certainly not on the hemospectrum. ... You were also not aware that siblings could be different genders.

CAN they actually have different blood colors and genders? You do not know. A lowblood like you has no reason to immerse himself in such lofty matters as the intricacies of ancestry. Anyway, all your ancestors were probably worthless criminal scum.

And this troll is not even your sibling. She is just another stupid fake thing invented by whoever is behind all the other stupid stuff here.

16/09/11
"===>"

THIS IS EVEN MORE STUPID.

Why is there a crying troll/cloud/sky-beast thing?! At least the wagon was a thing that actually exists! How is that thing even floating there?

That is it. Whether or not you can get your hands on the lunatics behind this, you ARE going to fight back. You are going to either break or kill the next thing or creature that appears.

16/09/11
"Wagon: Suddenly happen."

What.

Where did that come from.

What do sandwich-filled wagons have to do with anything?!

THIS IS STUPID.

16/09/11
"===>"

WHOEVER IS BEHIND THIS MUST BE A HERD OF UDDER 100NATI%.

... Utter.

YOU WILL NOT STAND FOR THIS MADNESS!

Unfortunately, the herd of utter lunatics is not within punching range.

Or any other range.

And wherever they are, they are probably more symbolically rendered than you are. For which you are quite envious. You do not appreciate being a hand-drawn adolescent.

16/09/11
"Explosions: Suddenly happen."

WAIT WHAT IS THIS?

WHY IS STUFF EXPLODING?

THIS IS HOOFBEAST EXCREMENT!

14/09/11
"===>"

Where is this? Is this supposed to be your old hive? Why does it not LOOK like a hive? Or like anything else? Why are the colors so strange? What is wrong with the sky? What are all these pixely things clinging to you? Who is responsible for this?!

It should be noted that your impatience with make-believe pretend scenarios extends to dream sequences. Even when you are not aware that you are dreaming.

14/09/11
"Equius: Dream."


You suddenly feel like you have undergone a drastic and unexpected art shift. And become several sweeps younger. You are not sure which unnerves you more.

What is going on?

What's with the weird fluffy background?

And the weird colors?

And what happened to your typical art style? You do NOT feel like you are being rendered in a properly symbolic manner.

13/09/11
"===>"

Maybe you are not the world's worst moirail after all.

Okay, stop crying over the hot dog, you look like a wimpy wimp. And you are NOT a wimpy wimp.

It is just that tonight has been really long and really hard, and you do not know if Gamzee is okay, or if he is EVER going to be okay, and you feel bad about kind of taking advantage of Equius, except kind of not because it is normal, and so you are all confused about whether you feel bad or not, and you think you lost that lizard lusus you got earlier tonight, and you are not sure if you actually executed the right troll or not earlier, and you are all kinds of stressed out.

If there were a holiday called Interplanetary SNAFU Day that actually existed, you think it would probably be tonight.

The only way this day (or is it night? Stupid Surrogia) could be worse would be if something happened between the two hotheads you are secretly auspisticing, and you ended up with one dead and the other in the hospital.

But what are the odds of that? Sollux and Karkat are not even on the same planet!

You are sure they are perfectly fine.

Haha.

Ha.

Better get back with these sandwiches.

13/09/11
"===>"

You think you believe in miracles now.

Peanut butter and jelly is Gamzee's favorite food that isn't sopor or Faygo or the eyeballs of his enemies.

(Although, admittedly, you only caught him eating his enemies' eyeballs once. But he still brings it up from time to time.)

He claims that PB&J makes him think of you and him.

THIS IS A SIGN. You think. Maybe.

13/09/11
"===>"

Why does SUBjugglatorWAY even sell this?

You didn't see hot dogs on the menu!

PB&J hot dogs?!

Holy crap.

You...

You think...

13/09/11
"What did you get?"

What.

13/09/11
"Tavros: Order already."

uHH,
uHH,
uMMMMM, c--
cAN i HAVE A,
uHHHH,
a FOUR, a ONE, aND A THREE, pLEASE?


You don't even know what those are, they were the first numbers that popped in your head. You'll let Equius pick one first (since you don't care what you get and you doubt Gamzee will either), and then choose one of the remaining two for Gamzee, and then take whatever is left.

Were all out of the #3 sir
oH.
yOU CAN'T JUST,
mAKE MORE?

No sir
oH.
tHAT'S...
uNFORTUNATE,


Why is this so hard?!

Might I suggest you purchase my regular?
It is quite scrumptious.
I am sure you would enjoy it.

uH, oKAY, sURE,
i'LL HAVE WHAT HE HAS.

... Are you sure
uHHH, yEEES?
... Yes sir

Glad that's over with. You quickly leave the restaurant, make sure that weird bird guy is gone, and check the bag to see what you actually purcha--

Oh.

13/09/11
"===>"

yEAH, tHAT WOULD BE A WAY TO DESCRIBE IT, tHAT, iS PRETTY ACCURATE,
i THINK.

Quite so, my boy.
Quite.
So.


Well, whoever he is, he's friendly.

You try to ignore him as you figure out what to get.

It's time...

to GET your order on.

...

You have no idea why your mind phrased it like that. Never mind.

... You wonder why all the logos on the SUBjugglatorWAY menus say SUBWAY. Maybe they could not fit the whole name.

13/09/11
"===>"

uH,

... Who's this douchebag?

13/09/11
"===>"

THERE'S MORE THAN ONE BOARD!

HOLY SHIT.

WHAT DO YOU DO?

YOU ARE THE WORST MOIRAIL.

IT'S YOU.

I dare say, old sport.
Would you just look at all of that?

uHH,,,
wHAT?

Why, it seems to me that the selection offered by this establishment's menu is suffering from a veritable surplus of prices and values.
Wouldn't you say so?

13/09/11
"===>"

Oh for pity's sake.

Is this really necessary?

All you want is a sandwich!

Just one measly sandwich for your starving moirail!

You do not even KNOW the last time Gamzee had any actual solid food. You need to feed him.

IT SHOULD NOT BE THIS HARD TO ORDER A MEAL FOR YOUR STARVING MOIRAIL.

IS THERE NO JUSTICE IN THE WORLD?!

13/09/11
"===>"

Oh.

Er.

Well.

Um.

Uh.

Uhhhh...

Did...

Did SUBjugglatorWAY have this big a menu the last time you came in?

13/09/11
"===>"

Oh.

That was just part of the menu.

Well. Um. Er.

This still should not be too hard. Just a few extra options! All you have to do is find something that Gamzee will like, and then grab a couple extra for you and Equius, and--

13/09/11
"Tavros: Examine SUBjugglatorWAY menu."

Wait.

Shouldn't you have finished this a long time ago?

It is not like the menu is that large.

Really.

There are like seventeen options--they are even NUMBERED--and...

13/09/11
"Be Surrogia."

You are now Surrogia.

Another fucking planet.

The only command you respond to is "rotate."

... OH WAIT.

YOU DON'T RESPOND TO THAT ONE, EITHER.

WHAT NOW?!

Okay, enough of this bullshit.

12/09/11
"Zombie: Be named Keviin."

Yeah. Totally handle that. Sure.

For the record, this is not actually a happy smile.

This is a psychopathic soulless killer smile.

Stop and think about that a moment. You are LITERALLY soulless.

Perhaps the person making silly suggestions should stop.

You have business to attend to anyway. Business that has nothing to do with the gawkers.

Perhaps the gawkers had better leave.

Let's be Surrogia for a while.

12/09/11
"===>"

Female. You can totally handle that, too.

12/09/11
"Zombie: Be female."

Wait.

How.

What?

...

...

Yyyyyyeah okay sure whatever. The first guardian was female (somehow?) before she possessed the body, she is female after she possesses the body. Okay.

12/09/11
"Zombie: Be an athlete-driver-rainbow drinker zombie."

You can totally handle that.

11/09/11
"Corpse: Be the zombie."

You are now the zombie.

11/09/11
"Troll Britain's first guardian: Be the corpse."

You are now the corpse.

11/09/11
"Be a more cooperative narrator, PLEASE."

You are now Troll Britain's first guardian.

11/09/11
"Be a more cooperative narrator."

Look, you only have yourself to blame.

11/09/11
"Be Troll Britain's first guardian."

You cannot be Troll Britain's first guardian! She will not let you be her.

11/09/11
"Be the corpse with the fashionable nails."

You cannot be the corpse! The corpse is dead.

11/09/11
"Be the zombie."

You cannot be the zombie! The zombie does not exist yet.

11/09/11
"Troll Britain: Fondly regard rotation."

Okay, just for that, you DON'T get to hear about the zombie.

11/09/11
"Troll Britain: Rotate."

... You're actually enjoying this, aren't you?

11/09/11
"Troll Britain: Rotate."

11/09/11
"Troll Britain: Rotate."

11/09/11
"Troll Britain: Rotate."

11/09/11
"Be Troll Britain."

YOU KNOW WHAT? FINE. HAVE IT YOUR WAY.

YOU ARE NOW TROLL BRITAIN.

YOU ARE A FUCKING PLANET.

A PLANET.

THE ONLY COMMAND YOU RESPOND TO IS "ROTATE."

HAVE FUN.

11/09/11
"===>"

It is going to be long flight back to Surrogia.

11/09/11
"===>"

... Hm. You were pretty sure there were supposed to be a couple of words hidden in "legislaceration" that described its function. Never mind.

The point is.

You have been stupid.

If you had done your job properly, if you had shown no hesitation and ignored her taunts and disregarded her challenges, if you had cared about nothing but upholding the law, you probably could have caught her perigees ago. You have told yourself that being black for her has made you a more ruthless hunter, but you know damn well that isn't true. That's just something said by a pathetic, lonely gamer who buys into her own character profile BS.

There's a lot more mercy in a caliginous dance than most trolls are willing to admit. There are a lot of unmentioned second chances that a loather will offer her beloathed, whether they go acknowledged or not. You know you have half-deliberately let her slip through your fingers before. Heck, even Karkat knows it. And you both made a big show about how disappointed you were when she escaped and how you were going to get her NEXT time and wouldn't it be great when you did, but you both knew that you didn't really want that.

But you did it anyway. You caught her anyway.

Because duty comes first. For both of you.

What you needed to do was put your duty first FASTER. She is a TERRORIST who ASSASSINATED AN EMPEROR and who has the power to CONTROL GOLD BLOODS. The only reason she has not caused more mayhem is because she wanted to help Karkat. What if she had stopped pitying him? What if he had been assassinated? If this is the kind of damage she causes when she is fighting FOR the throne, what could she do if she were fighting AGAINST it?

So you did a good job! You did the right thing! Just... bask in your accomplishment a minute, okay? This is literally the most important thing you have ever done in your life. You should celebrate a little.

See your face? That is totally a celebration face.

... You guess cogs don't get to feel proud of their work. They are simply efficiently performing their function.

11/09/11
"Terezi: Look at your life. Look at your choices."

Oh, shut up.

You finally got Vriska booked, and are on a shuttle from Troll Canada back to Surrogia. Vriska has not woken up yet. You got a medic to check her out and confirm that she is not in a coma or anything. She is just exhausted. You figure you are not getting that cape back. You guess you don't really care. She can keep it.

The officer who booked Vriska confiscated her sylladex and strife deck to serve as evidence, and scolded you for not confiscating them when you made the arrest. You mumbled something about the Spade Acts. The officer scolded you for getting that involved with a target. You mumbled yeah, yeah.

You know better.

You built Vriska up too much in your mind. You can't blame her for that. You DON'T blame her for that. You blame her for a lot of OTHER things, all of which are much worse and all of which she actually did; but you can't blame her for not being the flawless never-failing escape master you wanted her to be.

It's probably what she wanted to be, too.

You just... You don't know what you're going to do with yourself now. Over the past few sweeps, your LIFE has been devoted to finding Vriska and bringing her down. She HAD to be brought down and you were the only troll who knew enough about her to get a head start. She had been your flarping partner. She had been your FRIEND. Who else could have stopped her?

... And maybe...

And maybe it was fun.

Hunting her. Being the big detective. Acting like a kid playing a game again.

But this isn't a fucking game. This isn't a one-on-one Scourge Vs. Scourge sudden death Flarp campaign. This is life, this is your job, this is your duty to the empire. This is a professional legislacerater professionally dealing with an unstable but powerful criminal.

You should have just treated it like that.

It's not a game, it's justice. Not a stupid game about justice like you used to play when you were a kid, but actual justice. Actual criminals who actually NEED to be stopped, not plush dolls and naughty children.

You are no longer a gamer, you are a cog in the legal machine. "Having fun" is not something you are supposed to be doing. You are efficiently performing your function, so that the machine keeps working smoothly.

There is no "fun" in "legislaceration." The only thing in "legislaceration" is...

er...

09/09/11
"===>"

... pitiful.

Pitiful.

...

You climb onto Almandine, have her scoop up Vriska again, and head toward the shuttle station. Bad weather be damned. You don't care. You don't give a fuck, you don't care.

... So.

This is what it's like to be spadebroken?

... Hmph.

09/09/11
"===>"

... She hasn't even moved.

She isn't even trying to escape.

Which is she lacking? The energy, or the will?

You nudge her a couple of times with your cane, but she doesn't move.

Well, you guess you'd better check her condition. You crouch beside her, give her a once over to try to gauge whether she's trying to catch you off-guard, and then examine her more closely.

She's asleep. Or passed out. One or the other. On the hard sidewalk in the cold rain, no less. And she's shivering from the cold. And you think she might have been crying, but the rain has mostly washed that away.

... Crying?

Vriska, crying?

...

Hmph.

Fine. Whatever. You guess.

Makes it easier to bring her in.

You just... you thought you could have had something.

You thought you had a real rivalry.

You thought...

Well. Fuck.

You guess she just wasn't that good after all.

She wasn't...

She wasn't that unbeatable master manipulator you always thought she was. She wasn't the invincible thief she always played. She wasn't able to live up to half her boasts. She wasn't...

She wasn't...

She wasn't what you always thought she was.

She was just another petty crook that aimed too high. A gambler with more ambition than luck. Her fire wasn't big enough to hold all her irons.

You figured it would end up like this. You have been closing in on her for half a sweep, you knew it could not last long.

You have been trying to prepare yourself.

You have been preparing.

You knew she would not win.

But.

But...

BUT GOD IS IT A FUCKING DISAPPOINTMENT!

LOOK AT BIG BAD VRISKA "MINDFANG" SERKET.

WEAVER OF THE INESCAPABLE WEB. EMPRESS OF THE GAMBLIGNANTS.

GOD. FUCKING. DAMMIT.

AFTER ALL OF THIS

ALL OF THIS TIME

FOLLOWING HER FOR SWEEPS

TRACKING HER

EVERY MOVE

WAITING FOR THIS NIGHT

PRAYING FOR THIS NIGHT

AT THE END

SHE IS COMPLETELY

FUCKING

GODDAMN...

09/09/11
"Terezi: Exposit on your relationship with Karkat."

What?

Oh.

Er.

Yyyyeah uh you would but. Uh. You... you really are not sure if you can... explain exactly... how it works. It's a... it's a... delicate situation.

Karkat could explain it much better than you. You're still trying to get this all sorted out, really. He has a much better handle on it than you.

For the record, he would say almost the exact same thing if someone asked him to exposit on your relationship.

In any case, you need to worry about getting Vriska into authority soon. The weather forecast says the weather will not change for a couple of days or so. How the fuck can one storm last two days?

Well. If that is the case, then you have no choice but to just fly through it.

You receive a message just before you leave--a mass message from Her Imperious Condescension herself, to several different people. It seems like a personal message rather than an announcement. All it says is that Sollux Captor is dead, and that Karkat Vantas was heavily injured, but has been hospitalized and is in stable condition. Nothing you did not already know or expect, but you are relieved to learn that Karkat is not in terrible condition.

He gets in worse trouble than this on a regular basis. You swear, he's a masochist in denial.

Or maybe not in denial.

He's never admitted it to you, at least.

... Sigh.

Anyway.

Time to get going.

You put your cape back on, to shield you from the rain a bit, and head back outside.

09/09/11
"===>"

That is totally what your dream would look like.

Although you might throw in that fancy coat Karkat's taken to wearing lately.

You know. Bundled up in a corner somewhere.

And make it all take place on a pirate ship.

Loaded with treasure.

That is definitely what you would do.

09/09/11
"Vriska: Dream."

You can totally handle that. Even if you would rather not.

You are dreaming about the worst day of your life.

Days, actually. Not that such a distinction matters in a dream.

In your dream, you are walking across a landscape so bright you cannot even see it. When you trip and fall, you never stop and see what tripped you; you simply stand up and keep walking. The only direction for you to go is forward.

You never make any progress. And the sun is always shining at your face.

You are past the point of fearing the undead, or thinking about food and water, or wondering how your legs are still mechnically moving you forward, or regretting everything you did that led to this journey.

All you can think about is the sun.

The sun in your face, scorching your face, cracking your lips, turning your bangs and brows and eyelashes into little lines of fire.

The sun searing the edge of your broken horn (even though your horn cannot feel), the sun like a hot iron jammed into your empty left eye socket and empty left shoulder socket (even though both are covered from the sun).

Burning you away into nothing.

In reality, you walked for three nights and three days. Based only on a fuzzy memory of a fuzzy destination on a fuzzy map, a map which seemingly had no relation to the landscape you could hardly see.

In your dream, you have to walk forever.

You have this dream quite often. This is not some sort of "life flashing before your eyes" bullshit, you have this dream all the time. You have no control over this dream.

If you DID have control over your dream, it would look something a bit more like this.

09/09/11
"Be Vriska Serket."

You are taking a nap.

After all, it might be the last you get before your execution.

... Plus, you were too exhausted to keep yourself awake.

09/09/11
"Be a different troll."

You are now LORD PAIRRAIL. You live at the same time as such individuals as Mindfang, Dualscar, and Darkleer--whoever the hell they are.

Apparently, the tendency to paint on your walls with your own blood is genetic. However, your access to the royal dungeons means you have a more varied selection of colors to work with.

... It seems you have also borrowed a bit from a couple of the royals you have devoted your life to protecting.

You will probably regret that when you come to your senses.

Among your many laudable accomplishments, you hold second prize for the most extreme non-sequitur character transition yet.

First prize goes to the troll immediately preceding you.

That's enough of this bullshit.

09/09/11
"Be a troll."

No your boch doechn't give a chit that chome jade blood bitch gave you a bloody noche.

Or that you jucht had to deal with a Threchechuchioner raid during your chift.

CHOMEONE'CH got to be vachuuming all theche goddamn fuching chpillch, pain in the ach though truly it be.

Cho that'ch what you're doing.

Chtanding around here

vachuuming all theche

goddamn

fuching

chpillch.

... Yeah, should have expected that. Try a DIFFERENT troll, hmmmm?

09/09/11
"Be Troll Canada."

Okay, LOOK, how many times do we have to--

Right.

So.

Look.

You cannot be a planet.

You CAN be a troll.

Try that.

09/09/11
"What cake?"

Exactly which "cake" is supposed to be a lie? You're quite certain there never has been, and never will be, a cake in this--

WHOA WHAT THE FUCK.

WHAT THE FUCK.

WHERE DID THAT

WHEN DID THAT

WHAT

WHAT

WHAT

WHAT

JEGUS KRYST HOLY FUCK

WE ARE OUT OF HERE

HOLY FUCK

09/09/11
"Be the [image]iioniic Helmsman."

... Well, this is boring.

What is even up with you? Are you sleeping? Dying? Dead? In a coma? Paralyzed by the vines/veins needling into your flesh? Rendered immobile by thousands of sweeps of hopeless despair? Are you scrawny from millennia of undying starvation, or deceased and mummified?

Are you causing those flashes? Intentionally? Unconsciously? Are they the final signals of a dying psychic? Or the long-leftover remnants of a long-dead mind, like static electricity after a thunderstorm? Is it something the battleship is doing to your corpse, trying to wake you up so you can pilot it again?

How long ago did you write those words in your blood--the suicide letter of a different troll? When he died? Before he died? Sweeps after? Just last week? Have you been writing a letter a sweep, just to mark the time? Or did you paint the room in your blood all in one instant, trying to bury the Tyrian glow beneath your yellow guttersludge blood? Did you bleed yourself dry in the attempt? Or did the witch's curse of life sustain you even without blood?

Why the fuck are you wearing the Condesce's pants like a scarf?

Naturally, you answer none of these questions.

Welp! Nothing to see here. The scene hasn't changed in more sweeps than you can count and it will not change for a few hours more.

08/09/11
"===>"

[image]
[image][image]

Nothing interesting will be happening here for a while, anyway.

Time to go to another planet.

08/09/11
"Descend."

Shamrock leads you down to the excavation site, then waits back while you take a closer look. Hakuba stays outside, being not too fond of the dark. You cannot say you miss her company. The other drones are currently on break, letting you examine their find alone.

It certainly is metal. Some sort of dome, perhaps? Like those domes atop the ruined structures you have been finding all over the light side--such as the one in which you discovered Fina.

Those were not metal, though. Or this far underground. What would a dome be doing here?

According to Shamrock, the drones intend to break through the dome--they think it is hollow--and explore the buried ruin from the inside. They think completely piercing it will take quite some time. And then who knows how long the actual exploration will take?

You will be waiting here a while.

Let's be someone else.

08/09/11
"Kanaya: Seduce Jhonen."

What?

No, you are not seducing him.

You are just trolling him to let him know that you probably will not be able to meet him, as urgent luxplorer business just came up. He is your friend, but luxploration is your job.

No seducing is happening.

We all need to settle down here.

Jhonen does not respond, but you are both used to leaving each other messages on Trollian when one of you is offline. He is probably still asleep.

08/09/11
"===>"

HAY KANAYA !
HAY GURL !

Hello
HOW YOU DOING GRUBBY GURL ?
Er
Fine
And Yourself

SHOOT GURL , YOU KNOW ME .
TAKING IT EASY .
BEING CHILL .
WATCHING OVER MAMA GRUBBY .
SAME OLD SAME OLD .

Thats Good
I Guess

KANAYA , GRUBBY , HOW LONG YOU STAYING ?
Just Long Enough To Make Another Contribution To The Slurry I Expect
DAYUMN GURL , YOU ' RE ALWAYS ON THE GO .
WHEN YOU GONNA LET ME DO SOMETHING WITH THAT HAIR OF YOURS LIKE YOU PROMISED I COULD ?

I Dont Recall Making That Promise
SHUT UP , YOU TOTALLY PROMISED .
But I Like My Hair
YOUR HAIR
IS
A DISASTER ! ! !


This is definitely Shamrock.

Unless all imperial drones act like this.

Which you doubt.

Im Content With My Disaster Thank You
BUT KANAYA
Its Fine
I Was Actually Hoping I Might Be Able To Deposit My Pail Here And Leave Without Venturing Inside
I Am Actually In A Bit Of A Rush

h0ld on kanaya
we have s0me bus1ness that y0u m1ght w1sh t0 take care 0f f1rst

Oh
What Sort Of Business

the dr0nes excavat1ng the br00d1ng caverns have h1t the t0p surface 0f the p1t they have been try1ng t0 d1g 0ut
Oh
I
Uh
See
I Was Not Aware That Pits Had Top Surfaces Which Could Be Hit
In Fact I Thought That Was Rather Antithetical To The Concept Of A Pit

WELL , THAT ' D BE BECAUSE IT AIN ' T A PIT AFTER ALL .
Do Tell
1t seems t0 be s0me s0rt 0f bur1ed h0ll0w structure
You Mean Like The Other Ruins On The Light Side
IF THE OTHER RUINS ARE MADE OF METAL , THEN YEAH .
Come Again
IT ' S METAL .
we d0n't kn0w what 1t 1s yet
but g1ven y0ur part t1me dut1es as a luxpl0rer f0r the c0ndesce we th0ught y0u m1ght w1sh t0 be 1nv0lved 1n the bur1ed structure's penetrat10n and expl0rat10n
1f n0t then we shall pr0ceed w1th0ut y0u

I See

Which will it be?

If you stay to help dig out this ruin, you will almost definitely miss the chance to meet Jhonen at the shuttle station.

However, you can apologize to him later; if you stay, you can get the news of whatever you find to Aradia all the faster. And get to see first hand what all of the fuss is about.

Which will it be?

08/09/11
"Kanaya: Seduce Hakuba."

You have tried before. It did not work. You suppose you are just not small, round, hard, or white enough for her tastes.

... Yes, you are a little bitter.

But, goodness, she is certainly lovely. Swoon. <3 You try not to think about the cueballs for a minute.

...

Nope. They're back. </3

As every rainbow drinker aficionado knows, a rainbow drinker's irises change color to reflect the blood colors of her most recent lucky meals--er, you mean, unfortunate victims. Given that Hakuba's are currently a pale green, you guess she has not fed in a while. You are completely torn in two about whether or not to offer her a sip.

Greetings Hakuba
g00d day kanaya
I Trust Your Guard Duties Are Going Well
qu1te s0
as are y0ur repr0duct1ve dut1es 1 assume

Yes Indeed
Ive Come By To Make Another Deposit In Fact

c0ngratulat10ns
by the way kanaya
1sn't th1s the same dress y0u w0re the last t1me y0u v1s1ted

Er
I
I Suppose Its Possible
I Dont Exactly Keep Track Of Which Of My Dresses I Happen To Wear From Visit To Visit

s0 1t seems
I
Uh
Notice You Have A New One

0h yes
1 recently f1n1shed 1t
1 th1nk 1t's qu1te l0vely
1 d0n't supp0se y0u've made any new dresses lately

No I Have Not
such a p1ty
Well Not All Trolls Have Enough Leisure Time To Make An Endless Supply Of New Outfits
yes well
1 supp0se s0me have d1fferent pr10r1t1es


ARRRGH.

If you had such a thing as a Flighty Broads And Their Snarky Horseshitometer, Hakuba would have all of the points. All of th--

No. You do not do that thing.

The worst part is you have no idea if she is a master at the art of the subtly cutting insult, or if she is just socially incompetent.

Well, enough of Hakuba. Now to greet the imperial--

07/09/11
"===>"

There seem to be two guards waiting for you. The one on the left you do not recognize (all imperial drones look the same to you), but you would not be surprised if that is Shamrock. You always seem to run into Shamrock.

Unless all imperial drones act alike and you just think they are all Shamrock.

And on the right...

Oh.

This is...

awkward.

Well, she IS a rainbow drinker, which is really quite enviable. And you are very fond of her fashion sense. And she is graceful and strong and beautiful and graceful and smells like roses and possesses the most hauntingly beautiful singing voice you have ever heard...

But you have a hard time looking at her and NOT remembering the time you discovered she is romantically attracted to cue balls.

Oh, well. This should only be a short stop.

07/09/11
"===>"

You are not the only troll involved in this artificial evolution project.

Certainly, you are one of the most valuable members, given your ability to withstand sunlight and thus your substantial genetic contribution to the project; but, you are not alone.

There are a few other trolls with a similar resistance, engaged in the same task as you. And there are multiple jade bloods and near-jade bloods caring for the young mother grub. ("Jade blood" in the traditional, technical sense, not the popular sense; true jade-blooded trolls are the only adult trolls that imperial drones let near mother grubs.)

There is also a swarm of "orphaned" imperial drones--orphaned in that the mother grub they formerly served has died, and thus they had to find another to serve. They are antsy, not quite knowing what to make of living in a brooding cavern off of Alternia, and not being allowed to go collect genetic material in their filial pails to give their mother grub. For the time being, though, their instinctive urge to do their filial duty has been buried by the more pressing need to dig a proper brooding cavern for their new mother.

This was the location chosen for the brooding caverns because the drones detected some sort of underground pit that they thought would be a suitable cave for the mother grub. However, they have yet to excavate that cave. Which you think rather disappoints them. Instead, they have been working on various other tunnels and on the external defenses.

07/09/11
"Be Surrogia's light side."

Oh for fuck's sake--

You are now ON Surrogia's light side. You cannot actually BE Surrogia's light side.

You are Kanaya Maryam.

You are heading toward Surrogia's dark side in order to meet with Jhonen. However, before you can proceed to the dark side, you have to make a stop.

You need to deliver a freshly-filled pail to a mother grub.

06/09/11
"===>"

You were planning on spending the rest of the night making up sick rhymes, but you are too nervous to stick to one thing that long. So, instead, you finished packing, styled your hair with Faygo and slime, painted your face, and changed into some shitty clown pants.

And now you are standing on your counter because how often do you get a chance to stand on a counter in your own hive. Even if you wanted to, every surface that is not already covered with random crap gets covered in feathers.

So.

All packed.

All ready to go.

All right.

Just a few hours now.

Just a few hours until you head to the shuttle station.

Get a blood test.

Get your blood and symbol entered in the system.

Oh, sorry, you mean your 6L99D AND SYM69L.

Just a few hours until Karkat Vantas finds out that he is not, as he believes, the sole heir to the Sufferer's legacy.

Just a few hours until the Sufferer Replicus's title is challenged.

Just a few hours until the source of all of his power and influence is threatened by your very existence.

...

No way in fuck are you going, there is absolutely no way you are doing this, you are NEVER getting on a fucking shuttle and NEVER going to the fucking station and NEVER even going to a fucking d9ct9r who can test your fucking 6l99d 6ecause you would be S9 fucked you would be so fucked y9u w9uld 6e S9 C9MPLETELY FUCKED Y9U CAN NEVER LEAVE ALTERNIA IF Y9U D9N'T WANT T9 DIE Y9U ARE STAYING IN THIS STUPID FUCKING HIVE F9REVER AND SENDING 9UT Y9UR LUSUS T9 GET F99D JUST LIKE Y9U D9 N9W AND Y9U D9N'T CARE IF Y9U'LL DISAPP9INT THE 9NE FRIEND Y9U ACTUALLY LET VISIT Y9U, Y9U D9N'T CARE IF THIS MEANS Y9U CAN'T EVEN 6E FRIENDS ANYM9RE, 6ECAUSE Y9U ARE N9T G9ING ANYWHERE THAT KARKAT VANTAS CAN CATCH Y9U, Y9U REFUSE Y9U REFUSE Y9U REFUSE T9 G9 T9 HIM

Y9U

WILL

N9T

G9

T9

HIM


...oh god

just

calm down there, Stride.

Nobody's making you go.

Nobody even had to see that totally fucking messed up freak-out you pulled.

What are you doing, flipping your shit all over your nutrient preparation block. Like a hyperactive shit catapult. Is that even a thing? Man.

You are just...

You are just.

Going to chill the fuck out.

Go back to your respiteblock.

Get on your computer.

Check out a movie forum you and Jhonen visit sometimes.

And in the morning

you are not

going

to leave

your hive.

Simple as that.

Nothing to worry about.

The Stride knows what's up.

It's okay. The bogeyman that has been lurking in your future for all these sweeps is gone. Right when you got almost nose-to-nose with him, he disappeared. Poof. Gone. Forever. Just like that.

You will never face him.

You will never have to face him as long as you do not advance.

All you have to do is abscond.

Spend the rest of your fucking life absconding.

You can do that. You have done it so far.

As long as you never have to face him.

Okay. Sounds good. You will just be a crazy anonymous creeper who never leaves Alternia. Not too bad a life, it is not like you had any big plans and it is not like it would be any different from the life you are living now anyway.

... On a completely different note, let us reiterate how SO TOTALLY EXCITED Jhonen is to get to hang out with you for the whole trip to Surrogia.

06/09/11
"Daivat: Put on your war paint."

Honk honk motherfuckass.

You even slicked your hair back. You now smell like grape Faygo and sopor slime.

You do not typically wear the shitty clown makeup, even if you are supposedly into the shitty clown stuff. But if you are going to be heading to the shuttle station this evening, you want at LEAST one more layer between yourself and the rest of the world. Not that it will do you any good.

06/09/11
"===>"

jhojho
jhojho i burneded my mouth jhojho
on the cookieth
help jhojho

oh, oops.

She is not terribly bright.

Admittedly, you MIGHT have given her the cookies too early. You do not actually know how long it takes cookies to cool, you only make them for guests.

Although it is no longer officially banned like it was in the old days, the Church of the Sanguine Sufferer frowns upon the consumption of cookies and cakes by its followers. For some reason, cakes and cookies are associated with the evil Witch Condesce. You do not know why. But in any case you stick to candy to be safe.

You are still going to spend the rest of the day comforting Altari. But, after that, she's on her own!

We might as well be somebody else now, since you will not be doing much until you set out to the shuttle station in the evening. Just think, you will get to hang out with Daivat for the whole trip to Surrogia! YOU ARE SO TOTALLY EXCITED!

So let's be him.

06/09/11
"Jhonen: Do something to rescue Altari from her lusus."

But that would completely go against everything you believe!

Why would you do that?

She has her lusus for a reason; and HE would want her to fulfill the duties that come with that lusus. And you take that stuff very seriously!

Seriously enough to warrant a shitty "sym69lic" religious photomanip like the kind that kids who think they're artists put up online to show off how deep and mature they are to their friends who also think they're artists. Such as the one pictured above.

THAT'S HOW SERIOUSLY YOU TAKE THAT STUFF.

Sure, to some extent, all trolls control their own lives. But there are also roles that trolls must fulfill; the places they have in society, their positions in the hierarchy, that sort of thing. And the most important determinant of your role in life is your blood color. After all, JEGUS KRYST came to Alternia and fought HIS RIGHTE9US CRUSADE 9F PITYING HATE just to get people to acknowledge and obey the true meanings behind their blood colors.

But while blood color is probably the most important indicator of your purpose in life, it's not the only one. Another important one is what your lusus is! You're supposed to stick with your lusus for life. A lusus is assigned for a reason. It is a terrible idea to deliberately abandon a lusus just because it is challenging to take care of it.

And you would be a terrible person to separate Altari from her lusus!

So, no, you are not going to rescue her. She has to rise to meet this challenge herself.

Besides, you have trained her as well as you can. And she has some friends who have already promised to help her feed her lusus.

... Even so, you do not have high hopes for her.

06/09/11
"Be Alternia."

Okay.

Look.

You cannot be a planet.

Be Jhonen instead.

05/09/11
"===>"

s0
i guess y0ure g0ing t0 stay with him t0day

yeah.
... waiit, ii2 iit daytiime?

n0t really
but i was g0ing t0 my recuperac00n
its l0ng past when i usually try t0 get t0 sleep every day
night
whichever

oh.
yeah.
ok.
let me know when you wake up 2o ii can update you on KK
and 2tuff
ii gue22.

0k
...
...
good day.
g00d day
2leep well, ii gue22.
ill try
...
...


... Sollux is almost back to his "usual" self. You call it "usual" even though it has not been his typical self since... you do not know. Since before he left for Troll Britain? Maybe since before you left Alternia? Who knows.

He is closing in on himself, refusing to show anything, hardening to the outside world, getting defensive when anyone pries. Which is how he used to be--usually--before Troll Britain.

His apology just now was a slip-up. But after that, he was... closed.

No clinging, no passionate confessions, no announcements on his emotional state--which have been regular for him recently. Instead, completely... closed.

Back to normal.

You wonder if that's a sign that he's getting better, or getting worse. Which is worse: the desperation or the isolation?

... You are too exhausted to think about it now. Too emotionally exhausted. All your pity, both romantic and platonic, has been spent several times over, on Sollux and Karkat.

It has been a long, long night.

You need sleep.

We should probably let this group alone for a while and go somewhere else. Where to?

05/09/11
"===>"

Instead, you decide to update Aradia already.

To whom you are also a douche. Considering that you ABANDONED HER AND KILLED YOURSELF.

You suck.

Sollux began telepathically communicating with Aradia

AA iim 2o 2orry.
what f0r?
what happened? 0_0
0h my g0d
did karkat...

no no he2 ok.
my apology ii2 totally iirelevant two KK2 2tate.

0h
0k
then whats it f0r

oh nothiing iin partiicular, ju2t wanted two get iit off my che2t.
0k...?
s0llux whats wr0ng

let2 ju2t move on.
s0llux seri0usly
what is it

iit2 NOTHIING ok 2HEE2H why cant you ju2t let thii2 2tuff go?
y0u br0ught it up
well now iim un briingiing iit up.
2o there.

s0llux...
iit2 nothiing.
do you want two hear about KK or not?

... fine
h0w is he

he2 ok ba2iically.
hii2 blood ii2 gonna look a liittle brown a whiile ii thiink.

but hes safe right
hes n0t in danger 0f dying

nope.
well he diid flat liine for a 2econd

WHAT
but he came back.
0h g0d
iit2 fiine really.
he even woke up for a biit.
and he wa2 actiing exactly liike hii2 regular 2elf.
... EXACTLY liike hii2 regular 2elf.

0h
g0d
g00d
thats
thats g00d

yeah.
he2 goiing two be ok.

g00d
yeah.
...
...

05/09/11
"Sollux: Perma-revoke your friendship with Karkat."

YOU ARE THE MOST AWFUL TROLL IN THE UNIVERSE.

How could you have done that? To KARKAT of all trolls? WHAT KIND OF A FUCKING MONSTER ARE YOU?

YOU ARE THE BIGGEST DOUCHE EVER. THE BIGGEST. If your douchiness were literal rather than metaphorical, you would have just drowned not only your OWN universe in douche, but also that other universe you used to see in your freaky visions. Your douchiness transcends the laws of physics.

In case it is not obvious, you are now having second thoughts about what you just did.

Which is why you have perma-revoked your friendship with Karkat. It is for his own good. He did nothing to deserve a jumbo-douche like you for a friend.

But... you were just trying to save him from himself. Sure, he will be upset, but would it be better to let him stay with the sea dweller who tried to KILL him? No, it would NOT. For some completely unfathomable reason Karkat is kind of messed up and if he does not have enough common sense to stay away from sea dwellers that try to kill him, then shouldn't somebody else have that common sense for him?

On the other hand, doesn't he NEED a kismesis? Isn't his lack of one and his consequent *AHEM* "playa"-ness one of his biggest problems? Maybe this was a good thing. Maybe it would have helped him straighten out a little. Maybe you just ruined his one chance at stabilizing himself.

But that sea dweller WANTED HIM DEAD. And he's a SEA DWELLER, they are fucking MERCILESS, there is no way he could have been after a kismesissitude with Karkat! He obviously only wanted a chance to kill Karkat! YOU SAVED KARKAT'S LIFE.

But, that sea dweller also begged for a second chance. He said all he wanted was to fill a quadrant. Is that the way a stone-cold assassin would behave?

UNLESS IT WAS AN ACT?

OH FUCK YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW ANYMORE.

Seem's like you're currently...

...

...

...

... of two minds about this. (0)n(0)

Yeah...

You just make everyone around you miserable. Don't you.

Maybe you should, just. Let yourself dissolve. Fade out of existence. So nobody has to deal with you and your douchiness and your indecisiveness anymore.

... Wait, no, THAT'S THE STUPIDEST IDEA YOU HAVE EVER HAD IN YOUR LIFE. AND/OR THE STUFF AFTER YOUR LIFE.

You are NOT going to commit suicide twice in the same night. Jegus, what're you thinking. Wow, that was dumb. If memories were Trollian logs you could delete, the memory of that thought would have hit the trash can faster than that argument you and Karkat had about puppets. ... And you wish you could delete the memory of that puppet chat log, too.

04/09/11
"Eridan: React."

Fuck this Faygo shit, and fuck this bozo jade blood's hive, and fuck Fef for playing with ribbons instead of immediately noticing your deep emotional distress, and fuck Kar for playing around with your poor delicate collapsing and expanding bladder based aquatic vascular system, and fuck YOU for not fucking Kar when you had the chance.

This is why

it never pays

to get close to anybody higher on the hemospectrum than you.

This is why you have to keep yourself guarded, at all times. Because if you do not, you will get hooked, reeled in, and gutted.

You had thought you had a chance for once, you had thought there was something, you had really hoped--

But you are used to having your hopes shattered. On the inside, you take the broken pieces and use them to add another layer to your shield of self-pity.

On the outside, however, you decide that the only logical course of action is to leave without telling anybody, sell one of Karkat's stolen weapons for way less than it is actually worth, use your profits to buy a lot of whiskey, get drunk, and hit on anybody you see who looks halfway attractive. Which means everybody.

Your life seems to be fueled by stupid little misunderstandings that could be cleared up with five minutes of conversation. Unfortunately, you are melodramatic and Karkat is unconscious.

It would probably just be uncomfortable to watch this train wreck. We can be you again in a few hours. Until then, let's go back to the hospital.

04/09/11
"===>"

That was pretty much inevitable.

Frankly, you are surprised you went as long as you did without breaking it. That is probably the longest you have operated a computer solely with your psychic power before busting something.

... You owe Karkat a new computer.

Well, hopefully that will be the end of that sea dweller. He seems like just some desperate loser.

Unfortunately, you are unaware of just how determined Eridan gets when he is desperate.

Perhaps we should check in on him.

04/09/11
"===>"

You should have known.

You should have KNOWN this was going to happen.

Who do you think you are? Some kind of magical mertroll? A fucking princess who's gonna score the fucking prince?

Why would Karkat hate somebody like you? You escaped arrest through sheer luck, you got into his hive through MORE luck, you could not keep up when you dueled, and you did not even fill a damn bucket. You probably look pathetic to him. You guess you were just a filler in between more interesting prospects!

You are completely sure that this is exactly what has happened and that there are not possibly any extenuating circumstances about which you might not be aware.

Your think pan comes with two settings: "asleep" and "melodrama."

KV: OH MY COD
KV: I DONT
KV: WWHAT DID I DO WWRONG

KV: OH II DONT KNOW, LET2 MAKE A LII2T.
KV: IIT 2TART2 WIITH BREAKIING IINTWO HII2 QUARTER2 AND END2 WIITH TRYIING TWO KIILL HIIM.
KV: WHO THE FUCK TRIIE2 TWO KIILL THEIIR KII2ME2II2 ANYWAY?

KV: I WWASNT TRYIN TO
KV: I WWAS JUST
KV: I JUST WWANTED TO FILL A GLUBBIN QUADRANT IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK FOR

KV: THE WAY YOURE DOIING IIT, YE2.
KV: TELL KAR IM SORRY
KV: TELL HIM TO GIVVE ME ANOTTER CHANCE PLEASE
KV: IM BEGGIN HIM

KV: YOU THIINK YOURE GONNA GET A KII2ME2II2 BY BEGGIING?
KV: HOWW ELSE AM I GONNA GET HIM TO LISTEN
KV: WOW THII2 II2 ACTUALLY GETTIING REALLY PATHETIIC.
KV: WHAT DIID KK 2EE IIN YOU.
KV: YOURE NOT EVEN HII2 TYPE.

KV: COD I DONT KNOWW
KV: I WWISH I KNEWW
KV: WWHAT DO I HAVVE TO DO TO IMPRESS HIM
KV: JUST TELL ME THAT


karkatVantas's [KV'S] computer exploded.

KV: OH MY COD WWHAT

04/09/11
"===>"

You decided not to tell Aradia. She does not need to know that Karkat is already back to being as stupid as usual. Under the current circumstances, STUPIDER than usual.

Given that you are not going to tell Aradia, you are going to tell SOMEONE.

Usually you would not give a fuck. You would be happy to let Karkat be an idiot.

But "usually" is not the day that you died and found out, first hand, what death was like.

And the day that one of the few people you reluctantly call your friend almost joined you.

And this is the troll that did it.

And he is not going to get away with this bullshit.

KV: II JU2T THOUGHT YOU 2HOULD KNOW
KV: KK2 ALREADY OVER YOU

KV: OVVER ME WWHAT
KV: YOURE DONE.
KV: HE LO2T IINTERE2T AND MOVED ON.

KV: BUT
KV: WWHAT

KV: NOT LE22 THAN TWO MIINUTE2 AGO HE WA2 GETTIING HOT AND HEAVY WIITH ANOTHER TROLL.
KV: BUT I WWAS JUST WWITH HIM
KV: LOOK2 LIIKE YOURE NOT ANYMORE.
KV: ARE YOU SHORE IT WWAS CALIGINOUS
KV: MAYBE HE WWAS FEELIN FLUSHED

KV: II AM TWO HUNDRED PERCENT "2HORE."
KV: II GREW UP WIITH HIIM.
KV: II KNOW WHEN HE2 IIN A BLACK MOOD.

KV: BUT I WWAS WWITH HIM
KV: LIKE JUST A LITTLE WWHALE AGO
KV: WWERE KISMESISSES

KV: DIID HE 2AY THAT?
KV: WWELL NOT LIKE THE ACTUAL WWORDS BUT
KV: THE MEANIN WWAS PRETTY FUCKIN CLEAR

KV: YOU DO REALIIZE HE DOE2 THAT WIITH JU2T ABOUT ANYONE RIIGHT?
KV: WWHAT
KV: DUEL EM, PAIIL EM, DUMP EM.
KV: ALL THE TIIME.

KV: BUT
KV: BUT
KV: BUT

KV: IIF YOU CANT EVEN FIINII2H A FUCKIING 2ENTENCE DONT CLIICK ENTER.
KV: II MEAN 2HEE2H.
KV: NOBODY WANT2 TWO 2EE YOUR MENTAL 2TUTTERIING.

KV: BUT THE SPADE ACTS
KV: OH THAT?
KV: YOU 2ENT HIIM TWO THE HO2PIITAL, YOUD BE DEAD NOW IIF HE DIIDNT DO THAT.
KV: HE2 PRETTY POLIITE TOWARD HII2 BLACK EXE2, HE PROBABLY DIID THAT JU2T A2 A THANK YOU FOR A GOOD TIIME.

KV: EXES
KV: IM A EX

KV: YE2.
KV: YOU PAIIL HIIM, HE 2PARE2 YOUR LIIFE.
KV: THAT2 ALL IIT II2.

KV: BUT WWE DIDNT PAIL
KV: WELL THAT EXPLAIIN2 WHY HE LO2T IINTERE2T IIN YOU 2O FA2T.
KV: OH MY COD

04/09/11
"Attempt TRANSITION VIA IRONIC REVERSAL maneuver."

You have to be the luckiest troll in the universe for a sea dweller lowblood like you to score a bright red royal.

By the way, you are very sugar high right now. The world currently consists of bright, jittery colors. You are surrounded by posters of clowns of varying grim and jolly persuasions, none of which seem to be in full possession of their mental faculties. At some point, Feferi and that jade blood talked you into temporarily wearing some of the jade blood's clothes while she washed the stuff you stole from Karkat and Nepeta.

You find you are becoming less and less bothered about getting stuck in skirts. Maybe it is because this one is not covered in Squiddles. Or maybe it is because of the Faygo. Or maybe you just look good in skirts. After all, Karkat DID decide to abduct you while you were wearing a skirt. And you remain convinced that the sign to his quarters was indeed a female gaperoom sign, even if you could not actually see it.

The jade blood does not know it yet, but you are totally going to steal these clothes forever.

Feferi and the jade blood are off talking about cute animals or something like that. Except one of them is covered in ribbons. You are not sure how this happened. You are kind of not paying very close attention, the party was not your idea anyway. Instead, you are going through all of Karkat's files. Like his movie scripts. Which are fucking terrible. It's kind of pathetic.

Hey, somebody is trolling--

Ooh, Karkat's trolling you! <3<

karkatVantas [KV] began trolling karkatVantas [KV]

KV: ARE YOU THERE?
KV: HEY KAR WWHATS UP
KV: MISSIN YOUR COMPUTER YET
KV: IIM NOT KK, FIINFACE.
KV: II JU2T BORROWED HIIS COMPUTER BECAU2E II FIIGURED YOUD 2TIILL BE IIMPER2ONATIING HIIM.
KV: OH
KV: WWELL
KV: AND II CANT FIIGURE OUT HOW TWO TURN HII2 CAP2 LOCK OFF.
KV: OH YEAH ME NEITHER AS FAR AS I CAN SEA HES GOT IT STUCK THIS WWAY ON PORPOISE
KV: OH GOD, FII2H PUN2.
KV: WWHAT YOU GOT A PROBLEM WWITH FISH PUNS
KV: YE2.
KV: HOLD ON, THII2 II2 GOIING TWO GIIVE ME A HEADACHE, IIM CHANGIING COLOR2.
KV: WWAIT WWHAT

KV: THERE.
KV: YOU CAN CHANGE THE COLOR
KV: JUST LIKE THAT

KV: YE2, *II* CAN.
KV: *YOU* CANT.

KV: SAYS WWHO
KV: 2AY2 THE HACKER NOW 2HUT UP.
KV: THERE2 2OMETHIING II HAVE TWO TELL YOU.
KV: AND THEN YOU CAN GO BACK TWO GLUBBIING OR EATIING FII2H 2TIICKS OR TRYIING TWO ASSASSIINATE ROYAL2 OR WHATEVER THE FUCK YOU DO.

KV: OK DO YOU HAVVE ANY IDEA HOW FUCKIN RACIST THAT IS
KV: I MEAN I DONT EVVEN EAT FISH STICKS WWHAT THE FUCK

KV: YOU KEEP ON TYPIING BUT ALL II 2EE II2 GLUB GLUB GLUB.
KV: FUCK YOU
KV: GLUB GLUB.
KV: 2HUT UP AND LII2TEN FIINFACE.

04/09/11
"Exactly what do you like about sea dwellers so much?"

WHAT'S NOT TO LIKE?!

Their refined facial features! Their perfect muscle tone! Their graceful movements! Their eyes, their fins! THEY'RE JUST BEAUTIFUL. IT'S AN OBJECTIVE FACT. THEY'RE ROYALTY FOR A FUCKING REASON.

And their voices. You have no idea why land dwellers think they sound silly, their accent is pure music. Like wind-swept waves set free from care or fear; you hear a wat'ry rush in ev'ry word; a siren's song to weary sailor ear; the most melodious sound that--

Oh, no. Stop right there. You are not about to write ANOTHER sonnet about their voices. They just come out of you. You cannot help it.

It is even beautiful when they use sea puns. You LIKE the sea puns. And the glubbing, why does nobody else like the glubbing? Land dwellers don't realize there's actual MEANING behind it. You grew up on the coast, you can sort of understand, and there are nuances to the way they glub that just express so much more than mere words alone. A murmur in the void left between speech; emotion with no words to hide the truth; just naked meaning left upon the beach; a pearl, a breath, a--

NO! No more poetry! This is getting silly!

It has gotten to the point where your, er, friend-helper-assistant-whatever Migdal just stops writing whenever you start talking about sea dwellers. (She likes writing what you say, for some reason. You have no idea why. You guess she likes the way you talk. Not... not that you're complaining, since like, you like that she likes it, you guess, but-- Nope, stop thinking.)

You really do not get why nobody else sees it.

But, in any case, it is not going to make you reconsider overthrowing them. Because they are all assholes and pricks. Beautiful, beautiful assholes and pricks.

And it is not going to make you break your vow of celibacy.

Not that you would even have a shot at that.

