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>Be Aradia.

You are Aradia Megido, and for years you had nursed a suspicion—one you did not voice to anyone else, even to Sollux—that you would not live to see the prophesied end of the world. Even so, you were caught by surprise when the moment of your death did come; you were too surprised even to spare any anger for the one who killed you.

And now that you have departed from your body, you find yourself too preoccupied for either surprise or anger.

>Be future Aradia.

-- apocalypseArisen [AA] began trolling gallowsCalibrator [GC] --
AA: hell0 terezi
GC: >:[
GC: H4 H4 V3RY FUNNY WHO3V3R YOU 4R3
GC: PR3T3ND1NG TO B3 4 D34D G1RL TO RUB 1T 1N MY F4C3 TH4T SH3S GON3
GC: R34L CL4SSY  
AA: terezi n0
GC: YOU KNOW WH4T WOULD B3 3V3N CL4SS13R? M3 K1CK1NG YOU 1N TH3 BON3 BULG3
AA: terezi
GC: W3LL B3 4RR3ST3D 4FT3R 4LL OUR 4UD13NC3S D13 OF L4UGHT3R BUT 1TS 4 S4CR1F1C3 1M W1LL1NG TO M4K3 FOR OUR 4RT
AA: legislacerat0r redglare what makes y0u s0 certain that the subject aradia megid0 is indeed deceased
AA: has a qualified agent 0f the law examined the crime scene th0r0ughly
AA: 0r did y0u simply take vriska at her w0rd because we all kn0w h0w trustw0rthy she is
GC: H4H4 WOW
GC: TH4T DO3S SOUND L1K3 YOU 4ND YOU M4K3 4 GOOD PO1NT
GC: 1 D1DNT B3L13V3 MR WH1T3 T3XT BUT 1 GU3SS H3 W4S R1GHT
AA: ugh him
GC: BUT 1 H4V3 4 H4RD T1M3 B3L13V1NG TH4T 3V3RYTH1NG 1S 4LL HUNKY DORY OV3R TH3R3 R1GHT 4FT3R VR1SK4 TR13D TO K1LL YOU
AA: im 0kay
GC: WH4T D1D SH3 DO?
AA: y0u d0nt need t0 w0rry ab0ut me
GC: YOUR3 B31NG 3V4S1V3! YOU C4NT L13 TO 4 L3G1SL4C3R4TOR M1SS M3G1DO >:[
AA: i supp0se n0t
AA: my hive is destr0yed and my lusus is dead
GC: TH4TS T3RR1BL3!
AA: i supp0se
GC: YOU R34L1Z3 YOUR3 1N D4NG3R OF CULL1NG 1F YOU ST4Y OUT TH3R3, R1GHT?
GC: YOUR3 W3LCOM3 TO H1D3 4T MY PL4C3 1F YOU N33D TO
GC: H3R3 1LL S3ND YOU 4 M4P

