You opened your eyes, and couldn’t see a thing.
The things you smelled were a completely different story though. At first you were thrown off by the smell, since it was different from what you were used to, the game had had its own special aroma and that one were gone. You weren’t sure if you missed it or not, but you did not wither recognize the place around you. Behind your back was a wall, from the feeling troll-made, and if the different in strengths of the smell you would say you were in a small room.
Luckily it took no time finding the door, open and no metallic scent of bars, but you didn’t know what were outside of that door. For one thing that bothered you about your whereabouts were that you couldn’t smell air or grass, only ground and mud. Even that was only a slight smell, hidden by that artificial one that came from the wall.
You grinned, getting a neon-green crayon from your specibus and drew a line at the floor. From all your Flarp-experiences, this was a very, very well made hideout, and you seemed to be a prisoner. Though a very loosely set prisoner. For why didn’t anyone guard you, why were you not hurt if that were the case?
The best move to do right now was simply that, moving. Marking this room would make you have a base, knowing where you started from, and a place to return to in case of emergency. You stood up, subconsciously looking around for your cane before realizing you didn’t have it. It wasn’t even in your specibus. Swearing silently you walked around the room, hand against the wall. You might have no trouble to get straight to the door, but you never knew if there were any traps that the strange smell hid.
You came out to an empty corridor. The sound of much noise and voices were heard from the corner of the thin hallway, signaling a bigger hall crossed it outside. Most likely this was only a small twig if you compared the hideout to a tree. While you still smelled at that corner behind your back, your ears heard the steps before your nose was able to distinguish the new smell.
You smelt the troll come up from behind, but decided to not notice him, or, make him not notice that you had already noticed him. When he put a hand on your shoulder you gave a false screech of surprise and spun around, looking around like you couldn’t pin down his exact location with your back turned.
“Should you really be up and walking yet?” He said, and it made you stop. Smell. Tilt your head. Smell again. The voice was the same as your angry little glorious leader, but the smell was different. He was not really missing that special-Karkat smell, but it was that second half missing. The one that smelled of his Hive, his lusus all those things the environment had given him.
“Who are you?” You asked, trying to keep a grin from crawling up, and instead held your expression, imagining your mouth turning into a question mark. He laughed, breathily and from the sound of his clothes he shook his head. Wait. What was that small scent that had come from his hood? Something that made you think of the sun, of Dave and Aradia’s clothes, of blood hidden behind anonymous gray.
Was that… red!
He bent down to your level, and the smell got stronger, the red also mixed with the smell of orange popsicles which meant his eyes were filled up red, delicious candy-red! You were inches away from licking his eyes. He started to talk. “Oh right, you were unconscious when we carried you in. My followers call me the Signless, and you could probably use that too.”
There was still a commotion going on outside, and you smelled another (rust-blood?) troll come running. You realized the red smell would disappear, and reacted instantly as you were used to do with Karkat. Before The Signless could straighten up, you latched on to his embroidered hood with your teeth.
To your defense you would probably have had more problems if you had licked his eyes.
The troll seemed to forget the important thing he was supposed to said, only standing still and probably staring. “Uh… Signless, is she biting your hood?” Calmly the Signless started to loosen your bite and you promptly dropped his hood, a delicious thread sticking in your teeth. Totally worth it.
“Sorry! I do that sometimes!” You smiled, going for something innocent even though that expression had never ever succeeded and probably made you look even more mischievous. “It’s not really something I can help, I’m blind you see. I see with my tongue.”
This seemed to interest the Signless, but the interrupting troll seemed peeved with your actions. You grinned at him, abandoning any kind of innocence as he probably wasn’t happy about you biting his leader, but as said leader didn’t do anything he couldn’t do anything either. The calming breath he took was laughingly obvious to you, as you pulled the red thread from your teeth. You would so keep it.
“Anyway, Signless. The Disciple is back…” You were forgotten as the Signless turned alert after hearing the name of this Disciple (you couldn’t deny being interested too, the name was spoken with respect which meant s/he was probably important, and if also s/he interested this version of Karkat… why shouldn’t you be curious?) “She brought some more guests with her that...” He seemed to hide the fact that he was looking at you with meaning, or rather, you knew it just because he paused and got so quiet so that you wouldn’t understand. “They were also lost in the woods, not far away from where we found…”
Once again he got quiet and you guessed that you had been found in the woods, only continued to smile as if getting nothing as Signless turned back to you, close but unfortunately outside licking range. “Are you going to wander off again if I leave you?” He asked and you replied with honesty without hesitation.
“Yep!” He chuckled, and you tried to imagine Karkat’s face smiling. It didn’t work very well. The next moment his hand was carefully gripping your upper arm, and you latched onto it immediately strengthening the act of dependence. You were only a small, blind, naïve young troll after all.
“Then follow, but stay close to me.” He said as the troll in front of you waited for you to catch up before walking around the corner.
You came out to what you decided (from the sound and the lingering stench telling you that there was always many trolls running through here) was the main hall and held tightly onto the Signless’s arm. You tried to get as much control over the place as you could, when you discerned a special smell amongst all the others. Gamzee was sitting at what you believed was a wall, another troll close to him but well outside attack-range, and you knew he was looking at you. You made no show that you have found him, and with a clumsy “stumbling” he caught on.