You'd have to be the luckiest troll in the universe for a bright red lowblood like you to score a sea dweller royal.

04/09/11
"So what's all this revolution nonsense, then?"

Oh.

Well.

You know.

You figured, as long as you are the cancer doomed to kill Alternia, you might as well do it on purpose. And try to enjoy it. Or pretend to enjoy it.

BESIDES, the highbloods PISS YOU OFF SO MUCH. Everything they do is infuriating! Ooooh look at me, I'm a Subjugglator and I'm enslaving the girl who pities you enough to give you free lodging because I need a fucking battery for my fucking ship because I want to go on a fucking vacation on another fucking planet! Ooooh look at me, I'm a blue blood with fancy tailored armor and I'm going to laugh at you because you had to dye your symbol into your shirt with your own blood because you're too fucking poor to buy a proper one! Ooooh look at us, we're a WHOLE FUCKING BUNCH of Subjugglators and we're going to tear down the farm that you steal eggs from sometimes because we want to put up a shrine tent to the Mirthful Messiahs who don't even fucking exist and they totally stole the whole "goes around singing" thing from the Werebeast Balladeer anyway! Ooooh look at me, I'm a FUCKING ROYAL and I'm going to BAN LAND DWELLERS FROM EATING SHELL FISH EVEN IF THEY CATCH THEM BY THEMSELVES. What the fuck?! YOU HAPPEN TO LIKE CLAMS.

So let's see how THEY like being banned from eating clams! Or having their hives torn down! Or having to walk around in old sacks for shirts! Or being used to power ships whenever a rust blood wants to go on vacation!

... Actually, you do not know how they could be used to power ships. Since they are not psychic. But you are sure someone can find a way! Maybe if... if a WHOLE BUNCH of them are put in the ship... at the same time... that could work.

You actually have no idea what makes ships go. Probably MAGIC THINGS. Like the things that make movies work.

You fucking love movies, by the way. Your favorite one is Some Like It Hot. Yes, that's the full title. AND IT IS AMAZING. Even if you have no idea how movies work. Gotta be magic. Definitely magic.

But bottom line. Highbloods.

You fucking hate highbloods.

Which is as good a reason as any to overthrow them.

Your attraction to any troll that can breathe underwater notwithstanding. You can be more attracted to sea dwellers than iron to a magnet (which is also clearly a magic thing) and STILL want to overthrow them.

The two feelings are not mutually exclusive.

You are going to fight them.

And you are going to overthrow them.

And then the sea dwellers are going down on you.

Wait! No! You meant to stop at "The sea dwellers are going down"! Those last two words were just a slip of the tongue! ... In your head! You did not mean them! WHY DO YOU KEEP DOING THIS.

02/09/11
"===>"

You are angel spawn.

You know this is a fact because everybody keeps telling you so. Which makes it true. And their arguments are more compelling than yours anyway.

You ARE angel spawn.

An angel is a terrible mythical demon, with these awful feathery wings. And they are used by the universe to usher in the end.

The end of WHAT does not matter--the end of a universe, a world, a species, an era. They are signs of the end. Harbingers of the end. Catalysts of the end.

Their power is holy fire, if pure evil can be called "holy." Their wrathful eyes weep white fury, and their wicked veins bleed red sunlight.

Their light destroys hope, and their fire creates suffering.

Their holy fire tears across worlds, burning like the sun. Their holy fire overtakes and kills societies, the way cancer overtakes and kills bodies.

And you are their spawn.

You do not have troll blood. You have angel blood--the color of the sun. There is no other explanation for your blood.

You are a harbinger of the end. You are the cancer that will kill Alternia. You will destroy hope with their light, and create suffering with their fire. You know you are. What else could you be?

Which is why you refuse to let anyone near you. Red or black, conciliatory or concupiscent--it does not matter. Nobody deserves to be close to a monster like you. You would only make them suffer.

In fact, if you were any sort of decent troll, you would not even put prostitutes through that kind of treatment.

If you were any sort of decent troll, you would not do your filial duty. You would not risk spawning another generation of angel spawn. You would take a vow of passive suicide.

If you were any sort of decent troll.

But you guess you are actually just an asshole.

It's in your blood.

02/09/11
"Jegus: Clarify on whether this means you have never filled a pail."

HAH. You would be SO DEAD if you had never filled a one-of-those-things!

... Call them receptacles.

Refusing to fill a sordid receptacle, even for the imperial drone, is not a vow of chastity. That's a vow of celibacy. Vows of celibacy are basically vows of passive suicide. Unless you actually think you can evade the drones, in which case a vow of celibacy is a vow of stupidity.

You are neither stupid nor suicidal. Yet.

A vow of chastity means different things in different contexts. One definition is that it is a vow to never fill a receptacle with anybody other than your sworn matesprit or kismesis--but since that is considered a good idea and generally most trolls frown upon doing otherwise, using the vow for that purpose does not exactly carry much weight.

Another definition, the more common one, is that it is a vow to never fill a receptacle for any purposes other than filial duty. No recreational receptacle-filling, ever.

A slightly more extreme version is a vow not only to never fill a receptacle for any purpose other than filial duty, but also to never fill your concupiscent quadrants.

And a more extreme version of that is a refusal to fill any of your quadrants.

That is the vow of chastity you have taken. You have never been in an auspsticism, a kismesissitude, a matespritship, or a moirallegiance. You have restrained yourself from showing undue hate or pity toward anyone; whenever you find yourself in a feud, you either hasten to resolve it yourself or else quickly finish it with bloodshed before a mediator can intervene; you resist the urge to intervene in rivalries that you witness brewing; you hold back from offering advice or comfort to those whom you think need it, and you close your sponge clots to any who try to offer you advice. You have never filled a quadrant, and by the Werebeast Balladeer you vow you never will.

What? Oh, the Werebeast Balladeer?

The Dog God, the God Dog? The Song-Howler, the Howl-Singer? High God of Storms and Low God of Machines? Trickster Traitor and Fallen God, Lone Kismesis of the 47 High Gods? Wraith of the Woods and Spirit of the Seashores? Speaker of the Vast Bark? Shoosher of the Vast Glub? Him?

That is the deity you worship. Duh. As if there are any others worth worshipping. Since the Werebeast Balladeer is the only REAL one.

Okay, so there are forty-seven other real ones, but all of them hate Alternia. The Werebeast Balladeer is the only one on Alternia's side. WHICH IS WHY YOU WORSHIP HIM. It makes perfect fucking sense.

Everyone you know who isn't some sort of weird heathen wrong-god-worshipping idiot worships the Werebeast Balladeer. You cannot conceive of a universe in which the primary deity of worship were NOT the Werebeast Balladeer. Who else would everybody worship?

Anyway, vow of chastity.

You have never filled a quadrant. And never will.

Whenever the drones come for you, you scrounge together whatever bits of cash you have, steal whatever you still need, and pay a couple of prostitutes to save your life.

And then you crawl into whatever shack or tent or cave you currently call home, fight the urge to vomit, and fall asleep crying.

When people ask why you took such a vow, you say it is because you would never fill your quadrants anyway. You are too much of a monster. Angel spawn, veined sunlight. You might get SOME hate and SOME pity, but only the platonic kinds. Nobody would want to be your moirail or your kismesis or your whatever.

Nobody wants to be with you. So might as well swear off trying.

Which is an answer that people accepted for a while.

Until it became obvious that this is not true.

Among your followers, several would gladly be--WANT to be--your moirail or your matesprit. Some have even asked, and you turned them down. You have fellow revolutionaries who like your general ideas but not your specific plans, who would be glad to argue them out with you with the help of a mediator. A few local blueblood enemies have solicited you caliginously. You know there are at least a few more who wish to duel you but REALLY wish for a third party to stop such a depraved impropriety. You have a few options. And if trolls keep joining your stupid uprising like for some reason they stupidly are, you will quite soon be drowning in options.

Which makes your "nobody wants to be with you" explanation rather flimsy.

So here's the real one.

You don't want anybody to be with you.

Not "you don't want to be with anybody," but "you don't want anybody to be with you."

Because you are too much of a monster.

You're angel spawn.

02/09/11
"Jegus: Attempt to get sea dweller's attention."

NO. NO. BAD IDEA. VERY BAD. VOW OF CHASTITY. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

VOW OF CHASTITY VOW OF CHASTITY VOW OF CHASTITY VOW OF CHASTITY.

VOW OF CHASTITY.

VOW OF CHASTITY.

Besides, that's just a bad idea in general.

02/09/11
"===>"

Ah.

That's where the sparkles are coming from.

C9LD AS THEIR HEARTS ARE,
AND FR9ZEN AS THEIR S9ULS ARE,
WHY ARE THEY S9 H9T??

pfffffh33
JJ, of allll the fuckiing...
wiillll you just shut up allready.

6UT THEIR FAIR F9RMS ARE S9 UNFAIR!
THEIR 6EAUTY 6ELIES THEIR CRUELTY
N9 LAND DWELLER CAN C9MPARE
IS ELEGANCE INVERSE T9 HUMILITY?

h33h33h33
JJ you're the onlly one here who's iin2 sea dwellllers ok?
so just
stop iit.
ii'm startiing 2 get embarrassed just from standiing so near you.

Y9U TW9 HAVE
N9 FUCKING TASTE.
6EAUTY IS WASTE
-ED 9N Y9U.
FREAKS.

angellspawn.
FUCK Y9U.
GUYS! >CC
jegus, you DO have to admit they sound roarther funny.

FUCK Y9U T99.
hey!
THEIR ACCENT IS PURE MUSIC.
THEIR EVERY W9RD MEL9DIC.
AND IF Y9U TW9 D9N'T HEAR IT
Y9UR AURICULAR SP9NGE CL9TS ARE FULL 9F SHIT

JEGUS! >CC
JJ ii'm seriious SHUT THE FUCK UP
SCREE!
BZZZ!
RAWR!

Unsurprisingly, this is not an episode that made it into the canonical texts.

... But in Karkat's defense, not everything is genetically inheritable.

02/09/11
"Go into the far past."

Who's this douchebag?

Some royal who happens to be passing by on the street below, apparently.

No idea where the sparkles are coming from, though.

02/09/11
"So DOES Karkat have some kind of weird thing for sea dwellers?"

Well.

Let's check the evidence.

02/09/11
"This is what he was like tonight."

You swear on the other half of your soul, that is literally EXACTLY how he acted.

You have never before seen him pursue somebody who did not demonstrate interest in him first.

Much less launch himself at a horrified-looking sea dweller.

That? Is not okay.

Not because you actually give a crap about her feelings or something--he's Advisier and he has special blood, she's a finface--but because Karkat's always acting like a fucking elitist about romance. He is always criticizing other trolls' love lives and saying how psychologically speaking their relationships are doomed and on and on. And one of the things he ALWAYS gripes about is the myth that if you FORCE black affections on somebody, they will start hating you and eventually reciprocate. The whole concept is one of his pet peeves. And then after all his ranting, here he does basically the same thing.

Even worse, he did it right after he pulled out all the stops for that OTHER sea dweller.

Trolls do not have any sort of official way to vow to stay in a quadrant with another troll for life; the declaration of matespritship or kismesissitude or whatever is as close as it comes. Political alliances involve more official vows than quadrant agreements. Flarping partnerships involve more official vows than quadrant agreements.

However, if there WERE to be some sort of official way to announce that you are Lovers For Life with another troll, invoking the Spade Acts is what it would be for kismesissitude.

Admittedly, Karkat WAS in a weird position when he made that decision. First off, he was half-delusional from blood loss. Second, he had to invoke the Spade Acts just to ensure the possibility of continuing his stupid relationship, since otherwise that sea dweller would be dead as fuck by now.

But still. The fact that Karkat JUST USED THE SPADE ACTS on one troll and is ALREADY going after another? Yeah, that is gross. Especially from a bluh bluh romantic expert like him. And ESPECIALLY especially considering that they are both sea dwellers. Does he have some kind of weird thing for sea dwellers?

Oh well. Not like you really care.

You are probably going to stay with Karkat until he recovers, to make sure nothing else happens to him.

And you had better tell Aradia to watch out for that sea dweller running the threshecutioners.

... You wonder if you should also tell her that, after invoking the Spade Acts, Karkat is ALREADY going after other trolls again. He's half dead and he's still trying.

She is no happier than you that he has apparently decided to stick with the troll who ALMOST KILLED HIM. Perhaps she will be glad to hear about something that might cause the dissolution of the relationship.

On the other hand, it might just upset her even more to find out Karkat just went through all that idiocy for nothing.

Which is it?

02/09/11
"This is what he is usually like."

You swear on half your soul, that is literally EXACTLY how he acts. You SWEAR. Really.

Really.

In any case, bottom line is he does not go around just putting the moves on every troll that crosses his path; just the ones that put moves on him first. ... Assuming that assassination attempts count as flirting. Apparently, Karkat thinks they count.

It is like he WANTS everyone to hate him for some reason, and so he flings himself all over anybody who sprinkles him with the least bit of negative attention. But that train of thought brings up the obvious question "Why the hell does he want everyone to hate him that much?" So you try not to think about that too hard.

So. That is what he is usually like.

02/09/11
"Sollux: Stop that sea dweller from taking over the threshecutioners."

... Nah.

You might have second thoughts later, but for now, nah. SOMEBODY needs to be running the threshecutioners, you guess, and it is not like you know how to go choose someone better. If that sea dweller actually IS attempting a coup, Karkat can un-coup things when he wakes up.

True, she seems a little... unstable, but at least she has that land dweller moirail to talk her out of murder. (Although, if her moirail had failed and she had made an attempt on Karkat's life, you would have been MORE THAN READY to take care of her.)

In any case, you plan on warning Aradia to keep an eye on that sea dweller.

When he finds out, Karkat might be annoyed. But that is fine. Karkat is being kind of a douche today anyway, he could do with being annoyed.

Sure, you tease him sometimes about overusing his pail--such as with those gag shades you gave him that for some reason he actually wears--but he usually isn't an asshole about it. It's like...

Okay, let's illustrate this.

01/09/11
"Rhosyn: Sigh."

RL: From the deceased.
S?: oh goddamn
S?: fuckin golds
S?: wont even shut up when theyre dead

RL: Oh, don't say that. He has proven himself wonderful company so far.
S?: yeah i bet he has
S?: is that it

RL: That's it.
S?: anythin else you wanna pass on to diamonds
RL: Yes.

rhosynLalond [RL] ceased trolling spades [S?]


What a considerate, respectful ghost this is proving to be. He was thoughtful enough to dumb down his vocabulary to a level that a poor stupid sea dweller like you could comprehend. And he even included helpful tips! Because obviously lowbloods are completely incapable of moving around something like an ablution trap without the aid of psychic powers.

If there were more trolls like him, the sea dwellers' lot would be so much better. The universe is a slightly worse place without him.

He was the one who chose to ch'nglui, why doesn't he stay there. IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE A ONE-WAY TRIP.

Chaos. Chaos nilgh'ri-agl.

You leave your beloved boss and his delightful spirit companion, and head back to HQ.

The Threshecutioners are now in your control. Your command is even implicitly endorsed by a gold blood (albeit a dead one), given that he did not try to stop you.

And with the authority comes the responsibility.

Oh, you feel SO in over your depth. It is almost like you are DROWNING in responsibility. You do not know how in the world your boss does this night in and night out! He always seems to know what he's doing, while you are simply floundering.

You do not know how you will ever handle all this responsibility.

You are so glad you never tried this before.

... The hours march on smoothly and efficiently. And so do the threshecutioners.

01/09/11
"Spades: Talk to kismeffffffffuh you mean your boss."

S?: what the hell do you want princess
S?: me and the boys are in the middle a wrappin up a delicate job here

RL: Report. One sentence, and threat level.

Guh. You hate when she does that. SHE is allowed to wax wordy at YOU as long as she wants, but if she does not feel like letting you fight back fair and square, she orders you to keep it short. If you disobey her orders, she either stops trolling you and refuses to answer for five minutes, or she cuts off your crew's candy supplies for a few days.

Not that you are unable to purchase your own. But you four are too tough for any of you to risk being caught in a candy store. The shame would be too great.

S?: one a ours whacked himself and were cleanin out his property before broski gets his hands on it
S?: yellow green threat probably
S?: maybe blue green
S?: who the hell based the threat codes on a fuckin rainbow

RL: Stop.
RL: "Ours" as in threshecutioners? Or ninjaquatics?

S?: no ours as in the empires
S?: surveillahacker captor
S?: one a the grubs megido brought in

RL: Ah. A great loss to the empire.
S?: you can fuckin say that again
S?: all the same weve gotta get rid a his stuff in case hes got anythin sensitive on the empire
S?: broskis already recovered the corpse

RL: Let him eat it.
S?: i was gonna
RL: After you finish, new orders.
S?: I can hardly fuckin wait
RL: The director is severely injured and shall be out of commission for a while.
S?: what
RL: I am the director in the interim.
S?: what
RL: Until Vantas resumes his regular duties and I resume mine, you are commanding the ninjaquatics.
S?: what
RL: My apologies, did I type too fast for you to keep up?
RL: Should I resend the past few messages more slowly so you can read at your own pace, or are you capable of scrolling up and rereading them yourself?


See, the thing about her weird backward speak is, you are not sure if she is using insincere concern to suggest she thinks you're dumb, or if she is insincerely suggesting you're dumb to say she actually thinks you're smart.

You cannot even tell if she actually dislikes you. It's that bad.

S?: i can read just fine bitch
S?: what i dont know is if youre actually sayin im leadin the ninjaquatics or if this is another one a your stupid reverse messages

RL: My dear Spades, by now you should know how much I love interrupting my agents in the line of duty to play wigglerish pranks.
RL: The next thing you know, I will be placing sordid receptacles filled with melted ice cream of various hues over ajar gaperoom doors.

S?: yeah yeah i get it
RL: Wrap up your mission and return to Surrogia ASAP.
S?: ok
RL: Your nearest shuttle station is Troll Heathrow, correct?
S?: yeah
RL: I'll arrange a private shuttle to Surrogia.
S?: dont bother
S?: the boys an i have our own connections

RL: I'll arrange a private shuttle to Surrogia.
RL: You'll be on it.

S?: fuck you
RL: Sounds delightful.

FUCKING HELL, WHY DOES SHE SAY THINGS LIKE THAT?!

RL: Head straight to the shuttle station when you finish.
RL: I'll update you when you arrive.

S?: yeah yeah yeah yeah
RL: Tell Diamonds I said ah y-hafh'drn.

rhosynLalond [RL] ceased trolling spades [S?]


That...

was hardly unpleasant at all.

Objectively speaking, it even ended well for you.

... What a fucking letdown.

hey diamonds
What?
the boss said somethin weird to you
Oh?
Tell her I said ya fhtagn c-shagg.

that sounds even fuckin creepier out loud than it does when she types it
I know.
anyway she already signed off
Shame.
You didn't even needa get Clubs.

shut up

... Oh.

Hey.

She's trolling you again.

... Not like you give a fuck.

Really.

rhosynLalond [RL] began trolling spades [S?]
RL: One more thing.
S?: diamonds said somethin creepy to you
RL: You are an impeccable messenger.
RL: Before you finish your current mission, make sure to retrieve the files hidden under the trap.

S?: what files
RL: The ones hidden under the trap, Spades.
RL: The ablution trap.

S?: fuck you i know that
S?: whered you hear about any files

RL: I received a personal request.

31/08/11
"Hearts: Be the asexual."

You can totally handle that.

The images on this computer do not amuse you in the slightest.

You have also killed seventeen imperial drones, who seem to believe that a lack of interest in filling pails is no excuse for not finding someone to fill them with anyway.

This is technically illegal, but nobody really enforces the law, mainly because it is universally believed that anybody badass enough to kill an imperial drone has earned the right to live out the rest of whatever borrowed time he or she has left.

Your lack of personal involvement in romance does not stop you from handing out strongly-worded romantic suggestions to anybody you think needs them. It is just that you think quadrant-filling is much like a game of Alternian roulette: although fascinating from the perspective of a bystander, you want nothing to do with it yourself.

... And of course you're the one who Spades told to deal with the computer with the porn on the screen.

31/08/11
"Clubs: Be the ex-revolutionary."

Okay.

You are also the auspistice. You would be quite disgruntled if you knew that your boss was talking to your OTHER boss without you there to mediate.

But you do not know.

So, you are perfectly gruntled.

31/08/11
"Diamonds: Be the witch."

Yep. Carefully tamed chaos all up in here.

Except, y'know, when you decide not to tame it.

For the record, there is nothing at all weird about a male witch. Gl'bgolyb chooses based on blood color and no other criteria.

31/08/11
"===>"

Who the fuck looks at a porn site full of buckets? Beyond the simple fact of how pathetic having to visit porn sites in the first place is, what the hell is the good of a bucket without somebody filling it? Troll Britain must have been getting to him.

Oh, you're getting trolled by your kismeffffffffuh.

Your auspisticed rival.

Is what you meant to say.

(If you ever run into that rebel guttersludge she hates so much, oh, you are going to show him your stabs faster than he can see 'em. What the fuck does he have that you don't?)

She also happens to be your boss.

rhosynLalond [RL] began trolling spades [S?]

RL: Good morning, Spades.
S?: mornin bitch
RL: Charming as always.
RL: You do know just what to say to set a girl's collapsing and expanding bladder based aquatic vascular system all aflutter.


GODDAMMIT you hate that say-the-opposite-of-what-she-means thing she does. HATE IT SO MUCH. And you can barely get two words in before she starts off.

Where the fuck are those lousy Brits when you need something to stab?

This is not going to be a pleasant conversation.

31/08/11
"===>"

You left the bodies outside, with the look-out.

Hey, you can always take a bit of time out of your busy schedule to rid the universe of a few damn Brits. That's one less pile of crumpet-scarfing monocle-wearing nook discharge polluting the empire's gene pools.

Yeah, you still consider Troll Britain part of the empire.

Got a problem with it?

Unfortunately, you are not currently on an assassination mission. (Unless your ongoing "find a way to snuff Broski" mission counts. You have already promised Diamonds the opportunity to take the first stab at Broski. You think Hellza will be a more satisfying kill anyway.) This is a simple clean-up mission.

Few hours ago, you received word that one of the true Condesce's agents had offed himself. Having been on Troll Britain nearly half a sweep yourself, you cannot say you blame the bastard. However, someone has to clear out his shit before Broski's goons get their oily British claws on it.

So that is what your crew is doing.

Cleaning out his fucking room.

... The guy visited some weird sites.

31/08/11
"Spades: Shoal 'em your stabs. Be surrounded by corpses."

What? Just all willy-nilly, go up to somebody and stab them? Are you out of your fucking mind?

You are a PROFESSIONAL. You run the most elite special ops team in the known universe. Your team consists of a staunch asexual who has successfully avoided the imperial drones for nearly a hundred sweeps; a witch who was basically in the ninjaquatics before anybody found out; an ex-revolutionary who was pals with the top bosses of several terrorist cells, all but one of which he later helped take down; and you, but you ain't about to talk about your past with just anybody.

If the empire is a social ladder, then you and your boys are on a rung from the part of the ladder that fell through an empty manhole cover and landed in the sewer. You are the absolute bottom.

And you are damn fucking proud of it.

But it also means you can't take any chances. Not only because the jobs pulled by ninjaquatics depend on arriving undetected, working undetected, and leaving undetected ("ninjaquatics" includes the word "ninja" for a reason), but also because the slightest wrong move could get one of your team made into sushi.

So, NO, you are NOT surrounded by dead bodies.

30/08/11
"===>"

Before you can tell him this, he faints.

What a disappointment. You were JUST starting to enjoy yourself.

You quickly check the medical data left in the room to see if, perhaps, he was under the influence of mind-altering painkilling drugs.

He was not.

rhosynLalond [RL] began trolling waydieWilson [WW]

RL: Give me one reason why I should not put on a pair of latex gloves, lacerate the Advisier's throat with a scalpel, and frame it on a doctor.
WW: gAsP! rOsIe-PiE! wHaT dId ThAt WiCkEd DoCtOr Do To OfFeNd YoU?
RL: And as always, you immediately put your finger on the heart of the problem.
WW: i TrY.
RL: In which case, I shall use a sickle and stage it as a suicide so as to implicate no innocent medical workers in the crime.
WW: oOoOh, NoW yOu'Re SpEaKiNg My LiNgUa, ChIcKa.
RL: Am I.
RL: Do elaborate.

WW: JuSt ImAgInE tHe CoNsEqUeNcEs~!
WW: We'Re TaLkInG aBoUt tHe SuDdEn AnD iNeXpLiCaBlE dEaTh Of ThE aDvIsIeR!
WW: wHo'S bAsIcAlLy ReSpOnSiBlE fOr ThE cUrReNt EmPrEsS hAvInG pOwEr, YoU kNoW.
WW: tHe ChUrCh WiLl TeAr ItSeLf ApArT, fIrSt Of AlL.
WW: bReAkInG iNtO tInIeR aNd TiNiEr InFiGhTiNg FaCtIoNs LiKe So MaNy ItTy BiTtY cHeEtOs CrUsHeD iNtO tHe CaRpEt
WW: AnD iT's PrObAbLy A wHiTe CaRpEt, YoU kNoW, tHe KiNd ThAt YoU'rE nEvEr GoInG tO gEt ThAt ChEeTo CoLoR oUt Of.
WW: ThEiR fAiTh WiLl Be ChAlLeNgEd LiKe FuCk.
WW: WhO kNoWs WhAt WoNkY iDeOlOgY wIlL rEpLaCe ThE sUfFeReR's WoNkY iDeOlOgY?
WW: fUcK iF i KnOw BuT i'M gOiNg To StArT tHe BeTtInG rInG.

RL: I must admit, your entrepreneurial mindframe does indeed frighten me.
WW: rEaLlY?
RL: Quite.
WW: aWwW, i'M lOsInG mY tOuCh.
WW: BuT tHaT's JuSt ThE sTaRt.
WW: ReLiGiOn? PfFfF. rElIgIoN wIlL lOoK lIkE a FlAmE wAr OvEr A fAnFiC aBoUt A fAnFiC, cOmPaReD tO wHaT eLsE iS gOiNg On.
WW: TaLk AbOuT pOlItIcS.
WW: pOlItIcS aRe GoInG tO lOoK lIkE hArMoNiAnS vS dRaMiOnEs Vs WhAtEvEr-ThE-fUcK-hArRy/GiNnY-aBbReViAtEs-To.
WW: WiTh SnArRy FaNs TaKiNg PoTsHoTs At AlL oF tHeM.
WW: wItHoUt ThE aDvIsIeR, wHo Is LeGiTiMiZiNg MeGiDo'S rUlE?
WW: pReTtY mUcH nObOdY!
WW: iN fAcT, tHe ReAl ReLiGiOuS nUtJoBs ArE pRoBaBlY gOiNg To SaY hIs DeAtH uN-lEgItImIzEs HeR.
WW: aNd PeOpLe LiStEn To ThE rEaL rElIgIoUs NuTjObS.
WW: eXaMpLe: JeGuS kRySt. ThEy LiStEnEd To HiM.
WW: aNd BrOsKi'S rIiIiIgHt ThErE wAiTiNg FoR sOmEtHiNg LiKe ThIs To MeSs Up ThE eMpIrE eNoUgH fOr HiM tO mAkE a MoVe.

RL: And we all know the empire would be utterly doomed if it fell into the hands of a figure like Broski.
RL: After all, it is not like he has a couple hundred sweeps of shrewd political maneuvering and judicious decision-making under his belt.

WW: SuRe, BuT wOuLd EvEn A gOoD tRaNsFeR oF pOwEr Be GoOd If It'S dRiVeN bY cIvIl WaR?
WW: aS bAd As KaRkY mIgHt Be, HaViNg HiM iN pOwEr IsN't HaLf As ChAoTiC aS fUlL oUt TrOlL-oN-tRoLl WaRfArE.
WW: iMaGiNe It! ThE sTrEeTs RuNnInG rAiNbOw!
WW: BrOtHeRs AgAiNsT bRoThErS aNd SiStErS aGaInSt SiStErS!
WW: mmmmmm, PREACH IT!
WW: corpse piles as high as the moon
WW: SKIES BLOTTED OUT WITH THE FIRES OF PYRES
WW: the rockets are rainbow fireworks
WW: THE MOST FANTASTICALLY HUMORDEROUS DISPLAY EVER WITNESSED BY TROLLS
WW: all the fragile order in society will break down
WW: AND ALL OF THE BLOOD WILL SPILL
WW: all of the blood
WW: ALL OF IT
WW: (insert self-satisfaction at the superfluous use of a meme)
WW: LIKE PAINED PAINT ON ALL OF THE STREETS
WW: and all of the buildings
WW: AND ANY OTHER SHIT THAT HAPPENS TO GET IN ITS WAY
WW: it's not like a river of blood gives a fuck about what's in its way
WW: IT'LL SWEEP AWAY EVERYTHING IN ITS PATH
WW: in a wave of multicolored madness

RL: Waydie.
WW: UNTIL IT ALL BLURS TOGETHER INTO SOME KIND OF MUDDY BROWN SHIT
WW: the kind you get when you keep using the same water to clean out your paint brush

RL: Yes, I understand, it sounds absolutely delightful.
RL: Waydie.

WW: AS DELIGHTFUL AS PAINTING ONE OF THOSE STUPID PICTURES KIDS PUT ON THEIR THERMAL HULL DOORS.
WW: didn't you ever do that, rosie-poo?
WW: AND WE'LL DRINK THAT WATER
WW: the water of anarchaos
WW: THE POISON THAT KILLS ALL ORDER
WW: and from its corpse springs oh whatever fuck this metaphor i'm sick of it
WW: BASICALLY EVERYBODY DIES!!

RL: Waydie!
WW: everybody is slaughtered
WW: EVERYBODY DIES
WW: it's an unending carnival of carnage
WW: AND I FUCKING LOVE CARNIVALS
WW: we're talking full-blown hellmirth here
WW: AND I FUCKING LOVE HELLMIRTH TOO
WW: it's like my favorite fucking word

RL: Waydie, calm down.
WW: I AM CALM
WW: this is calm
WW: I'M TOTALLY CALM
WW: just planning
WW: TOTAL SLAUGHTER

RL: This sounds like a spectacular plan.
WW: i know, right?
WW: THIS IS LIKE THE BEST IDEA I EVER HAD

RL: Undoubtedly.
RL: You shall go far, I'm sure.
RL: A lone subjugglator--
RL: --who by virtue of his blood is already a target for those who wish to intervene in unneeded slaughters--
RL: --whose fighting techiques are completely familiar to the most talented threshecutioners in the force--

WW: what's your fucking point?
RL: --who due to his career has no allies among his bloodmates and due to his ambitions shall have no allies among his workmates--
WW: GET TO THE FUCKING POINT!
RL: --setting out single-handedly to induce genocide?
RL: I'm sure you shall accomplish a great deal, you lone rogue renegade, you.

WW: blaaaaargh i don't need to commit the genocide myself.
WW: I MEAN ALL I REALLY HAVE TO DO IS KILL KARKAT TO KICK IT OFF.
WW: or you could do it.
WW: WHATEVER WORKS.

RL: And I'm sure you shall evade arrest and execution long enough for the war you foretold to begin.
RL: Assuming you are not executed, this is a spectacular plan and quite conducive to your interests.
RL: Being an eager but distant spectator to the greatest slaughter in history (assuming you survive long enough to see it) will certainly be much more fulfilling than your day-to-day humdrum job of localized, personalized, legally-sanctified slaughter.

WW: FUCKING FUCKITY FUCKSICKLES RHOSYN.
WW: yeah.
WW: GOGDARNIT TO HECK.
WW: i HaTe It WhEn YoU tAlK rEaSoN iNtO mE.

RL: The feeling is mutual.
WW: <>?
RL: Ew. </>
WW: aWwWw, I kNeW yOu CaReD.
WW: wE sHoUlD dO dInNeR sOmEtImE. cAtCh A mOvIe. BuRn DoWn A sHeLtEr FoR AbAnDoNeD LuSuSeSeS.

RL: Yes to the third, no to the first two.
WW: yOu RuIn AlL mY fUn.
RL: May I at least kick the Advisier?
RL: Hard?

WW: OnLy If YoU pRoMiSe To KiCk HiM fOr Me, ToO.
RL: And what has he done to offend you?
WW: a FeW wEeKs AgO hE bOuGhT tHaT mOvIe AbOuT tHe ThReShEcUtIoNeR tUrNeD cOn ArTiSt WhO gOt ArReStEd LiKe TwEnTy TiMeS bEcAuSe He MeT hIs MaTeSpRiT iN pRiSoN aNd KePt GeTtInG uP tO zAnY hIjInKs To BrEaK tHeM bOtH oUt AnD gEt ThEm RiCh AnD sTuFf.
RL: And?
WW: IT'S A FUCKING TERRIBLE MOVIE!
WW: there's no emotional payoff
WW: AND ALL OF THE CHARACTERS ARE TOTALLY WOODEN
WW: he needs to be punished for his terrible movie tastes.

RL: Very well.
RL: You may now consider him properly chastized.

WW: YoU lItErAlLy KiCkEd HiM?
RL: I literally kicked him.
WW: yOu
WW: ArE a WoNdErFuL pErSoN

RL: Now, if you will be willing to set this important conversation aside for a moment, I have a trifling frivolity I would like to discuss with you.
WW: aRe We TaLkInG sIlLy InCoNsEqUeNtIaL bAnTeR?
RL: The silliest and most inconsequential imaginable.
WW: i'Ll Go PuT mY sErIoUs BuSiNeSs CaP oN. bRb
WW: oK gO.

RL: I assume that the little matter of the Condesce's threshecutionersCommand message was too insignificant to catch your notice?
WW: oH yEaH, tHaT lItTlE tHiNgY aBoUt ThE lItTlE sEa DwElLeR.
RL: Precisely.
WW: wHaT aBoUt It?
RL: I inquired as to the reason why she was sending out that message rather than Director Vantas.
WW: nOoO fUcKiIiInG wAaAaAaAy!
WW: tHe CoNdEsCe HeRsElF tAlKeD tO *yOu*, MiSs WiTcHy-BlOoDy PuRpLy-TeXt?
WW: TeLl Me YoU gOt HeR aUtOgRaPh, I'd LoVe To HaVe HeR aUtOgRaPh.

RL: Actually
RL: I had to resort to asking to a higher-blooded peer to troll her on my behalf.
RL: As she refused to answer my trollings.

WW: bUmMeR.
RL: In any case, it seems Director Vantas has suffered some rather extreme injuries.
RL: I'm now at the hospital to personally assess his condition and estimate whether he will be fit to return to duty any time soon.

WW: wAaAaIt WaIt WaIt, YoU mEaN yOu KiCkEd HiM wHiLe He WaS iNjUrEd? FoR sHaMe, RhOsYn! FoR. sHaMe.
RL: Yes, I feel absolutely terrible.
RL: Given that--in his boundless foresight--Director Vantas has failed to identify a chain of command, there is no way to determine who takes command of the threshecutioners should he be rendered out of commission.

WW: fUn FuN fUn!
WW: So HoW's SuFfY 2.0 lOoKiNg?

RL: Green.
WW: ... oKaY, yOu SuCcEsSfUlLy StUmPeD mE. i DuNnO wHaT tO mAkE oF tHaT oNe.
RL: Never mind.
RL: More specifically, in my entirely unprofessional opinion, I would say he just needs a good nap to be fit as a fiddle.

WW: uH hUh.
WW: So HoW lOnG dO yOu ThInK hE's GoNnA bE oUt Of CoMiSsIoN? wE tAlKiNg DaYs Or PeRiGeEs?
WW: Or FoReVeR?

RL: Long enough that the threshecutioners shall be needing a substitute leader.
WW: oH yEsSsS! fAcTiOnAl InFiGhTiNg! My FaVoRiTe PaRt Of EvErY nEw ReGiMe.
WW: Do YoU kNoW wHeRe VeRdUg Is? I oNlY gOt TwO oF hIs FiNgErS lAsT tImE wE lOsT a DiReCtOr.
WW: ThEy DiDn'T eVeN mAkE a PrOpEr SaNdWiCh.
WW: "fInGeR fOoD" mY nOoK.

RL: As much as I do love a good descent into anarchy, there shall be none of that this time.
RL: As the leader of the most elite branch of the threshecutioners, I am appointing myself interim director.
RL: There is nobody who outranks me to contradict my self-appointment.

WW: "iNtErIm," HuH? rEaLlY rOsIe? ReAlLy?
RL: You caught me. I'm planning a swift, bloodless coup d'etat to wrest power from the Advisier.
WW: oN tHe OfF cHaNcE tHaT yOu'Re DiSgUiSiNg A cOnFeSsIoN aS sArCaSm, I jUsT wAnT tO sAy ThAt I wOuLd ToTaLlY bE bEhInD aNy CoUpS yOu LeD.
RL: I never would have guessed.
RL: Anyway, given that the majority of the lower-ranked threshecutioners do not even know the ninjaquatics exist, they will be unlikely to suddenly take orders from a sea dweller.
RL: Therefore, you shall be my voice to the rest of the forces.

WW: wHaAaAt, LiTtLe OlD mE?
WW: yOu'Re TrUsTiNg Me WiTh PoWeR, rHoSyN?
WW: oH yOu, YoU'rE gOnNa MaKe Me BlUsH!

RL: You're a figurehead.
WW: wAs ThAt OnE sArCaSm?
RL: Of course, figurehead.
WW: fUcK.
WW: dO yOu ThInK tHeY'lL eVeN lIsTeN tO a SuBjUgGlAtOr?
WW: I'm NoT tHaT mUcH hIgHeR tHaN yOu.

RL: Let's find out.
WW: yes!
WW: EMBRACE THE CHAOS!

RL: This cannot possibly go wrong.
WW: mWaHaHaHaHaAaAaAa!
RL: I'm so brilliant.
RL: Enjoy going mad with your two-degrees-of-separation borrowed power.
RL: I'll be at HQ within an hour to assume command.

WW: bLuH aNd FiE oN yOu.
WW: WhAt'S tHe FuN oF bEiNg MaD wItH pOwEr If YoUr MoIrAiL's HoLdInG yOuR hAnD?

RL: I'm very sorry to ruin your delight.
RL: Don't blow anything up.

WW: dO yOu MeAn ThAt SaRcAsTiCaLlY, oOoOoOoR...?
RL: Don't blow anything up.
WW: bLuH.
RL: Farewell.
WW: tOoTlEs!

rhosynLalond [RL] ceased trolling waydieWilson [WW]


You must take care of another piece of business before leaving.

Naturally, attempting to puppet-control the threshecutioners at large while simultaneously directly controlling the ninjaquatics would be about as stressful as a pleasant dip in a pond.

But you feel you should share the fun. You will appoint a temporary substitute.

Your second-in-command is a ninjaquatic superior to you in sweeps of service, and according to the prior director who appointed you as the ninjaquatic leader, he is NEARLY your equal in skill and leadership abilities. He is the leader of a small team of ninjaquatics who take on particularly dangerous missions, outside of the usual scope of ninjaquatic duties.

His team is so focused on its jobs, so dedicated to its cause, that its members have even shed their names and their symbols. You yourself know none of the team's true identities. You, like everyone else, address them only by the substitute symbols they adopted in place of their prior identities.

Your second-in-command is called "Spades." He leads the Midday Crew.

30/08/11
"Rhosyn: Show your boss who's boss."

Now, why in the world would you do that? After such a delightful turn of events, you would never even dream of harming this... this...

This model of moral excellence and emotional stability! This pillar of lawful and chaste conduct! This discerning and shrewd sage! This GENTLEMAN! You could go on forever about how in the past few perigees--oh, goodness, how in the past perigee ALONE--he has time and time again demonstrated wisdom beyond his meager years.

You are ABSOLUTELY HONORED to be the the current object of his...

...

...

... attentions.

After all, you are oh so VERY lonely. As lost and insecure as you are, you simply have not had time to get your act together and get your quadrants figured out! Unlike the infinitely laudable Advisier, the grah'n, who is clearly quite levelheaded enough to have satisfactorily figured out his quadrants. And you are quite positive he made sure to do so in a timely manner, given his age and the imminence of the imperial drone's first visit.

You do SO hope he has a matesprit and kismesis when the drone comes knocking.

Now. All expressions of duplicious emotions aside, here is a fact. A solid, objective fact.

There are only two trolls in the universe who have permission to kiss you. Much less touch your posterior. MUCH LESS CLUMSILY GROPE IT LIKE YOU TWO ARE A PAIR OF OVER-SOPORED BRAWLING SUBJUGGLATORS.

Imperious Grand Advisier, Threshecutioner High Director, and Sufferer Replicus Karkat Vantas is neither of those trolls.

29/08/11
"===>"

29/08/11
"===>"

Hmmm...

Breath doesn't taste like sewer.

You are pretty sure this is not Eridan.

... oh well.

29/08/11
"===>"

WHO THE FUCK IS THAT?

YOU SEE FINS.

YOU DEFINITELY SEE FINS.

CLOSE.

ENOUGH.

FOR.

YOU.

29/08/11
"Karkat: HATERAGEANGERAAAAAAAAH"

RIGHT NOW YOU ARE PAST THE POINT OF BEING ABLE TO PROPERLY ARTICULATE YOUR HATRED FOR EVERYTHING.

EVERYTHING.

EVERYTHING.

YOU ARE IN PAIN AND MISERABLE AND FURIOUS AND SLIGHTLY TERRIFIED OF BROSKI AND FREAKED OUT BY YOUR OWN REACTION TO YOUR ANCESTOR (WHO BY THE WAY WASN'T EVEN REAL) AND ERIDAN

AND ERIDAN

WHY THE FUCK DOES HE HAVE TO BE SUCH A PRUDE?

and oh yeah it probably would have been good if he hadn't stolen your stuff and shot you but AFTER ALL THAT THE LEAST HE COULD HAVE DONE WAS LET YOU GET IN HIS PANTS

YOU ARE A PILE OF ANGRY GRUBFUCK HATE AND HORMONES. OH GOD THE HORMONES.

FUCKING. HORMONES.


YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE TO DEAL WITH THESE MANY HORMONES WHEN YOU ARE IN THIS MUCH PAIN.

You basically got triple bucketblocked tonight. This isn't fair.

THIS IS NOT FAIR.

Oh hey somebody is at the door.

29/08/11
"===>"

Well, you're glad that's over. Now to enjoy the spoils of victo--

OW FUCK YOUR EVERYTHING HURTS.

29/08/11
"===>"

29/08/11
"===>"

29/08/11
"===>"

Congratulations.

You have mastered the art of symbolic combat.

29/08/11
"Karkat: Cover Suweet's symbol with your sym69l."

This command is totally abstract and you have no idea what it means. BUT YOU DO IT ANYWAY.

What did you accomplish?

28/08/11
"Possess Suweet's body! Summon stairs for him to trip down! Use hatesnogs as a distraction! Something! ANYTHING!"

YOU DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO ANY OF THAT!

Except the hatesnogs but you cannot grab him. You already tried to strangle him. It did not work.

This is a psychic showdown and you are not psychic!

As long as you are here, you have no literal combat capabilities! ONLY SYMBOLIC COMBAT CAPABILITIES.

HOW THE FUCK DO YOU FIGHT SYMBOLICALLY??

28/08/11
"Show him your stabs."

You do not have a sylladex!

"You" are a symbolic representation of either Karkat's living consciousness or his soul, depending on whether souls are actually a thing or not.

Neither symbolic representations of living consciousnesses nor symbolic representations of souls have sylladeces!

28/08/11
"Karkat: Abscond."

You would FUCKING LOVE to abscond! WHERE?

You cannot get past him. You... you try! But you can't! Despite the fact that you have wings! The space between you and your body just keeps on not shrinking like that trippy fucking thing where you run and run and run but never get anywhere JUST LIKE IN A NIGHTMARE

AND HE IS STILL IN FRONT OF YOU.


You have no idea how the hell to abscond back to your body. You are NOT going back to the Four Heavenly Gates.

As far as you know, there is nowhere else for you to go. We are not even talking about "destinations," these are not places! These are states of existence! THERE ARE NO CHOICES OTHER THAN "STAY IN YOUR BODY" OR "DIE"!

28/08/11
"===>"

I AM THE MASTOR OF THE SPACES BETWENN MINDS
I AM THE EMPOROR OFF THE HORRHOR-FILLED WAISTLAND BETWEEN DREAMS AND DETH
THE WASTLEAND YOU ARE IN
OUT SIDE OFF YOUR SOPOR-WALLED BUBBLS OF CUTSEY INOCENT SAFE IMAGANARY FAKE DREMS,..
THIS ISS THE TRU DREAM DOMAIN
AND I AM THE DUKE OF DREAMS
AND YOU
KARKRAP FUCKTASS
ARE NOT
EVEN
A PEASSANT

YOU

ARE

NOT

EVEN

A

PISSANT.


... YIPPEE.
SO ARE WE GOING TO STAND HERE STARING AT EACH OTHER, OR...?

we COULD!!
iff you want to let your boddy die
witch it WILL witout a sole.

I DON'T BELIEVE IN SOULS.
tehn call it the psycic represantashion of your conksciousnes I DON'T CAR!!!
youre body will dye without it.

AGAIN. YIPPEE.
WHAT'S MY OTHER CHOICE?

YOU die
and I tak over your corrpse
i don'g know if I CAN butttttt
i'm willign to taek the risk too TRY
HEH
HEH
HEH

... YEAH, I DON'T LIKE THAT CHOICE.
well
i do


You suddenly see something.

Something you never noticed before, in all the times you have interacted with Broski, in all your dreams he has invaded. Surrounded by the mundane madness of your own dreams, it was never visible.

It is not until you see him from outside your mind.

It is not until you look him full in the face. Not until you look him in the eyes. And then you see it.

Carefully tamed chaos.

It is etched across every feature in his face, written on every strand of his hair.

For a moment, you fear for your sanity.

No--you fear for your life.

But no, NO, there is no such thing as a "dream domain." Suweet Broski is the Duke of Nookfuck Nowhere. You are having a weird dream, and INSIDE YOUR DREAM you imagined that you had a near death experience, and INSIDE YOUR DREAM you are imagining that you are looking down on your body, and INSIDE YOUR DREAM Suweet Broski is talking to you. He is trying to psych you out. He is trying to make you think that you are outside your mind, when you are not. That is physiologically impossible. This is all happening in your head.

Oh fuck you hope this is happening in your head.

Now what?

28/08/11
"===>"

I Would liek to
expres mySINSEREST regretts
oh "Imprerius Grand Advissir"


WHAT THE FUCK.
YOU.
IT FIGURES YOU'D SHOW UP THE FUCKING MINUTE I FAINT OUTSIDE A RECUPERACOON.
YOU'RE BROSKI.

how OBSERVENT OF YOU, fucktas!
or shoold i say "vandash"??/
he he
he

WHAT?
LEGITIMATELY, WHAT?
I ASSUME THAT'S AN INSULT BUT IT DOESN'T MAKE ANY SENSE.

oh com onnnn, Fuktass
don't be so crabbby.

AGAIN, WHAT?
HE HE HEEEEE
how quikcly teh psychichaly STUNTED forgert there owndreams

UGH.
WHY DON'T YOU LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE AND GO EAVESDROP ON YOUR KISME-RAIL'S WET DREAMS?
LIKE I'M SURE YOU USUALLY DO.

HAAAAAHH!
and you haff the nerv to cal yourself a
REAL TROLL?????
secont most poworfull troll IN the univers
and you cant even TRLOLL ME PROPORLY
alll you have too wurk with is bucket jockes

YOU SEEM TO THINK I GIVE A FUCK ABOUT TROLLING YOU PROPERLY.
who sayss you need to giv a fock to trollo propperly.?
i donnt need to give a fuc to saaaaay..., for exsample......
that it maeks cense that yor olny matereal is abot bucketts
sinc tha'ts all yu KNO ANYHTING about
you SERTAINLY DOn't know a think aboutt runing a empire
you now so littl you dont EVEN know HOW litle you KNOW!!
you ar a stutid uselass wiwggler
u don't deSERVE you're own
6L99D AND SYM6(L.
yur verry EXESTANCE is a DISHONOUR too the memmory off the gretest trol to ever life..
AND YOU KNOW IT
YOU KNOW ITT SO WELL,, IT HURTS YOU
butt youre to mucj of a cowerd to stond up to the hole empire and say so yorself
YOUR tooo BIG A COWARD TOO ADMITT that you dont even WANTto bee avdisier
too bigg a cwoard to disollve your ties wiht your own churrch
and....
the ASBOLUTELY WORSST PART IIIISSSSS.......
averything i'm saying two you is TURNINK YOU ON isnt it??

WH--
I--
YO--
THA--
NO.
NO NO NO NO.

HEHEHEHAHAHAHAAAAHAHAAA!!!!
SHUT UP.
NO!
NO NO NO HELL FUCKING NO TO THE INFINITITHITH DEGREE.

infinitithith? REALLY
SHUT--
SHUT UP.

seeeEEE?
tha's how you trol
NOTISE.....
your mad
AND
i'm knot.

JUST
GET.
THE.
FUCK.
OUT
OF MY WAY
AND OUT
OF MY MIND.

ohhhhh SORY
am I BOTERING you,, FUCKTASS>???

GET THE FUCK OUT!
I'd LOV to
AND as lonk as we're in YOUR drems, their's realy nothing i can do to yo
you are teh lard of your own dreamms

FUCKING GREAT, WE AGREE, THE LORD SAYS GET THE FUCK OUT.
but---
NO BUTS.
BUT!!!!

but.....

in casse you didnt knotice
(wich I'm SHURE you couldnt' have, given you're...... telepatic DEFICIENSIES.....)
YOU
are owt
of your mind


you are LITTERALY out off your mind
you are out side of it

and
taht
puts
you....

....

.......,

.............

IN

MY

TERRORTORY

28/08/11
"Karkat: Be suddenly blocked by a totally unexpected barrier."

WHAT ARE YOU--

ooooooooooopps
my APLOLOGYS, FUCKtass....
yo diddn't want to go
DOWN THERE..
........
did you?

28/08/11
"Try not to blush or cry in public until your blood goes back to normal."

HAH! Yeah right! As soon as you wake up and get let out of the hospital, the first thing you are going to do is call for a live press conference, JUST so you can stand in front of all the cameras and hold your breath until your face goes green.

Oooh oooh oooh no. Better yet, make it some high-dollar televangelist. One of those assholes who takes up two hours every day walking back and forth on a stage and raving about the H9LY W9RD of the 6L99D AND SYM69L and the SANGUINE SUFFERER and the SUFFERER REPLICUS and all that bullshit. Except not a cheesy one, but like one of the well-respected shows with millions of viewers. Like one actually led by a Pontifex Maximus.