-- [GC] sent file M4PTOTR33H1V3P4RTYTOWN.JPG to [AA] --

AA: that is kind but i d0nt need a place t0 hide
GC: >:?
GC: OOOOOOOOOH
GC: YOUV3 4LR34DY D3C1D3D TO ST4Y W1TH SOLLUX 4M 1 R1GHT >:]
AA: 0_0
AA: 0h dear he believes me dead just as y0u did d0esnt he
GC: Y3AH
GC: YOU M34N YOU H4V3NT 4LR43DY T4LK3D TO H1M?
AA: i had h0ped t0 tell him as little as p0ssible ab0ut what has transpired
AA: terezi im sharing this with y0u in c0nfidence
GC: MY L1PS 4R3 S34L3D H3H3H3
AA: vriska mind-c0ntr0lled s0llux t0 attack me
AA: if he thinks i was hurt he will blame himself
GC: 4LR34DY DO3S! SO WH1NY
AA: hes tried t0 harm himself in the past
AA: this will 0nly make it w0rse f0r him
GC: H4H4H4 L44444M3
AA: 0_0
GC: OH C4LM DOWN 1 C4N K33P 4 S3CR3T FROM TH4T LOS3R 1F H1S FR4G1L3 3GO R34LLY M34NS SO MUCH TO YOU
GC: CONS1D3R TH3 1NFORM4T1ON STR1CK3N FROM TH3 R3CORD
GC: L3G1SL4C3R4TORS O4TH
AA: i d0 appreciate that terezi
GC: BUT HON3STLY 1 DONT G3T WH4T YOU S33 1N H1M 4R4D14
GC: 4ND MY OFF3R FOR YOU TO ST4Y 4T MY TR33H1V3 ST1LL ST4NDS 1F YOU D3C1D3 YOU C4NT T4K3 H1S MOOD SW1NGS 4NY MOR3
GC: 4NYW4Y...
GC: YOULL B3 H4PPY TO H34R TH4T YOU 4ND T4VROS H4V3 B33N 4V3NG3D!
AA: thats nice i supp0se
GC: YOU SUPPOS3?
GC: DONT YOU W4NT TO H34R HOW 1 D1D 1T?
AA: i must c0nfess i can n0 l0nger summ0n my pri0r enthusiasm f0r m0st t0pics
AA: but if it will make y0u happy t0 describe these events then please d0 s0
GC: W41T WH4T
GC: SH3 CR1PPL3D T4VROS 4ND K1LL3D YOUR LUSUS BUT NOW YOU DONT C4R3 TH4T SH3 GOT WH4T SH3 D3S3RV3D?
AA: d0nt be distressed ab0ut me im 0kay with this
AA: are y0u happy t0 think that vriska g0t what she deserved
GC: >:/
GC: WHY TH3 H3LL 4R3 YOU 4SK1NG M3 TH4T? 1'M TH3 ON3 WHO ORCH3STR4T3D H3R D34TH, WHY WOULDNT 1 B3 H4PPY?
GC: I M34N SH3 W4S ONLY
GC: ...
GC: OK Y34H 1 4M K1ND OF P1SS3D
GC: 3V3N 1F SH3 W4S 4 B1TCH SH3 W4S ST1LL MY FR13ND
AA: y0u did the right thing terezi
GC: 1 KNOW TH4T! 1T DO3SNT M34N 1 H4V3 TO L1K3 1T
AA: 0f c0urse
AA: we will all have t0 d0 things we w0nt like 0n the path ahead 0f us
GC: 4R3 YOU TRY1NG TO B3 PROFOUND? B3C4US3 TH4T SOUNDS MOR3 L1K3 4 LO4D OF HOOFB34ST DROPP1NGS
AA: n0 n0t pr0f0und
AA: really i sh0uld have listened t0 y0u instead 0f attacking vriska myself
AA: but my f0lly will at least serve a greater purp0se
AA: perhaps i 0ught t0 envy y0u since y0u did the right thing and served the greater purp0se at the same time
GC: 4R4D14 YOUR3 SOUND1NG W31RD3R TH4N USU4L
GC: HOW MUCH H4V3 YOU B33N SP34K1NG TO TH3 D34D R3C3NTLY?
GC: OR 1S SOLLUX RUBB1NG OFF ON YOU?
AA: terezi n0 matter what happens in the next few days y0u can take s0lace in the fact that y0u did the right thing
AA: please remember that
AA: and y0u can l00k f0rward to speaking with y0ur lusus
GC: WH4T
AA: i cant tell y0u any m0re
AA: i need t0 g0 n0w
-- apocalypseArisen [AA] ceased trolling gallowsCalibrator [GC] --

-- apocalypseArisen [AA] began trolling twinArmageddons [TA] --
AA: s0llux
AA: 0h y0ure sleeping right n0w
AA: tr0ll me when y0u wake up 0kay
-- apocalypseArisen [AA] ceased trolling twinArmageddons [TA] --

>Be past Aradia.

You behold a seam running the length of the universe. Though you have never seen it before, you instinctively realize it has been there all along, and that you simply lacked the eyes to see it until this moment. As you watch, the seam splits wide open and your every sense is filled with the luminescent blackness of the Furthest Ring.

You had known for years beforehand that the Noble Circle inhabiting the Ring are a terror to the living yet an infinite comfort to the dead, but this knowledge had previously been secondhand. Now you truly understand. Oglogoth, the smallest of the Circle, extends a tentacle in your direction. You reach with your spectral hand in response; at this moment you desire nothing more than a long, restful nap in his warm embrace.

>Be future Aradia.