“Pyrope! Over here!” He called out and you could turn, grinning as you searched with your unseeing eyes. A chain rustled and you saw him waving for your inner eye from the way the smell zigzagged. You guessed he was just pointing it out.
Past you would probably have run up to him, ignoring the many smells of the grownups, but you were still cautious. There was no smell of sopor around him and you wouldn’t have expected any. You didn’t think Gamzee would get back on that limey-smelly-sleeping-drug blocking most of his smells, and Karkat would probably have scolded him if he did, but it was still a bit unsettling. Mostly because Karkat himself wasn’t there. The other thing was the chain he kindly had showed you. That chain was either there as a punishment for something he had done, or a predicament for something that he might do. Counting from the feeling of calmness from Gamzee it was probably the latter.
“They haven’t hurt a helpless blind girl as you, right sis? He said, and you answered with a grin. Walking over to him and you heard him rise up, meeting up with you as far out as his chains would go, politely holding out an arm for you to lean on, like you were completely blind and would have to trust him to not trip.
Maybe you would have it harder to trust this Gamzee, rather than the one you grew up with over the grubnet, but he would probably be more trustworthy with secrets. “So where the motherfuck are you going, ‘rezi?” The question was obviously not to you, you had no idea where you were going, and knowing that Signless answered.
“My matespirit have returned, with something that might interest you.” He started and for a moment seemed thoughtful, the pause obviously making both your guide and the guard worried about what they knew their leader would do. Signless came up to the two of you, but still speaking to Gamzee with a soft voice. “I think it’s fine if you follow with us too.”
You heard the chain fall to the ground, and Gamzee’s arm moved a bit as he used his hand to rub the wrist where it had been, but then it stabilized again. As you started to walk again you hung on that arm, not all too surprised when Gamzee seemed to know where to go without anyone telling him. He had been awake longer than you after all.
Soon you started to smell the slight hint of air above you, telling you that this were probably one of the ways out (A hideout like this had to have more) and from the open space it seemed to be a gathering hall, now filled with a group whispering trolls gathering around the strangers in the middle.
Strangers that you knew as fast as you got a sniff of their smell.
“Terezi, Gamzee. I’m glad to see you alive.” Kanaya’s voice told you were she stood, a bit strained and the way she didn’t say alright opened up to more tension at the room, adding to the fact that you could smell Feferi’s blood. You started to guard yourself a little bit more as you walked through to the middle; Gamzee straightening from his slouched pose told you he felt the same. But Feferi sounded as cheerful as if she was home underwater instead of underground with a group of Lowblood trolls.
“Guys! Stop looking leach that, I’m fin!” Well, she seemed good enough to make fish-puns and notice how you felt. More so she paid no attention to you being surrounded by many other trolls and continued talking, or glubbing, on only addressing the two of you. “I’m so glad you seam okay, are you the only ones here?”
Before you could answer the question affirmative, aware of the way everyone was looking at you with silent attention, Gamzee shot in.
“Tavros’s here too, but I don’t know where.” He said the last part accusingly, and you could kind of agree with him on that. Obviously Tav had not been close by you, if he had been, you would have known. So without this piece of information from Gamzee you probably wouldn’t have known that Tavros had been there at all. And that was enough to make you alarmed.
“He’s still sleeping, we would never hurt him.” Someone from your side said, from the smell a yellow-blood, intonating on the “we” and you felt Gamzee grit his teeth, his other hand closing around his own arm on your side. He wasn’t really doing a good job on concealing a possible anger, but better than you would have expected without his morail nearby.
“I would never hurt Tavbro.” Gamzee replied, his ‘never’ almost getting up a crescendo to a scream, but choked away at the last time. Before it could go the wrong way, the yellow seemingly ready to give something back, the Signless came back from where he had been speaking to a forest-green smelling woman, whom you guessed were the Disciple. How strange. With all the other smells around you, you couldn’t really find hers, but it was very familiar.
“I’m sorry to interrupt your reunion, but are you implying your missing more of your friends?” He asked and from the rustle of clothes your three friends looked at each other before Kanaya once again took place.
“We were originally a group of twelve.” Apparently she was going with honestly, a smart choice with how thoroughly outnumbered you were. “There is another Seadweller, two Bluebloods, a yellow, a green and a rust and…” She stopped, probably finally looking, really looking at Signless and probably seeing what you smelled.
“Two rusts.” Gamzee countered, ending any kind of doubt, and otherwise his glare stopped any other objections. It also stopped Kanaya from being distracted, though Feferi let out a small glub that could mean both surprise and glee at the sight of the Signless. Unfortunately you didn’t speak fish.
“Yes… two rusts.” Kanaya continued, only taking a moment before composing herself and continuing like nothing had happened. “We do not know where they are, but as you might guess we are very worried about them.” She was going with the pity line, also a smart move, and Feferi finished what was already implied.
“The best for us would be if we could go looking for them. They’re out friends, and they might be hurt.” She sounded as sincere as she probably was, but you could feel more than smell the unease of the group around you. No way this would pass, even as everyone turned to Signless for an answer.
You could guess his expression and the coming answer by the way Gamzee tightened his grip around your arm in a way of keeping himself from screaming or lashing out. The Signless sighed and his voice was telling you an apology, but left no room for second options. That’s more like your version of Karkat.
“I’m sorry. I can’t let you leave.”