Fuck, plan it ahead of time! Make it a special episode! Tell them to invite all sixty-nine Pontifeces Maximi, orders of the "Replicus" himself! (God fucking dammit you hate that title.)

And then, once the camera is going, and all sixty-nine church leaders and several million viewers are excitedly watching your every move--

Roll up your sleeves and slit your wrists.

And run up and down the aisles screaming "WHERE IS YOUR GOD NOW?!"

Until you pass out from blood loss, again.

... Okay, okay, you wouldn't ACTUALLY do that. No matter how much you hate the church. Even if they are a bunch of deluded lunatics, they...

they...

look up to you.

The whole empire is looking up to you.

Which is why the whole empire consists of a bunch of deluded lunatics. But still.

Besides, you don't even want to think about how you would explain yourself to Jhonen.

But SOMEHOW, you ARE going to find a way to use this to troll the fuck out of the empire.

... You wonder if your irises are going to turn green. That would be neat.

28/08/11
"===>"

Hey, you can see your body from here.

Hey!

Is that blood GREEN?!

You're going to be a jade blood for a while? Whoa what the fuck! Holy shit! JADE BLOOD. HOLY SHIT.

THIS? THIS IS FUCKING FANTASTIC.

That is not sarcasm.

You are actually legitimately excited about this.

Assuming that this is a thing that actually is happening in the real world and not just something you are imagining. Since obviously, you are not really having an out of body experience. You are just having a dream in which you are imagining that you are having an out of body experience. Really.

If you wake up and find out that everything actually looks the way you are dreaming that it looks, you might flip out a little.

Actually, you will assume that you were in a coma. It is a scientific fact that sometimes trolls in comas can hear what's happening around them and remember it when they wake up. And certainly you should know which parts of you are bandaged, since you can feel that. And since you can apparently smell colors a little bit now, that is obviously how you figured out what the scene looked like even though you are not conscious. Obviously. OBVIOUSLY.

... but no seriously, jade blood.

Hell. Fucking. Yes.

28/08/11
"===>"

You have ascended far enough that you have gained the right to wear clothing again. Congratulations. You assume this means you are no longer on the verge of death.

On the other hand, you do still have wings. Big feathery wings, no less. Why the hell are they feathery? You might have expected moth wings or something, but feathery wings? What?

Oh well. Since when did dream sequences have to conform to any sort of logic?

This IS just a dream sequence, right?

Yeah. Of course it is.

27/08/11
"===>"

... well...

... that was...

...

... anticlimactic.

...

...

No confrontation, no soul-searching, not even a discussion...

just a...

nothing, really.

...

...

...

You're getting out of here.

27/08/11
"Karkat: Ascend."

27/08/11
"===>"

NO NO NO NO BAD THINK PAN! WRONG! WRONG!

There is an infinite imaginary chorus and it is all made up of you. Each member of the left wing of the chorus represents a single infinitesimal moment of Past You, and each member of the right wing represents every moment of Future You, and together they represent every single moment you have ever or will ever exist. And at the very center of the chorus is Present You, with a spotlight on your face and a microphone in your hand.

And every single member of this chorus is singing the exact same song, in perfect harmony and in perfect agreement, for all of time, from the birth of the universe until its death. It is a song of utmost power and heart-shattering beauty. It is art set to word, and poetry set to music. It is nothing short of the greatest audial masterpiece in history.

The song consists of three words and those words are also its title.

The title of this song is "HELL. FUCKING. NO."

SO WHY IS THAT IMAGE STILL IN YOUR HEAD?

Okay, enough of this bullshit, you are NOT going to sit here and watch your ancestor sob like a wiggler with a boo-boo.

You are heading back to the light.

27/08/11
"===>"

HEY FUCKASS, HERE'S AN IDEA.

H9W A69UT Y9U USE ALL TH9SE TEARS T9 LU6RICATE Y9UR AUT9ER9GEN9US SHAME GL96E?

C9NSIDERING H9W L9NG Y9U'VE 6EEN D9WN HERE AL9NE, 6Y N9W Y9U'VE PR96A6LY W9RN IT D9WN T9 A RAW LITTLE NU6.

6UT WHAT D9 I KN9W, MAY6E Y9U LIKE THE FEELING 9F FINGER-INDUCED FRICTI9N 6URNS 9N Y9UR FREAKY MUTANT NE9N-C9L9RED GENITALS.

HUH, SUFFERER?


... Wait, wow okay, that was supposed to be a straight-up taunt. You think it drifted into something that sounded like BUT DEFINITELY WAS NOT flirting. No. You are absolutely not hitting on Jegus Kryst, of all the fucking trolls that have ever or will ever exist. Never him. EVER.

It is true that you take a considerable amount of pleasure in one-time caliginous affairs and SOME trolls might consider you a bit loose. (Not to name any names, but it starts with S and rhymes with "bollocks.") However, the fact that you are willing to have intimate relations with multiple trolls does not mean you are willing to get with ANY troll. You have guidelines you never break, you have lines you will never cross, you have standards that must be met.

The Sufferer breaks all the guidelines, crosses all the lines, and meets none of the standards. NONE OF THEM.

You want nothing to do with him.

Nothing at all.

To be completely honest, you just wish he would jerk off.

NO! That's not what you meant! Okay, you combined two thoughts into one there, that's the problem. You think he's a jerk, and you wish he would fuck.

NO! WRONG! You wish the jerk would fuck off! THAT'S WHAT YOU MEANT THE FIRST TIME! GODDAMMIT!

27/08/11
"Karkat: "699 H99 H99"?"

This is...

yeah.

This is NOT what you were expecting.

Then again, what WERE you expecting?

Spiritual advice? Or an order to embrace the divine label you have had thrust upon you? Or, hell, a head-pat and a hug?

Actually, what you expected was for him to berate you for being such a worthless failure.

Then again, that is what you expect everyone to do.

... Or, rather, that is what you WANT everyone to do.

But almost nobody ever does. So why should you be surprised if he doesn't?

Although you guess sobbing at the sight of you is basically the same thing.

In any case, you react to him in the only possible logical way.

27/08/11
"===>"

That was totally unexpected and altogether baffling.

... What the fuck?

27/08/11
"===>"

27/08/11
"Jegus: Grow wings, engage in epic sky-beast battle."

27/08/11
"Karkat: Abscond."

... WELL, SURE.

SHIT, 6R9, LET'S BE SKY-BEASTS.

WHY THE FUCK NOT?

LAST TIME YOU CHECKED, THIS WAS STILL YOUR DREAM SEQUENCE.

IF YOU FUCKING WANT WINGS, YOU FUCKING HAVE WINGS.

CAW CAW, MOTHERFUCKASS.

27/08/11
"Karkat: Stop acting like a scaredy crab."

Right.

Right.

Okay.

Don't panic.

Chill the fuck out.

This is a, this is a--bad dream. Or something. Nothing more than that. Nothing.

He's--

He is not--

Y9U D9N'T 6ELIEVE IN HIM.

And you don't have to put up with him!

Standing here screaming will make nothing go away. It is time to choose.

Face your fears, or flee from them.

Fight or flight.

Advance or abscond.

What will it be?

27/08/11
"===>"

Except he would not hear you.

You could attempt to out-scree him, but that would not be productive at all.

He is not going to listen to you.

27/08/11
"Jegus: Talk to your descendant."

For the record, there is a very good chance you are not Jegus Kryst. In fact, there is a high probability that you are nothing more than a figment of Karkat's unconscious mind, naught but a mere projection of his suppressed insecurities and an archetypical representation of the conflict between blah blah psychobabble stuff.

But whatever the hell you are, you WOULD try to talk to him.

27/08/11
"Karkat: Talk to your ancestor."

26/08/11
"===>"

Y9U REFUSE Y9U REFUSE T9 G9 WITH HIM

ANY69DY 6UT HIM

ANY69DY 6UT HIM

ANY69DY

ANY69DY


Y9U

WILL

N9T

G9

WITH

HIM

26/08/11
"===>"

NOT HIM

NOT HIM

NOT HIM ANYBODY BUT HIM OH GOD

OH GOD OH GOD OH FUCK OH GOD OH NO NO NO NO NO NO

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NEVER

NEVER GO

WITH

HIM

EVER

EVER

NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER

NOT HIM OH GOD NO NOT HIM ANY69DY BUT HIM ANY69DY ANY69DY ANY69DY BUT HIM

ANY69DY BUT HIM

ANY69DY BUT HIM

26/08/11
"===>"

And right on cue, there are the Four Heavenly Gates and Death.

Each gate leads to a different afterlife, and the afterlife you go to depends on how you lived your life. Supposedly. There are a million opinions about how the gates work: some are rewards, some are punishment; or they are all rewards of various sorts; or they are all punishments; or they are only a reward or punishment based on what you think they are; and then nobody can agree on whether you are assigned to one, or if you are left with the gates to choose your own; and then that is only taking into account the people who believe in these particular afterlives, which you do not, and--

oh

oh

fuck

fuck

fuck
fuck
fuck
fuck
fuckf
cu
fkcuk
fuckf
cufk
fuck
fuckuckjfuck fuc kfuc kfuck fuCU KFCUK FUCK FUCK FUCKF UCK FUCK FUCKFU CKFU FUCK FFUCKF FUCKF FUCK FUCK FCUKF FUCK

THAT

IS

NOT

DEATH

NO

NO

NO NO NO NO NO NO

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO

26/08/11
"Karkat: Descend."

Stupid dying illusions. It would figure that your final moments would be so boring. Why can't your brain come up with any better hallucinations?

And somewhere down there are going to be the Four Heavenly Gates, waiting to send you to your just reward for the life you lived.

If you are lucky, you might get to meet a deceased friend or the bodily incarnation of Death or somebody. Fucking fun.

26/08/11
"Reconsider for the sake of your lovers."

What lovers?

You do not have a real matesprit. Sure, you and Terezi agreed that when a drone comes for one of you, the other will act as the designated matesprit, but that is more like a business arrangement than a real relationship. You do not even know if you want to be actual matesprits with her. You do not know if she did, either. But, if you need to ask, that probably means the answer is "no."

Your kismesis has been your kismesis for all of a few fucking hours, and Eridan is so desperate he will probably just write you off as another failed attempt and move on. You doubt he hates you for YOU, anyway. And you know you do not hate him for him. You have never really hated anybody but yourself.

Wow, dying involves a whole lot of self-examination.

You would never have let anybody auspisticize for you, it would have just cut down on your flings. That quadrant is empty.

And your pale quadrant? Hah! As if you would have mastered the fine art of solo feelings jams if you had ever had a moirail! ... The "solo feelings jams" are bullshit anyway. The fact is if you actually ever pitied someone enough to want to be their moirail, you would never want to inflict yourself on them. Nobody deserves to have to deal with you and your bullshit.

You are alone.

Which, you suppose, was always kind of your plan.

No one deserves to put up with you.

... Not much to deter you from that black hole, is there.

Fuck.

26/08/11
"===>"

And, yeah, the long bright tunnel with the dark hole at the end. About as blatant a death cliche as you can think of.

This is...

not as scary as you thought it would be.

Or as infuriating. You always figured that when you died you would be pissed off at the entire situation and everything associated with it. But you cannot find it in you to get annoyed at any of it. Even that fucking bright light.

Okay, maybe a little annoyed.

You still firmly maintain that this whole "near death experience" sequence is a hallucination invented by a dying, oxygen-deprived brain, and not actually a literal spiritual event.

This is the part where you magically drift toward the dark, right?

26/08/11
"Karkat: Yep, you're dying."

The fact that you are randomly naked, floating in a void, not bleeding from a few dozen wounds, and surrounded by an OBNOXIOUSLY BRIGHT glow would all suggest that, yes, you are in the process of dying.

26/08/11
"===>"

It does not matter.

You are fine

alone.











god

you're alone.





















... are you dying?

26/08/11
"Karkat: Dream about your caliginous lovers and why they did not work out."

"Why they did not work out"?

What?

Since when were they supposed to work out?

Before tonight, you have never once committed to a kismesis. Never. Never wanted to commit. Never sought a real relationship. Never tried.

You did not want anything that would last more than a day.

You did not want anything you would have to deal with the next evening.

Up to this point all you have really wanted--and all you have gotten--is somebody to hate you for a few hours. Somebody to fight and pail and leave. Someone to tell you what a failure you are and how you will never amount to anything and how you will let the entire empire down, so you can hear those words coming out of a mouth other than yours, so you can externalize that hate for a little bit, so you can attack it and subdue it, so you can...

It does not matter. It is always consensual and always consequenceless, you enjoy it and you presume your partners enjoy it. So it's fine. It's fucking fine.

You have no idea why it bothers your friends. Who do they think they are, your moirails? It's none of their fucking business.

More often than not you do not get their names. You rarely remember their faces. Sometimes when it is dark enough you do not even find out their blood colors. Sometimes they try to assassinate you during the duel. Sometimes you meet them BECAUSE they try to assassinate you.

It does not matter.

As long as someone else hates you for a while, it does not matter.

25/08/11
"===>"

wwater you wwant land dwweller
THAT'S KARKAT FUCKING VANTAS TO YOU, SEA DWELLER.
and thats eridan glubbin ampora to you mutant
wwater you wwant wwith me

YOUR NAME WAS IN VRISKA SERKET'S LIST OF CONTACTS.
wwhat
WHO'S WANTED FOR CRIMES AGAINST ROYALTY.
i dont knoww any vvriska serket
SURE.
wwhat are YOU talkin to me for
instead a sendin some wworshipper to do your job

HEY.
SHUT.
THE FUCK.
UP.
NOBODY DOES ANYTHING FOR ME.

yeah im sure a fancy fuck like you can be bothered to do evveryfin he wwants by himself
JUST LET ME IN.
go to shell
HEY, FUCK YOU.
WHAT ARE YOU HIDING, FINFACE?

nothin
but that dont mean i wwant you runnin around in my hivve

AND YOU'RE TELLING *ME* TO STAY OUT?
yeah wwhy not
WHY NOT?
OH WOW, LET'S THINK ABOUT THAT ONE A SECOND!
HOW ABOUT SELF-PRESERVATION?

do you think your sym69l scares me
nothin scares me
im a personal feeder a glbgolyb
ivve got a harpoon and ivve used it before
more times than i can count
so dont fuck wwith me vvantas


The memory trails off without an ending. Apparently the rest didn't matter.

25/08/11
"===>"

Bright red blood is an empty hole at the center, around which all the color orbits. Far far away.

((How egocentric. Lonely, but egocentric. If he were only focused on his own isolation, he would have put himself on the outside, looking in--not in the center. Does he think HE holds the system together?))

((Hardly.))

GO AWAY.
but
i just wwanna--

NO.
JUSHD GO AWAY OR
OR
I'LL KRILL YOU.

glub?
I MEAN ID.
I HAVE A
A SHICKLE
AND
I'VE USHED ID BEFORE
A WHOLE LOBSHDER DIMESH.


Why did you do this?

You're such an idiot

in hindsight.

He was just a fucking kid, just like you, why did you have to be such a worthless asshole, why did you--

but--
CLACK OFF!
but i
i just
wwanna be fronds

NO.
GO DO SHELL.

but--

itd be pitiable if it wwasnt so fuckin pitiful
he wwas a failure
despite evverythin he did in the grand scheme a things it all added up to a big fuckin fail
and thats just like you
You are the most 8itter, stu88orn, fee8le, uncre8tive, unam8itious, USELESS excuse for a troll I've ever seen.

And yet you're the spawn of the gr8test troll to ever live.
It's terri8le!
You're going to 8e a failure.
You're doomed to it.
You don't have what it takes to 8e him.
you think youre so great

wwith your fuckin nice coat
and your home in the royal hivve
and your threshecutioners and shit but
youre nevver gonna add up to anything
but a big fat stupid fuckin fai--


SHUD UP.
i--
SHUD. UP.
g-glub
SHDOP THAD.
glubglu--
SCREEEEEE!
glub--
SCREEEEEEEE!!

The sea troll ran away. Crying. Purple tears. Purple purple purple

Purple is murder.

You did not stop screeing.

You never stopped screeaming.

Your screaming is all that keeps them away.

25/08/11
"Karkat: Dream."

<font size=5>((> Broski: Observe.))</font>

((This is going to be one of those abstract, overly-symbolic dreams. You can already tell.))

((It is also going to be one of those infuriating dreams with a bunch of grubs who do not even know how to speak yet. Isn't it? Those stupid grubs who are too young to know not to use puns. You just know it. You hope you're wrong.))

uh
hey
i didnt sea you out heue

WHAD DO YOU WAND?
nofin
im euidan ampoua

... I'M KARKAD VANDASH.

((Yep. Bunch of stupid kids. And the puns are probably seconds away. This is painful to listen to. You hate children. Not even listening to "Advisier" Fucktass make an idiot of himself makes up for this. Oh, sorry, "Advisier" Vandash.))

((... Okay, that's kind of funny.))

wwateu you dewwin out heue
NOTHING.
I'M JUSHD
LOOKING.

lookin a wwhat
SHDUFF.
LIKE
SHAND.
AND CLAWDER.

wwhats clawdeu
UHH
THE OCEAN?

oh
wwateu

YEAH, THAD.
WHY, YOU GOD A PRAWNBLEM WID ME?
... I CLAWD LEAVE...

no its fin
i dont sea many tuolls
not a lot atolls swwim out a this beach
... i guess baycause i help feed the glubbyglubby

... FEED WHAD?
glubbyglubby
its a monsteu
and it scales evveuyone

NOTHING SHCARESH ME.
I'M CLAWRAGEOUSH.

reely
YEAH.
I'VE BEEN IN A LOD OF PINCHESH
SHO NOTHING MAKESH ME SHRIMP AWAY.
IM NOD A SHCAREDY CRAB.

oh
thats puetty net


((This is simultaneously painful and hilarious. You knew Fucktass had been raised by a crab, but this still sounds so WRONG.))

((You also suspect that this is a dying dream. Dying dreams have a certain tone, a certain flavor, a certain melancholy tenseness. They are more recollection than imagination. The typical rosy shades of nostalgia and regret are gone, leaving the stark judgmental stare of a jury examining evidence. A trial for the troll heading to the gallows.))

((Yes. This is a dying dream.))

... wwanna play wwith me?
WHAD?
WHY DO YOU WAND DO PLAY WID ME?

cause i dont havve anyfin else a deww
wwe cod go vvisit glubbyglubby

WHERE ISH ID?
undeuwwateu
I CAN'D SHWIM.
reely
i thought you wwas a sea tuoll
cause you say fishy thins

THEY'RE CRABBY THINGSH.
oh
wwhale thats ok

ARE YOU A SHEA DROLL?
yeah
wwe can play wwizauds
wwith sticks fou wwands
and the sands magic dust

NO.
oh
ok
wwhat aboat wwe play meutuolls
you can bay the puince since you cant swwim
and i can bay--

NO!
then--
I DON'D PLAY WID SCREE DROLLSH.
ww
wwhat


Sea trolls are trolls that want to spill your bright red blood.

That have tried to spill your blood.

Trolls with dirty clothes; trolls with purple signs; trolls with red signs; trolls with any sign in between; trolls with fins; trolls with bloodshot eyes; trolls with scared eyes

These are the trolls that have tried to spill your blood.

Sea trolls are harpoons through the window in the middle of the day.

Sea trolls are fingers around your neck at rivers and lakes, pulling you under the surface, your lungs filling with water.

Sea trolls are murder.

25/08/11
"===>"

Oh, yes.

This is quite a troubled sleep indeed.

On the bright side, it is almost impossible that Fucktass will notice your presence.

You wonder what happened to him?

And what fragmented dreams might be passing through his broken mind?

You decide to just stand there.

And watch.

25/08/11
"Suweet: What's all this, then?"

Oh, this is delicious.

The is the "Advisier" Karkat Fucktass's dream. Defenses down and cracked wide open, so you can just waltz right in.

And there is something going very, very wrong in this dream. Perhaps the "Advisier" is extremely ill? Dying? Drugged? Drunk?

You go in to find out.

25/08/11
"===>"

... do you want to come in for cookies?
yeth pleathe thank you jhojho

You are pretty sure neither of you needs any sugar at this hour, but hey. Tomorrow is going to be a hard night for both of you.

You spend the rest of the day comforting Altari.

... Yeah, she is probably going to get eaten.

25/08/11
"===>"

Oh! Hey! It's a very close personal friend!

hey altari!
what are you doing up so late?

... hi jhojho
i came over with um
thunglatheth

i bet you did, haha.
jhojho um
im thcared

aww, i'm sorry.

This is ALTARI ANANTH, the big spider's new troll. She picked Altari from the brooding caverns about a sweep ago, when Equius left Alternia and you had to feed the spider by yourself. Since then, you have trained Altari to hunt other trolls to feed her lusus.

Altari currently lives in Equius's old hive, but she will move into yours when you leave this evening. Within a few hours, she will have sole responsibility for feeding her lusus.

She is less than a sweep old.

scared of taking over feeding her, you mean?
yeth
and
thcared of getting eated
like everybody elthe

you're not going to get eaten!
we talked about this, remember?
she's your lusus, and she'll take care of you as long as you take care of her.
and if you rely on your friends to help you hunt, you'll be just...
er...
um...

25/08/11
"===>"

Someone is knocking at your hive's entrance.

That someone interrupted your dream.

Unless your visitor is a very close personal friend, the big spider is going to be getting a midday snack.

The Warhammer...

The Warhammer of Zillyhoo...

it... hungers...

FOR BLOOD!!!

Hahaha just kidding, it is a totally normal hammer. A really cool normal hammer. It does not hunger for anything.

... But no seriously, you probably will kill the visitor.

25/08/11
"===>"

+--) Oh, shoot

Even when he is dying, he is careful not to offend poor Casey's sensitive auricular sponge clots! Assuming she has any.

A FINE MAN LIKE HIM SHOULD HAVE BEEN A PRINCE!

WAS THIS TRULY PART OF HIS PLAN? COULD THE SU6LIME L9RD EVER BE THIS CRUEL? SURELY HE NEVER MEANT TO CUT SUCH A NOBLE LIFE SO SHORT!

WHY, EQUIUS?

WHYYYYYY?

25/08/11
"===>"

Whaaaaat?!

Oh, come on! You were enjoying this dream!

WHY?

WHY?!

25/08/11
"===>"

Ahhh, this must be Casey.

She does not look very bright. You decide to help her out.

-/\- casey, you take equius's--

BANG!
BANG!
BANG!


What the heck?

25/08/11
"Jhonen: Have an awesome dream."

Oh, this is already awesome.

+--) I got a present for you, Casey
+--) ... It's a little dirty


Who's Casey?

... WHO CARES?

Hello, Equius.

24/08/11
"===>"

Hmm...

Space Kenyan, nope.
Giant fake bone-bulge, probably not.
Belief in mirthful messiahs, hopefully, but probably not.
Attack on royal hive, nope.
Pants conspiracy, nope.
Imperial drone lusus, probably not.
Flarping movie... maybe.
Winged blueblood, nope.
Hiring a therapist, pffff, maybe.
Banning all caps, probably yes.

Of course, you will read all the articles, but you have to sort them out first.

And this is just the first page of results. None of which are from a reputable news source.

If you did something practical like set your tags to only show you articles from respectable news sources, you would not have to deal with any of this trash. Being both a major religious figure AND a major political figure, Karkat attracts tabloid stories the way shit-covered corpses attract larva. But you have to read all the articles. All of them.

Or at least skim them. Because goddamn.

For the record, two of the articles are partially accurate and one of the articles is completely accurate. But you do not know that.

Okay, fuck sleep, there is no way you are falling back asleep today. Once you finish sifting through this rubbish (and pausing to pay more attention to the articles from REAL news sources), you are going to spend the rest of the day downing wicked elixirs and writing slam poetry and not thinking about what waits for you at the shuttle station.

A blood test.

Just surf the Internet, and rap, and try not to think about it.

... You are this close to bailing on the trip all together.

You will probably not be doing anything worth watching for a while. Now what?

24/08/11
"Daivat: Check Trollian."

Nobody you care to talk to is on except Hellza, but he pretty much never signs off. In any case, you have already talked to him today.

Time to catch up on the news on Karkat.

You have not gotten caught up in, like, four whole hours. It bothers you to be this out of the loop.

24/08/11
"Daivat: Use your uncanny resemblance to impersonate Karkat."

Yes, let's think about this a minute.

What could possibly go wrong?

You are taking no chances. You have no idea how Karkat is going to react to the discovery that he is no longer the sole descendant of the Sufferer--that there is another troll with the 6L99D AND SYM69L. In all caps and red text and doing the silly 69 thing. You are certainly not going to do anything to make his impression any worse.

You have been essentially stalking him online for about a sweep now--reading every single article and watching every single clip that so much as mentions him. Including everything from legitimate news articles down to trashy tabloid rumors. (And God are they trashy. If the tabloids are to be believed, your older brother has black-bucketed every troll in a fifty mile radius of the royal hive.) And you have been doing it JUST to try to figure out how he would react to you.

You do not know if he will be excited that you exist, if he will welcome you, treat you as an equal, help you find your way in the world, tell the church to embrace you... or if he will hate you, fear your threat to his power, decry you as a sham and a pretender and a fake, declare himself the only true heir to the Sufferer's legacy, hunt you down and kill you.

All your time, watching him and listening to him and trying to pick him apart, and you still do not know.

But you fear it will be closer to the latter.

Keeping tabs on Karkat has developed into a habit bordering on fetishistic. You have got to stop. But, you know what they say about addictions.

You might as well get on your computer, check out the latest news, and see if anybody is on Trollian at this hour.

24/08/11
"===>"

Much better.

This is not the first time you have accidentally flipped the fuck out after looking in the mirror.

You would think that you could recognize your face as your own face before you start seeing any sibling resemblances. But no. This has actually been pretty frequent for the past sweep or so. Probably because, by now, you have spent more time looking at the Advisier's face than your own.

You consider fixing your hair, but it is the middle of the friggen day and you are too tired to mix up the Faygo and slime you use to gel it down. Maybe in the evening.

However, you are too nervous to go back to sleep.

Fuck.

24/08/11
"===>"

9H SHIT 9H SHIT 9H FUCK 9H SHIT THIS IS 6AD THIS IS S9 FUCKING 6AD WHAT IS THE ADVISIER D9ING IN Y9UR MIRR9R?!

Oh wait that's still you.

Wake the fuck up, Daivat. Good thing nobody was here to see the Stride lose his cool.

24/08/11
"Daivat: Stop being Karkat."

Stop being Karkat?

What the fuck does that mean?

You have never been Karkat.

You are absolutely nothing like--

OH SHIT

24/08/11
"Daivat: Wake up."

Eugh.

Okay. Go comb your hair, put on your shades, and for the messiahs' sakes stop grimacing and yawning. There is absolutely no call for you to glare at your respiteblock like that, is not your respiteblock's fault that you woke up in the middle of the day.

You can blame your inability to sleep on your pants-shitting terror of revealing your sign this evening.

But seriously, get your shades and do something about your hair. You always get the worst cases of recuperacoon hair.

24/08/11
"===>"

Looks like he is waking up. You wonder why. You think it is still day on his part of Alternia.

This means there is a chance you could catch him on Trollian, if you woke up now. However, he will probably just turn around and go back to sleep without getting online. So, why bother?

You leave him and move on.

24/08/11
"===>"

He is.

But you cannot reach him.

As usual.

This is how you know Daivat is a jade blood: he is on that threshold where sometimes you can just BARELY peek into his dreams, but you cannot actually access them. That threshold is in the high jade bloods. If Daivat ever fell asleep outside of a recuperacoon, you would be ALL OVER his dreams. But it has not happened yet.

You have other stops to make tonight; you cannot dawdle at Daivat's dreams anymore. Maybe you can catch him in the evening, before he leaves for Surrogia; if not, you will talk to him after he arrives on Suckrogia Surrogia.

No big difference. It is always nice to woo another highblood to your side, yes, and you DO like Daivat's sense of style. But beyond that, he is nothing special. Nothing worth going out of your way to acquire.

24/08/11
"Suweet: Endure this bullshit."

Okay.

That is enough bullshit-enduring for one day.

See if you can get into Daivat's dreams. You need to talk with him, and you think he should be asleep right now.

23/08/11
"===>"

You recognize that troll. You have seen him in "Empress" Maggoto's dreams. You have tried to enter his mind before, but never succeeded; he seems to always be half-awake.

Your sources have him pegged as a master hacker, highly involved in the "empress's" electronic espionage, and one of the few competent members of Maggoto's new regime. You knew that he had simply vanished, some perigees ago; you had even obtained some solid evidence suggesting he was somewhere on Troll Britain.

His death is troubling. He certainly had the psychokinetic potential needed to become a ghost, and ghosts are some of the most effective spies.

Still, you are pleased to hear of his suicide.

23/08/11
"===>"

23/08/11
"Suweet: Tell us about Hellza."

Hellza Jeffan.

He's a dumbass and a tool.

But he thinks you're a dumbass and a tool, so it all evens out.

And along with being YOUR dumbass, he is also YOUR tool. Your very useful tool. Your weapon of localized mass destruction.

You two met when you were a couple of idiot kids, when your highest priorities in life were playing games and eating nachos and watching sports. And you despised each other. You grew from casual video gaming rivals into worst enemies--and in your enmity, you gave each other ambition. Your enmity pushed you to beat each other, to surpass each other and to catch up when you fell behind. You made each other strong. You made each other deadly. You made each other reach higher than either of you would ever have reached alone.

... Then you finally figured out you did not hate each other THAT way. You did not talk to each other for like a perigee. It was awkward.

And it took you even longer to convince Geromy to knock it off with the auspisticing attempts.

You call each other moirails, for lack of a better term. Even though your "moirallegiance" is built on hate rather than pity. Even though you serve to make each other more dangerous. Really, you are more like the opposite of moirails. Whatever that would be.

... Lessrails? Maybe? What would that even look like? ><?

Whatever.

Hellza is your bodyguard, your hitman, and your nearest and dearest frienemy. He is violent as fuck and better at understanding the word "attack" than the word "stop." He also fills in the gaps in your leadership, taking care of the duties that you yourself do not have time or patience for. While your focus is turned outward, on the rest of the empire and its eventual conquest, he takes care of the mundane night-to-night work on Troll Britain, keeping everything running smoothly for you.

It's a hard and thankless job for which he will get little, if any, credit; but it's also the best job to which he could ever aspire.

He knows full well that you are the only troll in the universe who would give so much power to a worthless blue blooded shit like him. He also knows full well that if anything happens to you, all his power will be gone.

He will never betray you.

As always, you visit his dreams first.

... Oh, you almost forgot to mention.

Along with being a dumbass and a tool, he also has the most infuriating dreams you have ever seen.

23/08/11
"Suweet: In your dream, you are the Condesce. It's you."

Oh, wait...

THAT'S YOU ALL THE TIME.

ALL.

THE.

FUCKING.

TIME.

You are the Condesce. It's you.

Listen.

You are at the top

of the top

of the top

of the hemospectrum.

You know the royal game inside and out. You live and breathe political intrigue. You know every trick, scheme, and plot that has ever been attempted, and you have invented quite a few that you are just waiting to try.

You have a secure web of allies and spies, and an unshakeable base of support on Troll Britain.

But enough about your political sway. Let's talk about you.

You have the power to invade dreams. The minds of royalty are open doors for you to waltz through. And listen to their every dreaming thought. And oh, the things you can learn just by sitting there and listening. You even have access to lowblood minds if they are unclouded by recuperacoon sopor slime. But the ability to talk to them is not nearly as important as your direct access to the minds of each and every one of your red-blooded political rivals.

You have everything you need to be the Condesce.

Everything except the throne itself.

And the only reason you do not have THAT is because, unlike the current so-called "empress," you do not have a mutant-blooded freak-symboled bitch with his tongue up under your seedflap.

A mutant-blooded freak-symboled bitch who happens to have a few genes too many in common with the Sanguine Sufferer

An important lesson that you learned a long time ago: a leader is only as influential as his strongest allies. You suppose "Empress" Maggoto stumbled upon her ally by pure chance, given that her dreams tend to betray a troubling sense of nightmarishly confused incompetence as to what it is she is supposed to be doing with her crown. And whenever "Advisier" Fucktass falls asleep on his floor and you get a chance to peek inside his dreaming head (which is rather frequently--a side effect of his distasteful penchant for excessive amorous recreation), he seems equally lost.

Heaven help the Alternian Empire, they have chosen an imbecile and an ignoramus as their leaders. How dare they choose CHILDREN to lead their empire, over somebody with experience and COMPETENCE.

You would be more than glad to take the heavy burden of the crown off Maggoto's head. You have even offered, in a couple of dreams. So far she has refused.

She will come around.

And if she does not willingly lift the crown from her head, you will take it AND her head.

Until then, you will be making your daily dream rounds.

Beginning with Hellza Jeffan.

He had BETTER be asleep by now--and not, oh, sitting on Trollian telling you to wake up so he can talk to you. You swear, sometimes Hellza can be a complete nooksniffing dumbass.

But, he is your dumbass.

22/08/11
"Be the dreaming red blood of questionable highblood status."

You are now...

...

You are NOT Karkat.

You are DEFINITELY not Karkat.

You are now this douchebag.

Self-proclaimed Imperious Condescension and rebel leader of Troll Britain, SUWEET BROSKI.

You fell asleep on the couch instead of in your recuperacoon. It keeps happening.

21/08/11
"===>"

[image]

21/08/11
"===>"

THIS IS THE BEST NIGHT OF YOUR LIFE.

... Or is it day?

Fucking Surrogia.

-Eridan, t)(is is GR-EAT!
yeah! :o)
i knoww
oh my cod i dont bereef it
i seariously thought he wwas just gonna threshecute me

congratulations!
huh?
oh
thanks i guess
this is just
oh my cod

I KNOW!
wwoww
hey fef wwevve gotta find you one noww

)(a)(a! You worry about your own quadrants.
You've got )(im )(ooked and reeled in, you can't let )(im jump out of the boat now. 8)

yeah right right
i dont evven knoww howw this happened

its like some kind of miracle.
wwhat
wwho asked you
do you reely believe in that shit

-Eridan...
yep!
wwell
then fuck you

-ERIDAN! >8(
sorry

T)(is is just so -EXCITING!
W-E N-E-ED TO C-EL-EBRAT-E!

wwhat seariously
like a party?

Y-ES!
that would be a motherfuckin blast.
W-E S)(OULD DO IT!
i dont wwant a party
YOU S)(US)(.
itll be so much fun!
we can have it at my place!

Great!!
all we need is some faygo.
o)( yea)(
I guess we could go get some more...


ahem

21/08/11
"===>"

my sylladex is doin somethin wweird
wwhat the FUCK
shit is it the busted strife deck again

W)(at's wrong? W)(at is it doing?
i dont knoww
its like
talkin at me or somefin

... Talking?
no not talkin but like
tryin to get my attention ovver something
i dont knoww
wwhats it doin

I don't know!
its complainin about the computer i think
WWHAT DO YOU HAVVE AGAINST THE COMPUTER
I STOLE IT FAIR AND SQUARE

... is someone trolling you?
wwhat
i
uh...


You take out the computer.

oh
huh
i uh
nevver had a portable computer before
so thats howw it
tells you
that someones...
uh
yeah


You are still signed in as Karkat, so apparently somebody is trying to troll him. You read the messa--holy fucking shit this a message from the empress.

HOLY. FUCKING. SHIT.

WOW.

Not... not that you're impressed.

Because you aren't.

herImperiousCondescension [HIC] began trolling threshecutionersCommand [TC]

HIC: This is an update 0n the hunt f0r the sea dweller Eridan Amp0ra.
HIC: By 0rder 0f the Imperi0us Grand Advisier Karkat Vantas, the search is t0 be immediately disc0ntinued.
HIC: All crimes c0mmitted by Amp0ra against Advisier Vantas and/0r his pr0perty are t0 be dismissed fr0m his rec0rds.
HIC: Advisier Vantas has inv0ked the Spade Acts f0r his future dealings with Amp0ra.
HIC: The pr0per amendments t0 their legal rec0rds shall be made as s00n as reas0nably p0ssible t0 reflect this change.
HIC: In the interim, treat Amp0ra as if we have already g0tten thr0ugh all the stupid, stupid, useless legal red tape.
HIC: My ap0l0gies f0r that 0utburst.
HIC: N0, wait, I'm the C0ndesce, I sh0uldn't need t0 ap0l0gize.
HIC: I take it back. F0rget I said that.
HIC: Y0u are free t0 resume y0ur regular threshecuti0ner duties, whatever they are.
HIC: That is all.

herImperiousCondescension [HIC]
ceased trolling threshecutionersCommand [TC]


...
...
...
...
...
...
...
......

-Eridan?
glub
W)(at is it? Is something wrong? W)(at does it say? 8(
... its...
its kar

O)( no. W)(at did he say?
hes
hes
i
this

-Eridan?
SPADE ACTS
... W)(at?
kars invvokin the spade acts on me
o)( my cod!!
OH MY COD FEF
this is
THIS
do you reelize what this MEANS

W-E CAN GO )(OM-E! 8D
huh?
... oh
yeah
that too

W)(at were YOU t)(inking about?
it means
i havve
A KISMESIS

... W)(y did I even ask.
)(ee)(ee.

21/08/11
"Eridan: Glub glub glub."

Glub glub glub.

Glub glub.

Sob.

You have described the whole miserable night to Feferi. She has been wonderfully sympathetic and supportive.

So has that bozo jade blood, but you are SICK AND TIRED of the patronizing "pity" of highbloods. Who the fuck does she think she is. The little story that Feferi told you about how they met does not make you trust her any more. Sounds like a bullshit story made up by a highblood who wants the honor of stalking and killing a witch but okay you know what it means when Feferi is giving the Scary Look but she better not come glubbing to you when you're right, she was the one who decided not to listen to her moirail's warning.

Now what?

You and Feferi cannot go home, Karkat knows where you live. You would just be walking back into the threshecutioners' waiting hands and sickles. You have a bunch of sweet loot you could sell to rent a room for the day, but you do not know which stuff you can safely sell without someone realizing that it is Karkat Vantas's property. The bozo jade blood offers to let you two stay at her hive, but there is no way you are going home with her. You guess your best bet is selling some--

WWHAT THE FUCK?
-Eridan? 8(

21/08/11
"Sollux: What do you do?"

That brine-bleeding little shit deserves whatever the threshecutioners have in store for him.

Fuck, you could have prevented all this if you had just STOPPED that sea dweller. All you had to do was relock the door leading to Karkat's quarters so he could not get in. Instead you waited for him to get in and then locked him INSIDE. Stupid, stupid, fucking STUPID. This is YOUR fault. YOUR OWN IDIOTIC FAULT!

But it is the sea dweller's fault too. YOU did not attack Karkat, HE did. And he should pay.

... But...

Karkat used his few moments of consciousness JUST to ask you to absolve the sea dweller. Not even to say good-bye to you or Aradia or anything and, okay, sure, if YOU were HIM then YOU would not want to say good-bye to you, you mean to Sollux, either after the way that you/Sollux just screwed him/you over like you/Sollux just... okay, these pronouns are getting stupid, if you still had a think pan you would have just given yourself a splitting headache.

Oh, no, wait, apparently the headaches are still a thing you get. Ow.

Bottom line, of all the things he could have said--good-bye to somebody, or asking you to put his lusus down, or ANYTHING--he asked to invoke the Spade Acts for Eridan.

On the other hand, he is half dead. He is probably NOT thinking straight. If he had a full load of blood, would he have said any of that? You are betting not.

Besides, should a regicidal rifle-toting violent blood be let off the hook just because Karkat will pull out a pail for pretty much anybody who attacks first and knows how to string two insults together?

Okay, so that is a slight exaggeration.

BUT NOT REALLY.

... On the other hand...

... on the other hand...

... this might be Karkat's last request.

What the fuck does it mean that he can see you?

... KK...
whatever you do
dont go toward the dark.


If Karkat dies, you are hunting down that sea dweller, dragging him to Surrogia's light side, dropping him there, and then following him around until you see him shrivel up and die.

But if Karkat doesn't die...

He will be fucking pissed at you if he wakes up and finds out his new black crush is dead.

Sollux began telepathically communicating with Aradia.

AA?
what is it
is karkat 0k

well, on the plu2 2iide he2 not dead.
and he woke up for a biit.

0h thank g00dness
on the down2iide he uh
talked two me.

... what d0 y0u mean
let2 not worry about that
but lii2ten he a2ked me two do 2omethiing for hiim
promii2e not two fliip your 2hiit.

0k
0_0


You tell her.

She flips her shit.

21/08/11
"===>"

fuck KK ju2t
ju2t hold on.
PLEA2E hold on.
ii dont even know iif were 2tiill friiend2 riight now but ii need you two hold on.
ii mean iif you diie youre gone.
totally fuckiing gone.
you cant even be a gho2t.
death ii2 the harde2t thiing iin the uniiver2e two undo.
you cant giive up on liife thii2 fa2t.
youve got two much liife two liive two quiit now.
thiing2 wiill get better.
... fuck.
what am ii doiing?
iim talkiing two you liike you diid thii2 on purpo2e.
2hiit.
ju2t
ju2t dont diie anyway ok?


You just realized you have a very important message you need to communicate.

You wonder what the fuck that message is.

You suppose you will find out as you share it.

... sol...
KK?!
...ux?
oh jegu2 kry2t you 2cared me
2HIIT 2HIIT FUCK FUCK pretend ii diidnt 2ay that.
ii wa2nt actually calliing you--
ok you know what nevermiind.

sol...
ok iit2 cool.
were cool.
youre awake.
ju2t
ju2t 2tay awake ok?

s-sollux, i...
i need you... to...

ye2?
tell
the thresh... e...

thre2hecutiioner2?
yeah
leave my...
kismesis...
alone

... whiich one?
f-fuck you
i only have one
eridan

you dont mean the 2ea dweller that diid thii2 two you riight?
KK
TELL me you dont mean HIIM.

him
FUCK KK what the HELL?!
he2 the rea2on youre HALF FUCKIING DEAD.

i know
's great

... there2 2omethiing wrong wiith you.
just
tell them

KK he2 a criimiinal
and
a terrorii2t and iin2urgent
and
other
treacherou2 thiing2--

fuck that
he iinvaded the ROYAL HIIVE and ATTACKED THE ADVISIER who by the way ii2 YOU and you 2TIILL MIIGHT DIIE
he HA2 two be caught--

spade acts
... 2pade act2.
2PADE ACT2?

2PADE ACT2?!!


The Spade Acts were deliberately written to address blackrom crimes. If a defendant invokes the Spade Acts, then if the court rules that the crime in question was indeed committed with caliginous intent, most misdemeanors will be dismissed, and sometimes higher crimes earn lighter sentences.

However, if the victim (in this case, you) invokes the Spade Acts, he can have every crime the defendant committed against him dismissed--and the victim receives legal freedom to personally mete out whatever justice he deems fitting.

The Spade Acts were written to allow kismesisses to keep their grudges and competitions personal, without the unwanted intervention of the law. As long as all crimes committed between kismesisses stay between the kismesisses, the law will not intervene. This also prevents any kismesisses from wimping out and running to the legislacerators if they decide they're in over their heads. Losers.

If you invoke the Spade Acts now, then every crime Eridan committed against you--which pretty much covers every crime Eridan committed--will be dismissed. He will not have committed grand crimes against the Imperious Grand Advisier, but null crimes against a consenting rival. Nobody will be hunting him.

Nobody except you personally.

yeah
spade acts
you got a...
got a problem
with it

YE2!!
YOURE HALF DEAD!!
how the FUCK do you thiink youre goiing two go after hiim any tiime 2oon?!

give him a
head start

LIKE HELL KK!
THII2
II2
2TUPIID!!

do it
KK!
please
... KK...

... waiit.
... KK?

what
why can you hear me?
... uh
i 'unno

oh 2hiit
oh 2hiit2hiit2hiit2hiit2hiit2hiit


Then you pass out again.

But it is a good thing you managed to get that message out. It would make no sense to send the threshecutioners after Eridan. He really did not commit any crimes against anyone but you.

Except for the carrying-around-a-rifle thing.

And the making-Terezi-release-IRIS thing, but that one is in a legal gray area.

You do not have enough blood to think about legal nitpicking.

But the fact is, you would be a shitty kismesis to send the entirety of the threshecutioner forces after a resourceless sea dweller, and past you was a fucking moron for doing exactly that. Although in past you's defense, at the time you thought Eridan was actually involved in some sort of business with Vriska. Before he handed her in to Terezi.

Whatever. Bottom line: no sending threshecutioners after your kismesis.

You try not to mix business and pleasure.

You sink back into the strange delusional world of the half-dead.

21/08/11
"Karkat: Now what in the hell is going on in here?"

Funny, you don't remember this memory--

ow.

Ow.

ow ow OW OW OW OW OWWWW FUCK WHAT'S THAT THING THAT HURTS SO MUCH?

Oh. That's you.

For the record, you have briefly regained consciousness, although not enough of it to realize what just happened. Consequently, you are completely confused by the pain, the loud siren noise, the slight jostling sensation, and the talking. Nevertheless, you try to process what you are hearing.

KK come on dont do thii2 two me you dont want two diie tru2t me you really dont want two diie.
iid know ok and iit2 not 2omethiing ii recommend.
2hiit iim beiing fliippant.
ii diidnt mean two be fliippant 2orry.
let2 ju2t
pretend i diidnt ju2t make a death joke ok
becau2e iit2 not 2omethiing that2 ok two joke about con2iideriing that YOURE DYIING and 2hiit.
fuck.


You are going to take a wild stab in the dark and guess that that voice is... Tavros.

No, wait, too lispy. Sollux.

You try to focus on him.

20/08/11
"Karkat: Stay in this memory forever, JUST STAY HERE FOREVER."

Unfortunately, that is not how memories work. Especially the flashing-before-your-eyes-as-you-die variety.

You can even hear the goddamn singing again, that is not a good sign.

This memory is dissolving. Fading away like the shadow it is. You cannot go back to that night, no matter how much you wish to. It is dead.

What happens next?

20/08/11
"===>"

All you know is that it was the first time you truly honestly completely fell in hate with someone, and the first time you ever got a flushed kiss.

You were eight. You had grown up on romcoms. You were not advisier yet. That was all in the future. In the present, all that really mattered was romance.

And for one night you were happy.

This is one of the few memories where, when you look back on past you, you wish you could be him again. Sad, pathetic, boring little wiggler that he was, you wish you could be him.

20/08/11
"===>"

CG: BRB
CG: K4RK4TS BUSY G3TT1NG THOROUGHLY K1SS3D

AG: Wh8t?
CG: H3 T4ST3S 3V3N B3TT3R TH4N H3 SM3LLS
CG: >;]

AG: WH8T????????
AG: T8R8Z8 P8R8P8
AG: Y88 B88888888TCH!!!!!!!!

CG: H3H3H3

assassinsGuillotine [AG] ceased trolling carcinoGeneticist [CG]

You are still not quite sure what caused the exact chain of events that night.

20/08/11
"===>"

From pure black to pure red in the amount of time it took for Terezi to grab your shirt and pull you to her.

It was the biggest mood whiplash you had ever experienced in your life.

Not...

... not an unwelcome whiplash, but...

but still.

20/08/11
"===>"

But someone else heard it anyway.

Someone who had known her long enough and well enough to hear some of the things she never said. Someone who could almost see into her mind.

Someone who wanted to be the Javert to Vriska's Valjen--who wanted to hunt this criminal across the sweeps. Who swore she would be there, wherever Vriska may hide away. Who swore by the stars that she would not rest until she saw Vriska behind bars.

Someone who wanted to take away her every refuge--her every hope for happiness. However few hopes she had left.

20/08/11
"===>"

She never said that every time she saw you on the news, watched you speak, watched you try to hide how completely scared and unprepared and young you were, she felt a sympathetic pang in her heart.

She never said she believed that she alone understood how you truly felt about the Sufferer.

She never said she knew what it was like existing in the shadow of a great ancestor.

She never said she knew that the greatest curse is having to look at your ancestor's deeds and know you can never be that great.

That the hardest hope to let go of is the hope of somehow accidentally becoming that great.

That the worst fate is to be trapped between trying to become your ancestor, and trying to escape your ancestor's enormous shadow.

And she never said she had given up hope of living up to her ancestor.

She never said her one remaining hope was to help you fulfill your hopes of living up to yours.

Because she knew that the sharpest, most painful suffering in the world is running out of hope, and you--you whose 6L99D AND SYM69L cursed you to suffer far more than she ever would--have far more hopes to run out of than she did.

She never said that, and she never implied it.

20/08/11
"===>"

carcinoGeneticist [CG] began trolling assassinsGuillotine [AG]

KV: WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU WANT?
AG: You're weeeeeeeelcome, your Imperiousness. :::;)
KV: WHAT??
AG: Hahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!

She never stated it outright.

She never said she had a part in killing the emperor.

She never said she had gotten tied up in some conspiracy or another, and that she had helped them accomplish something that in their two hundred years of existence they had never gotten anywhere near achieving.

She never said the web she was weaving had even more strands in other organizations.

She never said she was also keeping her eye on the other contenders for the throne, and that she was already working to spread some slander about the blood quality of Aradia's top rival, and that with a little bit of good luck it would be enough to keep the throne out of his reach.

She never said she was doing everything in her power to keep the throne open for you and Aradia.

She never said she had left Alternia when she was only seven.

She never said she, a half-blind physically-handicapped mutant-brained blue-blooded child, had spent the past sweep fighting fang and claw just to survive.

She never said she did all that just to get the throne open for you and Aradia.

She never said that, but she implied the shit out of it.

You asked her why she did all that. And she told you.