-- apocalypseArisen [AA] began trollinggrimAuxiliatrix [GA] --
AA: hell0 kanaya
GA: Hello Aradia
GA: It Is Quite Fortuitous That You Should Contact Me Now Seeing As I Was Just About To Contact You
AA: i d0nt think luck is a thing that exists
AA: we pr0bably intend t0 speak ab0ut the same thing
GA: Um
GA: Setting Aside That Strange And Ominous Tangent I Wish To Speak With You About That Doll
AA: the 0ne i rec0vered fr0m the ruins n0t far fr0m my hive c0rrect
GA: Yes That Is Indeed The Doll In Question
AA: n0 i d0 n0t wish the d0ll returned t0 me
GA: Wait What
AA: n0w that y0uve finished mending the d0ll and crafting a m0re fashi0nable 0utfit f0r him
AA: y0u find his gaze unsettling s0 y0u wish t0 be rid 0f him d0 y0u n0t
GA: Yes Those Facts You Just Stated Are Certainly Things That Are True
GA: However Seeing As I Have Not Mentioned These Facts To Anyone I Am Finding Your Knowledge Of Them To Be Nearly As Unsettling As The Aforementioned Doll
AA: 0h
GA: How Did You Come By That Information
AA: i supp0se making m0re 0f an eff0rt t0 c0nceal my kn0wledge 0f the future w0uld make further c0nversati0ns easier
GA: Knowledge Of The Future Oh Dear Aradia Are The Spirits Bothering You More Than Usual
AA: they d0nt b0ther me at all n0w
GA: I Can Not Claim To Be An Expert On Matters Of Hauntings However Would I Be Correct In Assuming That This Is A Good Thing For You
AA: y0u c0uld certainly say that
GA: Aradia If Something Is Wrong And I Can Help In Some Way Please Do Not Hesitate To Ask Me
AA: actually there is
GA: What Is It
AA: y0u remember the writing y0u transcribed f0r s0llux and me fr0m the ruins near y0ur hive
GA: Yes I Do
AA: i need the c0mplete c0de
GA: Oh My
AA: y0u d0 n0t have t0 transcribe the entire thing y0urself
AA: merely what y0u can while i transcribe the c0de fr0m the ruins near my hive
AA: after i finish i will c0py what remains 0f the writing fr0m y0ur ruins myself
GA: What
GA: Dont You Think That Perhaps This Task Is Too Large For Two Trolls To Complete
AA: due t0 a recent transfigurati0n 0f s0rts i am very capable 0f c0mpleting this task
AA: and it is vitally imp0rtant that i d0 s0
GA: May I Inquire As To The Reason Why
AA: yes but n0
AA: yes y0u may certainly ask
AA: but due t0 the nature 0f the task i must defer the answer until after y0ur part has been c0mpleted
GA: That Is Not A Reassuring Response
GA: Aradia I Can Not Help But Notice That You Are Acting Strangely You Dont Want To Tell Me About It But Something Is Wrong
AA: i supp0se my current situati0n c0uld be described as wr0ng but i am taking steps t0 c0rrect it
AA: in the meantime i am 0kay
GA: Aradia You Are Continuing To Be Evasive
AA: i supp0se i am
AA: i rec0mmend y0u l0ck that d0ll in a str0ng w00den chest
-- apocalypseArisen [AA] ceased trolling grimAuxiliatrix [GA] --
GA: What
GA: Damn It Aradia

>Be Past Aradia.

As you drift closer to Oglogoth, the song of the Noble Ones is interrupted by a voice, all too familiar to you.

No, this is not your path.

Well, this is profoundly disappointing. You had hoped that the lingering dead who had followed you all your life would remain in the mortal plane, and that once you left it you would be free of their voices.

Child, this is not your-

"I'm dead", you say to the spirits, not caring whether your voice betrays your frustration. "If this is not my path, then why am I dead?"

>Be future Aradia.

-- apocalypseArisen [AA] began trolling centaursTesticle [CT] --
AA: hell0 equius
CT: D --> Oh my
CT: D --> Hearing from you is quite a surprise. Vriska was under the mistaken impression that you had e%pired
AA: vriska is c0rrect
AA: i am dead and am speaking t0 y0u as a gh0st
CT: D --> Oh
CT: D --> That is a distressing turn of events
AA: if y0u say s0
CT: D --> Even though killing a maroon-b100d such as yourself is well within the rights of a b100bl00d such as Vriska
CT: D --> It is misfortunate that you of all trolls should be one of her victims
AA: y0u d0nt have t0 be distressed
AA: im n0t
CT: D --> You understand that this is the proper way of things then
AA: my death was necessary
AA: th0ugh perhaps n0t in the sense that y0u imply
CT: D --> What sense do you mean then
AA: i have imp0rtant w0rk t0 d0
AA: n0w that im a gh0st im better able t0 c0mprehend and c0mplete this w0rk
CT: D --> Yes even the lowest b100ds perform an important service
CT: D --> So your commitment to that work even in death is very um
CT: D --> Admirable
CT: D --> Your characteristic level-headedness only makes the circumstances of your death all the more perple%ing
AA: h0w s0
CT: D --> Why did you provoke Serket
AA: pr0v0ke
CT: D --> She told me that you e%humed the spirits of her victims and sent them to haunt her
AA: yes i did that
CT: D --> I would e%pect such f001ishness from any other lowb100d, but I thought you were better
AA: it was als0 necessary
CT: D --> How
CT: D --> How could such impudent behavior towards your betters be necessary
AA: vriska didnt tell y0u what she did t0 tavr0s did she
AA: i sh0uld tell y0u later y0u might find it amusing
AA: but thats n0t the reas0n i tr0lled y0u equius
AA: i need y0ur help
CT: D --> I will entertain your request
CT: D --> With your understanding that I am under no obligation to comply
AA: d0nt let any0ne else kn0w that im dead
AA: if y0u please
CT: D --> Is that all
AA: if y0u d0nt think y0u can d0 it then i understand y0u are under n0 0bligati0n t0 c0mply
CT: D --> No
CT: D --> I mean yes I can
CT: D --> I am abso100tely capable
CT: D --> I simply e%pected that you would request something more substantial
CT: D --> Nor do I see the usefulness of this secrecy
AA: if y0u care f0r me at all y0u will trust me when i say
AA: it is necessary
CT: D --> Oh my
CT: D --> Are you
CT: D --> Implying
AA: we will speak again later
-- apocalypseArisen [AA] ceased trolling centaursTesticle [CT] --
CT: D --> That you oh darn it

>Be Past Aradia.

There is work, yet undone, among the mortals.

"That's no longer my concern."

The game is not complete!

"Damn the game."

If you stop now, your friends will all perish in the reckoning.

You have no response to this. As you push yourself away from Oglogoth's embrace, back towards the mortal plane, you silently curse the game for stealing from you: first your life, and now your afterlife.

One of the tentacles, wrapped around your wrist, does not let go.

>Be future Aradia.

-- carcinoGeneticist [CG] began trolling apocalypseArisen [AA] --
CG: ARADIA.
CG: SAY SOMETHING.
AA: s0mething?
CG: SWEET GLORY GRUBFUCKING HALLELUJAH, SHE SPEAKS.
AA: hell0 karkat
CG: THERE WAS ABSOLUTELY NO REASON WHATSOEVER TO ASSUME THAT YOU WERE DEAD; LO AND BEHOLD, YOU'RE NOT DEAD!
CG: STOP THE PRESSES, THE STORY OF THE FUCKING CENTURY IS BREAKING RIGHT NOW. THE PROPAGANDADIERS ARE GONNA BE ALL OVER THIS SHIT.
AA: s0 y0u didnt think i died
CG: SOMEBODY GIVE THE SPOOKY ARCHEOLOGIST A GRUBCOOKIE. OF COURSE I DIDN'T THINK YOU WERE DEAD.
CG: BUT TEREZI AND SOLLUX WERE PRETTY FUCKING CONVINCED. THEY'VE BEEN TROLLING ME PRETTY MUCH NONSTOP, CRYING ON MY SHOULDER ABOUT HOW BADLY YOU BIT IT AND HOW YOUR SOUL WENT UP TO BE TANGLE BUDDIES WITH THE ABOMINATIONS IN THE SKY.
CG: WEEP NOT FOR OUR DEAR DEPARTED SISTER, FOR SHE'S IN A BETTER T'LCHRUTHB NOW.
CG: OR MAYBE YOU GOT TIRED OF JUST TALKING TO GHOSTS AND DECIDED TO BECOME ONE YOURSELF. THAT WOULD BE HILARIOUS IF IT WASN'T SUCH COMPLETE BULLSHIT.
AA: 0_0
CG: FUCK YOU THAT JOKE WAS FUNNY AND YOU KNOW IT.
CG: ANYWAY WHAT I'M TRYING TO SAY IS, TEREZI AND SOLLUX ARE LESS THAN SANE EVEN AT THE BEST OF TIMES, SO THEY'RE NOT TAKING YOUR ALLEGED DEATH PARTICULARLY WELL. I AM CALLING ON YOU, THE SOURCE OF THEIR DISTRESS, TO SET THEIR FEEBLE, TROUBLED MINDS AT EASE.
CG: THEY'RE YOUR FRIENDS, MEGIDO. WHAT KIND OF FRIEND ARE YOU IF YOU LET THEM KEEP THINKING YOU'RE DEAD? THE ABSOLUTE WORST KIND, THAT'S WHAT.
AA: 0h n00000000
CG: IN FACT, I'M MAKING THIS SHIT OFFICIAL. IF, BY THIS TIME TOMORROW, TEREZI AND SOLLUX AREN'T TRIPPING OVER EACH OTHER TO APOLOGIZE TO ME FOR EVER DOUBTING MY SKEPTICISM,
CG: I WILL MARCH MY ASS DOWN TO GAMZEE'S HIVE,
CG: YANK THE "ALTERNIA'S SHITTIEST FRIEND" PLAQUE RIGHT OFF HIS WALL,
CG: THEN MARCH OUT TO THE HOWLING WILDERNESS WHERE YOU SEE FIT TO LIVE,
CG: AND I WILL WALK RIGHT UP TO YOUR FRONT DOOR AND GO ALL TROLL MARTIN LUTHER ON IT.
CG: BANG BANG BANG
CG: OUT OF A LOVE FOR THE TRUTH AND THE DESIRE TO BRING IT TO THE LIGHT, THE FOLLOWING PROPOSITION WILL BE DISCUSSED: ARADIA MEGIDO IS A SHITTY FRIEND.
AA: i d0nt have a fr0nt d00r anym0re