AG: Karkat, you're just so SAD!
AG: You're a sad, path8tic, 8oring little wiggler
AG: with this GREAT 8IG ANCESTOR you're supposed to live up to!!!!!!!!
AG: How in the world are you going to live up to all these expect8tions 8y yourself?
AG: YOU AREN'T!
AG: Not if you keep acting the way you have so far.
AG: How could you?
AG: I've 8een watching you, Karkat.
AG: And not just on the news.
AG: I've 8een watching your friends and enemies, too.
AG: All of the trolls who have ANYTHING to do with you.
AG: All of them.
AG: I've seen how you live your life.
AG: I've seen what you can and can't do.
AG: I've seen your potential.
AG: And I've only 8een a8le to draw one conclusion.
AG: Annnnnnnnd iiiiiiiit iiiiiiiissssssss
AG: ........
AG: ........
AG: ........
AG: ........
AG: ........
AG: ........
AG: ........
AG: ........
AG: YOU!
AG: ARE!
AG: W8RTHL8SS!!!!!!!!
AG: You are the most 8itter, stu88orn, fee8le, uncre8tive, unam8itious, USELESS excuse for a troll I've ever seen.
AG: And yet you're the spawn of the gr8test troll to ever live.
AG: It's terri8le!
AG: You're going to 8e a failure.
AG: You're doomed to it.
AG: You don't have what it takes to 8e him.
AG: If you were the descendant of any other troll to ever exist, that wouldn't matter!
AG: Mediocrity would suit you well!
AG: 8ut you don't have that choice.
AG: Mediocrity isn't good enough for a troll with your 8lood and sym8ol.
AG: Sorry, I mean
6L99D AND SYM69L. :::;)
AG: Considering your 8ad 8reak with 8lood, you will not JUST 8e a mediocre troll.
AG: You will 8e the disappointment of the empire.
AG: You will have shattered thousands and thousands AND THOUSANDS of sweeps worth of 8elief and faith.
AG: Whether you accept it or not, all the stupid hopes of the empire rest on your 8ack.
AG: Your mere existence sym8olizes everything our race stands for.
AG: And if you succeed, you will legitimize our existance.
AG: 8uuuuuuuut, if you fail........
AG: The whole empire fails!
AG: Which means YOU fail the whole empire!
AG: And you WILL fail! I can just tell!
AG: 8ecause you're JUST TH8T L8ME!
AG: Unleeeeeeeess you have a little 8it of help.
AG: I'm only here to help you, Karkat.
AG: I'm here to push you up higher than you could ever get on your own
AG: even if you go kicking and screaming.
AG: You've got the right color and sign to 8e great
AG: You've got ALL OF THE POTENTIAL.
AG: You've just got no idea what the hell you're doing.
AG: That's where I come in.
AG: I'm going to make you the gr8test troll to ever exist.
AG: So great that even the Sufferer Himself would 8ow 8efore you as a god.
AG: And then
AG: when you hold the whole universe in your hands,
AG: you'll have NO CHOICE 8ut to recognize the troll who put it there for you.
AG: After all, you and I will 8oth know there's no way an incompetent, aimless, PATH8TIC troll like you could gra8 the universe 8y yourself. >::::)


Never

in your life

had you ever

felt

such

complete

utter

all-consuming

overpowering

unremitting

burning

boiling

bitter

black

self-loathing.

Because she just told you exactly how you feel about yourself.

And in that moment, you knew, more surely than you knew your own name, that she was your fated kismesis.

You do not really remember what you typed to her after that.

You do not really remember much of anything else.

And she never stated her motives outright.

She never said why she wanted to help YOU so much.

She never said why she wanted YOUR recognition, YOUR forgiveness.

20/08/11
"Karkat: Stop dwelling on creepy things."

You can totally handle that.

Except... oh, ugh, this room. You trolled Vriska from this room. Hakuba used it as her dining room.

So many towels. So many, many, thoroughly bloodied towels.

This is where this night actually got interesting. The point where it is not so much "memory" as "reliving." The point where you even stop remembering the stupid showtunes. Thank God.

The point where you trolled Vriska.

In her note to Terezi, she instructed you to troll her at a new account: assassinsGuillotine.

19/08/11
"===>"

Yeesh. This room. Okay, you got that Hakuba was a rainbow drinker, and you could put up with the creepy bright colors, but was the big red sun on the wall really necessary? Imagine waking up from a bad dream in the middle of the day and looking at that wall and BAM, sun right in your face. Scary as hell.

And that chair. That weird-shaped pointy chair. Hakuba explained that it was an antique, made who knows how many hundreds or thousands of sweeps ago. The upholstery was made of real troll skin. And it was dyed red by the troll's own blood. The blood was not QUITE divine, lacking the proper sym69l, but it was the same color. She was quite proud of owning that piece--it is not only heresy but also very illegal to kill a sanguine-blooded troll, much less make furniture out of its flesh. And beyond that fact, such trolls are extremely rare to begin with. She thought she was probably the only troll in the universe to own such a fine piece.

Which was all well and good but it freaked the living fuck out of you. Corpses should either be left to the wild animals, or consumed before the meat spoils. You don't use corpses as CHAIRS. Especially in your own blood color.

Between the blood-drinking, the bright red sun, and the sanguine-dyed chair, you spent the entire stay at her hive hyperaware of your heartbeat. And of the color that flowed with every pump.

Which is probably why your memory is lingering in this room for so long. Fucking room. Time to move on.

19/08/11
"===>"

Aradia did not like the idea.

But she was not about to stop you. You and Terezi had been looking for Vriska since she vanished, the day after she crippled Tavros. In the sweeps since then she had trolled you both a few times, but never for long, and typically to ask for forgiveness. In that arrogant, flippant, you're-the-one-who's-being-unreasonable-here way she had. This could be the first lead you had gotten on her in a sweep. The first lead since the last time either of you spoke to her. The first lead since she left Terezi the locked note.

You had to troll her.

19/08/11
"===>"

When she arrived, she said it was about Vriska.

Terezi said that Vriska had sent her a note, saying that since the emperor had just died, she wanted to talk to you.

The thing was, Vriska had sent the note in a chastity modus card, almost a sweep ago. Terezi only found the key to unlock the card that night, a few hours after the emperor's death.

Meaning that, almost a sweep ago, Vriska had known the emperor was going to die.

She was part of it.

And she wanted to talk to you.

When you asked Terezi why she had come all this way to tell you rather than simply tell you over Trollian, she said it was because she wanted to read the conversation over your shoulder, duh. The last time Vriska had been on the right side of the law, she had been Terezi's flarping partner. That meant some part of Vriska's turn to crime had been Terezi's responsibility. Even though she was not yet an official legislacerator, she was going to do everything in her power to bring Vriska to justice. Or at least be the one legislacerator from whose grasp Vriska could never fully escape. Like a Valjen and Javert thing.

You told her you had no idea what she was talking about. She told you maybe you should pay a bit more attention to what Hakuba was singing, there were some pretty great blackrom duets in there. You told her that if the duets could be sung by one troll, then they couldn't be that great.

You went inside to troll Vriska.

19/08/11
"Karkat: Get on with this life-flashing-before-your-eyes sequence."

For your own safety, Terezi gave you directions to her friend's hive. The hive was in an isolated area, surrounded by forest for many miles around, and unlikely to be stumbled upon by accident. Those few trolls who DID know about it would be disinclined to visit, and would certainly never think that a future Condesce and Advisier would ever come near it. After all, the hive's owner was the rainbow drinker HAKUBA DAHAAG.

Hakuba agreed to let a bunch of visitors into her hive under ONE condition: as payment, she wanted to taste divine blood. You served as her evening snack for the next few nights.

If you had simply been looking out for yourself, you would never have agreed. You would have taken your chances with the assassins. However, Aradia was in danger, too.

Since she had hatched, there had been countless trolls that wanted her dead. Not because of anything she had done, but simply because she was another contender for the throne. Anybody who wanted somebody other than her to be the next Condesce had a reason to assassinate her. Such is life among the royalty.

And there were a lot of trolls that wanted you dead. Anybody who did not believe in the divinity of the 6L99D AND SYM69L and hated you for giving it legitimacy. Anybody who believed in Jegus' divinity but thought that YOU were not divine and did not deserve to be treated as such. Anybody who believed both you and Jegus were divine, and had a bone to pick with your ancestor. Anybody who thought it was a requirement for the Sufferer's descendant to suffer. Anybody who thought that, all questions of ancestry aside, you yourself were unfit to wield power and thus should be killed before you had the chance. Anybody who thought the church was complete BS and wanted to prove that their "messiah reincarnate" was worthless. And a million other individual lunatics with individual beliefs, quests, and vendettas.

When you two were chosen to lead the empire, all of your enemies became each other's enemies as well. Anybody who had wanted you dead would want Aradia dead, and she at least did not deserve that. To keep your friend and ally safe, you were willing to put up with a little neck pain.

And a few fucking showtunes.

Technically, it was a very bad idea for you to go outside Hakuba's hive. But Terezi was coming over, with important information. You were waiting for her.

19/08/11
"Karkat: Relive one of the best nights of your life."

This was one of the best nights of your life.

This was also the night that...

... Oh. Yeah. That singing? That was a thing that happened. You had to stay at the hive of this troll that Terezi knew, and she was ALWAYS singing. Her dulcet voice was melodious and harmonious, haunting and heartrending, sweet and silvery. And it pissed you off no end because she would never fucking shut up. If nobody was talking to her then she was wandering around somewhere, singing. All the fucking time. Because of her, sometimes you wake up from nightmares with a phantom pain in your neck and fucking showtunes stuck in your head. Bluh. If you could have chosen ONE thing about that stay at her hive to delete from your memory, you are not sure if you would choose the singing or the blood-drinking.

But none of that is really relevant to this memory. Anyway.

This was one of the best nights of your life.

This was also the night that you discovered you were going to be the next Imperious Grand Advisier.

These two facts are not correlated in the slightest. If the only thing that had happened that night was the discovery of your future career path, it would have been the worst night of your life. The kind of night that might have driven you to peel open your abdomen with a sickle, like a student doing one of those anatomy lessons where you dissect a live sea dweller wiggler. And then you would have written some sort of message in your blood, like, "I DIDN'T WANT TO BE YOUR BOSS" or something. You have no idea why you think you would have written that, it seems like a pretty stupid thing to write, but the idea just will not go away.

Anyway.

This was how your night started. And this is all the shit that went down BEFORE YOU EVEN FOUND OUT what the big fuss was about:

• Your sylladex woke you up in the middle of the day telling you that you had to empty your mailbox modus because it was suddenly fucking overloaded with mail. You spilled it out, set it on fire, and trolled the nearest pontifex maximus (stuck-up self-righteous nookrimmer) to ask what the fuck all the mail was about, and he told you to get out of your hive as fast as possible. So you put your moron lusus on a leash, slapped sunglasses on both of you, and left. Your mail accidentally burned up a bathroom.

• You went to see a midday movie since it was way too light to be outside. Of course, you did not look at the title, you just slapped down your money and said "ONE TICKET TO SOMETHING WITH ROMANCE IN IT." You did not realize until ten minutes into the movie that, since this was a MIDDAY showing, you had probably accidentally bought yourself a ticket to a porno. You were right.

• On your way out of the theater, some shitbag paparazzi started snapping pictures of you. You promptly initiated a brouhaha. The theater manager did not like this. Even after you promised to buy another ticket and quietly watch another movie until dusk, the manager kicked you out. It was the first time you had ever been kicked out of a theater. Your best guess is the manager was an atheist.

• You spent the next few hours in a playground, hiding from the sun under a merry-go-round. You fell asleep there. You were woken up at dusk, when a bar underneath the merry-go-round hit your head as it spun. You absolutely fucking terrified a couple of little brats when you crawled out from underneath.

• While you weren't supervising it, your lusus had climbed up a tree and gotten stuck. You decided to leave it there.

• While you were walking down the street, several random trolls saw you and decided to try to assassinate you.

• While you were trying to order breakfast at McGrubby's, several random trolls saw you and decided to try to assassinate you.

• While you were buying some breakfast and a first-aid kit at a convenience store, several random trolls saw you and decided to try to assassinate you.

• While you were hiding in the back corner of a library using the first-aid kit, a random pontifex minimus saw you and decided to try to help you. You decided to try to assassinate her.

• You trolled Aradia to ask why the fuck were there so many more assassination attempts today. Even from gold bloods, those were less common. But she wasn't online, so you trolled Sollux instead. He said if you didn't know already then he refused to tell you over Trollian. You got in an argument. You stopped being friends. You signed off in tears. Ragetears.

• You apologized fifteen minutes later. He told you to fuck off.

• He apologized fifteen minutes later. You told him to fuck off.

• You ran into someone you had once gone on a hate date with, who at the time had told you to bug off because you were not powerful enough to be an interesting rival. Your ex-hate date greeted you with a hate snog. You spent an unexpected but rather interesting half hour in a dark alleyway, at the conclusion of which your ex-hate date told you to fuck off.

• You signed back on Trollian to apologize to Sollux. He apologized to you first. You told him to fuck off.

• While you were trolling Sollux, several random trolls saw you and decided to try to assassinate you.

And all of that was BEFORE you even heard the news.

So, in short? Up to that point, you were having a pretty motherfucking awesome day. Like, the kind of day that is a distilled version of every other good day you had ever had, with all of the boring parts removed. Except the getting your head hit by a merry-go-round part, that part wasn't fun.

And then Terezi trolled you, and said she had somewhere safe for you to stay until things blew over. And you asked her what things were so not blown over that you needed somewhere safe to avoid them. And she told you the news.

His Imperious Condescension had been assassinated. Usually such an event triggers perigees of infighting among the top royals, until one emerges with the crown. However, that was not the case.

See, some time ago, you and Aradia had announced a formal alliance, as a defense move--alliances between upper royalty and lower royalty are quite common, and even though you had no idea where the fuck you ranked, you supposed you could pretend to be "lower royalty" for the sake of an alliance. Basically, an alliance means that the trolls allied have vowed to never under any circumstances be rivals with each other, and to fuck up the shit of anybody who messes with their allies. Since you and Aradia were friends, frequent assassination targets (she being high royalty and you being hypothetically divine), and unlikely to have conflicting career paths, an alliance made sense.

However, because YOU rallied behind Aradia Megido, that the Church of the Sanguine Sufferer immediately rallied behind her as the supposed "true heir" to the throne. And it looked like the empire's popular opinion might just rally behind the church.

And if Aradia was going to be empress, that meant you were going to be the advisier.

Upon receiving this news, one of the best days of your life instantly became the single worst day of your life.

It got better again. You just haven't got to that part of the memory yet. It is still coming up.

17/08/11
"===>"

You have never

once

in your life

truly pitied anybody

ANYBODY

but yourself.

And love is just a shade of pity.

So, no.

You never loved Nepeta.

You loved the attention she gave you. You loved that she liked you. You loved that she pitied you. You loved the idea that she might love you.

But did you love HER?

Did you PITY her?

Why the fuck would you pity her?

She has everything you could ever want but can never have. Respect. Friends. Happiness. The freedom to walk down the street without dodging scornful glares and suspicious glances. What is there to pity?

Oh, in truth, there is plenty to pity. And in truth all the things you think you can never have, you CAN have. You just cannot see it. You just cannot acknowledge it. You do not know how to acknowledge the fact that you are the only person holding you back from having all the respect and friends you want. The same way you do not know how to acknowledge that you have never pitied anybody but yourself.

There are some things you simply cannot afford to believe about yourself.

You cannot afford to believe that you are at fault for your own unhappiness. If you believed that--if you believed that your greatest enemy in life was not some force outside of you that you could attack, but a monster within you that you could not hurt without hurting yourself--how could you live with yourself?

You have to blame society for your misery just to keep yourself going. You have to blame Condescension. Not just Her Imperiousness, but the universal Condescension aimed from the top of the hemospectrum toward the bottom.

You have never pitied anybody but yourself because everything else is outside of you. Everything else is a force acting against you. Everything else is part of the Condescension that you have to blame for your misery. Everything else is the enemy, and you cannot afford to show the enemy pity. You cannot afford to fall in love with the Condescension that wants to drown you.

And yet, you want--no, you NEED the Condescension to love you. So you do the only thing you can.

You force it to pity you

You show it your desperation, and hope it takes pity.

You keep your heart guarded and fire a harpoon at the Condescension's heart, and hope it bleeds.

Usually you fail. Usually you get nothing more than a door slammed in your face. Or apathy or disgust or revulsion.

Sometimes your harpoon hits, and you make your target bleed pity. Such as Nepeta.

But the Condescension does not pity you in the way you need and want it to--as a worthy troll stuck in a position beyond his control. As a troll that deserves love. Even if the Condescension does not realize it, it pities you for what you really are: a sad, sad, messed-up troll who needs help just to get over his own problems.

But what else can you do? After all your countless rejections, how can you risk falling in love and having your heart broken for real? This carefully-honed desperation is the only harpoon you have which can pierce your target's heart. This carefully-honed desperation won you Feferi, even if she does not pity you for the reasons you think she does. This carefully-honed desperation is the only thing that has ever worked for you.

But every time you use your desperation, you kill any chances you had at a flushed romance.

And every time you lose another flushed target, you have to tell yourself that it's not your fault but the Condescension's.

And every time you reaffirm that your failures are the Condescension's fault, you have to bulk up your defensive shield of self-pity.

And every time your shield of self-pity gets thicker, your harpoon of desperation gets sharper.

What else can you do?

17/08/11
"Eridan: Why does this always happen to you?"

Why does nothing ever go right?

YOU know why.

Or so Feferi says. You KNOW why, glub glub glub. She has talked to you about this before. Her explanation, in your humble opinion, is full a shit.

So YOU know why? Fine, THIS is why. It's because you are a sea dweller. It's because in the eyes of everyone else in the universe, you are undeserving of pity and beneath their contempt. Both unlovable and unhateable. And if it's not because of that, then it's because you refuse to conform to what this universe expects you to be. It's because you refuse to be the stereotypical sea dweller, frittering away your life in petty rivalries against blue and indigo gangs, concerned only with living in a hivestem with a bigger pool, willing to throw yourself into some suicidal military mission for a chance at earning a little respect from your neighbors. It's because you're a fucking intellectual, and that scares people.

And if you are going to get culled for that, then you have no regrets. You would rather die at the drone's hand than conform to society's expectations and help perpetuate the stereotypes and discrimination.

THAT is why this always happens to you. THAT is why nothing ever goes right.

For the record, you are completely wrong.

Maybe you should have listened to your lusus a bit more whenever he tried to give you advice; although flawed, it is still closer to the truth than your worldview.

You should definitely have listened to your moirail. She has observed you, at your best and your worst, when you were at the top of the world and in the depths of the seas, over and over, your entire life. She understands you. She KNOWS you. She knows you better than you are willing to know yourself.

She has told you the reason why this keeps happening to you. And you flat out rejected it.

And here is the reason.

17/08/11
"Karkat: Wait here a bit."

Although it is nice to get a hint at what you are up to, we cannot really delve into your psyche until we finish delving into Eridan's psyche.

But that is fine. No, really, it is.

After all, it's not like you're dying or anything.

17/08/11
"Karkat: What are you doing?"

Nothing much. Just dying.

Also, reliving one of the top five best moments of your life.

17/08/11
"===>"

What made you think you could possibly be Eridan's moirail?

17/08/11
"===>"

go to shell
You KNOW w)(y, -Eridan.
You do!

fuck you fef
LOV-E YOU TOO! )(ee)(ee
glub glub
-ERIDAN! 8O
GLUB GLUB GLUB!

glub glub glub glub
Glub glub!
GLUB
GLUB!!!
GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB
GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB
GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB
GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB
GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB
GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB
GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB

You think they are having a conversation. They are actually having a conversation in glubs.

In all the times you heard or read him glub, you never realized he was actually saying something.

Still glubbing, Feferi leads Eridan out of the park.

Away from you.

17/08/11
"Nepeta: Be knight. Watch witch save princess."

i
i dont understand
it wwas goin so wwell
wwasnt it

Maybe to you, -Eridan, 8/
You )(ave a tendency to make tsunamis out of tides, you know.

but
wwe
wwevve been talkin for swweeps
almost evvery day
wwhy didnt that...

Don't exaggerate, you barely talked to )(er until the last few perigees. 8/
But all t)(is talking wit)( )(er means s)(e likes you! MAYB-E even R-E-ELY likes you.
But t)(at doesn't mean s)(e )(as to like you T)(AT way, -Eridan.

oh
cod
i
i just
wwhat am i gonna do noww
my flushed quadrants still empty and the drones wwill be comin for me...

You t)(row )(er back overboard and move on.
T)(ere's SOMEONE out t)(ere for you, -Eridan!
T)(ere's someone out t)(ere for -EV-ERYON-E!
And if you can't find anyone, I'll be )(ere for you, I p-roe-mise.
Just like I know YOU'LL be t)(ere for M-E.

but
i ww
i wwont find anyone
ill nevver find anyone

-Eridan! Listen to yourshellf.
W)(at )(appened to your )(OP-E?
W)(at do you always say to M-E when I say I'll never find anyone?
T)(at it won't )(appen wit)(out )(OP-E! T)(at if I lose )(ope, I lose everyt)(ing else.
SO TAK-E YOUR OWN ADVIC-E!
Someday, you WILL find someone w)(o reely loves you.
Just like today you found someone w)(o )(AT-ES you, didn't you?

sure...
-Eridan...
It's going to be okay.
Just calm down and t)(ink t)(ings trout.
So you )(it some roug)( waters. It's not like you capsized!
You'll find someone else and everyt)(ing's going to be FIN-E! You'll sea!

but
fef
i lovve her
so much

Don't give me t)(at carp s)(it, -Eridan.
its true
I know you better t)(an t)(at
reely
-Eridan. >8(
...
glub


With everything she says, he gets a little bit less upset.

i just...
wwhy
wwhy does this alwways happen to me
wwhy does nothing evver go right

You know w)(y.
...

17/08/11
"===>"

No.

We're.

Not.


ok.

You suddenly remember something.

That long message that Feferi left for you. You only skimmed it when you saw it, you did not stop to process what you were reading.

And she was so desperate and so sweet that it is not until right now that you are hit with the full impact of what she said.

She was the witch.

Even the horrorterror speak did not make it hit. It is not until you look her full in the face. Not until you look her in the eyes. And then you see it.

Carefully tamed chaos.

It is etched across every feature in her face, written on every strand of her hair.

For a moment, you fear for your life.

No--you fear for your sanity.

And then Eridan lets out a sad little glub. All of her attention snaps back to him.

17/08/11
"===>"

N-EP-ETA.
mew?
W)(y did you try to jam wit)( my moirail?

Oh, God, how do you explain?

How do you make her understand that you weren't trying to take her red lover away from her? You just wanted to help them become the other kind of red lovers. You never wanted to break them up, never meant for any of this to happen--you had a plan and it was going to work out so perfectly, you were going to help Eridan realize that Feferi was a perfect flushed match for him and then you were going to help him win her, and then you would have proved what a perfect moirail match you could be for him, but--

But tonight messed all of that up. Tonight he said something you never expected him to say, and tonight you had to say something you had never planned to say this early, and tonight you watched Eridan break and break and break again, and tonight you learned that when Eridan breaks you have no idea how to put the pieces back together, and--

And the one thing you know for sure is that you never wanted to hurt anybody. You never wanted to steal Eridan away from Feferi. You wanted them to be in the perfect quadrant, you wanted them to be happy, YOU wanted to be happy. You have to make her understand that, but, God, talking about all your plans and your ideas and your matches and your ships, you have no idea how to explain this without sounding like a lunatic, like a, like a control freak, like a...

A highblood playing around with a couple of sea dwellers. Like a cat batting at two fish in a bowl.

Oh, God. Eridan was right about you.

I...
I......
thought you...
thought you were... flushed.

17/08/11
"Nepeta: Meow."

mew.

You have this unnerving feeling.

Like, if you make one wrong move, your lifespan will be instantly and drastically reduced.

PALE ZONED
sh-she tried to jam wwith me

o)( my 'f)(alma
after all a this time
all wwevve been through
SOB

Did s)(e not know you )(ave a moirail?
i dont knoww
i talk about you all the time an i knoww ivve said youre my rail but
i dont knoww
maybe she didnt remember
i just
i dont
knoww
glubsob

T)(ere, t)(ere, it's okay...

17/08/11
"Feferi: Fret."

-Eridan! O)( my cod, just LOOK at you! W)(at )(appened?
i--
Look at your FAC-E, o)( -ERIDAN! I t)(ink you need stitc)(es!
its--
I don't know if we can afford stitc)(es, water we going to do?
im--
we can s)(ell some stuff we don't need. Some baby eels just )(atc)(ed t)(at I can sell to the neig)(bors.
but--
W)(ere did you get t)(ese CLOT)(-ES, -Eridan?! And t)(ey're such a M-ESS, I )(ope we can get all t)(e blood out of t)(em.
they--
o)( my cod -Eridan tell me t)(is isn't t)(e advisier's blood!
yes--
O)( MY COD, you FOUG)(T?!
ye--
NO WOND-ER YOU'R-E SO UPS-ET, you poor t)(ing!
FEF!
no no its just a bunch a scale wwounds
im fine
the fight wwas fin
it wwas a duel
kars black for me

REELY?! 8O
yeah reely
You're ABSOLUT-ELY- SUR-E?
im positivve
Did )(e actually say so?
wwell not exactly i dont think
but he wwas the one interruptin me mid sentence to shovve his tongue dowwn my throat

O)(!!
and also grabbin me inappropriately but im tryin not to think about that part
wwhy
you sounded like you didnt believve me
do you think id lie to you about somethin like that

Well, no, I know you wouldn't lie.
But you )(ave a )(istory of misinterpreting signals a little bit!

...
... -Eridan?
... sob
...... O)( -Eridan I'm sorry, I didn't mean to set you off again.
W)(at's wrong? W)(at )(appened?

GLUB GLUB SOB
-Eridan, it's okay, you can tell me!
n-nepeta
o)(... 8(
S)(e didn't pity you pity you...?

wwwworse
s-she pale zoned me

...
...
...
S)(e.
Did.
W)(AT.

16/08/11
"Jadzia: ?"

?

-Eridan
Put that )(arpoon away
RIG)(T
NOW

id like to sea you make me
I'll speak )(orrorterror.
... you wwouldnt
TRY M-E.
oh cod
)(ai c)('p)('nglui nafl-bug--
oh cod stop that
--geb f)(tagn llll ya--
GLUB GLUB GLUB GLUB--
--YA GL'BGOLYB-NYT)( 'F)(ALMA VULGTLAGLN--
--GLUBGLUBGLUBGLUBGLUBGLUB--
--GOLYBGOLYBGOLYBGOLYBGOLYBGOLYB--
OK OK I PUT IT UP
jegus glubbin coddamn kryst

8)
do you havve any fuckin idea howw creepy that sounds

She just saved his life.

And to think, he would be dead now if it weren't for the fact that you know Nepeta and Feferi knows him and you met Feferi.

Miracles.

All over the place.

Mother. Fucking. Miracles.

:o)

-Eridan, W)(AT IN TH-E UNIV-ERS-E were you T)(INKING?
W)(at's going ON?

...glub
Glub?

Oh, now he's crying.

:o(

16/08/11
"And nothing h-- HOLY SHIP ERIDAN!"

Sugar high gone.

-ERIDAN?!
fef?!
wwater you doin here?!

-ERIDAN W)(AT T)(-E S)(-ELL AR-E YOU DOING?!
you conch stop me fef
this time im reely goin through wwith it
theres no place in this wworld for a miserable urchin like me

YOU STOP T)(AT CARP SHIT AND PUT T)(AT )(ARPOON DOWN B-EFOR-E YOU )(URT YOURS)(-ELLF. >8(
YOU DONT BEREEF ME
YOU NEVVER BEREEF ME
YOU DONT KNOWW WWHATS GOIN ON WWITH ME
YOUVVE NEVVER UNDERSTOOD ME CAUSE YOU DONT WWANT TO

-ERIDAN, I UNDERSTAND YOU B-ETT-ER T)(AN YOUR OWN LUSUS
AND YOU AND I BOAT KNOW IT.

Neigh, neigh, neigh!
shut up
shes right you knoww
Neigh?
no i dont knoww if she knowws about the wwhales and turtles just shut up youre not evven part a this
i didnt sea you tryin to stop me
Neigh neigh.
yes i am gonna do it so shut up

16/08/11
"Feferi: Everything is beautiful."

soitsgoingtobeyouandmeanderidanALLTOG-ET)(-ERrig)(t???
yep!
thats the plan.

o)(mycodimso----EXCIT----ED!!
t)(isissuc)(awaterfallnig)(t
ORISITDAY?
icanttell)(a)(a)(a)(a

... waterfall?
WOND-ERFUL!!
oh, yeah. :o)
wecan)(angoutandjustglubaboutstuff
ORMAYB-E)(ONK)(-E-E)(-E-E)(-E-E
idontknoww)(atnepetadoest)(oug)(
DO-ESS)(-E)(ONKTOO??

uhhh, not really.
but she meows sometimes.

o)(mycod
T)(ATISSOCUT-E!

16/08/11
"Eridan: Nepeta is right there, just this once use HER as a moirail."

Oh! Yeah! Great! Like SHE is a fuck of a lot of help!

Here you are, threatening to put a harpoon through your own collapsing and expanding bladder based aquatic vascular system, and what is she doing? Gaping at you like a fish out of water.

Is she trying to stop you? Is she trying to comfort you? Hell fucking no she's not. She is just watching. And watching and watching and fucking watching.

Shows just how much SHE pities you.

As if you expected any more out of a land dweller.

She does not pity you. She does not care about you.

Nobody cares about you.

Fine. That is it. That is fucking IT. You are off to meet your maker, to join the siren chorus, to catch the ship to Davy Jones' locker. This corrupt and dirt-encrusted mortal realm holds nothing more for a poor persecuted soul like you; your only hope now is in the clear seas of the great hereafter.

You are doing this.

You are making it happen.

Really.

REALLY.

...

No, REALLY!

...

...

Why the fuck isn't Fef here when you need her?!

16/08/11
"===>"

-EV-ERYT)(ING!!IS!!B-EAUTIFUL!!AND!!NOT)(ING!!)(URTS!!!!
heeheehee.
t)(isstuffissoGR-EATdoyou)(aveanymoreo)(waitnoyousaid-ERIDAN!!will)(avemore)(owfararewenow?
were almost there!
you dont drink faygo very often, do you? ;o)

N-EV-ER-EV-ER------EV-ER!
eridanalwayssaidiwasalreadyskittiert)(anacrabwit)(outitbutw)(atdoes)(eknow
IF--E--ELGR------EAT!
WH-----------E-----------E!!!!!!!!!!!

ha ha ha ha!
glub. 8)
what?
GLUBGLUBGLUB!
well then!
honk honk honk!

GLUBGLUBGLUBGLUBGLUB!
HONKHONKHONKHONKHONK!
GLUBGLUBGLUBGLUBGLUBGLUBGLUB
HONKHONKHONKHONKHONKHONKHONKHONK
GLUBGLUBGLUBGLUBGLUBGLUBGLUBGLUBGLUB
HONKHONKHONKHONKHONKHONKHONKHONKHONKHONK

GLUB HONK GLUB HONK GLUB HONK GLUB HONK GLUB HONK GLUB HONK GLUB HONK GLUB HONK GLUB HONK GLUB HONK GLUB HONK GLUB HONK GLUB HONK GLUB HONK GLUB HONK GLUB HONK GLUB HONK GLUB HONK GLUB HONK GLUB HONK GLUB HONK

16/08/11
"===>"

You might as well.

Since, y'know, you already have the harpoon out and everything.

In any case, this is either happening by your hand now or by the drone's in a few perigees. And it will probably be less painful if you do it yourself.

tell fef i alwways pitied her an she can interpret that as wwhichevver kind a pity she wwants
and tell kar if he wwants to fill a pail wwith me that bad hes gonna be doin it wwith my cold dead finned ass

E-Eridan?!
actually dont tell him that
hell probably make sushi outta my corpse or somefin
i dont wwant him to havve the satisfaction a eatin me


Nepeta is stunned silent.

She will certainly not stop you.

It is time.

...

Where the fuck is your moirail when you NEED her, coddamit?!

16/08/11
"===>"

Because your CODDAMN FUCKING STUPID STRIFE DECK IS STILL BROKEN.

miserable fuckin piece a SHIT
... What.
lousy crappy flarp modus
not wworkin right wwhen i need you to--
you wworked JUST FUCKIN FINE earlier wwhen i wwas shootin at kar

You were WHAT?
FUCK this shit!
ERIDAN!
SHUT UP!

Well, it would have been a lovely symbolic gesture.

But whatever. On to plan B.

Under the rules governing strife decks, self-harm is not considered combat.

16/08/11
"===>"

... can't.

You can't do it. You can't.

You cannot kill Nepeta Leijon.

Staring at her, prepared to fight you to defend herself, claws drawn but hesitating out of pity...

Staring at her, her skin, her hair, her mouth, her eyes, her big, open, bright, eyes...

You know you cannot do it.

You cannot kill Nepeta.

You cannot even hurt her.

16/08/11
"Eridan: Put her in the dead zone."

This is for everything.

For the way she raised your hopes so high, just to let them crash to the ground.

For the nights and days of your life that she wasted when you could have been searching for another matesprit.

For the sweeps you spent alone in a fucking shipwreck, wishing for a Prince Errick to come pull you out of the water and make you feel like royalty.

Like every sea dweller wishes for.

But the land dwellers are never gonna reach down to the sea dwellers. The gold bloods are never gonna reach down to the violent bloods.

A jade blood is never gonna reach down to you.

So this is for every other fucking sea dweller whose hopes washed onto the shore and dried out in the sun. Like so many beached whales.

You are doing this for them, for all of your brothers and sisters, your siblings in spirit if not sign.

You are doing this for Feferi, your one and only moirail, who should have been an empress. Who should have ruled the universe. With you at her side.

You are doing this for all of your own shattered dreams and aspirations.

You are doing this for yourself. The pauper of hope.

You are...

You...

... you...

15/08/11
"Eridan: Cry like a wiggler."

No.

Crying is no longer useful.

15/08/11
"Eridan: She put you in the pale zone."

You are feeling furious like you have NEVER BEEN FURIOUS BEFORE AND NEVER WILL BE AGAIN.

In fact, you are so furious that you are about to do something very, very stupid. There is no point tryng to resist it, you simply will not succeed. The stupidity is crashing toward you like a motherfucking meteor.

What are you about to do?

... As if there is any question.

15/08/11
"===>"

WWHO THE FUCK DO YOU SINK YOU ARE
TREATIN ME LIKE YOUR RAIL
LIKE SOME FUCKIN GRUB
LIKE YOURE GONNA MAKE EVVERYTHIN BE OK IF YOU CUDDLE THE GRUB LONG ENOUGH
IS THAT WWHAT I AM TO YOU

Eridan, NO, of course not!
I just--
I want to HELP you, that's all I--

NO YOURE JUST RUBBIN IT IN MY GILLS
FIRST YOU MOIRAIL ZONE ME AND THEN YOU TRY TO MOVVE IN WWHEN IM UPSET AND
AND START A FUCKIN
FEELINGS JAM WWITH ME
WWHO THE FUCK CARES WWHAT ERIDAN GLUBBIN AMPORA WWANTS
IF HES CONSENTIN TO THIS FEELINGS JAM OR JUST HAVVIN IT FORCED ON HIM
LETS JUST TAKE WWHAT WWE WWANT FROM HIM
ITS NOT LIKE HES GOT FUCKIN FEELINGS
HES GOT A THINK PAN LIKE A FISH
HELL PROBABLY FORGET THIS IN TWWO MINUTES RIGHT

ERIDAN! You KNOW I don't f33l that way about you! I--
I really just--
Cod, I want to HELP you Eridan, I--

wwhat
are you
sayin cod for

What? It...
just slipped out, I've b33n talking to you all night--

you
are
no
sea
dwweller

I--
so SHUT THE SHELL UP
and STOP TRYIN TO TALK LIKE YOURE ONE A US
because you are NOT
and youre NEVVER gonna be
so you just keep your ignorant fuckin mouth shut
and keep your dirty land dwwellin hands off a me
and
and...
...
g-glub

15/08/11
"===>"


This is the first time he's looked at you so far.

You give him a reassuring smile. He's trembling a bit less now, and you think he's stopped crying. This is good!

...
go to shell

What? :OO
Eridan, wh--

fuck you nep
you think i cant sea wwhat youre doin?!

Eridan, what's--
GET THE FUCK OFF ME!

15/08/11
"Nepeta: Be knight. Rescue princess."

You're trying, you're trying!

You just pity Eridan so much. You wish there was something you could do to make him feel better. Anything!

i
i dont understand
it wwas goin so wwell
wwasnt it

It...
It was, Eridan.
You're one of my clawsest and best furriends, and...
I want to be more than that fur you, but...
just not in a flushed way.

but
wwe
wwevve been talkin for swweeps
almost evvery day
wwhy didnt that...

I know, and I love talking to you, I do!
I love getting to hair about your life, and helping you.
Eridan, really. :((

oh
cod
i
i just
wwhat am i gonna do noww
my flushed quadrants still empty and the drones wwill be comin for me...

Eridan, you're not alone.
I can help you. I WANT to help you.
I'm actually purretty good at this sort of thing. I'll help you find someone purrfect. :33

but
i ww
i wwont find anyone
ill nevver find anyone

Yes you WILL!! I'm here for you. We'll make it happen. Together.
Right?

sure...
...
...
... I...
Eridan...
It's ok.

but
nep
i lovve you
so much

Eridan, I'm sorry.
its true
I know it is, but...
reely
Eridan... :((
...
glub


With everything you say, he gets a little bit more upset.

i just...
wwhy
wwhy does this alwways happen to me
wwhy does nothing evver go right

It's...
It's purrobably just...
bad luck

...
luck?

14/08/11
"Karkat: Be dying."

You can totally handle that. In fact, you cannot handle anything else.

Nothing is beautiful and everything hurts.

Like TWO FUCKING MINUTES AGO you were stomping around and tripping over shit like nothing was wrong. Except your eyes. Otherwise you were FINE. Oh, and except for the blood. But that was manageable.

You are actually not really capable of coherent thought right now, but this is what you would be thinking if you could. Instead it is mainly a whole bunch of FEELINGS. Feelings of PAIN.

And the crazy thoughts that typically go through the heads of the dying. Things like your life flashing before your eyes. Or a tunnel of light with a darkness at the end. Or maybe just flat-out delusions.

So. What is going through your head?

14/08/11
"===>"

Karkat does not budge.

14/08/11
"===>"

There is blood on the floor. Blood on the walls. Blood on HIM, oh, God, there is more blood outside Karkat than you knew he had inside him.

There are gashes all over him, deep into him. Under his clothes there is the stench of burnt skin. He is not sitting so much as collapsed on the ground, with a smear streaking down the wall behind him showing where he slid.

And you would bet your disembodied soul that not TWO FUCKING MINUTES AGO he was stomping around like nothing was wrong, making plans for tomorrow.

This was always going to happen. He pushes and pushes and pushes himself so hard that the only thing that can stop him is a complete fucking collapse. He does not give his body a break until it cracks under the stress.

God fucking DAMN it he's such an idiot

at least YOU killed yourself on PURPOSE

fuck fuck fuck fuck there is no way he can make a ghost

you cannot even risk moving him your telekinesis is not delicate enough for that especially when you are completely flipping the fuck out

you have to go tell Aradia oh God oh fuck oh God

you leave.

14/08/11
"===>"

KK!
KK are you ok?
oh god
what have you done
KK?
plea2e tell me that2 ju2t ketchup
plea2e ju2t be ketchup plea2e ju2t be ketchup plea2e ju2t be ketchup
eheheh ok, make beliieve tiime ii2 over!
oh god oh god oh god oh god oh god oh god oh god oh god oh god oh god oh god oh god oh god oh god oh god oh god oh god oh god oh god


You have killed quite a few trolls. Including yourself.

And you have felt the last pained moments of thousands upon thousands.

You have experienced death inside and out.

And you know a dying troll when you see one.

14/08/11
"Be the dead gold blood."

HAH. BOOYA.

Ahem.

You are now Sollux Captor.

You and Aradia have concluded that your lusus is probably too stupid to process your death. Therefore, you are going to leave him in Tavros's care until Tavros is pretty sure your lusus has completely forgotten you existed, and then he will be shipped back to Alternia to find another grub to raise.

A depressing thought.

There is something horribly final about losing your lusus. Losing your body is a pretty big deal, yeah, but that is just a physical loss. However, having a lusus signifies that you EXIST. Without one, it is almost like you really have left the living realm.

Maybe, against all odds, your lusus will not forget you. But you would not bet on it.

Of course, all of this brings up the next question: how you are going to break the news to Tavros.

Thankfully, you are interrupted before you have to think about it.

h0ld 0n
s0meb0dy is tr0lling me

2ure.
... wait
n0
shes tr0lling y0u
its terezi pyr0pe

uhhhh...
shes that legislacerat0r right
the 0ne karkat kn0ws

uh...
yeah.

why w0uld she tr0ll y0u
er well um
s0llux 0_0
2he2 uh workiing on the vrii2ka ca2e.
and iim helpiing on that
2orta.
wiith hackiing.
you know.


Oh shit, you hope she doesn't mention the fact that you asked her to flip a coin to decide if you would die. That is really something Aradia does not need to hear right now.

Shit shit shit.

sh0uld i answer her
uh...

The alternative is having to think about telling Tavros that you killed yourself.

2ure.
miight be iimportant bu2iine22.


You are already having second thoughts about this. But that is par for the course for you.

tereziPyrope [TP] began trolling solluxCaptor [SC]

TP: LORD 4PPL3B3RRY!
SC: Hi again
TP: 3LLO GOVN4 >;]
SC: What
TP: H3h3h3
TP: 1sn't th4t wh4t th3y s4y on TBr1t41n?

SC: 0h c0me 0n
SC: I'm n0t even 0n tbritain anym0re

TP: 1 k1nd of thought not. >:/
SC: Let's m0ve 0n fr0m that 0k

You don't want Aradia asking why Terezi would know already.

SC: Did y0u need t0 talk t0 me ab0ut s0mething?
TP: Y3s, buuut...
SC: But?
TP: You'r3 typ1ng k1nd4 funny. >:/
TP: 1 know d34th 1s a b1g ch4ng3 4nd 4ll but th1s 1s st1ll susp1c1ous.

SC: Yeah well I'm n0t actually the 0ne typing.
TP: (You D1D 4ctu4lly d13, r1ght? Don't w4nt to m4k3 4ssumpt1ons.)
TP: Oh, r34lly?

SC: Yes I did die
SC: and Aradia's typing f0r me.

TP: OH!!! >:O
TP: My apologies, your imperiousness. I would have greeted you properly had I realized to whom I was speaking.
TP: Neophyte Legisl4cer4tor Terezi Pyrope at your serv1c3, your imperiousn3ss.

SC: That's fine
TP: I hope you're fairing well enough, given the present circumstanc3s.
SC: I'm 0k with it.

You know this is a flat-out lie, but the Condesce is not about to discuss her feelings with a lowblood.

SC: I am n0t acting in the capacity 0f an empress
SC: but rather a spirit medium
SC: s0 c0ntinue y0ur discussi0n with S0llux as if I were n0t here.


You have heard her repeat that line many times.

TP: I'd like to, and 1 mean no disrespect your imp3riousness, but...
TP: I'm still suspicious.

SC: 0f what?
TP: I've had on3 too many convers4t1ons today with som3on3 imperson4ting someone 1 know.
TP: And coming up with r3asonable 3xcuses for why they weren't typing norm4lly.

SC: Y0u aren't typing n0rmally f0r y0u either.
SC: 0r s0 S0llux tells me
SC: in case it wasn't clear I was c0nveying his th0ughts.

TP: I'm just showing respect.
TP: Besides, I know I'm m3!
TP: 1 don't know about Lord Captor.

SC: Well
TP: 1f you don't mind
TP: I need to t3ll Lord C4ptor something that's gonna b3 v3ry important if it's true.
TP: And qu1ckly.
TP: But I hav3 to know he's r34lly him.
TP: Or at l34st really you speak1ng for him.

SC: Very well
SC: H0ld 0n


solluxCaptor [SC] ceased trolling tereziPyrope [TP]

herImperiousCondescension [HIC] began trolling tereziPyrope [TP]

HIC: Are y0u c0nvinced?
TP: Convinc3d 3nough!
TP: And honored.
TP: Thank you for indulging my susp1c1ons, your imperiousness.
TP: Could 1 talk to Lord C4ptor again, pl3as3?

HIC: Y0u can talk t0 him just as easily like this, but fine.

herImperiousCondescension [HIC] ceased trolling tereziPyrope [TP]

solluxCaptor [SC] began trolling tereziPyrope [TP]

SC: This is S0llux again.
TP: Gr34t!
SC: S0 what's this imp0rtant message?
TP: K4rk4t s4ys you tr4nsform3d 1nto 4 go4t. 1s th1s tru3?
SC: what
TP: H3h3h3
SC: What the hell
TP: Ok 1 4ctu4lly do h4v3 som3th1ng 1 n33d to t3ll you.
SC: Seri0usly what the hell is KK talking ab0ut?
TP: H3y, don't 4sk m3! h3 w4s th3 on3 who c4ll3d you 4 go4t!
TP: 4nyw4y, K4rk4t w4nts you to know h3's bl33d1ng to d34th 4nd you n33d to go ch3ck h1m out.

SC: what
SC: 0h c0me 0n
SC: Tell him t0 c0me d0wn here.

TP: H3 s4ys h3's t3mpor4r1ly bl1nd so h3 c4n't.
TP: shrug

SC: This is the empress again.
SC: I just want t0 inf0rm y0u that I'm n0t c0nveying what S0llux is currently saying ab0ut Karkat
SC: S0 if there are any sudden silences it's because S0llux is misbehaving.

TP: Understood, your imperiousness.
TP: 4nyw4y, your lordsh1p, 1 th1nk h3 r34lly 1s 1n b4d sh4p3
TP: 4ssum1ng h3 4ctu4lly 1s K4rk4t 4nd not 4noth3r 1mpost3r.

SC: Y0u mean s0me0ne was p0sing as him earlier?
TP: Y3s, but 1'll l3t h1m t3ll you 4bout th4t!
SC: This c0uld p0se a seri0us threat t0 the empire's security, y0u realize that right?
TP: 1 know. >:/ But 1t's not l1k3 1 c4n do 4nyth1ng 4bout 1t h3r3 3xc3pt t3ll you.
TP: 4nd 1t's mor3 1mport4nt for you to go s33 1f h3's OK.
TP: B3c4us3 1f th3r3 1s st1ll 4n 1mpost3r pos1ng 4s h1m, th4t w1ll b3 th3 qu1ck3st w4y to f1nd out, 4ND 1t w1ll h3lp h1m 1f h3 4ctu4lly 1s hurt.
TP: So scooch!

SC: Just 0ne questi0n, d0es this have t0 d0 with that sea dweller that was in his quarters?
TP: Y3p.
SC: 0f c0urse it d0es

Aradia does not transcribe the next thing you say about Karkat. Even though you think it was a perfectly valid observation about his blackrom habits.

Dammit, he BETTER not be endangering the empire's security. That would just straight up suck tangy seedflap.

TP: 4nyw4y, h3 w4s 4s luc1d 4nd p1ss3d off 4s 3v3r wh3n 1 spok3 to h1m, so h3 c4n't b3 too b4dly hurt
TP: but 1t sounds l1k3 h3 lost 4 lot of blood.
TP: 1 m34n h3's 4ctu4lly 4sk1ng for som3on3 to h3lp h1m g3t downst41rs.
TP: You know how much 1t t4k3s for h1m to 4sk for 4ny h3lp 4t 4ll.
TP: H3 do3sn't 3v3n l3t 4nyon3 h3lp h1m mov3 furn1tur3. >:P

SC: Eheheh, yeah

Exactly how well do Terezi and Karkat know each other? They have been working together for quite a while on the Vriska case, true, but the furniture thing is a kinda personal detail.

SC: 0k i guess ill g0 check 0n him
SC: Is that all?

TP: C4n you troll m3 b4ck to l3t m3 know 1f h3's 4ctu4lly dy1ng or not?
SC: I guess
TP: H3's gott3n 1n 4nd out of som3 r34lly stup1d j4ms 1n th3 n4m3 of h4t3 b3for3, so 1'm sur3 h3's just f1n3, but st1ll.
SC: Sure

Okay, now you're REALLY wondering how well they know each other.

TP: 4nyw4y 1 h4v3 to ch3ck th3 w34th3r 4nd th3n g3t go1ng
TP: so 1 m1ght not b3 on 1f you ch3ck b4ck 1n mor3 th4n f1v3 m1nut3s or so.
TP: Busy h4ul1ng Vr1sk4 1n to just1c3 4nd 4ll.

SC: Wait
SC: y0u mean
SC: y0u actually caught her?

TP: Y3s!
SC: Vriska Serket?
TP: Y3S!!! >:]
SC: Hell fucking yes
SC: fr0m b0th 0f us.

TP: >:D
SC: 0k s0 I'll check 0ut KK and get back t0 y0u.
TP: Gr34t! By3, Lord C4ptor.
TP: And good morning to you, your imperiousness.

SC: Is it m0rning?
TP: It is where I am.

It was where you were, too. The sun was rising when you died. By now, morning is long over and it is well into day.

Kind of symbolically fitting. Your life ended as the night ended.

Not that any of that is relevant on Surrogia.

Bluh.

SC: Then bye and g00d m0rning.

solluxCaptor [SC]
ceased trolling tereziPyrope [TP]


well, thii2 wiill make iit ea2iier two talk two tavro2.
h0w s0
thiink of iit, well phra2e iit thii2 way.
"hey tavro2! we have 2ome good new2 and 2ome bad new2."
"the good new2 ii2 we fiinally caught vrii2ka for good."
"the bad new2 ii2--"

s0llux st0p that
thats h0rrible

youre laughiing
n0 im n0t
ye2 you are
n0 0_0
youre fightiing the urge
n0 0_0

... ye2

n0 0_0

ye2 (0)_(0)

n0 0_0

ye2 (0)_(0)

0_0

(0)_(0)

0_0

(0)_(0)

0___0

(0)___(0)

0______0

(0)______(0)

...

0u0


ii knew iit.
hush
ii KNEW iit.
g0 talk t0 karkat
ok ok iim goiing
and behave y0urself unless y0u want y0ur argument with karkat t0 be added t0 y0ur bad news list f0r tavr0s

Oh fuck, the guilt. THE GUILT.

uh
you
you got iit.


Karkat is probably going to be fine. He has done stupid stuff before. There was this one time he stumbled up to your hive at the crack of dusk, clothes tattered, covered in second degree sunburns, with a busted pail stuck on his right foot (you never asked him if it was used), and informed you he'd just had the best day of his life. Right before he passed out.

Of course, the problem is that he can push himself to the point of falling over unconscious before he shows any signs of suffering. So who knows how bad he really is?

But no. He has done this lots of times. And lots and lots and lots of times. He is probably fine.

Perfectly fine.

Probably absolutely completely perfectly

OH GOD OH FUCK OH NO

13/08/11
"===>"

And she does not like people who pry into her business.

We should leave her alone.

13/08/11
"Be Troll Britain's first guardian."

HEL FAUKING NO!!!

She is very possessive of her property. And that includes her identity.

But as long as we have her attention, we might as well meet her.

Here she is.

She is three elements--a driven vehicle, a sports star, and a rainbow drinker--with the one trait they all have in common deliberately removed.

A mortal.

So she is the vehicle without the driver, the sports without the star, the rainbow without the drinker. She is pieces of an identity without a core for them to hold on to. Like a solar system that orbits not a star, but a black hole. Perfectly functional, but--when observed by an outsider used to thinking of things as "something present" rather than "something absent"--very creepy.