CG: WELL FUCK YOU THEN I'LL GO WITH PLAN B.
CG: I'LL BURY THE PLAQUE SOMEWHERE IN YOUR LATEST DIGGING SITE. IN FACT, THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN MY PLAN A FROM THE START, BECAUSE THIS WAY YOU'LL BE GUARANTEED TO ACTUALLY READ THE FUCKER.
CG: CONGRATULATIONS, MEGIDO. IT'S A MATTER OF HISTORICAL RECORD THAT KARKAT VANTAS AND SOME OTHER ASSHOLES WHO DIED SIX MILLION YEARS AGO ALL THINK YOU'RE A PIECE OF SHIT.
AA: that w0nt be necessary
CG: NO, YOU CAN'T STOP ME. MY HIKING BOOTS ARE BY THE DOOR AND MY LUSUS IS MAKING ME A BAG LUNCH FOR THE TRIP. YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW FUCKING READY I AM TO DO THIS SHOULD YOU FAIL, MEGIDO.
AA: ive already sp0ken with terezi
AA: s0llux is sleeping n0w but ill speak with him when he wakes up
CG: WILL THE MIRACLES NEVER CEASE.
CG: THANK YOU, ARADIA, FOR NOT FORCING ME TO BRAVE THE UNTAMED WILDERNESS THAT SERVES AS YOUR GINORMOUS-ASS LAWN RING.
CG: AND FOR SPARING ME THE EVEN-MORE-SANITY-SHATTERING HORRORS OF GAMZEE'S HIVE.
CG: AND I'M SURE GAMZEE WOULD THANK YOU FOR NOT DEPRIVING HIM OF HIS POSITION OF WORST FRIEND EVER, WHICH IS DOUBTLESS THE ONLY FIRST PLACE HE'LL EVER EARN IN HIS LIFE.
AA: y0ure welc0me
CG: ANYWAY SEEING AS YOU ARE NOW CONFIRMED AS A NON-SHITTY FRIEND,
CG: AND IF TEREZI AND SOLLUX FIND OUT I ALLEGED OTHERWISE, THEY'LL NEVER LET ME HEAR THE END OF IT,
CG: THIS IS ME APOLOGIZING ON BEHALF OF MYSELF A MINUTE AGO FOR MAYBE FLYING OFF THE HANDLE JUST A LITTLE BIT.
AA: y0ure angry because y0ure c0ncerned ab0ut y0ur friends
AA: theres n0 need t0 ap0l0gize f0r that
CG: APOLOGY RESCINDED THEN.
CG: AND DON'T YOU GO PROJECTING THAT SENTIMENTAL BULLSHIT ON ME. I AM NOT "CONCERNED" FOR MY "FRIENDS". I AM A BLOODTHIRSTY THRESHECUTIONER WITH A VASCULAR PUMP OF STONE, TRYING TO MAKE SURE THE REST OF MY METAPHORICAL TEAM DOESN'T GO SHITHIVE MAGGOTS THE INSTANT I TURN MY BACK ON THEM.
AA: y0u are a g00d leader karkat
CG: HOLY FUCKING SHIT
CG: YES AND THANK YOU.
CG: YOU ARE NOW THE FIRST TROLL BESIDES ME TO EVER ACKNOWLEDGE THAT OBVIOUS FACT.
CG: I THINK YOU JUST MADE YOURSELF ELIGIBLE TO JOIN THE ELITE CIRCLE OF TROLLS WHO AREN'T COMPLETE NOOKSNIFFING MORONS.
CG: GOOD THING, TOO. KANAYA AND I WERE GETTING LONELY.
CG: CONGRATULATIONS.
AA: thank y0u
CG: JUST BRING ONE OF YOUR TROLL INDIANA JONES MOVIES TO THE NEXT CLUB MEETING. IF I HAVE TO WATCH ONE MORE OF KANAYA'S RAINBOW DRINKER MOVIES, I WILL RIP OFF MY HORNS AND POKE MY OWN EYES OUT WITH THEM.
AA: karkat s0me0ne else is tr0lling me i need t0 g0 n0w
CG: FINE.
-- carcinoGeneticist [CG] ceased trolling apocalypseArisen [AA] --