13/08/11
"What's up with the symbol on the fourth wall's screen?"


What symbol? That screen is turned off. It is almost always off. There is certainly no symbol on there. You think you would know if there were a symbol.

Really. Totally blank.

Really.

You are not going to be heading anywhere until you can get access to the code Aradia put on her wall.

Perhaps we should head back to the royal hive.

13/08/11
"Rufio: Be on Surrogia's moon."

Oh man oh God oh man oh God.

That was terrifying.

You are so relieved to be home. In your spiffy little moon base. With your fourth wall. And your new fourth wall curtains.

So.

Relieved.

You will have to think of another way to get Sollux's body back.

Later.

13/08/11
"===>"

ef ai Ever kach yu aun trol BRETen eGEN
SArogia
wel nid a neu GARdien!

Despite the fact that you know for a fact that you shall last at least long enough to create Shaggy, you also do not doubt that she has a way to back up her threat.

Some first guardians are kinder to mere mortals than others. The kinder ones communicate in a way that does not necessitate highlighting their text.

Other first guardians completely disregard the basic linguistic needs of any mortals who may wish to comprehend them. They are too apathetic about mortal needs to care about whether or not their text needs highlighting--nor about whether they speak in a way that conforms to any known written language.

The first guardians who simply do not care are the most dangerous ones.

13/08/11
"===>"

heLO RUfio
oH MAN OH MAN OH gOD OH MAN,
du yu RIli baLIV en gaud
ur
ar yu SEMpli SPAUting NANsens
az
YUjuwel
nONSENSE,
tOTALLY NONSENSE,

hau VEri TEPakul
en
wech keis wat ar yu DUing SPAUting NANsens aun mai PLANet
nOTHING, aBSOLUTELY NOTHING, i WAS JUST LEAVING IN FACT,
du naut lai tu mi RUfio
ai
kan si far mor zan yu kan Iven eMAJen
aND THAT'S REALLY COOL, bUT,
i REALLY HAVE TO GO,
sURROGIA BUSINESS,
yOU KNOW,
bYE,

RUfio!

13/08/11
"===>"

Why did the lights suddenly die?

What is that sound.

Is that a car engine.

OH GOD.

13/08/11
"===>"

Oh.

Wow.

... You wonder whose code this is. Since you found it, maybe it is one of the codes you will need to make Shaggy. But since it is on Troll Britain, maybe it is one that SHE needs to...

um...

13/08/11
"===>"

And removed his body. Drat. You are going to have to hurry before the investigation into his death is finished and his corpse is handed over to an undertacooker. The fact that he is a gold blood might make the investigation last a little longer. And if they figure out he is from Surrogia, then they will definitely take their time investigating him. Unless they decide that is all the more reason to dispose of his body sooner...

You wonder why he did it. You knew it was a suicide pretty much the moment you saw him--being a first guardian, even an unomniscient one, does have SOME perks--but you do not know WHY. It bothers you a bit. A lot. You have been friends with him for sweeps, it is not like you are unfamiliar with his wide variety of mental problems. He could have talked to you. You would have been glad to help him. You have helped him many times before...

Or, uh, Tavros has. Tomayto tomahto.

Hey, he wrote something with his blood. Maybe that was why he did it? Maybe he got the writing-with-his-blood crazies again like when he was six sweeps old, right after the doomed timeline started playing SGRUB. But why would he get the crazies again now?

Or maybe...

Maybe this is a suicide note!

... No. Wait.

There are only four letters.

This is a first guardian genetic code.

13/08/11
"===>"

Oh.

Never mind.

Well, apparently Troll British authorities found him.

13/08/11
"===>"

What's all this flashing?

Oh, man, Sollux's body must be doing some weird things after dying. Maybe his eyes are just firing randomly. That would actually be kind of cool...

13/08/11
"===>"


Troll Britain's first guardian is terrifying.

And whatever the official rules on interplanetary visits are, she is of the firm opinion that nobody, under any circumstances, should invade her property.

Some first guardians are more lax about that. You and Shaggy Sievert have given each other full permission to visit each other's planets, and are willing to welcome nearly any other first guardian who wants to visit. And you happen to know of a first guardian in one of Alternia's doomed timelines who is a most excellent host. (You tend to regard any timeline where Skaia destroys a planet as a "doomed" timeline, since, you know, there's a lot of doom in those timelines. But all this timeline stuff is very subjective.)

Troll Britain's first guardian?

Very different.

You would NEVER be here if it were not for the fact that Sollux died here, and you are going to need his body if you want any hope of bringing him back.

13/08/11
"===>"

You are now Rufio, on Troll Britain.

You really should not be on Troll Britain.

You are Surrogia's first guardian. Surrogia's. You live on its moon, you frequently visit its surface. You do not go to other planets. You are not supposed to.

Well. You are pretty sure you are not supposed to. You actually do not know for sure. Are there rules? You have no clue. A lot of first guardians are omniscient and nobody hands out instruction manuals to the ones that are not. But you kind of get the feeling that you are not supposed to abandon your planet unless you have a very good reason.

You think this is a good reason. After all, one of your best friends recently died.

Uh. Not one of YOUR best friends. One of Tavros's. Sometimes it is hard for you to keep you and him separate. He does not even know Sollux is dead yet. You yourself did not know until you showed up in the royal hive and saw his ghost.

But even if he is technically Tavros's friend, he means nearly as much to you. Besides, you feel like he should not be dead. Maybe it is just that you do not want him to be dead, or maybe it is due to the eerie unreal feeling of knowing that he is dead while feeling Tavros's complete certainty that he is not, or maybe this is some kind of first guardian instinct, but. You feel like he should not be dead.

So you are going to do something about it.

You just wish you did not have to go to Troll Britain to do it.

13/08/11
"Be Troll Britain."


Uhhh.

You can't actually be a planet.

You can be ON a planet, though. Does that work? Okay.

You are now on Troll Britain.

12/08/11
"===>"

i just had it with me
.... a chaiir.
yes
........ okay.

why do you have that 2tuff wriitten on the wall anyway?

what stuff
the 2tuff on the wall.
riight there.
over there.
cant you 2ee iit?

... s0llux
i hate t0 say this but
i think y0ure imagining things again

oh.
eheheh....
yeah.
thatd make 2en2e.
never miind.

12/08/11
"===>"

diid you ju2t see that?
yes
did y0u

yeah
ok 2o neiither of u2 iimagiined iit, probably.
unfortunately.

indeed
what was that

ii dont know.
me neither
ii2 iit ju2t me or diid iit 2ound kiind of liike tavro2?
im trying n0t t0 think ab0ut that part
eheheh, yeah.
good iidea.


Of course, you will have to deal with it later. Talking lusus-looking things teleporting in and out of the heart of the royal hive cannot go undealt-with.

But there are only so many things you can handle at one time.

.... where diid that chaiir come from?

12/08/11
"===>"

oHyIKESoKAYi'LLcOMEbACKlATERbYE.

The freaky thing vanishes in a puff of green.

12/08/11
"===>"

oH! oOPS.
what the hell?
what are y0u and what are y0u d0ing here
sORRY, gUYS.
oH, oOPS, i GUESS THAT SHOULD BE, uH, yOUR HIGHNESSES?
i'M SUPPOSED TO GET THE NOTES FROM THIS WALL SOMETIME SOON.
i DIDN'T REALIZE ANYONE WAS STILL IN HERE, mY BAD.

what n0tes
what are y0u d0ing here

jUST,
cOPYING THIS,
iF YOU GUYS JUST GIVE ME A COUPLE OF MINUTES I CAN FINISH AND THEN BE GONE.

get 0ut
n0w

oKAY, uH, tHEN I GUESS I'LL COME BACK WHEN YOU'RE DONE IN HERE.
bY THE WAY, sORRY ABOUT YOUR ACCIDENT, sOLLUX.

waiit you can 2ee me?
wELL, yEAH.
... eVEN THOUGH IT WASN'T A VERY ACCIDENTAL ACCIDENT BUT i DON'T KNOW WHAT ELSE TO CALL IT. }:/

GET 0UT
oH,
tHAT PROBABLY WASN'T THE BEST THING FOR ME TO SAY.

GET 0UT GET 0UT GET 0UT

12/08/11
"Awkward moment: Be interrupted."

Now what in the hell is going on here?

12/08/11
"Say the right words to make each other feel better."

You would.

If you had any clue what those words were.

You are doing the best you can.

12/08/11
"Aradia and Sollux: Have sloppy makeouts."

You would if you could.

There is a reason he is clinging to her with everything he has, while she stands completely straight. There is a reason she is not holding him back.

You two cannot really touch each other.

Ghosts cannot touch the living, except through whatever methods their psychic powers allow; and that is not truly "touch." Nor can the living touch the dead. The closest equivalent is the fact that ghosts with particularly strong telekinetic abilities can "lean on" solid material objects, as Sollux is doing now, but it is not the same. And although Aradia's natural ability to commune with ghosts allows her to "feel" Sollux to some extent, his presence feels not like skin-on-skin but more like a slight cooling in the air near her shoulders and waist.

You could try to kiss, but it would probably just depress you both even more.

You can only comfort each other with your proximity and your words.

12/08/11
"Aradia and Sollux: Be having a serious, professional discussion about Sollux's future working arrangements."

and
and
ii love
the way you wear your 2kiirt
and
ii
ii love iit when you talk about your voiice2 becau2e iit remiind2 me of what my voiice2 were liike and iit make2 me feel liike we arent alone anymore when were twogether
and
and
and ii love thiinkiing about that day when we 2tayed up almo2t two noon 2tandiing out iin a raiin2torm tryiing two deflect all the raiindrop2 and we 2tiill got 2oaked
do you remember that

0f c0urse i remember
and ii love iit when you telekiinetiically me22 wiith people2 haiir from acro22 the room when you dont liike them and youre bored
and
ii love the way how whenever ii 2ay 2omethiing 2tupiid ii want two take back and a2k you iif you hate me now you alway2 2ay iid never hate you
and ii love iit when you change my de2ktop background two 2omethiing riidiiculou2ly 2tupiid liike that niinja turtle 2how even iif ii dont know how you fiigured out my pa22word

it wasnt that hard
i mean indigg0 is y0ur fav0rite band

and ii love that you know that ii lii2ten two iindiiggo even iif ii have no iidea how you found out
and
and
ii
love iit when you put your haiir up when you plan on 2pendiing the day by your2elf
and ii
love the way that you
when you wake up from a bad dream
the fiir2t thiing you do ii2 2ay my name
and
ii
oh fuck aa iim 2o 2orry iim 2o 2o 2orry ii dont know why ii
ii ju2t dont know
ii
iim 2o 2orry

s0llux its 0k
no iit2 not
yes it is
s0llux
im still here
y0ure still here
its 0k

ii love you
i l0ve y0u t00

And five minutes ago, you two were talking about whether or not Sollux's lusus had a large enough vocabulary for it to be worth trying to explain to it what a ghost is.

12/08/11
"> [S] Listen to your beautiful Trollian text-to-speech voice."

Why in the world did you chose that?

THIS is the voice that represents YOU to every blind troll you send a message to?

WHAT THE FUCK?

TP: WHYSHOULDONE
TP: ACHE THREE ACHE THREE ACHE THREE YOUKNOW ONE ELL ONE KAY THREE TEE ACHE THREE DOUBLEYOU FOUR WHY YOU EFF ARE THREE FOUR KAY OUT OH VEE THREE ARE MY QUEUE YOU ONE ARE KAY

KV: NONONNO STOP RIGHT NOW PKEASE
KV: IM TEMPORARILY BLIMD AMD USIMNG TXT TOSPEECH SMD I CSMT IMDER TSTAND YOU
KV: IT Xntr rewD YOUR NUMBERS
KV: IF YOUR WANT ,E TO UNDERSYAND ANYTHING YOUSAY YOU NEED TO STOP USING NUMBERS AND SORKK KUJE A NORMAL PERSOM

TP: DOUBLEYOU ACHE FOUR TEE
TP: SORRY
TP: WHAT?

KV: IM BLINS
KV: I ,EAN BLINF
KV: SZEXDCFGVHBJNKMLJNBHUGVYCFTDXR

TP: HA HA HA HA!
TP: TURN ON AUTO-CORRECT.

KV: I HSTE AUTO CORRECT
KV: ITS ALWAYS WORONG

TP: IT'S PROBABLY BETTER THAN YOU!
KV: FUXK YOU
KV: JUST TELL ME YOU HAVR VRUSJA

TP: YES!
TP: I HAVE VRUSJA.

KV: FUCK YOU AGAIN
KV: BUT GOOD
KV: WHERE ARE YOU
KV: HEAFING TO SURROGIA

TP: NO, WAITING OUT A STORM.
KV: SHIT
KV: OJ FUNE WHAEVER
KV: BUT RIGHT NOW I NEED ZME HEKO CAN YOU HEO ME

TP: WHAT?
KV: I NEED HEKO
KV: HELP
KV: CAN YOU HELP OR NOT

TP: UM, MAYBE?
KV: MAYBE WHY THE FUXK MAYBE
TP: BECAUSE I'VE ALREADY RUN INTO ONE TROLL IMPERSONATING YOU TONIGHT.
TP: A TROLL WHO COULDN'T QUITE TYPE LIKE YOU BUT HAD A PRETTY CONVINCING EXCUSE FOR NOT BEING ABLE TO TYPE LIKE YOU.

KV: OH MY FUCKINH HOD YOURE KIDDING ,E
KV: I ,IFGHT BE ABOUT TO BLEED TO DEATH HERE AND OR GO PERMAM-NENTKY BKUND AND YOU WONT HEKO
KV: YOU MIGHT KILL ME IUF YIU DONT HEKO NE

TP: HOW CAN I HEKO IF I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHO I'M HEKOING?
TP: ARE YOU SERIOUSLY BLEEDING TO DEATH?

KV: STOP THAY
KV: YOURE NOT BLIMD
KV: YOU SONT GET TO TYUPE LIKE YOU ARE
KV: AN YEAH I MIGHT BE BLEEDING TO DEATH I DINT KNOW
KV: WHAT WULL UT TAKE YTI ORIVE UT

TP: WHAT THE FUCK?
KV: WHAY WILL UT TAKE TO PROVE IT
KV: THAT IN NE

TP: YOU CAN'T.
TP: I'D HAVE TO VISUALLY CONFIRM IT.

KV: EHAT THE FUCK
TP: SOMEBODY COULD HAVE READ YOUR MIND AND TRIED TO TELL ME SOMETHING ONLY YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO KNOW.
TP: ERIDAN KNEW ABOUT OUR PAIL AGREEMENT.

KV: HE FUCKING WHAT
TP: WELL, SORT OF.
KV: HOW THE FUCK DID HE EVEN
KV: NEVET MUND
KV: IF YOU DONT TRUSY MR THEN TROLL HIC
KV: TELL HER I, STUCK IM ,Y ROOM AND BLEEDING TO DEATH AND SND NONINCO,MPETENT HELP

TP: DID YOU MEAN TO TYPE HIC AS IN HER IMPERIOUS CONDESCENSION?
KV: YES
TP: AND IF YOU AREN'T YOU, AND IF THERE IS SOMEONE HOLDING YOU HOSTAGE IN YOUR OWN ROOM, WOULDN'T THAT LEAD THE EMPRESS STRAIGHT INTO A TRAP?
KV: CFVGJBHKNHJGVCFGVHBJN
KV: YOU CAN ,SKR YHIS RDY

TP: WHAT?
KV: YOU CANY MAKR YHIS EASY
KV: CAN YOU

TP: I CAN'T RISK MAKING IT EASIER FOR AN ADVISIER-KIDNAPPING CRIMINAL, IF THAT'S WHAT YOU MEAN.
KV: TELL HER TO SENF DOMEONE OTHER THAN HERSELF
TP: TOO RISKY.
KV: FINE THEN TROLL SOLUZ
KV: SOLLUZ
KV: X

TP: DIDN'T HE DIE?
KV: HES A FUCKING GHOAT
TP: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
TP: POOR, POOR SOLLUX!
TP: HAHAHAHA!

KV: STOP LAUGHONG TS NOT FUNNY
TP: YOU'RE RIGHT!
TP: THIS IS A GRAVE AND DISTURBING TRANSFORMATION.

KV: ITS ACTUSLLY BRRN PRETTY ANNOYING SO FWR
TP: I BET SO!
TP: HEHEHE!

KV: LOOK JUST TELL HIN WHAT I TOLD YOU
KV: IF HES DEAD THEN THEREA NO DANGER IF HE XOMES TO ,Y ROO,
KV: AND IF HES ALIVE THEN HES ON TBRITAIN AND CANT GET TO ,E ANYWAY

TP: DEAL!
TP: SO, I TELL HIM YOU'RE BLEEDING TO DEATH IN YOUR ROOM?

KV: AND II CANT GET DOWNSTAIRS
KV: AND NEEF HELP
KV: SO HE CAN GET ,E DOWN
KV: OR AY LEADT XONFIR, THAT I, ,R YO HET SOMEONE EKSE IN HERE

TP: WHAT?
KV: AT LEST XONFIRM THSAT IM ME TO GET SOMEONE ELSE TO GET ME DOWN
KV: BUT NO ONE I DONT KNOW PERSONNALLU
KV: O DONT WANT A BINCH OF SUBKJUGGLATORS IN MY ROOM

TP: GOT IT.
TP: SO, KARKANDY, BEFORE I GO.
TP: IF YOU'RE NOT DYING TOO BADLY.

KV: I CAN HANDKE A QUESTION
KV: XHSY
KV: WHAY
KV: Y
KV: TTTTT

TP: HEHEHE.
TP: YOU AND ERIDAN. DID IT GO VERY GOOD OR VERY BAD?
TP: IT SOUNDS LIKE IT COULD BE EITHER.

KV: WE HAD YHR BEST FUCING DUEL EVER
KV: BIT HE WOULDNT FILL A PAIL

TP: WOW OUCH!
TP: PRETTY BAD.

KV: COMPKETELU FICING AWFUL
KV: IM KEEPUNG HIN FOREVER

TP: OH
TP: BAD IN A GOOD WAY? OKAY, THEN CONGRATS.
TP: I'M DOING THE QUESTION MARK THING WITH MY MOUTH, I DON'T KNOW IF TEXT-TO-SPEECH TRANSLATES IT.

KV: THANKS FOR TELLING E
KV: NOT

TP: OKAY, I'LL TROLL LORD CAPTOR FOR YOU.
TP: WHY CAN'T YOU?

KV: TOO HARF
TP: HEHE, FINE. TRY TO BLEED SLOWLY!
KV: WAIT ONE MORE QURSTION
KV: PERSONAL WUESTION

TP: YES?
KV: WHEN YOU SMELL MY BOOD
KV: BLOOD
KV: DOES IT SMELL LIKE NASTY COIGH SYRUP

TP: NOPE!
TP: YOU SMELL LIKE YUMMY CHERRIES.

KV: O THOUGHT ARADIA S,ELLED LIJE CHERRIES
TP: SHE DOES!
TP: BUT HER IMPERIOUSNESS SMELLS LIKE BLACK CHERRIES.
TP: YOU'RE A BIG JAR OF DELICIOUS MARASCHINO CHERRIES JUST WAITING TO GO ON TOP OF AN ICE CREAM SUNDAE.
TP: I'M MAKING THE WINK FACE.

KV: OK THANS
KV: JUST WONERING

TP: WHY DO YOU ASK?
TP: KARKAT, DID YOU LICK YOUR SCREEN?

KV: NI
KV: IM GETTING IFF NPW I CAMT FIGURE OIT HOWTO SYOP YTOLLING YOU
KV: BYE


That was miserable.

As soon as you can see again, you are deleting that log and all suggestions that you are even capable of typing that badly.

Your auricular sponge clots are probably bleeding from the sound of your own hideous text-to-speech voice. You are changing that voice as soon as you can actually see the fucking screen again. You cannot believe you chose that voice in the first place.

Past you was an idiot.

You will not be doing anything until someone comes to help you out. Let's be someone downstairs.

12/08/11
"===>"

Huh.

... Terezi's text tastes like blue Gushers.

Yours, on the other hand? Nasty fake-cherry cough syrup.

Why the fuck does the SCREEN taste like colors? Shouldn't it taste like finger-sweat? Or pocket lint? Or even, for fuck's sake, like the material that it's actually made out of?

HOW THE FUCK DOES THIS WORK?

You know what? WHATEVER.

You have to just sit there with the screen on your tongue (trying to ignore that god-awful nasty fake-cherry cough syrup taste at the top) before you can actually read what Terezi said.

tereziPyrope [TP] began trolling karkatVantas [KV]

TP: H3Y K4RK4NDY! >:D
TP: WOW, 1T'S SUCH 4 R3L13F TO H34R FROM YOU
TP: 1 GU3SS 1T W4S PR3TTY STUP1D TO B3L13V3 SOM3 S34 DW3LL3R COULD H4V3 C4UGHT YOU, BUT H3 PUT ON 4 PR3TTY CONV1NC1NG 4CT, H3H3H3
TP: 1 W1SH YOU'D TROLL3D M3 34RL13R, 1 L3T TH3 1R1S BUMS GO >:/


Great! You lost IRIS!

No more of this bullshit. You are not licking the screen after every message to see what she said. You are sticking with text-to-speech. Bad enough that you will have to keep licking this thing to see where they keyboard is. And then sticking your fingers in the spit. Bluh.

Why does your tongue not push any of the keys? ... Is the touch screen built to be tongue-proof?

Who the fuck made this thing?

You start trolling her back.

KV: STOP UZING YOUR STUPID QUIRK

12/08/11
"===>"

Bluh.

Wow.

That was a stupid idea.

That was probably the stupidest idea you ever...

... oh.

12/08/11
"===>"

K4RK4T 1S TH1S YOU
NO!
OF COURSE NOT!

1T K1ND OF LOOKS L1K3 YOU
WELL
IT ISN'T.
IT'S JUST A RANDOM FUCKING DRAWING.

H3H3H3, TH3 MOUTH LOOKS K1ND4 L1K3 A PORK CHOP! >:]
JUST SHUT UP, NOBODY CARES ABOUT WHAT THE DRAWING LOOKS LIKE.
YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE TELLING ME WHETHER YOU CAN TASTE THE COLORS OR NOT.

HOW COULD 1 NOT T4ST3 TH3 COLORS?
YOU KNOW THOS3 SOUR C4ND13S TH4T 3X1ST SOL3LY SO TH4T W1GGL3RS C4N D4R3 34CH OTH3R TO TRY TH3M?
TH3 K1ND TH4T 4R3 SO SOUR, TRY1NG TO K33P ON3 1N YOUR MOUTH M4K3S YOUR T4ST3BUDS BURN OFF?

NEVER TRIED THEM.
TH3 K1ND WH3R3 TH3 TOUGH K1DS PUT TH3M 1N TH31R MOUTHS WH1L3 3V3RYON3 3LS3 W4TCH3S 4ND W41TS FOR TH3 T4ST3 T3ST3R TO ST4RT CRY1NG FROM TH3 SOURN3SS?
OK, TEREZI. FINE.
TH1S P1CTUR3 1S L1K3 34T1NG ON3 OF 34CH OF TH3 FL4VORS 4T TH3 S4M3 T1M3.
ALL RIGHT, ALL RIGHT, I GET IT.
SHUT UP.


So, she can taste colors. Thanks to her lusus.

But she claims the reason she can do it is that all trolls can do it. She has said that all trolls navigate by scent and taste during their brooding cavern trials and then lose their heightened senses as they grow up, which is a confirmed fact and you do not doubt that; but she has also said that any troll who loses their sight can redevelop their other senses, which you find more doubtful. It sounds like the kind of claim made on a self-help audiobook for the blind that is produced by the same company that sells pills to Enhance Your H0rn Length In Five Days Or Your $$$ Back.

However, you might need to get to a hospital, you have to contact SOMEONE, and you have no other options. Might as well try it out.

At least no one is watching.

12/08/11
"Karkat: Don't go to a more interesting discussion; lick screen."

What, seriously? And what good will that do you? Do you actually think you will be able to taste the screen? Well, isn't that fucking brilliant. While you are at it, how about sitting on it and trying to perform echolocation with your farts?

Okay, you know vision-via-licking is theoretically possible. Terezi's lusus, somehow, taught her how to smell and taste colors. You even tested her once: you blindfolded her, drew a crappy picture on your computer, and told her to tell you what colors you used. She licked the screen and told you. And made fun of the drawing.

12/08/11
"===>"

WHY THE FUCK IS NOTHING FUCKING EASY EVER

GODDAMMIT YOU ARE GOING TO FUCKING KILL ERIDAN

LIKE LITERALLY FUCKING MURDER HIM FOR THIS BULLSHIT

EXCEPT

probably

not

literally

because

he called the sufferer a madman with a messiah complex and he said the sufferer and you were both freaks and always would be and he called you a big fat stupid fucking failure and oh

<3<

Yeah, you are not killing him.

Ever.

...

But wow. You are so fucked.

You might be stuck here for a while. Let's get back to a more interesting discussion.

12/08/11
"===>"

GOD

FUCKING

DAMMIT

FUCKING TOUCH SCREEN WHO THE FUCK THOUGHT TOUCH SCREENS WERE GOOD IDEAS WHY DO YOU EVEN HAVE THIS WORTHLESS PIECE OF SHIT

12/08/11
"[S] Start the text-to-speech conversion thingamabob."

...

...

Right, so what the fuck did that say?

Okay. No problem. Trollian cannot read typing quirks. Because nobody was smart enough to think that, hey! Maybe blind trolls might want to understand trolls who DON'T have perfect fucking grammar!

But okay. You can deal with this. From the mix of numbers, you are going to guess that that was Terezi. All you have to do is tell her that you are currently blind and Trollian is incapable of reading off her quirk properly, and if you are lucky maybe she will turn it off for you for a few minutes. No problem.

You pull up the keyboard.

12/08/11
"===>"

Oh.

Hmm.

That probably looks like your text color at the top--then again, everything looks red right now--and at the bottom, it is probably... green? Blue? Maybe this is Terezi. Could also be Vriska. Fuck, might even be Nepeta.

Fortunately, Trollian comes with a text-to-speech feature for blind users. New Trollian users are even forced to choose a voice to represent them when they get an account. You do not remember what yours sounds like, you chose it like eight sweeps ago, but whatever. Not like you care, that is for some blind loser to worry about. Although you guess that you count as a blind loser right now. Anyway.

You fumble around with the blurry screen in an attempt to turn on the text-to-speech function. You have a brief moment of blind panic when you accidentally start playing at max volume the theme song to a stupid puppet show that you honestly and truly platonically hate with all your heart really. But you finally figure it out.

Right, so what the fuck does this say?

12/08/11
"Turn around."

Right then.

Your lusus is still gone, so you cannot send him for help. You would try trolling Aradia, but you cannot see the Trollian screen well enough to be able to select her handle. You tried yelling at Sollux a bit to see if he was in the vicinity, but no answer.

Which is why you are just hanging out here and hoping you do not die, pass out, or go totally blind. Wow, you are dizzy.

And you did not even score. Fuck.

You wonder whether it would help or hurt your odds with Eridan if you went and found somebody else to take home for the day. It might make him hate you more. And make him fear he might be replaceable. And you and Eridan are not exactly OFFICIAL kismesisses yet so it is not like you would be cheating on him...

Although the fact that you cannot see or stand without swaying could hinder those plans. Bluh. Maybe tomorrow.

Hey, Trollian is buzzing at you.

You wonder who it is. Please be Terezi.

Or Aradia. Or Sollux. What the hell, or Eridan.

At this point, you would even be happy to hear from the Troll Pope.

12/08/11
"Karkat: Be stuck in your room."

You can totally handle that. In fact, you cannot handle much else.

You can hardly see a thing. Just a blurry fuzzy messy red bluh. The whole world is your FAVORITE fucking ugly color. You are just thrilled.

If you move too far in most directions, you will risk falling out the window, through the ablution chamber floor, or down the stairs. So you think you are just going to stand near the wall where you can feel all the posters--the only non-plummeting-to-death wall in the room--and hold still. And hope you are not about to die of blood loss and/or go permanently blind due to not immediately rushing to the hospital.

By the way, you are facing the wrong direction.

12/08/11
"Terezi: Enter karaoke bar."

Karaoke bars! You have always wanted to go on a hate date in a karaoke bar. Although you do not know when or how it would happen. Vriska would be too dangerous to take out on any sort of casual date.

And in any case she will probably not be up for it, after tomorrow evening.

Vriska is dangerous for a great many reasons, but the one that scares the royalty the most is the fact that she can control gold bloods' minds. She has to be a few feet from a gold blood to control it for the first time; but once she has, afterward she can control it from at LEAST a hundred miles away. No one really knows her exact limits yet.

The Imperioi and the Legislacerator Generals would rather eliminate her powers than figure out how they work.

By the time you get Vriska booked at the nearest maximum security transport to Surrogia, it will probably be well past dawn. When she arrives on Surrogia, she will be locked up for the rest of the day, in a cell specially designed to dampen psychic powers, and guarded by trolls no higher than you on the hemospectrum.

But first thing tomorrow evening, she will be lobotomized to remove her psychic powers.

Considering that Vriska is a wanted criminal, a lowblood, and soon to be executed, it is doubtful that anyone will care about whether or not the lobotomy leaves the rest of her think pan intact.

She might not even survive the surgery.

Which is a shame. She could have been an excellent rival. But, you are not about to let her go; you have a job to do. You have already toed the line by letting her keep her strife deck and leaving your lusus to guard her. In a normal situation, you COULD be accused of aiding and abetting a wanted criminal in evading justice. But thanks to the Spade Acts, quite a few misdemeanor charges can be legally dismissed if performed for caliginous purposes. According to those acts, you are still perfectly in the clear. However, you cannot do much more than you already have.

Unless you break the law, she will be incarcerated today, lobotomized in the evening, and executed within a few nights.

A shame.

But you are not about to break the law for anyone. Even your perfect blackrom match.

So! No karaoke bar hate dates with Vriska!

Now, Karkat would probably love it if his officially designated matesprit took him on a blackrom-style date. (Hey, you know his tastes.) But you doubt you could convince him to go anywhere that might involve public singing.

Blargh. Oh well, whatever. You will get your karaoke bar hate date someday. Today, though, you just need to sit in here long enough to contact Karkat (and/or Eridan, whoever answers) and look up a weather forecast.

There is a very drunk sea dweller singing on the stage. He looks like he is about to start crying. It is kind of hilarious. You do not recognize the song and he is too drunk to be comprehensible. Hehehe.

You turn your awesome shades computer on.

Oh, hey! Karkat already trolled you.

karkatVantas [KV] began trolling tereziPyrope [TP]

KV: IT'S BULLSHIT.
KV: IT'S ALL A LOAD OF SEA DWELLER BULLSHIT.
KV: I'M FINE. ERIDAN FUCKING AMPORA IS IN MY QUARTERS SOMEHOW AND IMPERSONATING ME.
KV: I AM NOT NOR HAVE I EVER BEEN HIS FUCKING HOSTAGE.
KV: TURN RIGHT BACK AROUND AND INCINERATE IRIS.
KV: AND TAKE PICTURES SO I CAN RUB THEM IN HIS STUPID FINNED FACE.
KV: TEREZI?
KV: WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU?
KV: FUCK, DON'T TELL ME SOMETHING ELSE WENT WRONG.
KV: FUCK, IF SOMETHING'S GOING WRONG ON YOUR END TOO, THEN AS SOON AS THE FAN STOPS BEING HIT WITH ALL THIS SHIT, I'M WRITING UP AN OFFICIAL DECREE.
KV: HENCEFORTH THIS DAY SHALL BE KNOWN AS INTERPLANETARY SNAFU DAY.
KV: YOU CELEBRATE IT BY DOING ABSOLUTELY NOTHING SO THAT NONE OF IT CAN GO WRONG.
KV: EVERYBODY SPENDS THE WHOLE DAY FACEPALMING, WITH A FIVE-MINUTE TOILET BREAK EVERY HOUR.
KV: ARE YOU STILL GONE?
KV: SHIT. TELL ME VRISKA DIDN'T PULL SOMETHING CRAZY. SHE WOULD DO THAT.
KV: JUST CONTACT ME AS SOON AS YOU SEE THIS AND LET ME KNOW YOU'RE NOT A PILE OF BROKEN BONES OR SOMETHING.


Hahaha! You wonder if Vriska's escape attempt is enough to make Interplanetary SNAFU day official. But wow, now you feel stupid for falling for that hostage ruse. You tip your shades to Eridan Ampora. Although that will not stop you from adding impersonating an imperious official, lying to an officer of the law, and aiding and abetting wanted criminals in evading justice to the charges against him.

Better talk to Karkat and then get out of here. You wish you could stay long enough to get a song in, but you have to get back to your fire-breathing cold-blooded murderous monster. And your dragon.

But next time.

Next time.

That mike is YOURS.

12/08/11
"===>"

Yummy yummy yummy.

12/08/11
"===>"

Was that blueberry bubblegum??

She just punched your snout!

Did anybody else see that?

Well, land sakes alive.

She sure showed you.

What do you do with her now?

...

...

...

12/08/11
"===>"

Heavens to Betsy!

Who was that?

12/08/11
"Talk to the blueberry bubblegum."

ROAR, ROAR, ROAR!

ROAR.

ROAR, ROAR?

ROAR. ROAR!

ROAR ROAR ROAR.

ROAR?

ROAR.

ROAR!

ROAR!!

ROOOAAARRR!

12/08/11
"Almandine: Don't EAT her!"

Oh.

Riiiight.

Terezi probably would not like that, would she?

Oh well.

12/08/11
"===>"

Yummy yummy yum.

Blueberry bubblegum blood.

12/08/11
"===>"

Blueberry bubblegum blueberry bubblegum... Yum.

You actually have no idea what blueberries or bubblegum smell like, but that is how Terezi describes this girl's smell.

Terezi is technically older than you so you guess she would have a better chance of knowing.

Blueberry bubblegum yum yum yum.

12/08/11
"Almandine: Keep being epic."

You can totally handle that.

You will never not be epic.

12/08/11
"===>"

It was a weird, weird holiday.

You kinda liked that rainbow drinker, though. She was helpful. And she smelled like roses. Must have been the dress.

You still talk to her sometimes; she is involved in some top-secret project she refuses to describe, on the light side of Surrogia.

Enough reminiscing. You have to find some place dry enough for you to see your shades without water blurring them up. Almandine can look after Vriska for a few minutes.

Yeah, you are just asking for trouble, leaving Vriska with Almandine.

You are GLEEFULLY asking for trouble.

Hey, you see a neon sign for a karaoke bar. That should be dry.

12/08/11
"===>"

Goddamn, is it rainy. How did it even get this rainy? It was perfectly clear just a bit ago.

H3H3H3
ST1LL WORN OUT, VR1SK4?

8luh.
1 THOUGHT SO!
1 F1GUR3D YOU COULD US3 4 L1TTL3 BR34K
H4V3 YOU B33N 3NJOY1NG TH3 V13W?

8luh.
H4H4H4!

No surprise, after that attack she took. You suppose being short a few dice must make her rolls a bit... strange.

You wonder who that sea dweller was. Was it really a ghost? Sea dwellers are not supposed to leave ghosts, but you would not put much past Vriska's dice. If so, you can now add "ghosts" to the list of supernatural things you have seen.

Right after that rainbow drinker.

12/08/11
"===>"

Except not. You can barely keep hold of Almandine as it is; trying to stand on her would be suicide. Besides, Vriska is in no condition to duel.

It is getting too hard to fly. You will have to land somewhere for a bit. Maybe if you find some shelter, you can dry off your shades, get back on Trollian, and try to contact Karkat again to see if he is okay or not.

12/08/11
"Terezi: Duel with Vriska atop your dragon."

Yes.

Fuck yes.

Hell fucking yes.

12/08/11
"Be the quadrant-obsessed sea dweller lowblood with the two big gashes across your face which you recently acquired during a duel with the Imperious Grand Advisier at the conclusion of which you insisted on taking your budding kismesissitude a little more slowly before absconding in a most impressive and gamblignant-worthy manner in order to reunite with your highblood flushed crush only to discover that she has put you in the moirail zone and by the way you are also carrying a bottle of Moon Mist Faygo."




























[image]
Okay. You know what? FUCK YOU. Maybe you SHOULD be Terezi. Maybe that is EXACTLY what you need to do!

YOU ARE NOW TEREZI FUCKING PYROPE, BITCH.

YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH IT?

HUH?

HUH??

JEGUS KRYST.

12/08/11
"Be the sea dweller lowblood."

Okay.

Should have expected that.

Maybe the descriptions of trolls need to be like the titles of troll movies. After a certain time, there are so many of them running around that you have to start getting really specific to find what you want.

Let's try again.

12/08/11
"Karkat: Give someone cancer."

Actually, you already did that once.

KK are you 2ure thii2 ii2 a good iidea?
DO YOU HAVE ANY BETTER ONES?
yeah
how about
not doiing thii2.

SHUT UP. YOU'RE GOING TO PAINT YOURSELF TO DEATH IF WE DON'T DO SOMETHING.
ii 2tiill have no iidea what youre talkiing about, ii thiink youre ju2t makiing iit up.
ii mean yeah ii paiint 2tuff on my wall2 but iit2 not liike that2 goiing two KIILL me.
iit ju2t let2 me feel productiive about the voiice2 for a biit.
and ii thiink iid know iif ii wa2 paiintiing extra 2tuff iin my own blood that ii diidnt know about.
ii mean that2 ju2t me22ed up, why would you even try two conviince me of 2omethiing liike that?

NO BLOOD-PAINTING, HUH? NOTHING LIKE THAT GIANT "DOOMED" ACROSS THE WINDOW?
what doomed acro22 the wiindow.
MY POINT EXACTLY.
KK, 2ometiime2 iim kiinda worriied about you.
THE FEELING'S MUTUAL. NOW HOLD STILL LIKE A GOOD GRUB WHILE I FIX YOUR BRAIN.
ii gue22 you cant make iit much wor2e.
ju2t what the fuck ii2 thii2 thiing 2upposed two do anyway?
iit look2 liike iit2 goiing two electrocute my thiink pan.

NO, STUPID. IT'S TO DEAL WITH THE GHOSTS.
what gho2t2?
THE GHOSTS IN YOUR FUCKING THINK PAN.
THAT'S WHAT YOUR CRAZY VOICES ARE, RIGHT?

well 2orta.
more liike...
future gho2t2.

RIGHT. "FUTURE" GHOSTS. WHATEVER THE FUCK THAT MEANS.
a2 iin they havent diied yet but theyre goiing two.
plu2 the 2tuff that2 liike
u2.
except not.
ii told you about that 2tuff already, a2 much a2 ii could under2tand iit.

US BUT NOT US. OK, THAT MAKES PLENTY OF SENSE AND I AM TOTALLY CONVINCED OF YOUR SANITY.
AGAIN, HOLD STILL WHILE I GET RID OF THE GHOSTS.
FUTURE GHOSTS, WHATEVER.

how2 that thiing 2uppo2ed two do anythiing about the voiice2 anyway?
FUCK IF I KNOW.
I'VE GOT THIS FRIEND WHO'S INTO PARANORMAL BULLSHIT, HE TOLD ME ABOUT THIS THING.
SOMETHING SOMETHING THE DOOHICKEY SHOOTS OUT POSITRONS THAT FUCK UP GHOST POWER BLUH BLUH BLUH GHOSTS DISAPPEAR.

gho2t power?
you mean p2ychokiinetiic energy?

YEAH SOMETHING LIKE THAT.
WHATEVER.

KK you know iim a telekiinetiic riight?
YEAH, AND?
that2 another word for p2ychokiinetiic.
iit2 the 2ame fuckiing thiing.
that thiing ii2 de2iigned to attack the kiind of 2tuff that my braiin doe2.

YOUR BRAIN MAKES THE SAME STUFF THAT GHOSTS ARE MADE OUT OF?
WELL, THAT EXPLAINS WHY YOU'RE HAUNTED.

KK 2eriiou2ly thii2 kiinda 2eem2 liike a bad iidea.
LOOK. HE PROMISED ME THAT IT WAS SAFE TO USE ON THE LIVING.
UNLESS YOU CROSS SOME BEAMS OR SOMETHING, BUT YOU CAN'T DO THAT WITH ONLY ONE DOOHICKEY. I THINK.

are you 2ure?
IF I'M WRONG AND IT KILLS YOU, THEN YOU HAVE MY PERMISSION TO HAUNT ME FOREVER.
but iif thii2 thiing get2 riid of gho2t2 wouldnt ii not be able two haunt you?
I DON'T REALLY CARE AT THIS POINT.
SOLLUX, DO YOU WANT TO GET RID OF THE VOICES OR NOT?
DO YOU WANT TO SPEND THE REST OF YOUR LIFE LIVING WITH THEM, OR DO YOU WANT TO TAKE A CHANCE?
IS YOUR LIFE EVEN WORTH LIVING LIKE THIS? THAT ISN'T A SUGGESTION THAT YOU SHOULD KILL YOURSELF, THAT'S A SERIOUS FUCKING QUESTION.

well...
LISTEN TO THEM FOR A MOMENT.
I'LL SHUT UP.
WHAT ARE THEY SAYING?

...
oh god.
let2 do thii2.


And then you turned on the machine.

Sollux spent about a perigee in a coma and Aradia nearly killed you.

He ended up with a brain tumor.

As luck would have it, the tumor killed the part of his think pan that made him hear the voices.

And then he crushed the tumor with his mind, so it all worked out.

It is still a sore point, though. You have agreed not to talk about it ever again. (Which is why it was a SERIOUSLY douchebaggy move of him to try to get your attention earlier by using blood to paint on the wall and floor. But he still does not remember ever painting anything in his blood so you guess you have to let that one slide.)

It was a risk you had to take. The crazy voices were killing Sollux.

He had always been weird. For as long as you knew him, he had been complaining about the crazy voices and the things they said to him. Until the day he snapped. The 12th bilunar perigee of the 6th dark season's equinox. Of course the lousy jerk would choose your sixth wriggling day to go shitfucking insane.

He trolled you, Tavros, Aradia, and probably everybody else he fucking knew, ranting and raving about how the entire planet had done something completely wrong and they were all doomed and he had to go find some fucking ruins and the Vast Glub was going to happen and they had to play some game. Aradia went over to his hive and spent the entire day stopping him from destroying everything around him with his psychic powers. He spent the next few nights trolling you at random hours asking if your lusus had died yet and why were the meteors late.

To make it worse, whenever anyone asked him what he was talking about, even he did not know.

Over the next half sweep, he completely covered his respiteblock walls, floors, and ceilings with sketches and notes and formulas and poems and sometimes incomprehensible streams of lines. When he ran out of space, his work spilled through the doorway into the next room. Whenever anybody asked him what his scrawlings meant, he could not explain.

When he gave up on expanding his work into the rest of the hive, he started going over the same space with a new color. His blood.

Those notes were always completely understandable.

Whenever anybody asked him why he wrote them, he had no idea what they were talking about. He did not know the messages written in his blood were there. Once, you caught him IN THE ACT of writing one, and he did not know he was doing it.

It all tied back to the crazy voices. They never went away. Sometimes Sollux forgot to sort out the crazy voices from the normal voices and started shouting at something only he could hear--even when you were right in front of him.

The crazy voices had to go. The tumor was worth it. It got rid of the voices.

Unfortunately, it did not entirely get rid of the crazy.

12/08/11
"Eridan: Handle this like an adult."

E-Eridan?! :((
I'm so sorry!
I
I really do like you
It's just...

GLUBGLUBSOB
:CC

12/08/11
"Seahorsedad: Tell off your idiot benelover."

Oh for glub's sake! Stop bein such a useless sissy-grub.
wwhat
You knoww wwhat I'm talkin about!
Look at you. You're just pathetic.
And I don't mean "pathetic" as in "pitiful in the wway trolls find sexy or wwhatevver," I just mean pathetic.

wwhat
come on wwhat the fuck i mean i just got done fightin wwith kar so i dont look fintastic ok thats no big deal
I'm not talkin about that!
LOOK at you, fishin for compliments.
"Glub glub look at me I'm Eridan and I'm sooo looonely!"

hey
"Wwon't you tell me howw lovvable I am?"
shut up
That's wwhat youre doin.
It's blatantly fuckin obvvious.
You do it all the time, you knoww.

i said SHUT UP
No!
For fuck's sake Eridan, THIS is wwhy you're nevver gonna score!
Because you're so fuckin pitiful!
In the non-sexy-to-trolls wway.

howw the fuck wwould you knoww youre a coddamn seahorse
you think wwhales and turtles are all anybody needs to get a mate
I'vve nevver said they're the only things, just the best things.
And it doesn't change the fact that you're nevver goin to get anywwhere the wway you're goin noww.
If you wwant deep lovve you're not gonna find it by splashin around in the shallowws.
Wwhich is all you'vve been doin.
Wwhich is wwhy all you'vve evver scored is a fuckin useless bitch that's pale for you,
cause you'vve nevver gone out deep enough for the pale wwater to turn flushed.

oh come off it
wwhat the fuck is this
youre comparin my lovve life to the fact that i nevver livved underwwater is that wwhat this is
Wwhere the fuck are you gettin that from?
just the fact that youvve alwways been pissed about livvin in a ship instead a underwwater in a proper hivve
remember you alwways used to say you thought i wwas scared a swwimmin
remember
You sure acted like it.
i wwas NOT and anywway thats exactly wwhat youre sayin noww except wwith romance
and wwhat the fuck wwould you knoww about it anywway
youre a fuckin lusus
you dont evven knoww howw romance wworks
Like fuck I don't.
I'vve had fivve benelovvers, Eridan, do you think in all that time I didn't learn a thing or twwo about howw trolls function?

again with the fuckin fakey imaginary lusus romance
look i dont care about howw your system wworks im just sayin you dont get ours
as evvidenced by the fact that you seem to think im on the vverge a failin here
wwhich im NOT
so you can just
shut up
about me fishin for compliments or wwhatevver
because im not
i knoww wwhat ivve got here wwith nep and
and
i knoww ivve had my failures in the past ok
ivve been unlucky i guess but wwho needs luck anywway
It actually might do you some good.
no
Since you could probably find luck more easily than common sense, the wway you're goin noww.
SHUT UP wwhat the FUCK do you knoww about me anywway
you dont evven listen to me wwhen i talk about my quadrants so HOWW wwould you knoww
I don't need to listen because I knoww you BETTER THAN YOU DO!
I RAISED you, Eridan!
And I'vve seen you strike out a million times and I'm gonna wwatch you strike out a million more cause you don't evven knoww wwhat you're doin wwrong.
You don't evven realize you're doin anything wwrong at all!

SHUT
UP
I GET IT OK
i knoww im not some fuckin romantic mastermind and im nevver gonna fuckin be one but YOU KNOWW WWHAT
i do knoww this much
that i filled twwo fuckin quadrants tonight
SUCCESSFULLY thank you vvery much
and so you are WWRONG about me
kar hates me
and nep lovves me
so THERE
im sure youre just gonna deny it like you alwways try to do wwhen i havve a chance wwith anyone but THIS time YOURE THE WWRONG ONE
so just
fuckin deal wwith it

You. Glubbing. Moron.

wwhat

She doesn't lovve you.

... wwhat
a
a course she does
No.
YES
No she fuckin doesn't and you can't evven see that.
You'vve probably convvinced her you're pitiful
just like you alwways do
but she doesn't lovve you.

but
wwhat
no
she has to
She doesn't "havve to" anything.
Just because you gavve her a wwhale doesn't mean she's obligated to lovve you, it just helps you get there.

you fuckin idiot i didnt evven givve her a wwhale
Wwell, there's your fuckin problem!
COD just SHUT UP nep doesnt evven care about wwhales shes a highblood
Then ask her.
If she lovves you, ask her.

FINE
nep you lovve me right

nep

... nep?


...

oh cod
Eridan, I was...
Trying to tell you...

oh my cod
you dont
you just
am
am i some kind a fuckin
just
charity case to you or somefin

No! Eridan! :((
I really do pity you! It's just...
In...
a...
less flushed way.

oh
cod
no
youre MOIRAIL ZONIN ME?!

No, Eridan, it's not like that!
then wwhat the fuck is it like
... Okay, it's like that. :((
glubglubsob

... Sorry.

12/08/11
"===>"

oh my cod nep thank you so much
You're welcome. :33
seariously youre savvin my life here
i was dyin
like literally dyin a hunger
i wwould a literally starvved to death if it wwasnt for you
and
uh
eww wwhat is this stuff

What?
in the sandwwich wwhats this meat
Um. I don't know, some kind of sky-beast?
oh eww didnt they havve tuna or somefin edible
I... don't... really remember... ://

Hey, you hadn't been looking for a sandwich for Eridan.

wwell wwhatevver wwho am i to be picky im starvvin here
bluh
but anywway thank you so much nep i dont knoww wwhat i wwould havve done wwithout you
youre so nice to me
wwhat did i evver do to deservve someone like you to be so nice to me

Awww, Eridan. How could I NOT be nice to you? <>
i dont knoww i mean i figure ivve earned at least a little niceness from the univverse just by vvirtue a puttin up wwith its carpshit this long but somehoww evverybody seems to be wwillin to pick on me anywway
except you
seriously nep
wwhy are you so nice to me


Would you just look at his face. You want to just give him a great big hug and scoop him up and carry him home.

Of course, you cannot.

What in the world do you say to him?

12/08/11
"===>"

... so yeah
Um.
sorry im kinda late
i stopped somewwhere to try to wwash off a little
and i had to avvoid the main roads too
since im pretty sure kars still tryin to fish me out
and
uh
sorry about your shirt
... if you dont wwant it anymore id be glad to keep it
i mean its no wworse than any a my other shirts reely

Yeah.
Sure.
But
Eridan, are you okay??
What happened? Did something go wrong?


Could your impeccable shipper senses have failed you?!

wwhat no it wwas great
wwe
duelled i guess you could call it

You did??
And then...? 833

wwell uh that is
wwe kinda mutually agreed not too movve this too fast so that wwas kinda
all that happened
but its a good start

Oh.

And here you had been hoping to get the dirty details.

But you're okay right?
yeah
You're pawsitive?

You do not know what you would do with yourself if your advice had gotten him actually seriously hurt. You are TRYING to be his moirail, after all!

yeah im fin no worries
im just...
hey
is
is that a sandwwich

12/08/11
"===>"

ERIDAN!
You made it!
How did it go?
What was Karkitty li...

Uh...

Uh.......

12/08/11
"Nepeta: Have a sandwich."

Sure. As long as you are waiting.

After you and Eridan's lusus got clear of the royal hive, you directed him to land in a nearby park, where you could wait for Eridan to contact you. And then you went to the nearest store and got a sandwich because you were hungry.