>Be past Aradia.

"I'm sorry," you whisper, "but I have to go back." You pull away again, but the grip around your wrist only becomes tighter. "My friends still need me! Let me go!" You pull away yet again, as hard as you can.

You sense the spirits surrounding you and pulling with you, adding their psychic strength to your own. But Oglogoth's grip still does not loosen. Something has to give.

>Be future Aradia.

-- caligulasAquarium [CA] began trolling apocalypseArisen [AA] --
CA: wwhats this im hearin about you blackflirtin wwith vvris?
AA: what indeed
CA: dont play stupid!
CA: you knoww that spooky psychic shit you did to send a bunch a fuckin ghosts to haunt her an shit
AA: 0h that
CA: yes THAT dammit
CA: shes my fuckin kismesis so you either knock off the brazen caliginous solicitations or find yourself an auspitice
CA: else youll find yourself facin my wwhite hot wwrath am i makin myself clear
AA: this is silly
CA: silly fuck you no im dead fuckin serious here
AA: i pr0mise y0u i have n0 interest in filling any quadrant with miss serket
CA: an im supposed to believve your hauntin wwas purely fuckin platonic then
AA: it was an attempt t0 avenge a friend
AA: she t0ld y0u ab0ut tavr0s right
CA: oh cod
CA: so you really do hate her platonically then
AA: n0t anym0re
CA: WWHAT
AA: i really d0nt feel anything t0wards vriska anym0re
AA: n0ne 0f the quadrants n0r d0 i wish t0 kill her
AA: it w0uld be c0unterpr0ductive
CA: wwell
CA: thats good then
CA: but if youre lyin ill find out an personally acquaint you wwith the business end of ahabs crosshairs am i makin myself clear
AA: as crystal
CA: noww that wwe understand each other i guess thats all there is to say about that
AA: actually it is g00d that y0u c0ntacted me n0w because i need y0ur help
CA: wwith wwhat?
AA: y0u kn0w feferi peixes c0rrect
CA: my relationship wwith fef is none a your fuckin business
AA: i just need t0 speak with her and i lack a means 0f d0ing s0
CA: well of course you dont havve her contact info
CA: shes the fuckin heir to the throne she doesnt havve time to associate wwith rustblood wwrigglers
AA: actually weve sp0ken in the past but shes always c0ntacted me
CA: wwhatEVVER
AA: can y0u at least pass al0ng a message f0r me
CA: i suppose
AA: tell her the vast glub will happen in a little 0ver a sweep
AA: there is n0thing in 0ur p0wer t0 prevent it
CA: holy fuckin shit
CA: howw the fuck do you knoww about that the vvast glubs a fuckin state secret
CA: wwho else havve you told
AA: 0h ive seen this m0vie
AA: this is the part where i answer "y0ure the first pers0n ive t0ld"
AA: then y0u say "very g00d" just bef0re y0u kill me
AA: and the audience is sh0cked by the revelati0n that y0ure the trait0r in the midst 0f the her0es
CA: the fuck are you goin on about
AA: 0nly it cant play 0ut that way because were n0t talking in pers0n
AA: and if y0u l00k f0r me y0u w0nt find me unless i want y0u t0
AA: and due t0 circumstances id rather n0t elab0rate 0n y0u cant kill me
CA: fuck girl do you evver dial back the spooky bullshit evven for like a second im not gonna kill you
CA: noww that wwe're cool regarding my kismesis i got no reason to dislike you more than any other fuckin landdwweller
AA: 0kay
CA: im just sayin you should be careful who you go tellin about the glub
CA: the condesce doesnt wwant too many people knowwin that fefs lusus can fuckin kill seadwwellers too
AA: as i said bef0re im in n0 danger
AA: and i havent endangered any0ne else with that kn0wledge
CA: vvery good
CA: so howw the fuck do you knoww about the glub then
AA: centuries ag0 the vast glub was n0t a state secret
AA: and i kn0w a thing 0r tw0 ab0ut arche0l0gy
CA: huh
AA: als0 the spirits helped me fill in a few gaps
CA: i fuckin kneww it its alwways fuckin ghosts wwith you
AA: 0_0
CA: so wwhat wwere you sayin about the glub happenin in one swweep?
AA: that is s0mething i need t0 tell feferi directly
CA: FINE geez ill tell her to get in touch wwith you
-- caligulasAquarium [CA] ceased trolling apocalypseArisen [AA] --

>Be past Aradia.

Something does give. You are suddenly free of the grip and hurtling back towards the physical plane, but a part of you, torn away, remains in Oglogoth's embrace.

You are okay with this turn of events. What you have just lost was not strictly necessary; in fact, its loss will make the tasks ahead far easier.

The inky light of the Furthest Ring and the rumbling song of its inhabitants fade from your awareness as you approach the ruined remains of your hive. You briefly consider the advantages of reanimating your body, but a glance confirms that the circumstances of your death have left nothing to reanimate. Well, persistence as an intangible spirit is also okay.

>Be future Aradia.

-- apocalypseArisen [AA] began trolling ?????? --
AA: hell0
How interesting. You are the second person to contact me unbidden today.
AA: why did y0u tell her t0 kill me
Straight to the point, I see. But incorrect. I did nothing of the sort.
AA: i th0ught y0u prided y0urself 0n n0t lying
That is both correct and irrelevant to the topic at hand.
AA: y0u were the last pers0n t0 speak t0 vriska bef0re she killed me and y0u certainly werent trying t0 dissuade her
My prodding assured that your death occurred at the proper time. Do you honestly think that, absent my intervention, Vriska would have let you live?
AA: why are y0u asking me
AA: y0ure the 0mniscient 0ne
Why do you think I'm asking you?
AA: i can test y0ur hyp0thesis
Oh, really?
AA: i can split 0ff a d00med timeline cl0ne and send her back t0 interrupt y0ur pr0dding s0meh0w
AA: see what vriska d0es then
That is foolish and unnecessary.
AA: t00 late i already have d0ne and will d0 it
AA: 0ne 0f the v0ices is telling me the results right n0w
Now you're trying my patience.
AA: y0ur em0ti0nal state is irrelevant t0 the topic at hand
AA: if my current demean0r is an irritati0n then y0u have 0nly y0urself t0 blame
I see no point in continuing this argument.
AA: 0f c0urse y0u w0uldnt
AA: y0u still havent answered my questi0n
You have yet to ask a question worth answering.
AA: is y0ur refusal t0 answer me simply a mask f0r ign0rance
AA: 0r
AA: is it intended t0 hide fr0m me inf0rmati0n which might threaten y0ur 0wn plans
Do you honestly have nothing better to do? Your accusations have certainly become a waste of my time.
Surely you can recognize the gravity of that accomplishment. A being of my stature, possessing almost the entire lifespan of the universe with which to work, cannot justify the expenditure of another minute in conversation with you.
AA: then i ap0l0gize f0r casting aspersi0ns 0n the man wh0 0rchestrated my death
AA: i simply wish t0 kn0w what purp0se it will serve
AA: assuming that is n0t t00 difficult f0r y0u t0 understand and describe
Very well. As divergent as our agendas are, they both agree on the necessity of you creating the game and entering it with your eleven companions. Were you to remain alive, the weaknesses and distractions of the flesh would waylay you from the completion of this goal within the alloted timeframe. Now that you have shuffled off the mortal coil, you are more than capable of seeing it to completion in the time that remains. Surely, even you can comprehend why your death would be necessary under those circumstances.
I might even say,
If your current state is an irritation, you have only yourself to blame.
AA: given the way vriska sp0ke 0f y0u i th0ught y0u w0uld be smarter than this
Think whatever you wish.
-- apocalypseArisen [AA] ceased trolling ?????? --