You captchalogued the food you got at the fancy restaurant earlier--all one plate of it--but you cannot eat that because you are saving it for Eridan. Which is why you got a sandwich instead. As hungry as you are, you cannot begin to imagine how starved he must be. Maybe Karkat fed Eridan. You have heard that Karkat does some pretty odd things with his black lovers, so why not feed Eridan?

In any case, right now, you are just waiting for Eridan to troll you.

Which he does.

karkatVantas [KV] began trolling nepetaLeijon [NL]

KV: HEY NEP
KV: ITS ME ERIDAN AGAIN.

NL: Eridan!!
NL: How'd it go with Karkitty? ;33

KV: PRETTY WELL I GUESS, I CAN TELL YOU ABOUT IT WWHEN I SEA YOU

He is attempting to actually control his W's and V's and use punctuation again. That is a good sign, things must be a little calmer on his end.

KV: ANYWAY I ESCAPED.
KV: SO ILL HEAD TO WHEREVVER YOURE BAITING.
KV: *WWAITING
KV: WWHATEVVER

NL: Great!
NL: I'm at a park nearby.
NL: Here, I'll send you the directions.

-- nepetaLeijon [NL] sent karkatVantas [KV] the file "impurrtantmap.gif" --
KV: OH WOW THIS IS FUCKIN FANCY.
KV: GOT A CUSTOMIZED MAP I CAN CARRY AROUND ON A COMPUTER WITH ME.
KV: OK SORRY, I REALIZE THIS ISNT A BIG DEAL TO SOMEONE A YOUR STANDIN
KV: BUT ITS PRETTY REEFOLUTIONARY FOR ME.

NL: Don't worry about it!
NL: It's kind of cute when you get excited over silly little things like that.

KV: UH WWELL THANKS.
KV: BY THE WAY DO YOU WANT ANY FAYGO?

NL: Huh?
NL: Ummmm... not really... :??
NL: Why?

KV: CAUSE WHEN I CAME OUT A THE SKY THESE TWO SUBJUGGLATORS WERE WATCHIN AND INSISTED ON GIVVIN ME A BOTTLE A FAYGO FOR SOME REASON.
NL: Came out of the sky?
KV: THATS HOWW THEY PUT IT.
KV: I THINK THEYRE SUPPOSED TO BE GUARDS, BUT THEYRE REALLY SHITTY AT IT
KV: ITS MOON MIST BTWW.

NL: H33h33! Weird!
NL: No thanks.

KV: OK THATS COOL
KV: ANYWAY ILL SEE YOU SOON.

NL: Okay, s33 you soon!
KV: BYE NEP
KV: <3


nepetaLeijon [NL] ceased trolling karkatVantas [KV]


He just HAD to sign off with a heart, didn't he?

What are you going to do when he gets here?

You just do not feel that way about him. You have considered it, you really have. And there is a lot going for him in either red quadrant. The romantic in you can make beautiful scenarios with him in either quadrant.

However, a little voice in the back of your head is telling you that you are far past the point where you can afford to be romantic. There are times in your life when you have to be practical.

This is one of them.

When you try to imagine having a future with Eridan...

You can picture you and Eridan cuddling on a soft pile and feelings jamming late into the day.

You CANNOT picture you and Eridan facing an imperial drone together.

And in a concupiscent lover, that one factor is more important than anything and EVERYTHING else.

This is the lowest, basest level of concupiscence. This is lower than romance. This is lower than love and hate.

This is the level of pure survival.

Any lover with whom you would hesitate to face the drone is a lover who threatens your life.

With Eridan, you would hesitate.

You do not know how you are going to tell him this. You had been hoping that you could kind of act like his moirail without his noticing, and help him get flushed with Feferi; and then you could simultaneously have him switch quadrants with Feferi and move yourself into his pale quadrant. It would have been nice and neat and tidy and romantic that way. But no. No, he went and said he was flushed for you. What do you do now? Just tell him how you feel and hope he takes it well?

Wait, who is trolling you now?

jadziaHarley [JH] began trolling nepetaLeijon [NL]
JH: :o) < hi nepeta!!!
NL: :33 < hi jadzia!!!
NL: :33 < i can't really talk right nyao
NL: :33 < i'm waiting for a furiend to get here

JH: :o) < oh okay. but im just wondering...
JH: :o) < is this friend of yours........
JH: :o) < ..............
JH: :o) < ..........................

NL: :?? < huh?
JH: :o) < ...........eridan? ;o)
NL: :33 < YES!
NL: :33 < do you know him?

JH: :o) < no, but i know somebody who does.
JH: :o) < im giving his moirail a ride, and she said she was looking for eridan who was going to be with you.
JH: :o) < so i got this idea that we could meet up and they could meet up.
JH: :o) < and we could all chill together and stuff, you know?

NL: :33 < oh
NL: :33 < yeah
NL: :33 < that sounds great


Oh God please no.

But you can't say no, can you?

JH: :o) < awesome! ill tell her!
JH: :o) < where are you?

NL: :33 < here
-- nepetaLeijon [NL] sent jadziaHarley [JH] the file "impurrtantmap.gif" --
JH: :o) < thanks!!!
JH: :o) < by the way do you have any faygo?
JH: :o) < feferi and me just ran out.

NL: :33 < umm no
NL: :33 < but eridan's purrobably bringing some
NL: :33 < you like moon mist, right?

JH: :oD < omg!
JH: :oD < mother
JH: :oD < fucking
JH: 8oD < miracles

NL: :33 < h33h33h33
JH: :o) < okay, be there soon
JH: :o) < HONK!

NL: :33 < MEOW!

jadziaHarley [JH] ceased trolling nepetaLeijon [NL]


So.

... So.

Feferi.

At least Jadzia will be here, too. Jadzia is a good friend. And is really good at keeping calm when things go crazy.

Actually, now that you have this sandwich, you do not have much of an appetite.

... nep?

12/08/11
"Rhosyn: Exposit on your other two quadrants."

Yes.

Absolutely.

Expositing on more quadrants is definitely the thing you want to be doing right now.

Because the first two quadrants really went so well and were not obnoxious in the slightest.

...

This is the best slam poet you have ever heard in your life.

Best. God. Damn. Slam. Poet. Ever.

Arrrrrgh.

12/08/11
"===>"

aNd Lo! WeRe ThEsE tWo FoEs DrIvEn ApArT.
fOr MaNy SwEePs ThEy SaW nOt FaNg NoR fIn
Of ThAt NoViCe RiVaL wHo'D sToLe ThEiR hEaRt.
A sCoRe Of SwEePs HaS pAsT; tHeY mEeT aGaIn.

No MoRe Is ShE a SiCkLe-WiElDiNg NeWb;
ShE's NoW a StAuNcH dEfEnDeR oF tHe CrOwN.
nOr Is He JuSt An AnArChIsTiC bOoB
bUt A sHrEwD mUtInEeR, aImEd At ThE tHrOnE.

eAcH oNe ThE oThEr SeEs As NaUgHt BuT sCuM,
tReAcHeRoUs FiLtH nOt FiT fOr WaT'rY gRaVeS.
eAcH aImS tO mAkE tHeIr FoE iNtO sHaRk ChUm
HiM wItH hIs NeW rIfLe; HeR wItH hEr StAvEs.

BuT eAcH fInDs ThEiR hAtReD tOo StRoNg To KiLl
So InStEaD tHeY pRoBaBlY fUcK.

tHaT wAs LiKe NiNeTy PeRcEnT oF a SoNnEt RiGhT tHeRe. ShAkEsPeArE cOuLdN't ToP tHaT sHiT wItH fIvE bUdDiEs AnD a RhYmInG dIcTiOnArY. i'M tHe GrEaTeSt MoThErFuCkInG nArRaToR iN tHe UnIvErSe. YoU cAnNoT hOpE tO bEaT mE iN a NaRrAtOr-OfF. i Am SiMpLy ThE bEsT tHeRe Is.

Waydie, you're fired.

aWwWw, CoMe On! ThAt WaS fAnTaStIc StUfF! aDmIt It!

You're double fired. And you're not allowed to use the black text anymore, that's just for narrators.

wHaAaAaT, nO fAiR. dAiVaT gEtS tO uSe ThE bLaCk TeXt.

He uses it ironically.

NoW wHy DiDn'T i ThInK oF tHaT?

Because you suck and you ruined this panel.

And now back to our previously scheduled plot.

12/08/11
"===>"

CUVIEEEER!

nOt BaD.
nOw Do "KhAaAaAaAaN!"


Seriously, what do you mean "bland generic"?

jUsT sTaTiNg A fAcT.

That is NOT a fact, that is--

Hold on, narration duties required.

And then Rhosyn chased after Cuvier but she didn't catch him blah blah the end.

Now then. Explain yourself.

jUsT sAyInG. iT cOuLd Be PiZzAzZeD uP a LiTtLe.

Narration isn't pizzazzy. It's factual.

BlUh.

It is!

bLuUuUuUh.
ThIs Is Me MaKiNg ThE bLuH fAcE aT yOu.
RiGhT nOw.
I'm StIcKiNg My ToNgUe OuT aNd It'S gEtTiNg In My MaSk AnD eVeRyThInG.
wHy IsN't ThErE a PiCtUrE oF tHiS oNe, I tHoUgHt ThE aUtHoR wAs AlL aBoUt BlUh FaCeS?


This is improv, the author couldn't prepare one.

And there is nothing bluh about the narration.

Now shut up. Between the bullshit over the end of act curtains and now YOU, the fourth wall is currently all but non-existant. It's getting a little worrisome, this really can't become a habit.

eVeRyBoDy KnEw ThE cOnSeQuEnCeS wHeN i GoT lEt InTo ThE sToRy.

Yeah, yeah, but you had your fun. Now shoo.

wAiT! i HaVeN't UsEd Up ThE rEsT oF mY mAdNeSs MeTeR yEt.
CaN't I tAlK a LiTtLe MoRe?


No. The plot needs to get moving again.

oKaY, hOw AbOuT tHiS?
lEt Me NaRrAtE tHe NeXt ImAgE.
jUsT tO tRy It OuT.
tHeN i'Ll ShUt Up.


Guh. Fine.

12/08/11
"Waydie: Lampshade the fact that you're in a flashback."

aM i DoIn It RiTe?????

No. You're doing it wrong.

wElL, fUcK.
dOeS tHiS mEaN i DoN't EaRn ThAt [image] eVeRyBoDy KePt OfFeRiNg Me?
I kInDa WaNtEd ThAt [image].
oOoH lOoK, tHe FoNt KiNdA cHaNgEs A bIt WhEn I sAy [image].
hOw TaCkY.
wHaT iS tHiS, oNe Of ThOsE cOrNy GeOcItIeS pAgEs FrOm ThE nInEtIeS?
yOu KnOw, ThE kInD tHaT hAs AnImAtEd LiNkS aNd AnImAtEd BaCkGrOuNdS aNd AnImAtEd CuRsOrS aNd FiVe MiDiS tHaT aLl TrY tO pLaY aT tHe SaMe TiMe AnD iT iNfUrAtEs YoU uNtIl YoU cLiCk On A lInK tO gO tO aNoThEr PaGe ThAt MaKeS tHe MiDi StOp AnD sUdDeNlY yOu DiScOvEr YoU mIsS iT?
tHe KiNd Of SiTe ThAt'S aLmOsT aLwAyS dEvOtEd To TeAm RoCkEt SmUt, PoWeRpUfF gIrL fAnChArAcTeRs, TrAnSfOrMeRs-As-HuMaNs FiCs, Or MsT3kS oF aLl ThOsE oThEr SiTeS.

Waydie.
What are you talking about.

i'M tRyInG tO dElVe InTo ThE aUtHoR's PsYcHe By DrEdGiNg Up ThE mOsT hOrRiFiC, tRaUmAtIc ChIlDhOoD mEmOrIeS pOsSiBlE.
fUn, RiGhT?

Buckets of fun.
Do continue, please.

wHoA, hEy, WaS iT sOmEtHiNg I sAiD?
oKaY, sTuPiD qUeStIoN.
wHaT wAs It ThAt I sAiD?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Rhosyn is a bit sensitive about dredging up horrific, traumatic childhood memories.

oH.
aRe YoU sUrE tHaT's It?
MaYbE sHe AcTuAlLy LiKeD tHoSe TrAnSfOrMeRs-As-HuMaNs FiCs?

What in the shugg are you talking about and why haven't you let go of me yet.
sHh ShH sHhHhH, cAlM dOwN.
eVeRyThInG's OkAy, WaYdIe'S hErE.
hE wOn'T lEt ThE sCaRy TrAuMaTiC fLaShBaCkS gEt YoU.
jUsT tHe MiLdLy EmBaRrAsSiNg OnEs.

I have no idea what I did to be blessed with such a rational, level-headed moirail.
I must have been particularly virtuous in a past life.

wElL, yOu DiD mUg YoUr BrOtHeR aNd HiJaCk A mOoN fOr A sUiCiDe BoMbInG.
mAyBe ThAt'S wHeRe YoUr BaD kArMa CaMe FrOm.

What.
wHoOpS, sOrRy, KeEp FoRgEtTiNg YoU aReN't AcTuAlLy ReLaTeD tO hEr.
SoRrY mY bAd RoFlOlMaO.
aLl ThEsE gOdDaMn SuSpIcIoUsLy-SiMiLaR-bUt-NoT-aCtUaLlY-rElAtEd KnOcKoFfS.
hEy, ThAt'S wHaT i Am, RiGhT?

Who the hell do you think you're talking to?

Nope, you're no knock-off. You're pretty much just flat-out plagiarism.

fUcK. i'M nOt GoNnA gEt SuEd, Am I?

It's a definite possibility.

wHaT aBoUt PaRoDiEs? PaRoDiEs ArE lEgAl, RiGhT? kInDa SoRtA lItTlE bIt?

How do you make a parody of a character who's already a parody of everything else?

oOoH, tHaT's A tOuGhIe.
ObViOuSlY, wE nEeD tO gO dEePeR.


No. No Inception jokes.

i WaS gOiNg To Go WiTh SeXuAl InNuEnDo, AcTuAlLy.
WHAT are you talking about??
i'D tElL yOu, BuT tHeN yOu'D hAvE tO kIlL mE.
sO! bLaNd GeNeRiC nArRaToR vOiCe, Do YoU tHiNk We'Ve StAlLeD eNoUgH?


Yeah, should be plenty.

... What do you mean, "bland generic" narrator voice?

nOtHiNg At AlL, dOn'T wOrRy AbOuT iT!
hEeEeY rOsIe-PiE?

WHAT, Waydie?
yOuR bOyFrIeNd LeFt WhIlE i WaS sTaLlInG.
What.

...

WHAT?

12/08/11
"===>"

... wHo'S tHiS dOuChEbAg?

Wilson.
What the hell are you up to.

I cOuLd HaVe SwOrN hE wAs SoMeOnE eLsE.
Yes. I am absolutely sure that is what you thought.
wElL sHeEsH, fInE, mIsS dOuBtYpAnTs.
bEcAuSe NoBoDy In A fAcE-cOnCeAlInG mAsK hAs EvEr MiStAkEn SoMeBoDy FoR sOmEbOdY eLsE bEfOrE.
aWwW cRaP, aM i DoInG yOuR sArCaSm ThInG nOw ToO?

Again, what are you doing.
bAkInG a CaKe, DuH.
wHoOpS, mOrE sArCaSm!

A cake. Obviously.
fInE, FiNe, sO tHe CaKe'S a LiE.
(uNsUbTlE wInK aT tHe AuDiEnCe.)
I fElT a LiTtLe OuT oF cHaRaCtEr AnD dEcIdEd To Be HeLpFuL fOr OnCe By StOpPiNg yOu FrOm DoInG sOmEtHiNg YoU'd ReGrEt.

Then thank you for sparing me from my imminent remorse.
DaMn, gIrL, nO NeEd To GeT sNaPpY wItH mE.
jUsT tRyInG To bE a HeLpEr.

You could help most by continuing to withhold the reason why you think I would regret ridding the empire of this stellar example of a model citizen.
SeE? tHeRe It Is. YoU hAtE hIm.
aNd I dOn'T mEaN hAtE hIm, I mEaN *hAtE* hIm.
wInK WiNk NuDgE nUdGe GrOpE gRoPe Et CeTeRa Ad NaUsEaM.
hMm HmM hMmMmM?

Yes. That's it. You are absolutely correct.
hEy NoW, tHeRe'S nO pOiNt In DeNyInG iT. i CaN rEaD yOu LiKe An OpEn BoOk.
PrOvIdEd It'S oNe Of ThOsE bOoKs WiTh BiG pIcTuReS aNd ShOrT wOrDs.
LiKe "BoY" aNd "GiRl" AnD "jUmP" aNd "FuCk."
YoU kNoW tHe KiNd.

what the hellll are you tallk!n about
ShH sHh ShHhHh!
ThIs Is SuPeR sEcReT pAlE-pAl CoDe TaLk.
If YoU dIdN't BuY tHe SpEcIaL cErEaL wItH tHe MaGiC dEcOdEr RiNg, YoU'rE sHiT oUtTa LuCk.


Of all the trolls you have ever met, Waydie Wilson is the only one with a 100% success rate of comprehending what you are actually trying to say.

At times, your ability to comprehend him is somewhat lower.

12/08/11
"===>"

Oh.

wElL...

ThAt...

uHhH...

12/08/11
"===>"


hUrRy My LoVe! RuN wHiLe YoU hAvE a ChAnCe!
i'Ll HoLd HeR bAcK aS lOnG aS i CaN!
dOn'T wOrRy AbOuT mE, i'Ll Be FiNe!
JuSt...

jUsT...

uUuUhHhHh...

12/08/11
"===>"

nOoOoOoOoOo DoN't ToUcH hIm!
What
Wilson, what are you--

i WoN'T lEt YoU hUrT hIm, YoU hEaRtLeSs CaD!
i LoVe HiM!

What--

12/08/11
"===>"

no
no
no no no no
oh cod rhosyn no no no
!m sorry ! take !t back just dont k!llll me ! swear !llll do anyf!n
llook what do you want we can arrange somef!n

This is your idealism?
It certainly is... pitiable.

rhosyn
pllease
no
no no NO NO NO

12/08/11
"Rhosyn: Randomly exposit on your quadrants via flashback."

He has weathered your flimsy attack with valiant stoicism.

That kitten-like mewling sob he is letting out? Very valiant.

! thought you were on my s!de
we were allll!es
at LLEAST allll!es

Did I say that?
rhosyn
you sa!d you sympath!zed
you fellt the same about the way we get treated
! thought we were gonna
take a stand
together
you and me
d!dnt you say that

Did I?
d!dnt you
dont you remember

Remember what?
Remember saying that I despise the life I've been forced to live?
That I find the lot I've been handed to be insufferably tedious and nigh-on unbearable?
That I resent the grotesque iniquity inherent in the political ideology under which we have been raised?

that
yes
rhosyn

Why, for me to believe such barbarously primitive-minded things--and to agree to your fool's plan of setting political progress back thousands of years--I would have to believe the successes of the system pale in comparison to my own hypothetical personal suffering.
The system which has clearly done such an awful job of running things to this day.
So awful, in fact, that it led us to become the most widespread and long-living empire in the known universe.
Our leaders truly are unspeakably incompetent, are they not?
For me to agree to your plan, I would have to be narrow-minded enough to be concerned only with my social advancement, in such a way that would necessitate that I be utterly heedless of the rest of the empire.
I would have to be completely apathetic about the fact that countless millions or billions of gold bloods would be senselessly prosecuted and killed,
that countless millions or billions of jade bloods would be similarly prosecuted as collaborators,
and that countless millions or billions of undereducated lowbloods with no political knowledge or experience in running their own lives will be given responsibility for the empire's life.
For me to agree to your plan, I would have to believe myself too incompetent to achieve a life worth living within the current system.

rhos...
You're fortunate.
Here I stand before you, suffering from delusions of grandeur, narrow-mindedness, heedlessness, apathy, and incompetence.
Just what you need to start your revolution.

what are you...
Talking about?

Chaos.

I can see the seeds of chaos.
I can smell the rot of their flowers long before they sprout, much less before they bloom.
You carry the seeds in your hand, darling.

gllub

This is not the first time you have called him "darling."

This is the first he has flinched.

I. Love. Chaos.
For five sweeps I was a witch and my life was chaos.
Chaos blotted out the moonlight with a darkness like the afterimage of a sunburst,
and filled my nightmares with eldritch horrors that chewed apart my sanity.
Literally destroyed my sanity and reassembled it by the time I woke up
... most of the time.

Chaos filled my auricular sponge clots, my eye sockets, my protein chute, my gills, my nose.
I lived with chaos inside me like a trillion tiny worms filling the chambers of my collapsing and expanding bladder based aquatic vascular system and filling my stomach with a bloated squirming mass.
And you
you will never understand how wonderful it was.

For some glorious joyous time, the span of which I cannot even begin to estimate, I was made of pure chaos.
My mortal flesh was flailed away by the purest cutting essence of madness itself, leaving only naked chattering bones.
And they too were shattered by the despairing wails of nine thousand idiot gods howling in agonized praise of the faceless gof'nn of a mad world.
I was replaced with the 'bthnk of chaos.
It conquered my mere lloig and still lives beneath my ftaghu.
Now I recognize the voice of chaos the way I recognize my own voice, that beautiful voice of insanity.
I love the song of psychosis.
And I hear it in your voice when you speak of revolution.


but
!
what
rhosyn
what the hellll are you tallk!n about
! dont want chaos
!m not f!ght!n for that

I'm sure you're absolutely right.
You are simply a humble crusader on a righteous fight for glory.
Certainly not an egomaniacal anarchist nor a megalomaniacal traitor.

TRA!TOR
!m tallk!n about sav!n our race dont you see that
!m f!ght!n for you and me
for us rhosyn
for allll a us whove been suffer!n under the oppress!on a the h!ghblloods for m!llllenn!a

Oh yes, my mistake.
Of course it is the height of loyalty to fight for the benefit of your race--at the expense of your species.
To betray most of your kind for the sake of a fraction of the whole.
Isn't that praiseworthy?
Isn't it?

Isn't it?


He does not have an answer. Why not? Even in his pain, surely he has an absolutely brilliant rationalization that he can rattle off at a moment's notice. All idealistic revolutionaries have clever little explanations for why their beliefs are right and everyone else's are wrong.

... Unless he has not thought up his excuse yet.

Unless he is no idealist. Unless he does not believe in his own beliefs. Unless he truly is doing this for himself.

Unless he really is fighting for nothing more than chaos.

Oh, unknown 'fhalma and imaginary gnaiih.

He is fighting for nothing but himself and chaos.

You taste the bitter ash of fm'latgh in the back of your mouth. It tastes like anarchy.

You draw your other needle.

rhosyn
! thought you p!t!ed me
! thought you

Thought I loved you?

Bile rises over the ash.

Of course I do.
I have since we first met.
And I do now more than I ever have before.
I don't understand how you could doubt something so self-evident.
I do love you, Cuvier, my dearest.
I love you with everything I have.
I love you as I love chaos itself.


Something in his eye clicks in place. A realization. For the first time in his life, he understands what you are actually saying.

Oh, WHAT a SURPRISE. Because it is not like comparing him to chaos made your meaning blatantly obvious or anything.

rhosyn
you
backstabb!n
twofaced

I only have one face.
then !ts !ns!de out
YOU are the tra!tor
to your k!nd and to yourshellllf

Of course. How blind I have been.
Because fighting in support of my ideals and my beliefs makes me the traitor. This makes perfect sense.

cllam up
just shut the HELLLL UP

After you.
what
oh
gllub
no

12/08/11
"===>"

}}see{{
}}abka-devki-jekyll-monop-curstoove-wiksiz{{


,

,,

,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

yOU'RE AN IDIOT, }:|

}}what?{{

Okay. Enough of this birdbrain. You have sandwiches to get.

12/08/11
"Tavros: Be terrified by an insane gold blood."

You are not terrified.

Not quite.

Not yet.

yOU'RE... rEALLY, rEALLY SURE THAT'S ACTUALLY AN ACTUAL WORD THAT EXISTS?
}}yes{{
}}im posidove{{

aBKA-dABKA, uM, jEK-MISTOFFELEES...
}}no{{
}}SQUAWK{{
}}abka-devki-jekyll-monop-curstoove-wiksiz{{

i,
i'VE NEVER HEARD THAT WORD,
oR, eVEN, aNY WORD THAT SOUNDS QUITE LIKE IT, bEFORE,
eVER,
i THINK IT'S ONE OF THOSE FAKEY-FAKE IMAGINARY WORDS,

}}SQUAWWWWWK{{
}}its not{{
}}ive seen it written down{{

wHERE,
}}owl over{{
}}wrenever i try to go anywhere, i see it{{
}}i owlways see it{{

uHHH, aRE, aRE YOU REALLY SEEING, a,
a REAL WORD, oR,
iS IT ONE OF THOSE, iLLUSION WORDS, tHAT, uM,
sOMETIMES,
mIGHT BE SEEN BY TROLLS WHICH MAY NOT BE IN FULL POSSESSION OF THEIR MENTAL FACILITIES,

}}no no no{{
}}SQUAWK{{
}}its a real word{{
}}and aviary important word because i see it owl the time{{

oH, uMMM,
hOW,
hOW IS IT SPELLED,

}}i can show you{{
}}i have it written down{{
}}here{{

uH...

12/08/11
"===>"

And a perfect servant.

You cannot hope to beat Aurthour in a servant-off. He is simply the best there is.

In fact, if he were of a species slightly more noble than his current one, you would almost be tempted to say that he would make a perfect butler. But that would be silly. A lusus species like his, while undeniably STRONG, could never be refined enough to be anything higher than a servant.

Although he comes close.

It is because of his talent that you have seen him so rarely since moving to Surrogia. You and he agreed that, rather than living together in squalor on whatever paycheck you could bring home, it would be best if you both worked. So you moved into a tiny respiteblock in a hivestem and started working your way through various low-paying jobs, while he went to the gold quadrants and got hired as a live-in servant in a highblood's hive.

Such arrangements are not uncommon, particularly for young, poor trolls like you who have not been working long. Paying only for your own living space keeps costs low, and there is no reason to keep Aurthour locked up a tiny respiteblock while you work if he can be out and working himself. You are both saving up money so you can move out of a hivestem all together, and into a proper hive.

So far, most of the money has been coming from Authour's check. Highbloods pay well.

Plus, he is much better at keeping a steady job than you are.

12/08/11
"===>"

Or, at least, you think so.

You are sure that, objectively speaking, there are better lusi. Higher ones, with better blood. The kind that go to royalty.

But Aurthour is certainly the best custodian you could ever hope to have. You would even go so far as to say you were MADE FOR EACH OTHER.

Incidentally, you are one of the few trolls who knows about and comprehends all three forms of lusus romance, and one of fewer still who buy into it as a viable romantic system. You would even like to try it out yourself, except for the fact that it would get you culled when the imperial drone came.

For some reason, other trolls get kind of weirded out when you say you support lusus romance. Oh well.

You still consider Aurthour a perfect benelover.

12/08/11
"Equius: Think about how Aurthour is the greatest lusus ever."

Uh... sure.

Why not? You have nothing better to do.

It is certainly preferable to watching Gamzee. He has curled up on his side and is now boo hoo hooing into his arms. Bluh.

So. Yes. Aurthour.

He is clearly the greatest lusus ever.

12/08/11
"Rhosyn: Talk about how terrible your life is."

What? Seriously?

Oh, sure. You would love to. Your life is REALLY that terrible.

Obviously, you spend every hour of every night being terribly broken up over your long-dead lusus. Who shuffled off the mortal coil when you were just over a sweep old--in other words, Jaspers was part of less than one percent of your life. This clearly is reason for you to spend your life in agony and misery, rather than have a few very sparse wistful thoughts and then move on.

And clearly your current life is all ashamble. Never mind the fact that you adore your wonderful job and have the most sagacious and level-headed of directors imaginable. When the worknight is done and you stop having fun, when you look back on the day, what do you feel? Nothing. No sense of accomplishment. No feeling that you have done something worthwhile. Night in and night out, you do nothing at all of which you can feel proud. Being a ninjaquatic is the easiest, simplest, least challenging, least rewarding, least important job in the empire. Which MORE than cancels out the fact that it is an endless stream of fun-fun-doodle-dumb.

Listen.

Objectively and unemotionally. No doublespeak because there is nothing in here to twist around. Merely facts. Solid facts.

You are the leader of the ninjaquatics.

It took you over a hundred sweeps to reach this position.

The first barrier, and the one which took you longest to cross, was simply becoming a threshecutioner. There is a training camp, which is widely considered the most grueling of any military branch. The camp lasts half a sweep. No vacations. No contact with any outsiders, excluding one-day leave given ONLY if you, your matesprit, or your kismesis is called upon by the imperial drone. Not even Trollian is permitted. Those who complete it are allowed to speak of how difficult it is, but are forbidden under pain of death from speaking about the training itself. Many who make it through would not wish to speak of it.

You completed the training with flying colors.

Twelve times.

Your subsequent application to become a threshecutioner was rejected eleven times. Every time, the only reason given was "unfit psychological evaluation." It should be noted that over ninety percent of sea dweller applications are rejected by the threshecutioners, and over ninety percent of the rejections are accompanied with that three-word note.

The twelfth time, you got in.

And then you slowly, slowly, slowly climbed the ranks. The entire way up, you had to fight the institutionalized suspicions and distrust. For most threshecutioners, their loyalty is a given. You, on the other hand, had to PROVE your loyalty, again and again and again and again, every night and day, every hour, every minute, every second. You had to be perfect just to be considered good enough.

You had to be in the threshecutioner ranks for so long that you were seen as an integral part of the ranks. As a cog in the machine that could not be removed. You have served twenty-two directors and four imperious condescensions. Each time your director and leader changed, you got a little closer to tipping the balance from being "a sea dweller who's also a threshecutioner" to being "a threshecutioner who's also a sea dweller."

When you finally tipped that balance, you had to prove your loyalties all over again. Up to this point you had been forced to demonstrate, to an entire population that doubted you, that you were just as loyal as every other threshecutioner in the force. But once you reached as high as you could in the normal ranks, you had to prove that you were MORE loyal than every other threshecutioner.

Then, and only then, were you picked out from the ranks for ninjaquatics training.

The only reason basic threshecutioner training is recognized as the most grueling is because almost nobody knows about ninjaquatic training. The mortality rate is astounding--because, after all, nobody cares if a few sea dwellers die, if it means that only the cream of the crop are left behind. Hardened high-ranking threshecutioners DIE in this training. And die and die and die. And simply surviving does not save you from failing.

You passed.

This is the elite force into which you were inducted.

And now you lead it. Which means that, somewhere along the line, a director looked at all the ninjaquatics and decided that YOU were the best.

Stop and consider everything you had to do simply to become a threshecutioner. And then stop and consider everything you had to do after that to become a ninjaquatic.

Think about that.

And then remember that every single other ninjaquatic went through the exact same process.

And you are considered better than the rest of them.

Does this sound like something that someone would do--COULD do--if they did not value their work? If they were not proud of their work?

Obviously, given how little effort you put into reaching your current position, you do not care about your job at all. Anybody could do it. (Although that has certainly changed a bit, under the direction of your newest, wonderfully competent director.)

So you naturally receive no joy whatsoever from your working life. What about your personal life?

Why, it is all in terrible condition. Your matesprit infuriates you, your kismesis bores you, your moirail does not understand you, and your auspisticism is a trio of hysterical uncompromising dolts.

No wonder you hate your life so much!

Although in the midst of the bitter ocean that is your wretched existence, this poet's words are a balmy desert island, rising from the stormy sea to sooth your aching heart.

Is he still rapping about puppets?

The more you hear, the more you just love puppets.

12/08/11
"Tavros: Be harrassed by an insane gold blood."

Yep. Already there.

}}whydah heck wont you help me, man{{
}}SQUAWK{{

uHH,
}}im not trying to robin you or something{{
}}just help a poor bird out{{
}}cant you sparrow a few seconds{{

oKAY, oKAY, fINE, }:(
wHAT DO YOU WANT?


He has been harrassing you for a couple of minutes now. He kind of freaks you out. He carved up his horns to look like feathers. Who would even DO that?

Even in the gold quadrants, there are crappy neighborhoods with lunatics. There is just a higher likelihood that they will be gold-blooded lunatics.

But a crappy neighborhood is pretty much the only place you would be able to find a low-class restaurant like SUBjugglatorWAY. Gamzee likes their sandwiches, so it is worth hunting down.

Even if there ARE crazies around. Hey, you can handle crazies.

However, you kind of cannot help but take pity on this guy. After all, he is a slightly insane yellow blood. Which means he reminds you of Sollux.

You wonder how Sollux is doing. He is probably lonely on Troll Britain. Maybe you will troll him later on, when things quiet down a bit. That should cheer him up.

}}im trying to figure hoot what a word means{{
uHHH,
yOU MEAN, tHE DEFINITION?

}}right{{
}}SQUAWK{{

oHHH, iS THAT ALL YOU NEED, }:)
}}yep, thats owl im looking for{{
}}ive been trying to figure it hoot owl nightingale{{

sURE, uH, wHAT'S THE WORD?
}}are you ready to heron this{{
}}its oriole long word{{

yEAH, gO AHEAD,
}}okay{{
}}abka-devki-jekyll-monop-curstoove-wiksiz{{
}}SQUAWWWK{{

,,,,,,,, wHAT,
}}abka-devki-jekyll-monop-curstoove-wiksiz{{
}}i dont have the vangas idea what it means{{

uHHHH,
iS,
tHAT REALLY A WORD,


Maybe this was a bad idea.

12/08/11
"===>"

As for the original question? Whether or not Jaspers was the greatest kitty lusus ever?

... No.

Of course not. Jaspers was a dreadful lusus. The worst you could have possibly had. Surely you would have been better off having been chosen by any other lusus. Any at all.

It was a blessing that Jaspers died when you were so young.

It was a blessing that Gl'bgolyb took you in and shared her vast wisdom with you. Your life has been enriched by her tutelage more than you could hope to adequately express.

How fortunate you were. How fortunate you still are.

On an entirely different note, you absolutely love this slam poet's style. Everything he says is veritable genius. Some poets are shallow and simple-minded, shooting for the inanely quirky and hoping to baffle their audiences into mistakenly believing there is hidden depth to their work, a layer of ironic elegance too profound for them to understand, when really their work is banal turns of trite phrases given a dusted layer of powdered fool's gold; you can tell that this poet is not one of those lesser pretenders. Here is a metrical mastermind. Bravo, and again, bravo.

Fm'latgh this.

12/08/11
"===>"

Jaspers is dead.

You were barely over a sweep old when it happened. Still a grah'n.

Sorry.

Still a young one. Still a lost one.

Once Jaspers was ph'nglui, by all reason you should have ch' nglui as well, but instead you athg become Gl'bgolyb-nyth. She k'yarnak r'luh about the shagg, the shogg, and the shugg, although you nafl-kadishtu more than a fraction of it; everything she lw'nafh to you was a kn'a without any ee...

Sorry. Again.

You tend to slip into her way of speaking when you get...

... when you get...

... thoughtful.

12/08/11
"===>"

He took you under his tentacle, becoming your guardian, on the night you emerged triumphant from the trials in the subterranean caverns.

Together, you dove deep into Alternia's largest ocean--as deep as your young body could handle before the pressure became dangerous--and built your hive together.

Waterproof carpenter droids are always in short supply, since nobody with any authority ever pushes to make sure more are produced, so oftentimes young sea dwellers must either build on land or make temporary hives until a few carpenter droids become available. Young as you were, you could not imagine living without your lusus, and so you chose to wait for the carpenter droids.

It soon became a moot point.

12/08/11
"Have a flashback about how Jaspers was the greatest kitty lusus ever."

Jaspers?

Your first lusus?

Oh.

You have not thought about Jaspers since... you do not know when.

Very well. Jaspers.

He is a catfish.

12/08/11
"Rhosyn: Have a random flashback."

How can you possibly have a flashback? Is it not clear that you are currently engaged in the grueling process of tracking down Eridan Ampora?

That never stopped being the thing you were ordered to do.

You are far too busy to have a flashback.

So what should you flash back to?

12/08/11
"===>"


On second thought, you would not touch that face with a ten-foot lance.

How can ANY troll be so disgusting? REALLY? How is it even possible?

You just hate him so much. He has earned all of your hate. All of it.

Whoa, okay, weird moment of déjà vu there. Er. Moving on.

Sure, you hate him. But that does not mean you would even consider laying a finger on him in this condition. Ugh, even the thought of it makes your skin crawl. And not in a good way.

Yeesh.

It seems that nothing interesting is going to happen here. Maybe we should be Tavros instead.

12/08/11
"===>"

bOo HoO hOo
*SoB*
*wHiNe*
*SnIvEl*
BoOoO hOo HoO
*sNiFf*
*SoBsObSoB*
wAaAaHaAhAa


Oh.

Well.

Um.

Er.

... Ew.

12/08/11
"> Equius: Stay with Gamzee."


Gladly.

You have a tendency to break things, and also to have a great deal of trouble giving orders to anybody above you--even food orders. And in the gold quadrants, even the lowest menial food service jobs are likely to go to jade bloods. Tavros, however, has no such difficulties. Plus, he actually knows what Gamzee might be willing to eat. So despite his trepidation, he decided to go get the food.

He gave you very, very, VERY strict orders to absolutely NOT harm Gamzee. You were not planning to and you are pretty sure he knew that, but the extra orders are reassuring.

Besides.

There are quite a few things you could do with him that would not require hurting him.

And Gamzee made the first move, romantically speaking. You confessed first but he acted first. So he would be fine with it. Everything is mutual now.

And Tavros did not ban you from interacting with him caliginously. He may not have given you express permission, but he did not explicitly forbid you. Nor implicitly forbid you. A complete lack of forbidding took place.

So. You have a few minutes of privacy. You and he could certainly...

Certainly...

Uh...

12/08/11
"===>"

it hurts so much IT HURTS SO MUCH fuck MY HEAD my think pan FUCK how could you do this at me I THOUGHT YOU PITIED ME my head's hurt so much SO MUCH please bro PLEASE HELP ME please help JUST GIVE ME SOPOR just give me sopor JUST GIVE ME MIRACLES please bro MY THINK PAN'S BURNED INSIDE OUT the hole's spreading FUCK IT HURTS SO MUCH don't be like this to me I'LL FUCKING DO ANY FUCKING THING please PLEASE please IT HURTS SO MUCH it hurts IT HURTS it hurts IT FUCKING HURTS why are you doing this WHY DO I DESERVE THIS it hurts

You consider asking Tavros for permission to wad up a towel and shove it in Gamzee's mouth. You decide against it.

i THINK, mAYBE, hE MIGHT FEEL BETTER IF HE HAD SOMETHING TO EAT,
sINCE i DON'T KNOW WHEN HE LAST ATE,
aND i THINK THAT, mOST OF THE TIME, hE TRIES TO SURVIVE ON fAYGO AND SOPOR,

+--) Yes, that's all I've ever seen him successfully consume

Although there was this one time you caught him intensely concentrating on slurping down a ball of string. You spent several minutes wondering whether you should cut the string, or let him try to eat the rest.

It became a moot point when he gagged and vomited.

You spent another couple of minutes watching in horrified fascination as he patiently pulled the bile-covered string out of his stomach.

When he was done, he stuck the whole mess in a pocket.

You decide not to share this with Tavros.

yEAH, sO, mAYBE ONE OF US SHOULD STAY WITH HIM, wHILE THE OTHER FINDS SOMETHING FOR HIM TO EAT,
+--) If you say so, your highness

You leave it to him to decide which of you will retrieve the food.

12/08/11
"===>"

+--) Your highness
+--) I
+--) Er
+--) Think I may require a bit of help, please

uHHH, yEAH, i CAN SEE THAT.

He pries Gamzee off and sets him back on the table.

Gamzee promptly curls into a ball and begins sobbing and wailing. It is not even the quiet crying of someone who has been terribly wronged and who actually deserves pity. It is the kind of crying where you cannot tell the difference between the tears, the snot, and the drool. And yet there is Tavros, comfortingly cooing over him.

He is certainly an ideal moirail. Even if it is beyond you how anybody could pity dumb despicable Gamzee. <3< But you guess that sometimes gold bloods don't make a lot of sense to you.

12/08/11
"===>"

+--) Already falling all over yourself, subjugglator
+--) What were you doing
+--) You sh001d have waited for either his highness or myself to return
+--) You will need a crutch before you can get around by your--
+--) Hey

this is for the sopor, motherfucker
+--) What are you--
+--) No
+--) Get off

FOR THE SOPOOORRR ARRRRRRGH
+--) Stop that
+--) Oh come on
+--) This is e%tremely stupid
+--) 100k, what do you hope to accomplish
+--) You do realize that I'm more likely to kick you in the face than I am to give you--
+--) OW
+--) No
+--) Stop
+--) Cease this horseplay
+--) Subjugglator
+--) Makara
+--) For pity's sake

12/08/11
"> Equius: Share some internal thoughts here."

Uh...

Yeah. That is really about as deep as your thoughts go.

Really.

Really.

... At least, that is as deep as you acknowledge. There is a reason why you have so much trouble with feelings jams.

So you acknowledge that you are still very pale for Nepeta, and that recent events have upset you.

You do not acknowledge that you felt this coming. That for a long time you knew she was drifting off--head in the clouds and starry-eyed with romantic nightdreams--to some place that you, dense and dull and low as you are, cannot reach. You do not acknowledge that the reason you did not grab her tighter and bring back down to the ground was for fear that she would find your grip too strong. You do not acknowledge that the more you wanted to tighten your hold, the more you forced yourself to loosen it, the more you made yourself quiet and sturdy and low-maintenance, the more you hid as much as possible. You do not acknowledge that you KNOW that the more you try to be low-maintenance--unbreakable--the farther she drifts off, but you keep doing it because you do not know what else to do. You did not know how to hold on to what you had without breaking it. So instead, you watched it fall apart.

You acknowledge that you are completely, thoroughly, furiously, joyously in hate with Gamzee honking Makara.

You do not acknowledge that part of your hate comes from the fact that you knew him when he was better than this--and that conversation by conversation, night by night, perigee by perigee and sweep by sweep, you watched him slide down. You do not acknowledge that part of your hate is fear. That you are terrified of becoming him. That some days you just stare at your eyes in the mirror and wonder if the bloodshot blue veins are spreading and wonder if they indicate exhaustion or addiction. That the smell of sopor and the empty taste of the capsules make you think of him. You do not acknowledge that you feel like the path of civility you try to walk upon is nothing but a tightrope--on one side is vicious lowblooded savagery, on the other side is him. You do not acknowledge that--with your average daily dosage already matching the recommended maximum daily dosage--you think you are already addicted. You do not acknowledge that hating him with everything you have is your way of fighting against becoming him.

You acknowledge that you are baffled by His Highness Nitram's generosity, as you have been baffled by his courtesy for sweeps.

You do not acknowledge that your bafflement is intentional, that you deliberately adopted it, because you know that you cannot and should not try to comprehend the mind of royalty. You do not acknowledge the part of you that thinks it understands Tavros, because it would be the height of both folly and hubris for one of your class to assume that one of his class might actually pity you--platonic, pale, or flushed, it does not matter. You do not acknowledge the part of you that points out he already pities one lower than you. You ESPECIALLY do not acknowledge the possibility that you might be pitiable.

Beyond all of this, you do not acknowledge the fact that YOU might pity--romantically or platonically, it does not matter--a royal. A royal who is so merciful he borders on self-defeating; whose temper is so much the opposite of yours that he may not be capable of feeling true anger; whose physical strength, impressive as it is, is entirely dependent on the cooperation of a lowblooded amateur engineer. A royal who treats beasts--all beasts, even the ones highbloods usually loathe--with the love and respect you think they deserve; who treats trolls of all land-dwelling classes, not like equals, but at least like fellow trolls instead of animals; who will on occasion submit himself entirely to your authority.

(You also do not acknowledge that, despite your utter compliance with the hemospectrum, there's some part of you that would really, really like to dominate someone much higher than you. The mere idea of such a thing, it is just so... depraved.)

So. Yes. Those were your internal thoughts. Nothing interesting, nothing questionable, just a simple-minded blue blood with simple-minded concerns.

Moving on. You have an angry nitwit to deal with.

22/07/11
"===>"

+--) Well
gAMZEE'S AWAKE.
+--) So it seems

This may be the first time in his life that Gamzee's antics have make a situation LESS awkward.

22/07/11
"Tavros: Why would you let this happen to your moirail? Just, why?"

Because Equius ran out of building materials and he had to improvise.

And because you think it is probably better if Gamzee cannot move very fast for a while.

This is only a temporary leg, anyway. Something for Gamzee to get around on for the next couple of days. He should be able to move just fine on a crutch.

As long as he avoids stairs. As soon as Gamzee wakes up, Equius is going to warn him about the stairs. Luckily, elevators should be just fine.

You and Equius are talking outside, so that you do not wake Gamzee. You are not sure if he is still flat-out unconscious, or just asleep. You figure when he wakes up, you will know by the sound of his sopor-deprived fury.

+--) I apologize for my shoddy work, your highness
+--) I'm afraid I don't have a%ess to very good constru%ion materials
+--) As you can see
+--) Or else I w001d never have settled for such a sorry temporary measure

tHAT'S FINE,
iT'S JUST A GOOD THING i HAD A SPARE WHEEL.

+--) Indeed

You wonder why you were carrying that around. Sometimes you have some of the weirdest junk in your sylladex.

You think a lot of it is rubbish that Gamzee randomly mailed you, before his sylladex broke. Now, he can mail you things he already has in his sylladex, and you can mail him things to put it in his sylladex, but he cannot actually get anything in or out of his sylladex by himself. Getting Gamzee's sylladex fixed is one of the main things you hope to do before letting him leave the hospital.

bUT YOU DID YOUR BEST WITH WHAT YOU HAD,
aND, uHHH, aS LONG AS HE CAN WALK, tHAT'S GOOD ENOUGH,
sINCE YOU CAN MAKE HIM A BETTER LEG, lATER.

+--) Of... of course, your highness
+--) If you're sure you're comfortable with that
+--) I mean
+--) I'm not questioning your judgment, but
+--) I'm sure there are many trolls much more e%perienced in prostheti% than I
+--) And who w001d also be less
+--) Biased

yEAH, bUT,
i TRUST YOU. }:)

+--) Oh
+--) Thank you
+--) I'm honored if you think so highly of me

yEAH, uH, yOU DO GOOD WORK,
bUT, yOU KEEP SAYING i SHOULD ASK SOMEBODY ELSE, sO,
iF YOU REALLY DON'T WANT TO DO IT,
yOU DON'T HAVE TO

+--) Oh, no, it's not that, I just
+--) I want to make sure you receive the highest quality work possible
+--) But I would be more than willing to continue my work
+--) If you're abso100tely sure you want me

yEAH, i AM,
+--) Then
+--) Thank you, highb100d

yOU'RE WELCOME,

You think this might be the first time you have gotten an unobstructed look at Equius's eyes. Or, well, a half unobstructed look at one of his eyes.

He has not made eye contact with you once.

For a little bit you were kind of worried that it was just you. But you are beginning to think that it is not you so much as it is your blood.

He does not seem like he is looking down out of discomfort, but out of habit. Even though nobody can see his eyes, this is his habit.

uHH, bY THE WAY,
iF YOU NEED BETTER SUPPLIES, tO MAKE YOUR ROBOTS,
aT LEAST, iF THAT'S STILL SOMETHING YOU LIKE TO DO, i DON'T KNOW,
uHHH, i COULD GET YOU SOME,

+--) Oh, er
+--) No, thank you, your highness
+--) I mean
+--) I w001d be honored, but
+--) You don't have to go out of your way on my behalf
+--) I don't need compensation for my work
+--) I'm just
+--) Glad to be of use to my betters

wELL, uH, tHAT'S A GOOD WAY TO THINK, bUT,
yOU HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF, tOO,

+--) I... I appreciate your concern, but
+--) I am a b100b100d
+--) I'm quite durable
+--) I can make do with what I have

oH, yEAH, sORRY, i WASN'T IMPLYING THAT YOU COULDN'T,
+--) There's no need to apologize, your highness
oKAY, bUT,
eQUIUS, yOU DON'T EVEN HAVE ENOUGH SPARE PARTS TO MAKE A PROPER LEG,

+--) Well
+--) I suppose not
+--) I'm e%tremely sorry, your highness

yOU DON'T HAVE TO APOLOGIZE EITHER,
iT'S NOT YOUR FAULT. }:(

+--) I guess
+--) But
+--) I sh001d have...


He just kind of trails off. Apparently, he does not know what he sh001d have.

But this is not right. He has been repairing and upgrading your legs for sweeps, for free, and now he is even willing to make a leg for somebody he completely hates. (Even if it is beyond you how anybody could hate poor dopey Gamzee. <> But you guess that sometimes blue bloods don't make a lot of sense to you.)

uM, hOW ABOUT,
iNSTEAD OF ME GIVING YOU SUPPLIES, aS A THANK YOU, oR SOMETHING,
i'LL BE GIVING THEM TO YOU TO MAKE A PROPER LEG FOR gAMZEE,
aND SINCE i'VE GOT NO REASON TO WANT THE LEFTOVER SUPPLIES,
yOU CAN KEEP THEM.

+--) If
+--) If you want, your highness

... wOULD THAT BE OKAY?
+--) Uh
+--) To be honest
+--) Er, that is, if you wish for me to e%press my honest opinion

yEAH,
+--) Then
+--) I'm not sure I w001d be comfortable with that

oH,
oH...
wELL...

+--) But, if you want me to a%ept such a
+--) Generous offering
+--) I will

oH, nO, nOT IF IT WOULD JUST MAKE YOU FEEL WORSE,
uM...
i JUST,
i WANT TO DO SOMETHING, tO MAKE YOU HAPPY,

+--) Happy

Happy?

That was STUPID, why did you say that?

Wow, this is awkward.

eR, uH, uMM, i,
cOULD HAVE PHRASED THAT A LITTLE BETTER, i THINK,
aCTUALLY A LOT BETTER,
bUT BASICALLY, i MEANT,
yOU'VE ALWAYS DONE A LOT TO HELP ME, eVEN WHEN YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO,
aND ALSO, a LOT TO HELP OTHER PEOPLE,
aND EVEN IF i DIDN'T ALWAYS LIKE THE OTHER PEOPLE YOU HELPED,
iT STILL IS IMPRESSIVE,
tHAT YOU WOULD GO OUT OF YOUR WAY FOR THEM, lIKE THAT,
aND, i KNOW, lOWBLOODS ARE SUPPOSED TO DO STUFF FOR HIGHBLOODS,
aND THAT'S WHY YOU DO IT,
i THINK,
bUT MOST OF THEM DO IT BECAUSE THEY THINK IT WILL BE BETTER FOR THEM IF THEY DO,
aND AVOID IT WHEN THEY DON'T,
wHEREAS YOU ALWAYS HELP ME,
eVEN WHEN IT MAKES THINGS WORSE FOR YOU,
aND, uM, wOW, i'M KIND OF, tALKING A LOT,
sO i GUESS i SHOULD STOP,
bUT BASICALLY,
i FEEL LIKE, i NEED TO DO SOMETHING FOR YOU,
tO PAY YOU BACK,
bECAUSE,
yOU DESERVE IT.

+--)
+--)
+--)
+--)
+--) Oh


WOW, THIS IS AWKWARD.

+--) If
+--) That's how you feel, then
+--) I w001d be honored to a%ept
+--) Er
+--) Whatever you wish to offer


From his expression, you are pretty sure he does not mean that.

+--) But
+--) You
+--) Really don't need to do that, your highness
+--) Because
+--) Being of use to you is its own reward
+--) It's tr001y my honor and privilege to be able to serve you, your highness
+--) And
+--) My pleasure


Pleasure?

oH,
uM,
o...
oKAY.


WOW, THIS IS AWKWARD.

+--) Sorry
sORRY,

Cue awkward silence.

But, you really do want to do something for him. You have always wanted to do something, but never actually did because he never acted like he needed any help. So you figured he did not. Even though it always made you kinda uneasy.

Until you heard him say this.

+--) Of horse I obey my superior's orders
+--) But they only take advantage of me because I possess tailents of which they may make use
+--) I hoof no e%pectations of furthering my own cowse

so you'd just give up all your motherfuckin everything to my main shitblood bro here
if he was askin that you do like so

+--) Yes
to past the point where at it'd even kill you
+--) Without hesitation


And suddenly it occurred to you that, just because he acts like he is doing fine, that does not mean he is.

"Take advantage." He said you "take advantage" of him. But he was not complaining, he was not resentful. He said it almost like he was proud.

Proud that he is being taken advantage of. By you.

You bet he did not even realize what he was saying.

Although, to be honest, none of this comes as a surprise to you. You just got slapped in the face with what you already know.

You have to do SOMETHING for him.

What in the world can you do for a guy who has nothing, but wants nothing?

... Wow, is that awkward silence STILL happening?

21/07/11
"===>"

Nnnope.

No magnets, no magic, no motor.

Just a wheel. A plain old wheel.

A wheel that tends to roll out from under you the moment you lift your left leg.

When the horsefucker gets back in here, you are going to bite his ankles to death.

FUCK, your think pan hurts. You need sopor. You neeeed sopor. Sopor.

Sopor sopor sopor soporsoporsoporsoporsopor.

Sopor.

Fuck.

21/07/11
"===>"

Mother FUCK.

21/07/11
"Try out new leg."

Okay. No problem.

So how the fuck does this work?

Does it have some kind of motor in it you can trigger with your brain?

Or, like, fairy magic or something?

Or magnets. Maybe it is powered by magnets. Motherfucking magnets. You bet it is.

So, how do you activate the magnets? Do they just activate themselves, or do you have to use some special stardust, or--

21/07/11
"Plot Equius's demise, with wheel."

Uhhh...

Nope.

You are far too low on IMAGINATION for that!

You cannot even read your own mental handwriting.

iye? YddL? Noivcfuaber? What??

Fuck this shit.

21/07/11
"===>"

mother fucking BITCH TITS.

You have a MOTHERFUCKING WHEEL for your MOTHERFUCKING LEG.

It is like a little rolling miracle what's been all up and nailed onto your hip.

Miracle.

Fucking miracle. Right here.

Of course, this does not change your plans to kill the horse fucker.

21/07/11
"===>"

HOLY.

fucking.

SHIT.

this is--

THIS IS FUCKING

it's all

WHAT THE FUCKING

why would he

WHAT IS

how

WHY

it

WHAT

this is

THIS IS

21/07/11
"Gamzee: Check out new leg."


No.

You do not care about your leg.

Your head hurts.

You need sopor. Sopor slime, sopor pie, sopor capsule, sopor lethal injection--you do not care what form it takes, you just need it. Everything else is irrelevant.

But, sopor does not just walk up and jump in your mouth. You will have to go find it.

Which means you suppose you have to check out your new--

Holy fucking shit.

21/07/11
"===>"

Oh, come on. Not a chance.

... Although it WOULD explain a lot.

Well, as long as you're here, let's be you.

Your name is FUCK IF YOU CARE, you just received a new leg and some spare blood, and your think pan hurts like a mother bitching shit fuck.

21/07/11
"===>"

uHH, hEY, hOLD ON A SECOND,
i WASN'T AWARE THAT THIS WAS GOING TO BE A THING WITH ACTS.
i THINK THAT'S SOMETHING i SHOULD BE INFORMED ABOUT.
aLL THESE CURTAINS OPENING AND CLOSING ON THE FOURTH WALL,
tHEY CAN GET KIND OF CONFUSING.
... uH, dID i JUST MISS THE FIRST SEVEN ACTS?


NO, there aren't seven missing acts. There's just a random-ass curtain in the middle of everything. Being confusing.

oHHH, oKAY, cOOL. i WAS WORRIED FOR A MOMENT. }:)
bUT i SHOULD PROBABLY MENTION, iF THIS TURNS INTO A THING WITH ACTS,
sHAGGY SAID HE WANTS AT LEAST ONE SCENE WITH jADZIA EACH ACT.


This ISN'T a thing with acts! The curtain just came out of nowhere!

oKAY, oKAY, rANDOM CURTAIN FROM NOWHERE.
bUT sHAGGY REALLY MISSES jADZIA, iS ALL.


Right, right.

i MEAN, sOMETIMES HE GOES HOWLING AT THE MOONS AND EVERYTHING.
iT'S PRETTY SAD.


Okay, yes, it's sad, but look. You're WAY on the wrong side of the fourth wall.

You see the audience?

Hmm?

You see them? Wondering what you're doing?

oH! uH, yEAH, i GUESS SO. hAHA...
mY BAD.
wELL, aS LONG AS i'M HERE, hEY EVERYONE. }:)
i'M NOT AS GOOD A HOST AS
dOC sCRATCH, bUT, i'M STILL GLAD TO SEE YOU!
i DON'T HAVE ANY MAGIC CANDY BOWLS, bUT i COULD SLAM SOME RHYMES DOWN.


No! No rhyme-slamming! You're supposed to be doing plot stuff! Back on your side of the fourth wall! Come on, get going.

oKAY, oKAY, fINE. i JUST WANTED TO SAY HI.

... bY THE WAY, cAN i KEEP THE CURTAINS?
tHEY'D LOOK GREAT ON MY FOURTH WALL.


Yeah, sure, knock yourself out. Nobody else is using them.

gREAT! }:)
hEY, iF ANY MORE POP UP, lET ME KNOW.
i BET sHAGGY WOULD LIKE SOME, tOO.


Sure, sure. Do whatever you want with them.

Stupid curtains.

You depart to your side of the fourth wall again, allowing the narration to behave like narration again instead of like a character.

Now then. Between all of the confusion over which sea dweller lowblood to be, and the nonsense over curtains and hypothetical acts, SOMEBODY is being an idiot here.

So who is the bozo responsible for this?

21/07/11
"===>"

Ohhh.

...

Wait.

What?

Seriously, what?

21/07/11
"Eridan: Curtains."

Curtains? What does "curtains" mean? You are trying to escape, what do curtains have to do with... uh...

What the fuck are those giant curtains for?

20/07/11
"Karkat: Stupefaction."

You think you are temporarily blind.

... You are keeping Eridan forever.

20/07/11
"Step 5: Retaliation."

You hope he was not leaning TOO far out the window.

20/07/11
"===>"

ERIDAN FUCKING AMPORA!
AMPORAAAA!
WHEN I GET MY HANDS ON YOU
THERE WON'T BE ENOUGH OF YOU LEFT TO FEED A GOLD FISH
YOU ARE DEAD, AMPORA
DEAD
AS IN FIVE SCYTHES IN YOUR SIDE
KNIFE IN EACH EYE
USING YOUR SKIN AS MY TOWEL
EATING YOU FOR DINNER
RAW
LIKE SUSHI
FEEDING YOUR LEFTOVERS TO MY LUSUS
DEAD!



<3<


You think he is still hitting on you.

You are not taking chances.

20/07/11
"Step 4: Evacuation."

WHAT DID YOU CALL ME?!

20/07/11
"Step 3: Distaction."

WHAT THE MMPH
BLUH EW OH GOD GAG
WHAT'S THAT SMELL HOLY FUCK OH GOD TELL ME YOU DIDN'T SHIT IN THIS.

wwell you didn't complain about that taste wwhen you wwere kissin me
WHAT?!
OH GOD OH GOD WHAT THE FUCK WERE YOU GARGLING DIARRHEA OH MY GOD

you dont wwanna know
OH GOD GET IT OFF GET IT OFF
see you later
karkandy~ <3<

GET IT OFF GET IT OFF GET IT--
WHAT?

20/07/11
"[S] Step 2: Conversation."

... "DAY"?
IT'S NIGHT, DUMBASS.

ye--
wwe--
tha--

IT'S ALWAYS FUCKING NIGHT.
shut the fuck up

Some people OBVIOUSLY do not recognize a piece of cinematic brilliance when they hear it.

wwell you knoww wwhat kar
you knoww wwhat

OK, I'LL HUMOR YOU.
WHAT.

catch
WHAT?

20/07/11
"Step 1: Orchestration."

For the love of Jegus, stop listening to whatever you're listening to and put this song right here on.

HURRY.

THIS IS AS CLOSE AS YOU ARE GOING TO GET TO A BADASS FLASH.

... But, wait until it actually starts playing to look at the next image.

But then look at the next image IMMEDIATELY.

We are talking about precise choreography here.

Very. Precise. Choreography.

20/07/11
"Eridan: Pull a Tirsok on the Cliffs."

WHAT ARE YOU--
OH MY GOD.
NO.
FUCK NO.
TELL ME YOU AREN'T ABOUT TO JUMP.
HOLY FUCK.
DOES YOUR THINK PAN SHRIVEL UP IF YOU'RE OUT OF WATER TOO LONG??
DO YOU HAVE *ANY* IDEA HOW FAR IT IS TO THE GROUND.
OH SHIT OH SHIT OH SHIT OH SHIT

i suggest you put the pistol dowwn kar
WHAT THE
YOU CAN'T
ARE YOU TAKING YOURSELF HOSTAGE?
WHY WOULD YOU TAKE YOURSELF HOSTAGE AGAINST SOMEBODY WHO HATES YOU?
ARE YOU INSANE?

maybe
...

He puts down the pistol.

Holy crab, he really DOES want to get you over a pail.

Okay. Time to make this happen. Preferably with a suitably caliginously badass line.

You cannot think of any suitably caliginously badass lines.

Maybe you will just steal one.

18/07/11
"Eridan: Do the shooty thing."

Why aren't you doing the shooty thing?

You should be doing the shooty thing.

Instead, you are holding Ahab's Crosshairs, pointed at Karkat, finger on the trigger... trying to figure out how to do the shooty thing. You cannot remember how to do the shooty thing. You can remember a thousand movies and shows and games where action heroes hold the gun and pull the trigger. But when you try to take that mental image and apply it to you, your mind goes blank. The info vanishes.

You are completely incapable of doing the shooty thing.

So this is what happens when you break the strife deck rules. Stupid, stupid FLARP modus.

S-SOMETHING WRONG... FINFACE?
a course not i wwas just thinkin if i do much more damage you might need a blood transfishion and then youd be more fucked than a bleeder in a shark pit
i mean is there evven anybody you could take blood from

SHUT UP ABOUT MY BLOOD.
wwhat you got a problem wwith it
jegus


Once again, the instinct to flirt wins out over self preservation. You really should not be taunting an apparently unstoppable killing machine. Particularly if you are, for all intents and purposes, unarmed. And ESPECIALLY right after you rejected his advances.

But you could get to enjoy the way his eye starts twitching whenever you say Jegus.

you knoww kar youre actually cute wwhen youre mad
THEN I'M ABOUT TO GET DOWNRIGHT FUCKING ADORABLE.

Oh shit he's lunging.

hey hey dont movve im not that concerned about your safety
im wwillin to use deadly fire if necesseary


The lunge fell short, fortunately. Karkat's in bad shape. But so are you.

YOU... YOU W-WOULDN'T SHOOT.
hey id rather be on the run for killin prince jegus than get gutted right here and noww
I MEANT
I KNOW YOU.
YOUR PAIL QUADRANTS ARE EMPTY.

my pale quadrants just fin not that its any a your business
I FUCKING MEANT BUCKET QUADRANTS YOU MORON.
oh
BEFORE LONG... YOU'RE GONNA BE ON THE RUN FROM THE DRONES.
AREN'T YOU?

er
wwell

I'M YOUR BEST FUCKING CHANCE AT A BLACKROM.
Y-YOU CAN'T AFFORD TO KILL ME.

wwhat you think i didnt think that one out kar come on givve me some crawwdit
you knoww if i krilled you id havve my pick a the empire caliginously speakin
pretty much evverybody who evver wworshipped you is gonna hate me and at least some a them are gonna be romantic about it

ER.
WELL.


Actually, come to think of it, that is probably true. Huh.

On the other hand, the entire empire would want to kill you. You think you will stick with Karkat as your kismesis.

Ooh. You think you will just enjoy that thought a moment. Karkat Fucking Vantas is your kismesis. You could get used to that.

Even if technically it is not true, since neither of you has said it yet. But close enough.

so howw about you put the scythe dowwn like a good little mutant
i could shoot faster than you could reach me and wwe both knoww--

oh

hey

i uh

didnt knoww you had pistolkind

SURPRISE.

You have reached a stalemate. Fortunately, he does not know that you cannot fire. Unfortunately, you do not know that he cannot aim to save his life.

Right. No more standing around and enjoying the (entirely decadent) scenery. It is time for you to abscond.

Or, as any legitimate Flarper would say, it is time for you to pull a Tirsok on the Cliffs.

17/07/11
"Be the OTHER sea dweller with the octet piece."

VISUALLY-DRIVEN 2x TRANSITION COMBO successfully completed.

You found your glasses.

And this.

This cannot possibly be what you think it is.

It has been five sweeps since you flarped with Vriska. In all that time, your memory of the Fluorite Octet has probably gone a bit fuzzy. Or maybe this is just some other d8 that happens to look a lot like hers. Surely this is not the real deal.

On the other hand, Karkat DOES apparently have some sort of fixation on Vriska. Was it reciprocated? Did they ever duel, perhaps in this very room? Does Vriska carry some weapon of Karkat's, to ensure that they have a reason to resent each other and a reason to hunt each other down again?

You are so out of your league.

You are going to be a worthless kismesis, compared to Vriska.

You try to fit the d8 into your sylladex. Without any prompting, it goes straight into a Key Items card. That confirms it. The only items that will go into Key Items are ones that have been used as big prizes in FLARP campaigns. Big prizes like the Octet.

If you leave Karkat's room with just the right random artifact--the kind that is only found in rooms like this, that one innocuous something that is worth more than your weight in diamonds a million times over--then everything that has happened in this room will be worth it. The terror, the injuries, the humiliation. The start of a rivalry that you might be incapable of continuing. The endangerment of yourself, of Fef, and maybe of anybody else who pities you. If you find THE one item, all of that will be worth it.

This d8 just might be that item.

At least, you hope so.

ERI... DAN...

Oh shit.

WHAT... DO YOU THINK... YOU'RE...

After you punched Karkat, he took a moment to process it, and then collapsed. You were kinda hoping he was unconscious. Apparently not.

Right. You have retrieved Ahab's Crosshairs by now; it did not kill him the first time, it probably will not kill him now. Karkat might be in the hospital a while, but hey. Better than you.

You take out the Crosshairs, and aim.

16/07/11
"Be the sea dweller with the octet piece."

You are escaping Troll Canada on a space shuttle. Your ability to completely ignore the presence of land dwellers when you're in a bad mood makes this scene rather easy to illustrate.

With your hair brushed down a bit to make sure your usually-concealed fins STAY concealed, and with a fake symbol on your shirt, nobody questions your status as a borderline highblood--as long as you pay for your ticket with cash, not credit. The trick is to hand over your money without even considering it, like there's more where that came from. Hand it over like you know how much you need to pay and you are sure you have enough. Never take it out slowly and carefully, like you need to check just to be sure you have enough. Even if you really AREN'T sure you have enough.

You actually have no idea if the way in which you hand cash over makes a difference, but in your head it does. Even if you are nearly broke (which you are), you have to handle your business like a highblood. You have to handle it like a winner.

Because you ARE a highblood. You are a fucking sea dweller. You are a royal troll, the terror of the sea. That is how it was, thousands upon thousands of sweeps ago, even if all but a few have forgotten it. IRIS is here to remind the rest.

Yes. You are a highblood.

You are still working on the "winner" part.

This? Is a setback. A minor setback, really. IRIS has had worse setbacks. But the fact that IRIS still exists, after nearly two hundred sweeps, is in itself a victory of sorts. Right? Sure. You count that as a victory. On the cosmic scale of Winning and Losing, IRIS is still tipped slightly on the winning side. And if IRIS is, then so are you.

What did you really lose today, anyway? A building. A couple of hostages you had had for less than a night anyway. A few supplies and personal possessions among the members. And...

Well.

Vriska was never really a member of IRIS, anyway. She is a land dweller. She was helpful while she lasted, but too dangerous to keep forever. When IRIS takes over the empire, if she were still associated with it, she would probably tear it apart in order to scramble up to the top. She treats her life like a game, after all. She would be bored with victory. She would decide her own allies were bonus bosses. Or something appropriately game-themed, you have no idea. You do not play games.

She is an unstable ally and despite her uses, she is better off legislacerated. She does not know enough about IRIS to be a threat if she tells them what she knows. And then she will die and no longer be a threat. This is better.

Even if you will lose access to her non-IRIS web of informant "friends."

Even if you will no longer have the luxury of simply hypnotizing highbloods to do IRIS's bidding.

Even if you will miss the infuriating way she taunts you for your (completely rational) paranoia.

Even if you will always live with the knowledge that she went to the gallows thinking she never even had a hope of winning the game of life.

Kind of like you, before IRIS.

Glub.

Okay. Changing trains of thought. You are on a shuttle headed to Surrogia. IRIS has several secure bases where you and the other members can hide. Assuming the miserable fucking traitor trash ninjaquatics haven't found it yet. But you will not know if they have until the day the threshecutioners burst in and arrest everybody. Until then, you have to assume they are secure.

Wait, no. You do NOT have to assume they are secure. Fuck that, you are gonna have all those bases relocated ASAP. So.

But in the meantime, you have to get all the Troll Canada refugees somewhere safe.

Then start contacting other operatives, see if you can find out what other info the legislacerators have on IRIS; the teal blood that grabbed Vriska was not surprised to see the rest of you there, after all, and even recognized you personally. ("Mr. Mint Plum Surprise"? Really? That was the best codename she could invent for you?)

Then try to get in contact with this Eridan Ampora. See if he is already part of a Surrogian tributary of IRIS, and if not, recruit him. And get a look at his rifle. Oh cod, if he actually has Ahab's Crosshairs... That would just be... Yeah. Wow. Cod. That would. Wow. You have GOT to get your claws on that. You just saw a freaking ghost knock-off of the Crosshairs, just imagine what the real deal is like. Even getting a chance to TOUCH Ahab's Fucking Crosshairs would just be... Me-yoww.

Yeah. Uh. You... probably could have come up with a more sophisticated way to put that, but yeah.

And then, once the pressing business is taken care of--once you have gotten somewhere safe and gotten in contact with Ampora...

(You are going to regret this so much.)

Then.

Then...

Then, Sharpeye Sharklaw shall mount the daring rescue mission of Marquise Mindfang.

You are a terrible, terrible leader. Using IRIS to rescue a land dweller because you fucking pity her. Terrible, terrible, TERRIBLE leader.

Unless, of course, you win.

Vriska had better make herself useful.

Transition combo half complete, and for once with the right sea dweller. We're making this happen.

16/07/11
"===>"


But the drive is long and uneventful.

It is hard to stop your mind from wandering.

And hard to fight nostalgia.

You try not to think about the past. You try not to dwell on reminders and trinkets.

But addiction is a powerful thing.

This is a perfect opportunity to attempt a VISUALLY-DRIVEN 2x TRANSITION COMBO. Let's do it.

16/07/11
"Kanaya: Beat self up over stupid slip."


Dumb, dumb, dumb. When you were talking to Jhonen, you did the 8 thing.

You picked up the 8 thing for a few sweeps, when you were younger, whenever you talked to Vriska. Because you knew she liked it when other people copied her quirk. But you have not done the 8 thing since... well. Since Vriska moved out.

Or at least, you have tried not to. You have been attempting to break the habit for, oh, three or four sweeps now. You really do want to stop. But addiction is a powerful thing.

You try not to think about it. It was only one 8. Instead, you try to think about the drive.

It is a long drive to your destination--an artificial cavern sheltering the young mother grub hatched from your lusus's matriorb. She is not old enough to reproduce yet. But when she is, the first batch of eggs she lays will come from the incestuous slurry formed by the genetic material donated before she reached fertility. So you need to get her all the genetic material she needs now.

You are part of an ambitious project: the artificial evolution of your species. The objective is to make all trolls sun-proof, like you. Ancient records indicate that your species may have engaged in such an artificial evolution project in the past, so hypothetically it is possible; but then again, these same ancient records believed that the occasional accidental Gl'bgolyb-induced genocides were caused by an unseen angry god purging the world of wicked souls. In other words, they had no clue what they were talking about.

But the science behind forced evolution is solid, and Surrogia is a perfect planet on which to make it take place. Every wiggler hatched from this mother grub will be directly descended from a sun-proof troll. Once the wigglers pupate and complete their cavern trials, they will emerge onto Surrogia's blisteringly sunny surface. Those that have inherited immunity to sunlight will live; those that have not will not last long before succumbing to sunburns. Surrogia's sun is gentle enough that adult trolls, being more durable, can survive it for a while; but delicate newly-hatched children would be doomed without an inborn immunity.

When the sun-proof young trolls reach adulthood, they will mingle and breed with the rest of the troll population. When they make their required filial donations, the drones that collect the material of these trolls will take it to the mother grub on Surrogia's light side, and the process will repeat; the new race of trolls will achieve greater genetic diversity, while at the same time any genetic mixes that do not produce immunity to sunlight will be culled from the young.

The long-term plans for this project are uncertain. Either it will continue until the sun-proof race is fairly large, and then their genetic material will be sent to Alternian mother grubs, thus letting them permanently mingle with the rest of the race and cementing their status as one of several troll races--land dweller, sea dweller, and sun dweller; or else, as the current mother grubs get old and die, their matriorbs will be placed on Surrogia's light side, turning at least half of Surrogia into the new planet of children, and causing all future generations of the troll species to be sun-proof.

But all of that will be far in the future. You may very well be dead of old age--along with the current reigning powers--before the race's fate must be decided.

This is merely the first step in the project.

And the project is what you SHOULD be thinking about.

15/07/11
"===>"

But you will not. At least, not yet.

You will come back in a couple of perigees or so.

After the initial denial has turned to hurt.

After the hurt has turned to full heartbreak.

After the heartbreak has turned to resentment.

After the resentment has turned to hatred.

And if, by then, it has not turned to hatred, you will attempt to push it the rest of the way, or else give her up for a lost cause and never return.

This is how you operate. You are trying to create a new race, after all. Swing by them once for a red donation, leave them, break them, come back later for a black donation, and abandon them for good. Swift and efficient, no strings attached.

You cannot stay with her anyway. You have an errand to complete. A young mother grub needs your genetic donation.

15/07/11
"Kanaya: Seduce Fina again."

She is calling to you from the shade of the entrance to the ruins. It is probably the closest she has gotten to sunlight since she got here, whenever that was.

She is out there just to look for you.

You consider going back to her.

You could, easily.

VERY easily. She is quite flushed for you. You work fast.

15/07/11
"Jhonen: Update other friend."

Luckily, she is actually on. She is almost never actually on. You usually end up leaving her messages in the hopes that she will see them the next time she signs in.

You have only met her in person twice. The first time, she came over to your current hive a few days after you moved in, totally unannounced, and just introduced herself. Considering that she lives nowhere near you, it was about the weirdest welcome wagon you have ever heard of. The other time was when she left for Surrogia, because you went to the station with her to see her off. But you have been staying in contact via Trollian since you met.

At least until she moved to Surrogia's light side. Since then, you have only caught her online a handful of times. What luck!

jhonenEgbert [JE] began trolling kanayaMaryam [KM]

JE: hi kanaya!
KM: Hello Jhonen
KM: What A Pleasant Surprise

JE: yeah, you too.
JE: it's like the stars aligned or something, hehe.

KM: I Suppose I Am Not On Very Frequently
JE: yeah, true.
JE: then it's REALLY lucky i got you now.

KM: Indeed
KM: Is This Regarding Your Emigration From Alternia Tomorrow

JE: yeah!!
JE: so you got the messages i've been leaving you?

KM: I Did
KM: When Exactly Are You Leaving

JE: i'm heading to the station first thing in the evening.
KM: Forgive Me But It Is Hard For Me To Keep Track Of Mornings And Evenings Without Additional Reference
KM: Given That There Is No Visual Way To Mark The Passage Of Time Here

JE: oh! right, sorry.
JE: i'll just send you a schedule with the official times.

KM: That Would Be Helpful
-- jhonenEgbert [JE] sent kanayaMaryam [KM] the file "pchooooo.txt" --
JE: it's got my flight times and the shuttle station locations.
KM: What Does The Pchooooo Mean
JE: that's the sound of the space shuttle taking off.
KM: I See
JE: so will i get to see you tomorrow?
JE: if i'm not interrupting your busy luxplorer work.

KM: Not At All
KM: I Just Have To Complete An Errand First
KM: However I Should Have Plenty Of Time To Reach The Dark Side Before You Arrive
KM: And Then I Only Need To Take A Transpod To Reach Your Station

JE: what's a transpod?
KM: It Is A Form Of Rapid Transit
KM: It Can Cross The Dark Side Of Surrogia In Minutes

JE: wow! cool!
KM: It Is
KM: Will You Be Traveling With Others

JE: yeah, a couple of church friends and another friend.
JE: don't mess with them, ok?

KM: Why Would I Mess With Them
JE: you know what i mean!
KM: Okay I Will Try To Control Myself
KM: But You Know What Happens When I Get My Game On

JE: haha, i'll warn them.
JE: but seriously, this is our first time off alternia.
JE: don't scare them.

KM: Of Course Not
KM: I Will Endeavor To Keep My Game Off
KM: Just For You

JE: thanks!!
KM: Youre Welcome
JE: so see you when i get there.
KM: Indeed
KM: I Will Head To The Dark Side As Fast As Possible
KM: But I Apologize Ahead Of Time If I Am A Bit L8
KM: Sorry
KM: *Late

JE: no problem!
JE: we don't really have any firm plans yet, so we don't have to be anywhere fast.
JE: but i'm trying to meet up with another friend.
JE: do you remember equius?

KM: Yes
KM: We Talk Sometimes

JE: oh, cool! i didn't know that.
JE: anyway, we're trying to meet with him.
JE: and his robot. it's being possessed by a sea dweller ghost!

KM: Really
JE: yeah, it's crazy!
KM: I Was Unaware That Sea Dwellers Could Become Ghosts
JE: me too.
JE: she's trying to kill equius, but i don't think she'll get very far.

KM: Oh Dear
JE: yeah.
JE: but other than that, she's ok for a sea dweller.

KM: It Sounds Like We Will Be Quite An Interesting Little Party
JE: it's gonna be GREAT!
JE: i should probably try to get some sleep before tomorrow evening.
JE: (it's already the middle of the day here!)

KM: Thats A Good Idea
KM: We Can Catch Up More When We Meet

JE: ok.
JE: bye, kanaya!

KM: Good Day Jhonen

jhonenEgbert [JE] ceased trolling kanayaMaryam [KM]


This is going to be so great! Tomorrow, you are going to be moving to Surrogia, meeting up with a couple of friends you have not seen in a sweep, talking to a sea dweller robot ghost, AND finally finding out Daivat's blood color. It is going to be so cool. Maybe you could even meet Karkat Vantas!

Which would be an absolutely silly thing to think if it were not for the fact that in one of his letters, he suggested that he maybe might not totally be completely opposed to the idea of the possibility of potentially meeting you in person at some unspecified point in the hypothetical future.

Everything is awesome.

14/07/11
"Jhonen: Investigate, paranormally."

JE: so you're actually a real ghost??
EZ: yez
EZ: obviouzly

JE: does equius know you're haunting him?
EZ: no and he'z not goin to find out zoon
EZ: ill be deletin thiz log

JE: well, fine.
JE: i'll just tell him when i see him tomorrow.

EZ: and ill have abandrowned thiz ztupid robot by then
EZ: and might even have killed the zweaty azzhole

JE: are you really that close to killing him?
JE: i mean, i'm pretty sure that equius is strong enough to defend himself from his own robot!

EZ: hey
EZ: zhut up
EZ: look do you plan on talkin at me much longer

JE: well, kinda.
JE: if i can.
JE: i've never talked to a real ghost before!

EZ: then im chanjin accountz
EZ: all thiz blue iz makin me zick


equiusZahhak [EZ] ceased trolling jhonenEgbert [JE]

laticaLacert [LL] began trolling jhonenEgbert [JE]

LL: there
JE: can ghosts actually feel sick?
LL: yez
JE: like, literally?
LZ: yez literally nauzeouzly zick
JE: wow, cool!
LL: cool
LL: are you zeriouz
LL: what are you on like forty capzulez

JE: no, only two.
JE: sorry, i just think ghosts and stuff are really neat.
JE: i'd really like to be a paranormal investigator! but i don't think i can.

LL: glub glub nobody carez
LL: the only reazon im talkin to you iz cauze i dont have zalmon elze to talk to ok
LL: zo try not to make me regret it much moray

JE: ok, ok! sorry!
JE: but if you're that desperate i guess you could always talk to sarada (haha)

LL: even if it waz zentient i wouldnt want anyfin to do with it
LL: itd be a freak
LL: you know what the zweaty azzhole haz in thiz robot

JE: what?
LL: a program to make it love him
LL: in a robot that cant even think
LL: the program cant even do anythin and he ztill put it in

JE: awww.
LL: what do you mean awww
JE: that's so sad!
LL: more like ewww
LL: itz not zad itz dizguztin
LL: i mean zarada doeznt even have a brain what kind a troll would program a unzentient robot to love him

JE: a really lonely one suffering from a lack of emotional intimacy?
LL: or a atroutciouzly creepy one incapable a maintainin a relationzhip with a real troll
LL: ZING

JE: umm...
JE: how about we compromise on a lonely and slightly creepy troll suffering from a lack of emotional intimacy because he's not currently in a relationship with a real troll, and move on.

LL: thatz biazed to your zide and you know it
JE: let's move on!!
LL: fin
LL: fuckin land dwellerz never want to admit when a zea dweller haz a point

JE: hey!
LL: yeah i zaid that what are you gonna do about it
LL: you gonna kill me again
LL: ZING AGAIN

JE: ok, are you saying "zing" or "sing"?
LL: im sayin zing jejuz why would i zay sing thatz juzt ztupid
JE: uh, do you think you could get back to telling me stuff about being a ghost?
JE: instead of just insulting me?

LL: oh iz that what we were doin i thought you were juzt bein a nuizance
LL: what the fuck would you want to know about bein a ghozt anyway

JE: well, i guess first of all...
JE: what's up with the haunting?
JE: i mean, is haunting some sort of ghost instinct that all ghosts want to do?

LL: if by inztinct you mean dont have a choice
LL: i mean im dead what the fuck elze can i do
LL: pretty much by definition anyfin i do iz hauntin

JE: i guess i didn't think of it that way.
LL: cauze what would i be doin if i waznt hauntin id be in the afterlife iz what
JE: oh! so the afterlife is real?
JE: i mean beyond just being a ghost.

LL: i dont actually have a clue im the zame az i ever waz except i dont have a body
LL: zo no pearlz a otterworldly zpiritual wizdom from me or nothin

JE: that kinda sucks.
LL: yeah kinda a letdrown here i am dead and i dont even get zpiritual wizdom
JE: but, still, why haunting?
JE: i mean of the bad kind! why don't you do good haunting?
JE: you could go find your friends and lovers and try to wrap up loose ends instead.
JE: but ghosts almost never do that!
JE: it's always revenge or being a nuisance instead!
JE: why?

LL: cauze ive got a fuckin bone to pick with the zweaty azzhole
LL: he KILLED me
LL: revenje takez priority over everyfin elze

JE: yeah, but, why do ghosts never let go of that?
JE: if somebody kills them i mean.

LL: how the fuck zhould i know about the rezt a them im the only ghozt i know
LL: but az for me what am i zuppozed to do
LL: maybe let go at the grudje and MOVE ON WITH MY LIFE HUH
LL: im DEAD
LL: i literally lozt glubbin EVERYTHIN and im never gonna get it back zo how am i zuppozed to let that go

JE: well...
JE: at least you get to be a ghost.
JE: which is kinda cool.

LL: bein a ghozt zuckz roe
LL: and even if it didnt id ztill be tryin to kill the azzhole
LL: do unto otherz az they have done unto you

JE: ok, you're quoting the sufferer at me now, i lose.
LL: oh zo thatz the trump card
LL: gotta remember that

JE: but i still think you should reconsider this revenge thing.
JE: equius really isn't all that bad!

LL: do i have to reztate my pozition again here
JE: ok yes i know he killed you.
JE: but it's not like it was personal.
JE: he's killed LOTS of trolls!
JE: we kinda had to kill a lot when we were growing up.

LL: iz that zuppozed to help
LL: hey latica your death waz totally imperzonal and random coulda happened to anybody
LL: nothin zpecial about you at all
LL: you didnt die cauze you dezerved it but juzt cauze you got in hiz wave
LL: wow what a big rereef

JE: sorry! again.
JE: can i ask another question about being a ghost?

LL: im zure you would anyway
JE: hehe probably.
JE: how did you possess sarada? i've never heard of a ghost possessing a robot before.
JE: except for a few really high psychics that could sometimes turn machines on and off.

LL: i dunno it juzt happened
JE: or psychics that can move things around to look like they're possessed.
LL: i cant do that either im not even pzychic
JE: oh.
JE: that was gonna be another question.

LL: what
JE: how a sea dweller got to be a strong enough psychic to be a ghost.
LL: i dunno im not pzychic
LL: what you mean you gotta be a pzychic to be a ghozt

JE: usually, yeah!
JE: being a ghost is pretty much only something a psychic can do.
JE: at least, that's what everything i've read says.

LL: but what about the gamblignant inkbeard
LL: you know the ghozt walkin around lookin for hiz head
LL: he waz a zea dweller no way waz he pzychic

JE: that sounds like it's probably a fakey folk tale.
JE: i've never read about any historically documented sightings of a sea dweller ghost.

LL: zo itz not real
LL: aw fuck

JE: sorry.
JE: but that still doesn't explain you, huh?

LL: guezz i had zome weird latent mutant powerz or zomethin i dunno
JE: you really are actively possessing sarada, right? not just making her move like a puppet with now-un-latented psychic powers?
LL: yeah actually pozzezzin
LL: i guezz
LL: i dont even know how it happened really
LL: firzt i waz dyin and then there waz thiz light

JE: you saw the tunnel of light??
LL: i guezz thatz what it waz
JE: did you see the darkness at the end of the tunnel?!
LL: yeah
LL: like a black zpot way off at the end a the tunnel

JE: cooooooooool!
LL: yeah whatever
LL: but then there waz thiz
LL: i dunno
LL: thiz
LL: void

JE: void?
JE: other than the black spot?

LL: yeah like right bezide me
LL: thiz weird void
LL: pullin me in
LL: like there waz thiz black zpot way in the diztance but a black hole bezide me too
LL: and i juzt went into it
LL or waz zucked into it i guezz iz what really happened
LL: and then i waz inzide thiz ztupid robot

JE: so
JE: there's a... black hole void inside sarada??
JE: what kind of void?

LL: how the fuck zhould i know i didnt get that otterworldly wizdom crap remember
JE: oh, yeah. but i thought you'd know something since you're INSIDE her!
LL: i dunno the voidz not even there anymore
LL: i filled it i guezz

JE: huh.
JE: so does that mean you're stuck in sarada?

LL: no
LL: well
LL: im kinda
LL: attached
LL: like i can move outzide a it but im ztill connected and controllin it
LL: i think itd be hard to break the connection but i can

JE: like a real black hole!
JE: hahaha.
JE: you're stuck in sarada's gravitational field!

LL: i guezz whatever what difference doez thiz make
JE: ooooooh.
JE: this is so cool!
JE: do you think we could talk more about this when i get to surrogia tomorrow?
JE: i've never read about anything like this before.
JE: we might be on the verge of a breakthrough in paranormal investigation!

LL: why zhould i do it
JE: because i thought you didn't have anybody else to talk to.
LL: well
LL: therez that

JE: besides, how would you like to be a FAMOUS ghost?
JE: you might be the first documented sea dweller ghost AND the first ghost to completely possess a machine!

LL: well when you put it that way
LL: but im not gonna be in zarada after tunaight
LL: im gonna wreck it and leave

JE: wreck it?!
LL: yeah
JE: come on, don't do that!
LL: why the fuck zhouldnt i
JE: because equius didn't kill your friends, he just killed you.
JE: so shouldn't you leave his friends out of it?

LL: oh you are glubbin kiddin me
LL: dont tell me you treat thiz piece a flotzam like a real troll too

JE: some of equius's habits kind of rub off on you after a while.
LL: maybe on YOU but not on ME
LL: look on the bright zide if im deztroyin hiz robot im not actively tryin to kill him iznt that what you wanted

JE: yeah, i guess so. but still.
LL: fuckin land dwellerz alwayz wantin more more more
LL: it iznt enough for you that im temporarily zparin your friend you want to zave hiz ztupid pretend matezprit too

JE: sarada is NOT his pretend matesprit!
JE: equius would NEVER do something weird like that!

LL: maybe therez thiz thing called COMPROMIZE that zome a uz have to do to get even part a what we want
LL: yeah zure itz not a fake matezprit and im not a ghozt
LL: have you ever heard the way he talkz to it when hez alone

JE: um.
JE: no.
JE: i don't think i want to know.

LL: good i dont want to talk about it
LL: i guezz ill ztill talk to you tomorrow or zomethin when i find a new robot to pozzezz or whatever

JE: ok.
JE: it was interesting hearing about you!
JE: even if i still don't like what you're trying to do to equius.

LL: yeah you juzt try to ztop me
JE: i will.
JE: but i still want to hear other ghost stuff.

LL: fine fine talk to you later
JE: bye latica!
LL: fuck you

laticaLacert [LL] ceased trolling jhonenEgbert [JE]


That was just about the coolest conversation you ever had. Even if that ghost IS trying to kill Equius. You figure she will not get very far, though. ("She"? Latica is a girl name, right?) Breaking Sarada is more likely, but, Sarada breaks a lot anyway, so Equius will probably be able to fix her.

You are definitely going to try to troll him again later, though. This is pretty much the kind of thing he needs to be warned about.

In the meantime, though, you have another friend on Surrogia you need to troll.

10/07/11
"Jhonen: Update Equius."

Equius used to be your neighbor.

And he is pretty much the most awesome guy you know.

Well, besides Daivat. But Daivat is awesome in a cool way. Equius is awesome in a hot way.

He is the kind of guy that you think would be totally perfect as a movie star. Not one of the stuck-up, pretty-but-snobby movie stars, but one of the GOOD ones. A movie star who excels both at performing action sequences and at seeming strong yet merciful. He could be in some sort of movie that involved a good troll stuck in a bad place who has to be heroic. With explosions and plane crashes. Maybe the whole thing could take place on a plane! It would be a really cool movie.

But whenever you mentioned the possibility of acting to him, he would chide you for being "even more e%ceptionally f001ish than usual" and tell you to stop joking. Although you were not joking.

He is just like the main character in the hypothetical movie you think he should star in: a good troll stuck in a bad place. Except the "bad place" is both the low end of the hemospectrum and his own mind. His blue blood means that he will be naturally relegated to manual labor jobs. But his own attitude is what is going to keep him stuck there, when you think he is really qualified to do so much more than that. He should really be like an expert roboticist or something, or whatever you call people who do lots of cool robot stuff.

Or maybe a doctor--you once saw him remove a tumor in someone's brain using nothing but a pickaxe, a box of tacks, and a funny-shaped rock. True, that troll died. But it took four whole nights and the tumor would have killed him anyway.

Or he could be a movie star. Duh.

But seriously, he COULD be anything, and he probably won't. It just makes you feel so bad for him, 'cause he really deserves more. There is not much you can do for him, but you wish you could at least be there for him...

Okay, okay, so you actually have this crazy mad flushed crush on him. No shame in crushing on your neighbor. Even if he has not been your neighbor for almost a sweep now.

But who knows? Soon, maybe he will be again.

In any case, you need to remind him that you are coming to Surrogia tomorrow! You sign onto your fancy new adult account to do so. Oooh, and you get to use your symbol thing that you only use with him, the neat -/\- thing to go with his awesome +--) thing. You are not sure what yours means, but at least it matches his.

jhonenEgbert [JE] began trolling equiusZahhak [EZ]

JE: -/\- hey equius!
JE: -/\- equius?
JE: -/\- did you leave the computer on again?
JE: -/\- hahaha, well i guess you'll see this when you get home!
JE: -/\- i just wanted to remind you that i'm coming to surrogia tomorrow.
JE: -/\- we're still gonna meet in a gold quadrant to have lunch and hang out and stuff, right?
JE: -/\- in the, uhhh...
JE: -/\- black gold quadrant?
JE: -/\- (that's what you call the southwest one, right? i'm trying to learn surrogia's map!)
JE: -/\- i found out all the restaurants that give a discount to clergy so we're good to go.
JE: -/\- and you can finally meet daivat!
JE: -/\- he's my friend that you didn't like the sound of because he hides his color, remember?
JE: -/\- but he won't be hiding it tomorrow anymore.
JE: -/\- and we've met a few times so i already know he's not a sea dweller, so you should be ok with him.
JE: -/\- (personally, i'm almost completely sure he's an indigo blood.)
JE: -/\- (he's into the same weird clown cult as the other subjugglator you always complain about.)
JE: -/\- (gamezy, right?)
JE: -/\- (and he gets angry really easily sometimes.)
JE: -/\- (but i guess i'll find out tomorrow.)
JE: -/\- hey, if we're in a gold quadrant, maybe you can invite your moirail and we all can hang out together.
JE: -/\- i've always wanted to meet her!
JE: -/\- don't worry, i'll be completely respectful.

EZ: oh my cod do you never zhut up
JE: -/\- ... huh?
JE: -/\- ...equius?

EZ: at firzt you were kind a funny but now youre juzt annoyin
EZ: cant you zee the zweaty azzhole iznt on
EZ: zo fuck off already
EZ: jejus

JE: -/\- ummmm...?!
JE: -/\- who are you?

EZ: fuck
EZ: forget it i zhouldnt have even zaid anythin

JE: -/\- seriously!
JE: -/\- who are you and what are you doing on equius's computer?

EZ: i
EZ: im hiz future doom

JE: -/\- excuse me, WHAT?!
JE: -/\- who the hell are you and what the hell are you doing to equius?!

EZ: im
EZ: zarada

JE: -/\- zarada??
JE: -/\- you mean
JE: -/\- sarada?
JE: -/\- his robot??

EZ: ezzentially
EZ: or more like
EZ: im the uninbaited hive guezt

JE: -/\- uhhhh what??
JE: -/\- start making sense RIGHT NOW!
JE: -/\- what do you think you're doing with equius?

EZ: im gobin to do what he did to me
EZ: im latica lacert

JE: -/\- who?
EZ: what do you mean who
EZ: that waz the big dramatic reveal
EZ: you mean he haznt mentunaed me

JE: -/\- uh, no?
EZ: FUCK
EZ: look
EZ: im a fuckin ghozt

JE: -/\- are you trying to say he killed you?
EZ: YEZ nubhornz he killed me
JE: -/\- ohhhh.
JE: -/\- this would have been a lot easier if you had just said that first!

EZ: glub you
JE: -/\- heheheh.
JE: you're a sea dweller?
JE: or were, i guess?

EZ: no fuckin duh jeniuz
JE: ohhh.
JE: that explains why he hasn't mentioned you.

EZ: cod
EZ: youre az bad az him

JE: hey, he's not that bad!
JE: don't say stuff like that about him!

EZ: he FUCKIN KILLED ME
JE: oh.
JE: right.
JE: sorry.

10/07/11
"Hellza Jeffan: Update Suweet Broski."

hellzaJeffan [HJ] began trolling hisImperiousCondescension [HIC]

HJ: dude....... i JUSST finished getting torlled by daivit stridr
HJ: dude???
HJ: HALLOOOOO?
HJ: are you EVEN there man
HJ: dude
HJ: hey
HJ: DUDE
HJ: FUCCCCK man HOW can you BE not THERE like that when
HJ: Im TRYNG to TALK AT you lik this
HJ: are you aseelp??
HJ: SHIIIT what is wrog with you are you tryig to talk to somboby in a dreams AGAIN sit its like a fukcing adicton
HJ: addicton with yo and the dreamig
HJ: youve GOT TO STOPP IT MAN
HJ: maybe i shold go to SLEP and TELL you to WAKE UP so you can see THIS MESAGE and me saying that you NEED TO STOP GOIG TO SLEEEP LIKE THIS when its the MIDLE OF THE NIGT!!!!!1!!!1
HJ: oh wate its alreddy day wher you are, isn't it/
HJ: HE HE HE
HJ: opps my bad
HJ: I'l talk to you LATR dude.!


hellzaJeffan [HJ] attempted to cease trolling hisImperiousCondescension [HIC]

HJ: fuuuck I KEEP FORGETING it
HJ: that i canno't stop troling
HJ: you by MYSELF
HJ: fuck mannnn i cant even TURN OF my compoter like thiss
HJ: i'm gonna to go to go to sleep
HJ: and TELL you to wake up
HJ: so I can TURN OF MY COMPUTOR111


This always happens man.

He goes to sleep and leaves his computer logged into Trollian.

And then you troll him and can't stop. So your computer keeps trolling him and trolling him and trolling him until he wakes up and signs off.

It keeps happening!!

10/07/11
"Be Daivat, update Suweet Broski and Hellza Jeffan."

After cleaning your shit up and tossing out the poisoned Faygo, you do just that. From Alternia, you can only directly contact Hellza, but he can pass your message on to Suweet.

They are pretty cool guys, and you mean "cool" in the most ironic way possible. Not that they are TRYING to be ironically cool. But that does not make a huge difference to you. If the shit hits the whirling device tomorrow, you need an escape plan. Suweet and Hellza could provide it for you.

Fortunately, they like your art. And your jams. Really, you have creativity oozing out of you like grubsauce out of a squashed wiggler. You do comics, a little music, and some of the sickest slam poetry this side of Oscillia Beta. And occasionally you have this strange, overwhelming urge to try your hand at writing a movie script of a humorous and amorous nature. So far you have been able to resist the urge.

You check the time zones; the sun is almost up in the part of Troll Britain where Hellza Jeffan lives. He is almost guaranteed to still be awake.

terminallyGodless [TG] began trolling hellzaJeffan [HJ]

TG: sup
TG: just getting on to update you
HJ: dude...
HJ: whear have you even
HJ: BEEN all this TIME??? ????

TG: man you know exactly where ive been
HJ: yeah but DAAAAAAAYUUUNM
HJ: i havet heard from y ou SINCE WHEN?!!?!

TG: yeah i know
TG: sorry ive been busy
HJ: FUCK man!!
TG: ive been packing and shit
TG: getting ready to head off planet
TG: jump outta the nest and flap my little bird wings and fly off into the moonset
TG: take off into outer space
TG: 69ldly go where no birds gone before
HJ: man that's CRAZY!! your off to
HJ: be ALL adult and GROWN UP

TG: pretty much
TG: its a crazy time
TG: getting tears in my eyes and everything
HJ: MAN i KNOWWWWW its like
HJ: all SO EMOTIONAL and shit.
HJ: I'm about to fuckig cry on YOUR bejalf.

TG: nah dude its cool
TG: im a man
TG: i can handle my own crying
HJ: ok butt ONE QUESTION
TG: yeah
HJ: WHAT colour are yo criying//???
TG: dude
TG: FUCK YOU
TG: I cry pure undiluted organic home grown rain69ws
HJ: shIiIiIiIiIiIiIIiTtTtTttttttt!!!!1
TG: its pretty much amazing in every way imaginable
HJ: HE HE HE yah i guess
HJ: guess it realy IS
HJ: so
HJ: your'e heading to SUCKROGIA right??

TG: yeah
HJ: shiiiit why would you even DO something like that?
TG: hey its not like im a69ut to join the rebellion
TG: i mean i didnt start out on tbritain
TG: and ive got no reason to have anything against the empress
TG: yet
HJ: but fuuuuck COME ON everybody
HJ: knows she'ss a fakey FAKE pretendar

TG: shrug
HJ: JEGUS stride sometims i WONDER abot you
TG: look if it ever comes to open rebellion ill be waving the british flag like im trying to fly away with it
TG: probably
HJ: PROBAPLY
HJ: he says PROPABLY i can't even BELIEVE
HJ: what you are SAYING to me

TG: hey like 96 percent of the empire is still associated with the empress and i need to be where the action is
TG: what have you guys done for me lately
HJ: touchee
HJ: but man if shit doewnt go down the way youre WANTING It to
HJ: go, then you're ALWAYS!!! welcome on tbritain.
HJ: i don't Even have to cleer that with broski, its a fucking FACT.

TG: cool
TG: and i might be needing that soon
TG: maybe tomorrow
TG: just in case how soon do you think you could pick up a defector from surrogia
HJ: sit, we've already GOT a spy there
HJ: why???
HJ: Are you EXPECTING something to hapen??????

TG: maybe
HJ: what!?
TG: cant tell you
TG: itll ruin my mysterious image
HJ: fuck stide you're image is FUCKED as soon as you LEAVE any way
HJ: iff youre takling about your WIERD BLACK guy MYSTERY blod image

TG: thats the one yeah
TG: oh and THANK you SO MUCH FOR REMINDING ME AGAIN
TG: G9D DAMN EVERY69DY FEELS LIKE REMINDING ME T9NIGHT
TG: SHIT
HJ: Heeeeeehehehe
TG: Y9U KN9W WHAT
TG: 9K
TG: when i get to surrogia
TG: ill contact you and let you know if im gonna be needing an emergency one way ticket to the land of crumpets and monocles
HJ: shiiiit we dont all wear moncolos
TG: youve got a fucking monocle hidden in your sock drawer dont deny it
HJ: FUUUCK how'd did you even KNOW about
HJ: the SOCK drawer
HJ: ????