>Be past Aradia.

The instrument of your death lay at the edge of your lawn ring, prone and unconscious. It will not do for him to remain: if he wakes up here, he'll know beyond all doubt the role he played (however unintentionally) in this destruction. And that's assuming that he doesn't get killed in his sleep by the sunrise or some wild animal.

You will not allow any of those to come to pass.

With your mind, you lift Sollux Captor into the air and begin flying towards the city, towards his hivestem.

>Be future Aradia.

-- apocalypseArisen [AA] began trolling arachnidsGrip [AG] --
AA: hell0 vriska
AG: 8luh!
AG: So you're still alive and you've come to gloat a8out it. Just my luck!
AG: I don't see how this week could possi8ly get any worse!
AA: well y0u c0uld be paralyzed fr0m the waist d0wn
AA: 0r blind
AA: 0r dead
AA: like me
AG: Dead?
AA: yes
AG: Well if you're so dead, then H8W THE HELL 8RE YOU TR8LLING ME?
AA: yes a p0werful psychic died with unfinished business in the m0rtal realm
AA: s0 when her spirit persisted as a gh0st it was a sh0cking twist that n0 0ne c0uld have ever seen c0ming
AG: Gr8! You're 8eing even more smug and annoying than when you were alive.
AG: You don't even have any reason to 8e smug! You're dead, I won, ha ha!
AA: yes
AG: Dead dead dead dead dead dead dead DEAD!
AA: c0ngratulati0ns
AG: 88888888rg!
AG: Quit 8eing such a spoilsport! How am I supposed to gloat if you're just going to take it like that?
AG: I guess I'll just have to gloat to the others, then.
AA: y0u will d0 n0thing 0f the s0rt
AA: the 0ther tr0lls must n0t kn0w that i am dead
AG: What? Why the fuck not?
AA: they all have j0bs t0 d0
AA: just as y0u and i each have j0bs t0 d0
AA: my j0b requires me t0 be a gh0st
AA: y0ur j0b requires y0u t0 be the 0ne t0 kill me
AA: and they will n0t be able t0 c0mplete their j0bs if they learn that i am dead
AG: 8ooooooooring
AA: if that w0rk is n0t c0mpleted they will all die
AA: and i will n0t all0w that t0 happen
AG: Hahahaha l8me!
AG: So what are you gonna do if I do tell those losers? Haunt me?
AG: 8ecause that worked out soooooooo well for you last time you tried it!
AA: i tr0lled several 0thers between my death and this m0ment and i will c0ntinue t0 tr0ll them f0r s0me time
AA: they believe im alive and y0u will l00k exceedingly silly if y0u try t0 c0nvince them 0therwise
AG: Oh, aren't you a sneakypants?
AG: Well, it's too l8. I already told Equius and he 8elieved me!
AG: It's not like you can even 8lame me for it! I was really loopy from 8lood loss, so I couldn't gloat properly! I can't even remem8er his reaction very well.
AG: 8ut it looks like the dead cat's already out of the 8ag! :::;D
AA: i already sp0ke with Equius
AA: hes agreed t0 keep the secret
AG: Oh maaaaaaaan
AG: You took advantage of that guy's r8ging flushcrush for you, huh?
AA: 0_0
AG: I never thought you were c8pa8le of that sort of underhanded manipul8ion.
AG: I'm impressed!
AG: May8e we started off on the wrong foot, Megido. I think this could 8e the start of something really excellent!
-- apocalypseArisen [AA] ceased trolling arachnidsGrip [AG] --
AG: May8e I could talk the sweaty creep into
AG: Oh come oooooooon!

>Be past Aradia.

You curl your arms underneath Sollux's back, as if using them to carry the troll boy in defiance of your lack of corporeal mass. You're reasonably certain that it's a pointless gesture. Sollux's ability to sense the dead has always been auditory rather than tactile; he would not feel your touch even if he were awake. You certainly feel nothing—not even the pangs that would have wounded your past self had she ever found herself simultaneously this near and this completely separated from the boy in your arms.

Well, that's not completely true. You do feel one thing. You feel that holding Sollux is right.