TG: broski complains a69ut your fucking sock drawer all the time
TG: what the hell is even up with you and socks
HJ: he he he
TG: yeah thats kinda what i thought youd say
TG: and you didnt deny the crumpets accusation
HJ: dude... do NOT dis the crompets
HJ: crompets are fucking amazzing

TG: ill take your word for it
HJ: dude you have GOTT TO TRY them
HJ: somtime

TG: sure
TG: know any import stores on surrogia
HJ: fuck no
TG: then ill just have to live wondering a69ut the mystery of crumpets
TG: but anyway yeah ill get in contact
HJ: wit your NEEEWWW USRENAME riiiiight?
TG: yeah that was kinda the point
TG: mask off
TG: shades down
TG: staring you in the fucking eyes my friend
TG: iris to iris
TG: color to colour
TG: youll be meeting him then
TG: the real motherfucking daivat stride
HJ: GOD
HJ: DAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMNNNNN

TG: by the way totally unrelated but
TG: how does broski feel a69ut the grand advisier
HJ: you mean Karkat FUKtas?
TG: that answers that
HJ: YYYYEAH hes pretty much PISSED @t the fact that he sideded with Maggoto
HJ: how moch have you been keepking up with.......
HJ: HISTRORY?

TG: i try to avoid that political shit
HJ: WELL then prepare to be SCHOOL FED
TG: man how the fuck does some69dy even prepare for that sort of thing
HJ: fuck if I KNOW dude
HJ: but after the laste mperor got killed and
HJ: and broski made a bit for the thrown, he would have goten it
HJ: IIIIF fuktas hadnt alreddy declaired he was sidding with maggoto
HJ: it wass becaus OF HIM that the church helpd kikc him and me out to tbritian
HJ: DID YOU NKOW THAT????

TG: what the fuck
TG: you mean the church of the
TG: fuck i dont want to type it
TG: the ss you know
HJ: Sanguine Sufferer??
TG: yeah you mean they were involved in all that crazy political shit
TG: they were behind it
HJ: duhhhhh it's THEMM
HJ: WHO ELS?

TG: i thought it was like
TG: a popular rebellion thing that kept him out until megido took the crown
TG: because of his weird blood
TG: i never heard the church was part of it
HJ: thats BECAUSE it was a fuckig SERKET CONSIRPACY
TG: oh well then that makes perfect fucking sense doesnt it
HJ: i KNOWWWWW
HJ: fuking conspiricys
HJ: hey.......
HJ: your not siding with surrogia BECAUSE of the advisier, right?
HJ: since that would be STUTID

TG: hell fucking NO
TG: i dont buy into any of that shit
TG: im into clown shit man
HJ: he he!!!
TG: so ill contact you tomorrow sometime
TG: ive gotta go finish packing and then get some shut eye but let broski know for me ok
HJ: ooooook!
HJ: se you LATER wingged aviater

TG: after while shelled reptile
HJ: HE HE HE!!!
HJ: i like turtles

TG: i know

terminallyGodless [TG] ceased trolling hellzaJeffan [HJ]


Suweet Broski and Hellza Jeffan are cool in ONLY the most ironic way possible.

And if the Grand Advisier decides he want to feast on a shish kebab of charred Stride ass, then they might be your only hope.

10/07/11
"Be the other mutant blood."

HOLD ON JUST A SECOND!

It does not matter how easy this one looks.

Somehow--SOMEHOW--you WOULD find a way to mess it up.

Be more specific.

04/07/11
"Karkat: Ow."


You are enamored of Eridan's rowdy, no-nonsense brand of ruffianism. His superiority has been clearly established.

Okay, fuck that. He is superior to jack shit.

But still. Holy shit. You cannot remember the last time somebody claimed to both dislike you AND to not want to immediately pull out a pail. Typically the only time you get turned down is by fucking worshippers who would rather die before directing hate at you. Not that you usually even try on worshippers. If you know beforehand that they are into that bullshit, then you do not want anything to do with them. But sometimes it happens accidentally.

But anyway.

This is definitely a rare occurrence. A very, very rare occurrence.

And this turn of events completely enrages you.

First you run all over the gold quadrant making a fool of yourself while Eridan fucks up your quarters; then Eridan completely and thoroughly black blocks you RIGHT before the main event; and THEN he suckerpunches you in the snout.

Er, nose.

There are NO WORDS for how much you hate Eridan right now.

<3<

04/07/11
"Eridan: Use Karkat's own sickle to cut off his horns nubs."

No way! Do you want to invoke the wrath of the strife deck even more?

You can seriously mess yourself up by using weapons that you do not have a strife card for. You are not quite sure how bad the consequences are, but that is because you have avoided having to find out in the past.

You are already getting all sorts of insane error messages for punching Karkat without having a fistkind card. Usually if you want to use your own fists for weapons, you can get away with it by just flailing violently. That way, the strife deck accepts it as accidental combat instead of true strife. But that was a legitimate punch. No loopholes on this one.

Having never before so blatantly broken the strife deck mechanics, you have no idea what will happen to you now. But you are not about to use ANOTHER weapon that is not in your deck. The sickle is out of the question.

Besides, Karkat's little nubs look stupid enough already; if he did not have ANY horns, he would look like a hideous mutant freak. Which would actually be appropriate, since his exterior would match his interior. But do YOU want to have a flat-out ugly troll in one of your quadrants? No, you do not. Not that you are picky, but if you have a choice in the matter, you want your kismesis to look presentable.

You grab a couple of harpoons and your rifle and start hunting for your glasses. It sounds like Karkat is still preoccupied with his snout. Er, nose. Hopefully he is finally running out of whatever insane energy kept him going after you SHOT HIM POINT-BLANK WITH AHAB'S CROSSHAIRS.

What the fuck is up with him anyway.

04/07/11
"Eridan: Establish superiority."

04/07/11
"===>"

IT'S
UGH
JUST
HOLD ON.
HEY, WHY DON'T YOU GO TERRORIZE THE NEIGHBORS OR SOMETHING?
SCREEEEEE.
NO NO WAIT COME BACK LEAVE THE BUCKETS!
SCREE!
YEAH, WELL FUCK YOU TOO.
OR WHATEVER YOU SAID.


kar wwhat wwas that
THAT WAS...
FUCK, THIS SOUNDS SO STUPID.
MY FUCKING LUSUS
JUST
TRYING TO FUCK THINGS UP OR SOMETHING, I DON'T HAVE A CLUE.

wwhat
wwhat wwas it doin

NOTHING.
FORGET IT.
LET'S JUST PICK UP WHERE WE LEFT OFF.

uh actually kar about that
WHAT?
maybe wwe should be not doin that yet its just im not exactly quite feelin it
OH, FUCK.
I'M GOING TO KILL HIM WHEN HE GETS BACK.
LOOK, IT WAS JUST A LITTLE INTERRUPTION, AND HE'S NOT GOING TO BOTHER US AGAIN.
... AND IF HE DOES, I'M LOCKING HIM IN THE SHOWER FOR A WEEK.


You wonder what a shower is.

no kar its not that its just im pretty shore im not ready to take the divve here
WHAT.
uh
i mean i reely dislike you ok lets just put that out on the table wwhere wwe both can sea it but this is movvin wway too fuckin fast

WHAT
BUT
YOU
WE
IT WAS GOING SO GREAT.

wwell yeah and i think wwevve got some seriously vvolatile chemistry goin on here but i uh im just not ready for a pail ok
BUT
YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE DESPERATE.

wwell
uh
yeah
wwell
i
basically am but
i uh
wwould rather try wwhiting a bit longer before doin this if thats a option i mean if it isnt a option then im good to goby but i wwouldnt be vvery into it you understand

FUCK
BUT THAT DUEL
AND THE STUFF YOU WERE SAYING?

kar youre the carptain a the threshecutioners i wwas tryin to keep me alivve i wwasnt tryin to lead you on on porpoise but its not like i had a shelluvva lot a options
I DON'T BELIEVE IT.
YOU'RE DOING THE STUPID FISH PUN THING WHILE YOU'RE REJECTING ME?

look kar its not rejection its more like deferred acception
I. DON'T. FUCKING. BELIEVE. IT.
kar clam dowwn its not evven you ok its just me i mean wwe havvent haddock lot a time to get to reely hate each other and ivve kinda been under a lot a stress today and i wwas sorta tryin to get in somebodys red zone earlier and i betta my minds still too stuck in pity mode to get a proper hate wworked up and this is gonna be my first time and i think a minnowmum couple a nights to think this ovver wwould help me sort out howw i eel and--
SHUT UP!
JUST
SHUT UP
AND NO MORAY FUCKING FISH PUNS.

moray
WH--
MORE!
FUCK!
I SAID MORE.
FUCK YOU.

but about this
can wwe wwait--

YEAH.
FINE.
FUCK.

ok
good
... but
wwe could
you knoww
set up somethin in a feww nights maybe
i mean like a regular date maybe a duel just gettin to knoww each other better wwhattaya say

HA.
DO YOU THINK YOU'RE GOING TO BE FREE IN A FEW NIGHTS?
OR EVER?

wwhat
so fuck youre sayin my only choices are fill a bucket wwith you or get threshecuted oh isnt that just a perfect fuckin symbol a the corrupt decadent system youre helpin to perpetuate
youre a complete fuckin monster

DAMMIT, YOU ARE *NOT* ALLOWED TO SAY NO PAILS AND THEN TALK LIKE THAT, OK?
NOW YOU'RE JUST BEING A FUCKING TEASE.

ok sorry ill reel it in just tryin to showw im still interested here
but not if im havvin to choose between pails and prison i mean holy fuck kar

NO, IT'S NOT AN EITHER/OR CHOICE.
THE THRESHECUTION'S GOING TO HAPPEN REGARDLESS.
IT'S AN IMMUTABLE PART OF YOUR FUTURE.

wwwwhat
but kar i thought wwe had somethin here

MAYBE WE DO.
AND THAT'S A BIG "MAYBE."
IT'S NOT GOING TO STOP ME FROM DOING MY JOB.
FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH, I'LL WISH YOU LUCK, BUT I'M NOT GIVING YOU ANY.

oh thanks a FUCK of a lot

You do not trust luck. Luck is a fakey imaginary thing and relying on it just leads to pain.

Of course, not believing in luck does not stop you from hoping that, if it is a thing that actually does exist, you have some.

Still, you generally try to assume that you are completely luckless, to make sure you do not rely upon luck.

But however much or little imaginary luck you have, at least you always have very real hope. And that is really all anyone needs.

Hope and the obsessive determination needed to see those hopes fulfilled.

Like the hope that you can escape Karkat in one piece.

Speaking of which, if you want to get out of here, it is pretty clear what your next move has to be.

04/07/11
"===>"

WHERE DID YOU EVEN FIND THOSE?
SCREEEEEE!
I CAN'T UNDERSTAND A FUCKING THING YOU'RE SAYING.

wwhat is this
SCREE!
I CAN NEVER UNDERSTAND YOU, FUCK, WHY CAN'T YOU MAKE AT LEAST VAGUELY COMPREHENSIBLE SOUNDS?
SCREEEE!
OR PANTOMIME, SOMETHING.
NO, NO PANTOMIME, STOP SWINGING THOSE AROUND, THAT'S FUCKING REVOLTING.

kar wwhat the fucks goin on i cant see to the end a my owwn fins

04/07/11
"===>"

The only troll-populated planet that is not under Her Imperious Condescension's rule. You are beginning to think you and Fef might need to bribe somebody to give you a ride there, in order to avoid Karkat if things go badly after this. And things probably will go badly. Your odds are not terribly good, especially if he only wants you because he needs to meet his bucket quota.

You just hope this will be a bit less unpleasant than you suspect it is going to--

Hey, he stopped. Why did he stop? What, are you not good enough for him?! Is it your breath? Your fins? It's your fins, right? Fucking land dwelling--

WHAT THE EVER-LOVING FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING?!
SCREEEEEE!

... wwhat

Do imperial drones go scree?

04/07/11
"Eridan: Notice appearance of shadowy figure."

Why should you care?!

The grand advisier's hand is in a place where nobody's hand should be but yours, you do not have time to worry about any stupid shadowy figOH SHIT OH SHIT OH SHIT

SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT

YOU ARE TOTALLY A HUNDRED PERCENT SURE THAT SHADOWY FIGURE IS ABSOLUTELY DEFINITELY POSITIVELY AN IMPERIAL DRONE DESPITE THE FACT THAT YOU CANNOT SEE IT.

FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK.

Okay. That is that. This thing that is happening with Karkat? It is definitely a thing that is happening. No getting out of it.

You just hope you can get him to agree to return the favor when the drone comes for you. Hey, no big deal. This stuff happens.

"In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and imperial drones." - Troll Emiliano Zapata

Truer words were never spoken.

Nothing for you to do now but lie back, close your eyes, and think of Troll Britain.

03/07/11
"===>"

VERY awkward. VERY AWKWARD.

YOU ARE PRETTY SURE YOU ARE NO LONGER OKAY WITH THIS.

03/07/11
"Sha-la-la la-la-la kiss the boy."

Okay. You can kiss back. Hopefully without gagging. You gagged during your first kiss and you have not exactly had a lot of practice since then, but you hope you will be able to fight down the reflex if it tries to come up. Regardless of how much it would make him hate you, you are pretty sure that you would NOT be improving your romantic or survival chances if you puked on Karkat.

Right. So. To recap what is going on here: Imperious Grand Advisier Karkat Fucking Vantas is all over you like you are the last troll alive and an imperial drone is tapping his foot in the corner. This is a good thing. This is a very good thing. This is an extremely good thing. You should be internally celebrating.

Celebrate, dammit.

... woo hoo.

You wonder why you are not celebrating.

Maybe because you are still scared shitless? Because if anything goes even slightly wrong you are very literally dead? Because even if you survive this, you will be trying to maintain a relationship with somebody who has the resources to squash you like a frog without even having to put any of his many other duties on pause?

Maybe because you do not even hate him that much?

Because you really do not. You dislike him a lot, but you don't DISLIKE-dislike him. Sure, he is a perfect symbol of everything you hate about the oppressive unjust hierarchy, and a great catch for anybody's caliginous quadrant, but. One does not fill a pail with a symbol. And you hardly even know him.

But, of course, that is not about to deter you. You NEED to fill this quadrant. And Karkat is objectively speaking a very good troll to fill it with. And it is not like you have your eye on anybody else.

Well. Not on anybody else you have a shot at, anyway. You have had your eye on a couple dozen trolls, but that is only because you figured that if you keep trying enough trolls eventually one of them will work out.

So you are certainly keeping Karkat as a kismesis, if at all possible. If you can't fight with the one you hate, then hate the one you fight. No problem.

It just makes this slightly awkwwoh cod what is he doing

03/07/11
"===>"

OH COD WHAT--

UH--

Uh...

Okay. This... this is... happening.

Er... good job!

You are not sure if you are okay with this.

You are REALLY, REALLY not sure if you are okay with this.

03/07/11
"===>"

Fixed that for you.

Yeah, you are pretty much doomed.

IS THAT ALL YOU'VE GOT, FINFACE?
lemme up and givve me a fivve second start and ill let you knoww
HARDY HAR.
HOW ABOUT NO.


Why is he asking you for more? What, is he not impressed enough? Fuck, you have never impressed anybody else in a duel, why should Karkat be any different? According to Nepeta he is pretty caliginously experienced, so he probably has insanely high standards.

There is no way you are continuing the fight like this. He has you thoroughly pinned, and you have already attempted the "flail like a dolphin caught in a fishing net" escape tactic.

You consider just leaning up and planting a wet one on his lips, maybe that would distract him; but considering your success rate for passionate kisses today, you doubt that would go well. You can always save that as a last-ditch effort. You only have one other hope.

Flirt your way to safety.

wwell fuck maybe i wwould havve done better if this hadnt basically been rigged for me to fail in the first place
HOW THE FUCK WAS IT RIGGED?
YOU WERE IN MY QUARTERS ALONE TO PREPARE FOR HOW FUCKING LONG?

thats not wwhat i fuckin meant and you knoww it i meant howw any fight a sea dwweller fights is gonna be a upstream fight automatically
THE FACT THAT I KNOW THAT'S NOT THE POINT YOU WERE TRYING TO MAKE DOESN'T CHANGE THE FACT THAT YOU HAD A HELL OF A LOT OF TIME WHEN YOU COULD HAVE BEEN RIGGING TRAPS OR WHATEVER THE FUCK YOU DO.
wwell maybe you wwerent my first fuckin priority did you think a that
OH REALLY.
DO TELL.
WHAT THE HELL COULD YOU HAVE ON YOUR BUSY SCHEDULE THAT RANKS ABOVE KEEPING YOURSELF FROM GETTING THRESHECUTED?

howw about keepin my brothers and sisters from gettin mercilessly legislacerated huh
YOUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS.
HOW CUTE.
DO YOU WEAR THE SAME SIGN?

wwere all pretty much symbolically united under the sign of sea fuckin dwweller solidarity wwhich is somethin you wwouldnt knoww anythin about
I'M MORE UP-TO-DATE ON YOUR SUPPORT GROUP FOR BUTTHURT FINFACES THAN YOU'D THINK.
OH SORRY, I MEANT YOUR SEA DWELLER SUPREMACY MOVEMENT.

i didnt mean that kar and i think you knoww that too
REALLY.
wwho do you stand wwith
WHAT, IS THIS SUPPOSED TO BE A TRICK QUESTION?
I STAND WITH THE ROYALTY AND HER IMPERIOUS CONDESCENSION.

yeah no fuckin duh kar
but are you royalty

... WHAT?
are you
yes or no
easiest fuckin question in the wworld
if you knoww the answwer
are you royalty

...
... GO ON.


"Go on"? As in, he wants you to keep talking? As in, you are actually getting somewhere? As in, the flirting ruse might actually be a success? What the fuck? Is he REALLY that into you?

The thing you don't realize is that for him to be as caliginously experienced as Nepeta suggests, he has to have insanely low standards.

you cant answwer
you cant evven say no cause you dont knoww that much
so wwhat are you kar
are you a gold blood
wwell
or howw bout jade
i mean your bloods supposed to be nothin more than a fuckin jade mutation anywway right
do they claim you
wwhat about the loww bloods
youvve got a temper like one so maybe youvve got something in common
so howw about it
is it any a them
none a them
its none a them isnt it
you can say youre standin wwith wwhoevver you like but hell i could call myself a fuckin prince and it wwouldnt make me one and the only reason nobody contradicts you is cause they dont knoww wwhere to put you neither
if the hemospectrums like a bunch a stairs then youre not evven on the stairs
youre outside a it clingin to the railing and tryin to climb on but you cant
all you can do is scoot up and dowwn the railing and try to hang out near the top a the stairs evven though you can nevver get on and hope your grip dont slip
you knoww kar the higher you climb the harder youll fall
and then youre gonna end up wwhere you belong
at the fuckin bottom
wwith me

YOU...
YOU THINK I HAVEN'T HEARD THAT BULLSHIT A MILLION TIMES?
I'VE BEEN LISTENING TO IT SINCE I WAS HATCHED.
BIG WHOOP DEE FUCKING DOO. HEY EVERYBODY, KARKAT VANTAS IS A FUCKING WEIRDO.
BIG. FUCKING. SURPRISE.

but youre still listenin to me anywway
I'M WAITING FOR YOU TO SAY SOMETHING INTERESTING.
no your listenin cause you knoww its true
YES, WE ALREADY ESTABLISHED THE FACT THAT I KNOW I'M A PARASITIC FREAK JUST LEECHING LIFE AND RESOURCES OUT OF THE REST OF THE EMPIRE.
THAT I'M A DEFECT THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN CULLED THE FIRST TIME SOMEBODY CAUGHT ME BLEEDING.
I'M JUST THIS SAD NEUROTIC SACK OF DISPLACED RAGE AND ASSHOLERY WHO GETS EVERYTHING HANDED TO HIM ON A SILVER FUCKING NUTRITION PLATEAU BECAUSE THE WHOLE UNIVERSE IS TOO FUCKING STUPID TO REALIZE WHAT THEY'RE LOOKING AT AND HE'S TOO FUCKING SELFISH TO GET THEM STRAIGHTENED OUT.
OK?
WE GOT THAT OUT ON THE TABLE WHERE EVERYONE CAN SEE IT?
GO ON, I'M STILL LISTENING.

glub

Holy fuck. You just got broad side school fed up the bone bulge and he was dissing HIMSELF.

You are way out of your league.

By now, you are grasping at straws. You kinda got the impression earlier that he has some sort of thing about being compared to the Sufferer. Gotta do something with that.

Fuck, what can you do with that?

wwwwell
i
uh

TICK TOCK, FINFACE.
fuck you
CONCISE AND ELOQUENT.
no seriously fuck you
HALF AS CONCISE AND HALF AS ELOQUENT.
im not askin for you to rate my rage this is genuine fuckin frustration im feelin here jegus
I DON'T CARE ABOUT Y--
WHAT DID YOU CALL ME.

i fuckin called you jegus got a problem wwith it
... NO.
NOT.
AT.
ALL.

wwell maybe you should i mean it aint like youre actually him in any wway shape or form
THE FUCK ARE YOU RANTING ABOUT, AMPORA?
I THOUGHT YOU DIDN'T EVEN BELIEVE IN HIM.

i believve he existed i mean that isnt evven a matter of belief its a fuckin historically documented fact
i just dont think he wwas anythin more than a freak blooded madman wwho had a messiah complex like somethin awwful

OH WOW. SOMEBODY MARK THIS DAY FOR POSTERITY.
YOU JUST SAID SOMETHING I AGREE WITH A HUNDRED PERCENT.

you sure you should be dissin him like that kar i mean youre just like him
WH--
YOU JUST SAID I WAS NOTHING LIKE HIM.
CARE TO EXPLAIN THIS CONTRADICTION IN YOUR TESTIMONY, FINFACE?

heh did you pick up that wwordin from your matesprit kar
SHE'S NOT MY--
JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP.
AND GO ON.

wwell wwhich is it do you wwant me to shut up or--
OK, YOU'RE NOT ACTUALLY CLEVER WHEN YOU SAY "DO YOU WANT ME TO SHUT UP OR GO ON."
IT'S NEVER BEEN A CLEVER THING TO SAY. EVER.
KEEP. FUCKING. TALKING.

ok ok fine
i meant you wwerent like him
in uh
the wway that people think you are

UH HUH.
SOOO, I DON'T HAVE THE SAME BLOOD AND SIGN LIKE EVERYBODY SAYS I DO?
WHAT A FUCKING REVELATION. MY LIFE HAS BEEN CHANGED FOREVER.

no im sayin your not some big fuckin hero like they thought he wwas
TWO THINGS WE AGREE ON. WAY TO FUCKING GO.
wwhat he wwas is just like you just a freak outside a the system and wwillin to do fuckin anything to get inside a it
just a poor pitiful fuckin freak wwhos wwillin to spend his fuckin life turnin ovver the proper and established hierarchy just so he can try to squeeze himself into the system wwherevver he can fit himself

THREE THINGS. YOU'RE ON A ROLL.
just like youre tryin to do noww
and thats wwhy youre doomed to failure

... EXCUSE ME?
you heard me
...
GO.
ON.


What you are about to say is not a concept that you thought up. And honestly, it is nothing but sour grapes.

This is what lowbloods have been telling themselves for generations to comfort themselves about the fact that they will never be worth anything. Sure, the highbloods are rich. Sure, the highbloods are powerful. Sure, the highbloods have everything they want and need, while the lowbloods starve and suffer. But the lowbloods have solidarity and the highbloods do not.

Aren't the highbloods lonely in their lofty single-resident hives, while the lowbloods are so blessed as to be packed together in overcrowded hivestems? Aren't the highbloods lonely with their riches and with their power to purchase everthing they want, while the lowbloods are so blessed as to be forced to barter with each other to get the bare necessities?

When you are sick to the bone of envying the enemy, all you can do is tell yourself that, somehow, you are happier.

howw wwell did the sufferer do at gettin into the hemospectrum huh
wwhat group does he fit in
he reinvvented the wway wwe think about these things
you evver heard a the wword rust blood kar
thats wwhat your fuckin empress woulda been called if it wwasnt for the sufferer
but wwhere is he ranked
wwhere the fuck did he get himself on the hemospectrum
if hed got in then youd havve a place wwouldnt you
since then theyd knoww wwhat to do wwhen freaks like you come around
but he didnt do it
he got himself a fuckin pedestal that evverybody put him on
like fifty feet awway from the staircase evverybody else wwas on
sure he got wworshipped but he wwas still off by himself
all alone
think about that
he turned the entirety of fuckin civvilization hornside dowwn
he got himself made to be treated like a god
but he couldnt evven do the one fuckin thing he probably wwanted to do most
be treated like anybody else
itd be pitiable if it wwasnt so fuckin pitiful
he wwas a failure
despite evverythin he did in the grand scheme a things it all added up to a big fuckin fail
and thats just like you
you think youre so great wwith your fuckin nice coat and your home in the royal hivve and your threshecutioners and shit but youre nevver gonna add up to anything but a big fat stupid fuckin fai--

03/07/11
"Be the sea dweller lowbl... for fuck's sake, be Eridan Ampora."

That was a hell of a fight.

Although "fight" might not be the proper word for it. When it is blackrom, the word is "duel."

It was a duel filled with cuts and jabs, both physical and verbal. With the most vicious of aggression and the most bitter of repartee. Neither of you could best the other, nor did you give in under the assault. You were evenly matched.

Except for the fact that one of you was a little better.

And you think he was going easy on you.

There is a subtle difference between a duel and a fight. If two otherwise perfectly evenly matched trolls are dropped into a caged arena, and one is treating it like a fight and the other is treating it like a duel, the one treating it like a fight wins. There are many reasons for this, but the briefest way to put it is that a fight is something that one wants to win, whereas a duel is mere foreplay to a far more passionate battle.

You were treating it like a fight. Karkat was treating it like a duel.

And Karkat beat you.

If you lose this, it does not matter how black Karkat's feelings are running; you will be a brinesucking sea dweller who defied the advisier and his threshecutioners, and then immediately fell back into his grasp. Maybe he wants to have fun with you first, maybe not. But for possibly the first time in your life romance is NOT the first priority. Because if you lose, then when Karkat is done with you, you WILL be imprisoned. At best. Assuming he does not simply execute you on the spot. Despite the fact that Karkat was OBVIOUSLY the one who wanted to seduce you first, you are not going to rely on the hope that he finds you desireable enough to give you a second chance and set you free.

Although at this point, that hope might be the only thing you have left. At least you are very good at hoping for stupid things.

You both lost your glasses, but this is much more of a problem for you than for him. Ahab's Crosshairs lies in a far corner, way out of your reach. All of your harpoons have been spent. Karkat switched between scythes and sickles and fists and at one point a fucking SPOON (although you think he grabbed that one by accident) and you suspect he is still not out of weapons. You are both covered in tiny cuts and bruises and a few larger wounds, and you do not know about HIM, but YOU are quite exhausted. You are tired and dizzy and disoriented.

So disoriented, in fact, that you got the picture of this scene turned sideways.

03/07/11
"===>"

TG: FUCKING SHIT
EB: how's the faygo?
TG: THIS WAS
TG: YOU WERE
EB: who, me?
TG: I JUST GOT A FUCKING MOUTHFUL 9F STALE PISS GRAPE SURPRISE
TG: EG6ERT YOU FUCKING FREAK
EB: HAHAHA!
TG: FUCK Y9U
EB: you've been trolllllllllled!
TG: N9
TG: NUH UH
TG: FUCK Y9U Y9U 6ULGE HEADED SEEDFLAP F9NDLING PIECE 9F 6EHEM9TH LEAVING
EB: trolololololololled!!!
TG: Y9U CAN TR9L9L9L9L9LL Y9URSELF T9 HELL
TG: I SWEAR WHEN I GET MY FUCKING HANDS 9N Y9U THERE W9NT 6E EN9UGH 9F Y9U LEFT F9R Y9UR FUCKING HER9 VANTAS T9 6L9W H9S N9SE 9N
EB: ewww!
TG: Y9U ARE DEAD T9 ME EG6ERT AND C9NSEQUENTLY DEAD T9 Y9UR SANGUINE SAVI9RS
TG: I WILL SMITE THEE LIKE THE WICKED PRANKING SHITSTAIN Y9U ARE
EB: man, wouldn't that be a little harsh?
TG: MY M9UTH TASTES LIKE SWEATY 6LUE CAR69NATED PISS N9THING IS T99 HARSH
TG: MAN Y9U G9T T9 6E 6RAINLESS
TG: IF Y9UR FUCKING WITH THE G9DLESS
TG: CAUSE Y9UR FUTURES N9W H9PELESS
TG: CAUSE IF Y9U HAD A 6RAIN
TG: Y9UD KN9W THAT HE WH9D REN9UNCE HIS CLAIM
TG: T9 FAME
TG: IS M9RE THAN WILLING T9 MAIM
TG: AND KILL
TG: HE WH9 WILL
TG: MAKE HIM TAKE A SPILL
TG: 9FF HIS CHILL
TG: S9 6R9 IF THATS Y9UR GAME
TG: HEAD F9R THE HILL
TG: CAUSE IVE G9T Y9UR NAME
TG: AND IF Y9UVE G9T A GRAIN
TG: 9F C9MM9N SENSE
TG: Y9UD JUMP THE FENCE
TG: TAKE A PLANE
TG: TAKE A TRAIN
TG: JUST GET THE HELL 9UT 9F T9WN
TG: CAUSE HELLS WHATS G9ING D9WN
TG: FUCK SHIT DAMMIT MY M9UTH TASTES LIKE G9DDAMN FUCKING SEWER 6ILGE

terminallyGodless [TG] ceased trolling ectoplasmicBiologist [EG]

EG: wooow!!!


terminallyGodless [TG] began trolling ectoplasmicBiologist [EB]

TG: 9k i 6rushed my teeth
TG: im chill n9w
TG: im c99ler than a cucum6er
TG: things are abs9lutely cool
EB: ok, good!
EB: i was worried you'd still be mad when i saw you tomorrow, haha.

TG: naw bro
TG: the stride takes things in stride
TG: punched a few walls and threw feathers at shit
EB: literal shit or shit in general?
TG: shit in general
TG: and i guess some literal shit cause theres some feathers stuck in it
EB: yuck!
EB: you REALLY shit on your desk?
EB: just how high do you even have to be just to do something like that?

TG: you know me man im high on life
EB: why did you do that anyway??
TG: im just doing what felt right up in my heart
EB: you mean that ironically, right?
TG: when dont i mean it ironically
TG: fuck egbert i shouldnt have to still explain this stuff to you
TG: anyway rage aneurism is out of the way now
TG: the rage rapping is over
TG: that was past me
TG: it doesnt affect the state of our friendship right
EB: DUH, no!
TG: k cool
EB: you actually say some pretty cool stuff when you get that mad.
EB: even if it doesn't make a lot of sense.

TG: yeah i just do an acrobatic fucking pirouette off the handle and spray sick rhymes in every direction while im spinning through the air.
TG: even when im on fire im still cool.
EB: pretty much!
TG: when the hell did you poison my faygo anyway
EB: who, me?
TG: shut the fuck up egbert no69dy would do something like that but you
TG: it had to be the last time you visited right
EB: yeah, it was.
TG: whyd you put it in my bucket
EB: that's where i found it.
TG: oh huh i guess i forgot i put it there
TG: past me
TG: dumb shit
TG: so see you tomorrow egbert
EB: yep!
EB: see you then!
EB: and your shiiiirt!

TG: oh
TG: FUCK
TG: yes
TG: thank you SO MUCH for REMINDING ME
TG: I CANN9T FUCKING WAIT TO SH9W THE WHOLE PLANET MY FUCKING FANTASTIC SYM69LRIFFIC SHIRT
TG: JUST FUCKING GREAT
TG: N9W THAT I REMEM6ER I CAN GET PR9PERLY EXCITED
EB: it's not gonna be so bad!
TG: WHO SAID ITS G9ING TO BE 6AD
TG: IM FUCKING THRILLED A69UT THIS
EB: i bet nobody will even really care, no matter what it is.
EB: i mean, EVERYBODY has to go through shuttle stations!
EB: the stations going off world get all the colors. all of them.

TG: YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT A 6IG RELIEF THAT IS
TG: 96VIOUSLY I WILL NOT BE TREATED LIKE AN ABNORMALITY IN ANY WAY IMAGINABLE
TG: fuck yeah ok thats tomorrow anyway
TG: not present mes problem
TG: future me will be the one dealing with it
EB: and future me will be with future you if anything happens.
EB: even though i'm sure everything's gonna be fine!

TG: yeah sure
TG: fingers crossed for miracles here
TG: you know just in case
EB: ok! fingers crossed here too!
TG: shit were gonna have so many fingers up and crossed that fates not even gonna know what to do with itself anymore
TG: we can escape the planet while its straightening its notes out and figuring out what the hell it was trying to do with us
TG: so see you then
EB: see you then!

terminallyGodless [TG] ceased trolling ectoplasmicBiologist [EB]


And now back to our previously scheduled fight.

We probably did not miss a thing while we were on Alternia.

03/07/11
"Jhonen: Be packing."

Nah.

Maybe later.

It is not like you have much to pack anyway. You can shove pretty much everything into boxes that you can then shove into your sylladex, most of which you have already done. All that remains is your computer, a change of clothes, some snacks, and some posters you have left on the walls so that the room does not look too barren. You will pack all of those in your magic chest, right before you go.

It is not really a magic chest, since magic is not real. You just call it that because you found some really cool stuff in it when you moved into this hive, and now it holds all your awesome supplies for pranking and not-magic tricks.

Hey, Daivat is trolling you again. After his bafflingly ironic sign-off line, you figured you would not hear from him again until you met at the shuttle station.

You are so excited. In a few hours, you will be hanging out in the flesh! You have not seen him in real life in about half a sweep.

terminallyGodless [TG] began trolling ectoplasmicBiologist [EB]

TG: youre never going to guess what i just found
EB: what?
EB: hey, were you serious about pooping on your desk?

TG: man thats in the past now its over and done with
TG: anyway this is such a miracle i just found an unopened 69ttle of faygo in my thermal hull it is like fucking twelfth perigees eve up in here
EB: ok thats fine, but i have a question and then a word of caution. have you ever seen a movie about monsters that live in a city under trolls recuperacoons starring howie mandel and fred savage?
TG: jegus youve got shitty taste in movies you know that
EB: they're not shitty, they're awesome and great works of cinematic brilliance!
EB: and can you not just throw jegus's name around like that?

TG: yeah ok sorry
EB: i think maybe you do it just to be ironic somehow.
EB: like with the 69 thing
EB: except the 69 thing is okay but the jegus thing kind of bothers me.

TG: sure
TG: what 69 thing
EB: the thing you do with 69 instead of using "bo".
EB: like in sym69l.

TG: i dont know what youre talking a69ut
EB: hahaha!
EB: yeah, like that.

TG: like what
EB: like the thing you just did with "about."
TG: i seriously dont know what youre talking a69ut egbert
TG: i dont do any weird sym69l things
EB: hahaha!! THAT weird sym69l thing!
EB: the one you're doing right now!

TG: im not doing anything
TG: man i dont know what kind of 69neheaded joke youre trying to make but its getting kind of 69ring
TG: if you want something thats gonna 69mb me into jokeblivion then 69y youre gonna have to pull the tool69x out on your killer jokatron to re69ot its ro69 brain and set it to 69ss mode cause right now its less funny than a blocked 69wel
EB: WOW! HAHAHA! that was GREAT!
TG: what was
EB: youre good at this!
TG: good at what
TG: man i didnt even have my sick beats turned on for that one i was just ranting
EB: ok, ok.
EB: whatever you say, daivat!

TG: yeah so i guess im gonna get my wicked elixir on first and then maybe ill think a69ut cleaning this shit up
EB: so you were serious about the shit?
TG: yes
EB: uhhh...
EB: was that a sincere yes or an insincere yes?

TG: yes
EB: dammit, stride!
EB: why do you have to be so confusing?!

TG: yeah i know im just a mystery sauteed in enigma sauce and garnished with puzzles

03/07/11
"===>"

Holy fuck, there is a bottle of grape Faygo in the bucket. How the hell did that get in there. You do not remember the last time you used your bucket for anything, so it could have been a sweep since you decided to store your wicked elixir in there.

You check the expiration date; still good. No surprise, Faygo lasts forever. It is like past you threw a miracle into the future for you to find.

Screw cleaning the shit, wicked elixir comes first.

03/07/11
"Daivat: Clean that shit up."

Okay, so you thought that leaving a nasty dump in your room to horrify whoever comes after you would be a fittingly enigmatic parting gift to Alternia from an enigmatic guy like you, but that stuff smells terrible and you still have to sleep in that room today before you leave tomorrow evening. So you suppose you have to clean it up. You can leave another dump right before you go.

Once you register your blood and sign at the shuttle station, you would not be surprised if a bunch of crazy worshippers broke into your hive and snatched up everything they could to make into little shrines. There will be a little monastery somewhere, the kind that true devotees swear they will make a religious pilgrimage to someday even though nobody actually does, where your shit will be enshrined and worshipped. They will worship a bunch of shit. This idea is ironic because it is a completely accurate depiction of their religion, but they will never realize it. They will be worshipping too hard to realize that what they are offering their prayers to is utter crap.

Anyway.

You head to the nutrient preparation block to get cleaning supplies. Feathers scattered everywhere, of course. Your lusus keeps bringing them home--you think he plans on making a nest someday--and then abandons them all over the place. Usually in the nutrient preparation block. This is not a very safe environment for a young troll to grow up in, but you are used to it and you made it to adulthood so it is no big deal. You will probably take most of these with you when you leave, since your current feathers are getting a little ratty and you do not know what kind of avian beasts live on Surrogia. You might not be getting any more high-quality feathers like this for a while. And you suspect your life is about to get much harder. Sure, you will have the church on your side, but so did your brother and you still heard about a hell of a lot of assassination attempts. Plus, what if the church decides it has to pick between you and the advisier, and it chooses the advisier? Or what if the advisier does not want a threat to his spiritual power and decides he wants you dead? You might need all the feathers you can get.

But anyway, you have some shit to clean. You take your flushed bucket out of the thermal hull so you can use it to clean up your mess. Using buckets as cleaning supplies is highly ironic.

Besides--perhaps even more ironically--buckets are so perfect for carrying cleaning supplies and soapy water around, that if you did not know better you would almost think they were designed for the purpose. Which is obviously stupid.

Wait. What's that in the bucket? Is that...?

30/06/11
"Wait, did you actually--"

terminallyGodless [TG] began trolling ectoplasmicBiologist [EB]

TG: hey you are never going to guess what i just did
EB: is it something ironic?
TG: man why would you even ask something like that
TG: this shits more ironic than a magnet in a bucket of iron fillings
TG: and the bucket itself is iron
EB: hahaha. YUCK.
TG: we are talking a69ut a magnet that hasnt touched the left half of her quadrants long enough to leave a fingerprint
TG: and shes got a drone pounding on her door telling her shes got five minutes to make nasty
TG: so shes busting her desperate ass trying to attract as much iron as she can to get her friction on with before the door gives way
TG: and shes one hell of a hot magnet so shes basically nub deep in horny iron all over her
TG: thats how ironic this shit is
EB: ironic AND gross!
TG: you just described what i did in three words dude
TG: gotta hang that on a plaque over my desk
TG: stick it up there with a fucking magnet
EB: i don't think a magnet would work on your wall.
TG: of course it would
TG: see
TG: what makes magnets attract things is miracles
TG: and miracles are everywhere
TG: therefore everything attracts magnets
TG: including my wall
EB: do you actually not know how magnets work or is this an ironic thing?
TG: im like religiously obligated to not have a clue how fucking magnets work
TG: and if i do know i cant admit it
TG: you should know this by now
EB: is this another one of your weird clown things?
TG: absolutely
EB: ok, when you start talking about the weird clown stuff, i can't tell if you're still being ironic or if you're actually being sincere.
EB: are you serious about the clown stuff?

TG: yes
EB: ... yeah, i have no clue if that was a sincere yes or an insincere yes.
TG: bro you dont know jack shit a69ut insincerity
TG: im packing on more insincerity layers than you can count
EB: that, i believe.
EB: so what's this crazy thing you did you wanted to tell me about?

TG: whoa there
TG: hold your hoofbeasts egbert i didnt say i was gonna tell you
EB: awww come on!
TG: nah im over that
TG: thats not me anymore
TG: that was past daivat the moron who existed before i decided to have this little trollian feelings jam
EB: is that what's going on right now?
TG: yeah man didnt i tell you
TG: im like crazy into you in a pale way
TG: shits so pale its fucking white over here
TG: quick lets get on the sloppiest pile we can find and make beautiful bucket free pale love
EB: but you know how irresistably attractive i find you in a red way.
EB: why do you have to go and break my heart like that?

TG: cant help it im just breaking hearts left and right
EB: jk haha.
TG: one piercing gaze from these shaded peepers and youll never go red for another troll again
EB: it's gotta be your mysterious black allure
TG: yeah bitches and bastards all across alternia wanna get a taste of what the strides hiding under his inscrutable black text and enigmatic gray skin
TG: groupies all the way out on planet troll assfuck nowhere are training their telescopes on my hive hoping to get a glimpse
EB: but not for long!
EB: heheheheh.

TG: fuck why you gotta remind me like that
EB: well, we're leaving tomorrow!
EB: right?
EB: good bye to alternia forever!

TG: yeah i know i know
TG: shit
EB: are you gonna miss it that much?
TG: fuck no this place is for grubs
TG: im just pissed a69ut messing up my fashion
TG: hows the stride gonna get himself any sweet bulge without his mysterious black allure
EB: i'm gonna go out on a limb and guess you're being ironic right now.
EB: do you even have any clothes with your symbol?

TG: oh yeah hella tons
TG: my closets oozing in sym69lriffic clothes.
EB: ok, good.
EB: and you'll have it on before you get on the space shuttle?

TG: like last fucking nanosecond
TG: as im getting on
TG: foot over the threshold
TG: ill be pulling it on
TG: we got seats together right
EB: yeah!
TG: can i have the window seat
EB: uh, sure. if you want.
EB: oh, and a couple of my friends are going to be in the row behind us!

TG: ok thats cool
TG: do i know them
EB: no, i know them from the church.
TG: oh
TG: fuck
TG: ...ing great
EB: it'll be fine! they'll like you.
EB: just try not to talk about the weird clown stuff in front of them, ok?

TG: man dont worry a69ut it theyre going to be in love with me
TG: we are gonna have to beat em off me with hammers and feathers
EB: ok, sounds good!
EB: if that's the case, i guess i'll bring...
EB: ...
EB: ...

TG: warhammer
EB: ...
TG: warhammer
EB: ...
TG: gotta be the warhammer
EB: ......
TG: come on warhammer
EB: .........
TG: GODDAMMIT FUCKASS
EB: ......
TG: FUCKING WARHAMMER
EB: ...
EB: ..
EB: .
EB: THE WARHAMMER
TG: of
EB: OF
TG: zillyhoo
EB: ZI~I~I~I~I~I~I~I~I~LLY~HOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
TG: man you actually sang that didnt you
EB: hell yes.
TG: with a choir of fifty thousand fictional angels
TG: fucking rain69ws and sunbeams
TG: shining from the sky
TG: bringing a tear to the eye
TG: of any69dy so blessed as to have their think pan messed
TG: up by the holy hammer
EB: do the tears come before the smashing?
TG: yeah of course
EB: otherwise it wouldn't make much sense.
EB: ok good.

TG: a hammer that simultaneously beautiful and awful descends in slow mo every time
TG: plenty of time to break out the waterworks
TG: so youre bringing it on the shuttle right
EB: of course i am!
TG: theres no law against you having it
TG: id think the imperiouses wouldnt want a masterpiece like that in a blue bloods hands
EB: well, if it's illegal, i didn't see it on the list of banned hammerkind artifacts.
EB: or toolkind.

TG: you didnt look did you
EB: no.
TG: ok thats cool
TG: so see you tomorrow to 69ard
EB: yeah, see you then!
EB: and your shirt!

TG: like hell you are
TG: im gonna blind you the moment i see you
TG: with my mad feather fu
EB: not if i mess up your think pan first!
TG: feathers against the warhammer
EB: even match?
TG: yeah itll be any69dys game
TG: so see you then
EB: yeah, later!
TG: by the way i shit on my desk
EB: what?

terminallyGodless [TG] ceased trolling ectoplasmicBiologist [EB]

30/06/11
"Daivat Stride: Squawk like a blackened sky-beast and take a loadgaper on your desk."

30/06/11
"===>"

For the record, in troll culture, the word "sibling" means one of two things: a sibling is either an animal who has the same parents as another animal; or, it is a troll who is alive at the same time as, and has the same symbol as, another troll.

Or--as in the case of you and your sibling--the same sym69l.

Not that he wears it.

30/06/11
"Karkat: Be in soap opera, have evil twin."

You cannot do that because you do not have a twin!

You do, however, have a long-lost younger sibling.

"Long lost" in the sense that you do not even know this sibling exists.

30/06/11
"===>"

One, Karkat was being insincere about being insincere about faking his injuries to lure you in.

Two, taking your opponent's weapon does not actually do you any good when your opponent is rich enough to have more than one weapon per strife specibus.

Three, it is very hard to aim a long rifle at somebody who is in your face with two scythes.

You do not know this last part, but Karkat actually WAS lying about having the time of his fucking life. You do not even rank in the top five times of his fucking life.

But he is definitely enjoying himself.

Which is more than you can say.

30/06/11
"Eridan: Claim prize."

ill be taken this

You captchalogue his sickle. (Although you have to throw away another one to do so. It was smaller than this one anyway. You toss it down the hole you made in Karkat's ablution chamber.)

noww i think wwe need to set some ground rules before wwe proceed any farther wwith this
specifically wwhat exactly youre gonna do for me if you expect me to spare your life
i gotta say you arent bein terribly impressivve so far


This is complete BS as you have no intention of killing the first serious kismesis possibility you have had since you were five. But hopefully he will not call your bluff.

I DON'T MAKE BARGAINS.
then wwhat you got a death wwish
NOT YET.

It is at this precise moment that you learn three very important facts.

30/06/11
"Karkat: Counteraggress."

NNnggh *cough*
NO.
ME?
I'M JUST PRETENDING TO BE HEAVILY WOUNDED.
TO MAKE Y-YOU *hack* LET YOUR GUARD DOWN.
ow.
I'M HAVING THE TIME
OF MY
FUCKING
ow
LIFE.

kar your insincerity stinks wworse than the fuckin gutter you got runnin round this ovvergrowwn shack a yours
wwhy dont you admit a vviolent blooded fin faced loser just bested you wwith one finger

IT DOESN'T COUNT IF IT'S A TRIGGER FINGER.
but you didnt say i didnt best you
F-- *cough* FUCK YOU.
AND NO YOU DIDN'T.
AND YOU DON'T KNOW ow fuck JACK SHIT ABOUT INSINCERITY.
I'M PACKING ON MORE INSINCERITY LAYERS THAN YOU CAN COUNT.
UNLESS YOUR LUSUS MANAGED TO TEACH YOU THAT WHEN YOU RUN OUT OF FINGERS ON YOUR RIGHT HAND, YOU CAN COUNT THE ONES ON YOUR LEFT HAND TOO.
DID HE EVER ow GET THAT FAR?

yeah i dont evven knoww wwhat that fuckin means
WOW.
AND YOU IMMEDIATELY PROVE MY POINT.
WAY TO FUCKING GO.
YOU MANAGED TO AMAZE ME.

fuck you i got the youre a stupid sea dwweller insult
I DIDN'T SAY ANYTHING ABOUT BEING A SEA DWELLER BEING PART OF IT.
ok wwell wwhatevver
i meant the shit about packin insincerity layers but wwhatevver im not gonna be distracted by your wwhale shit load a black banter
i got a helpless advvisier in front a me
like a fish floppin around in a net
minus the floppin


Okay, he said that just to get you mad.

FUCK YOU.

It worked. SO COUNTERAGGRESS ALREADY.

Yeah. You are, uh. Playing the bait. To reel him in. Fish puns unintended goddammit.

That is absolutely what you are doing.

And you are still having the time of your fucking life.

Ow.

30/06/11
"Aggress."

Yeah, that was not a very hard decision.

You set it on the widest beam possible. It will probably leave him alive, but he will not be moving very fast for a while.

30/06/11
"===>"

Well, speak of the angel.

WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING TO MY BATHROOM?

Bathroom?

Oh, ablution chamber.

Quick, say something kismesisish! Or whatever the fuck that word is! He has not attacked you yet, so you still have a shot. And witty banter is a surefire way to win a kismesis.

... i wwas remodelin for you
puttin in some vventilation
thought you could use some fresh air

HA HA FUCKING HA.
LET ME RETURN THE FAVOR.
HOLD STILL WHILE I THRESHEVENTILATE YOUR CHEST.

is that evven a wword
YOU CAN STICK "THRESH" IN FRONT OF ANYTHING AND IT'S A WORD.
thats a load a shit
HEY, JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN'T WRAP YOUR MIND AROUND IT DOESN'T MEAN IT'S NOT A FACT.
"THRESH" IS AN ALL-PURPOSE PREFIX.

oh really
YEAH REALLY.
find it in a fuckin dictionary i dont believve it.
I'M NOT GOING TO PULL OUT A FUCKING DICTIONARY TO PROVE I'M RIGHT.
BESIDES, IT WON'T BE LISTED IN THE DICTIONARY.

wwhy the fuck not
if you arent just makin shit up

BECAUSE ANYBODY SMART ENOUGH TO USE A DICTIONARY ALREADY KNOWS YOU CAN STICK "THRESH" ON ANYTHING AND MAKE A WORD.
IT'S LIKE "NINJA."

jegus thats the stupidest thing i evver heard evverybody knowws ninja is a special case
WHAT.
DID.
YOU.
CALL.
ME.

i didnt call you anythi--
ohhhh
glub


Yeah, you can see why he might take offense to that.

From the look on his face, you think banter time is over.

What do you do now: aggress or abscond?

AGGRESS OR ABSCOND?

AGGRESS OR ABSCOND?

AGGRESS OR ABSCOND?

30/06/11
"===>"

Oh. Right. There is a suicide drop from here to the ground.

However, it seems