You look at his face and wonder about the nature of his dreams at this moment. You can only assume that he's being plagued by dark visions—after all, he is in this moment recovering from having his body stolen and used as a weapon, and doing so without the aid of sopor slime—but his face betrays none of this.

You lean your head close to his ear and quietly begin singing. It's an old song, one your living self had nearly forgotten, one your lusus would sing to you when you were just a grub afraid to sleep. You hope that this will help now. Death has driven a great deal of uncertainty from your mind; whether or not a lullaby sung by a ghost will ease Sollux's dreams is one of the few questions that remain.

>Be future Aradia.

-- twinArmageddons [TA] began trolling apocalypseArisen [AA] --
TA: aa!
AA: im here
TA: ii2 that really you?
AA: why w0uldnt it be me
TA: ii thought you were dead.
TA: 2hiit ii 2aw you diie!
TA: vk made me
TA: iit wa2 really fuckiing bad okay?
AA: and then y0u w0ke up back in y0ur hive as if n0thing had happened c0rrect
AA: and here we are tr0lling each 0ther
TA: but iit diidn't feel liike a dream.
TA: iit wa2 two real.
AA: fine s0llux if y0ud rather believe me dead im 0kay with that
TA: no! 2hiit that2 not what ii meant at all.
TA: why diid ii 2ay that? iit2 2tupiid and iim 2tupiid.
TA: iit2 ju2t that heariing youre really aliive 2eem2 two good two be true.
TA: iit2 certaiinly better than ii fuckiing de2erve.
AA: n0 it isnt
AA: deserving really has n0thing t0 d0 with it
TA: what?
AA: y0u deserve better than this s0llux
TA: are you ju2t fii2hiing for compliiment2 or do you 2eriiou2ly thiink that?
TA: because that pe22iimii2tiic bull2hiit ii2 my 2htiick, aa. youre 2uppo2ed two be the optiimii2t here.
AA: i d0nt feel pessimistic
AA: and y0ure t00 hard 0n y0urself
AA: bad things happen and then y0u say y0u deserve it but thats n0t true at all
AA: please try t0 remember that
TA: that ii2
TA: kiind of a weiird thiing for you two 2ay aa.
TA: hell everythiing about the2e la2t few niight2 just 2eem2 weiird.
TA: aa iif youre also goiing weiird on me that miight ju2t be the dry gra22 that broke the humpbea2t2 2pinal column a2 far a2 my 2anity2 concerned.
AA: n0 im 0kay s0llux
AA: im here and im 0kay
AA: i need y0u t0 be 0kay
TA: ii gue22 ii can do that.
AA: and i need y0ur help writing s0me c0de
TA: hell yeah you know ii can do that.
AA: als0
AA: terezi needs y0ur help
TA: ugh her.
TA: ii dont under2tand why you hang out wiith that biitch.
TA: ii 2wear 2he2 almo2t a2 bad a2 vk.
TA: iif vk hadn't hurt you then ii would have ju2t 2tayed out of theiir damn fiight and let them kiill each other.
TA: oh waiit! vk diidn't hurt you after all!
TA: there goe2 my only rea2on for giiviing a 2hiit about tho2e fuckiing blueblood2!
AA: s0llux
AA: thats n0t very nice
TA: yeah ii'm 2orry.
TA: iif tz ii2 a friiend of your2 and kk2 then ii 2hould at lea2t try two be ciiviil for your 2ake.
TA: iin2tead look at me talkiing 2hiit about tz behiind her back.
TA: iim beiing 2uch a nook2niiffer for no rea2on.
TA: what the fuck wa2 ii even thiinkiing?
AA: s0llux
TA: ii wa2n't thiinkiing that2 what.
AA: s0llux
AA: she needs y0ur help n0t y0ur self-pity
TA: oh
AA: d0nt ap0l0gize just listen
AA: terezi tried t0 kill vriska
AA: she failed
AA: vriska will retaliate very s00n
TA: how the hell do you know thii2?
AA: the v0ices t0ld me
TA: holy 2hiit.
AA: n0thing can be d0ne t0 st0p vriska
AA: but if y0u leave n0w y0u can reach terezis hive in time t0 save her life
TA: how? ii have no clue where her hiive even ii2.
AA: i have a map

-- [AA] sent file M4PTOTR33H1V3P4RTYTOWN.JPG to [TA] --

TA: 2hiit that2 far.
TA: youre gonna owe me biig tiime for thii2.
AA: i supp0se s0
AA: we can discuss that and s0me 0ther matters after y0u've saved terezi fr0m death by exp0sure
TA: alriight iim goiing.
-- twinArmageddons [TA] ceased trolling apocalypseArisen [AA] --

>Be past Aradia at the moment when she becomes future Aradia.

You are seated on the roof of Sollux' hivestem. Several floors below, Sollux is where you placed him, sound asleep in his recuperacoon.

Everyone has a job to do. Yours at the moment is to prod the others into doing their jobs. You retrieve the computer from your sylladex, open up Trollian, and begin typing.