Chapter 1: Vriska
Your name was Vriska Serket and you couldn't breathe.
It felt like chloroform was racing through your veins and your fingers were bleeding and tears were forming in your eyes and spilling over the rims and you had to hide in the janitor's closet so they wouldn't find you. You couldn't reach for the light switch because they'd know you were here, but you were so scared of the dark. It terrified you. You were shaking and crying and covering your mouth with your hands to keep yourself quiet. You remembered that she could hear like a hawk and so you were panicking because you were sure that she was going to pick up on your horrified heartbeat, staggering and tripping over itself.
You had backed up just a little and felt yourself bump gently into something sort of soft. It gave a bit under you and you turned around silently and extended your bloody fingers and you could feel skin. You wanted to throw up but you kept going and traced the eyes and let your fingers sink into her hair. And you knew. You knew it was Aradia and you knew she was dead.
You held back the sob in your throat even though it was the hardest thing you'd ever done. You sat back and you put your head in your hands and you let the bubble of terror in your throat burst and you cried silently.
You couldn't stop.
You cried until your eyes burned and your cellphone went off with a text message. You froze there and you waited until you were sure that she wasn't coming by and then you opened the phone and shielded the light with your hand. The message was from someone you'd never spoken to before, you assumed from the long string of numbers, no preset name.
You opened it.-- ectoBiologist [EB] began trolling arachnidsGrip [AG] --
eB: hey vriska! what happened? why are you crying? :(This did not make you comfortable. The typing style was unfamiliar and no one you knew besides you typed in blue.
You typed out a reply because yes, it was scary as fuck that whoever this was knew your name and what was happening, but Jesus Christ, you were terrified as hell and you needed fucking help. You had never been more grateful that you had a touchscreen phone.
aG: Who the fuck are you???????? How do you know my n8me and wh8t's happening and wh8t I'm doing????????
aG: yes i need help
You sniffed and you wiped your nose on your collar and you didn't even care. You sat there and stared at the phone until another text came through, and your heart broke in the best way. You clutched the thing even though it stung your fingers, still dark red with blood.
eB: omg vriska :(
eB: listen, i want to help you but you have to trust me.
eB: i can't tell you much right now
eB: but trust me, okay? i want to help you. <3
aG: Okay. Anything to get out of here.
aG: My friend Ar8dia is dead.
aG: I think she k8lled hers8lf.
aG: I'm really f8cking sc8red.
eB: i know, sweetheart. <3
eB: i am so sorry to hear about aradia. death is hard.
eB: but i'm going to get you out of there. <3
aG: Where are you????????
aG: I don't underst8nd!!!!!!!!
aG: How are you s8pposed to h8lp????????
eB: vriska honey i can't tell you yet.
eB: just follow my instructions. i promise you will be safe. <3
Aradia was gone. There was nothign you could do to save her. She had saved herself at a horrendous price. The floor near her was slick with blood and you had a feeling that her switchblade was involved. You didn't want to know the details. She always carried that thing with her and now you understood its purpose. Not like it was intentional. It was destiny.
eB: i'm looking at the halls surrounding you right now. they're safe so far.
eB: you can leave if you feel safe.
eB: or you can wait.
eB: i don't mind. <3
There was only silence aroudn you. She wasn't coming. You would hear her footsteps. Three of them. You breathed in deep and got to your feet and you put one hand at the door. Anxiety made you want to vomit as you looked out the window at the darkened halls. The sun was low in the sky and it was only three-fourteen. Such was life in the North. A fitting atmosphere. You took another shaky breath.
"I'm scared," you whispered.
eB: i know. it's a scary thing.
eB: this should not be happening to you.
eB: but it's happening anyway, and i'm doing my best to help.
eB: you're going to live, okay?
So whoever this was was able to hear you. You weren't sure whether to be comfortable, to feel safe and secure, or to freak the fuck out. You weren't sure of anything, though, so it fit right in. Cautiously you opened the door and flinched when it made sound.
eB: vriska, calm down. it's okay.
eB: remember i said it was safe?
"Yeah," you said, "but it's kind of difficult to trust someone you can't even see that says he knows what's going on around you. Or she. I don't know what the hell you are." You said this in the quietest voice you could muster, and he still heard it.
eB: i am a male, vriska. haha! you are so cute!
eB: humans sure are fascinating creatures.
So he wasn't human. Somehow that didn't surprise you. How could he be human? He knew where you were, what you were doing, he knew your name, and he knew what was going on in the halls around you. He even knew your phone number. But it filled you with a sense of safety. If he wasn't human, he wasn't bound by human limitations. He really could see your surroundings and guide you. Maybe you really would be safe.
"Which way?" you whispered.
eB: whichever way you want, sweetheart.
This was infuriating, in a sense. You headed right and tensed up, knowing that it wasn't impossible for someone to rush around a corner and shoot you in the face. You kept one hand dragging lightly across the wall just to feel like there was something there. You accidentally elft blood trails from your fingers and stained the white walls. You could almost hear the alien boy gasp.
eB: vriska! what happened to your hands??
You remained silent and looked up at the ceiling. You weren't sure if that's where he was, but hopefully he saw it and understood.
eB: okay, vriska.
eB: i understand.
eB: you don't want to make noise.
eB: it's okay. <3
eB: you can tell me later.
He guided you through the school, hallway by hallway, and as you got closer, your heart went further and further up your throat. You would have thought that she left the school if it wasn't for the alien boy having you duck or hide in the precise spots that they wouldn't be able to find you as they passed by. It was hard. Every classroom you hid in was full of dead students, their blood dripping off their desks and onto the tile floor. Their blank eyes were staring at you and you felt like they were going to get up and kill you, except they couldn't. Because they were gone and they were never moving again. You knew that in your heart. It twisted like rusted nails.
The sight of the door made you want to cry with happiness. You were just about to run for it when suddenly she rounded the corner and you were so afraid your stomach turned upside down.
She was flashing some kind of gun around. You weren't sure what kind, you'd never had an interest in guns but you did know it was one of those guns that shot a lot of people really fast. She smirked at you and ice crept through your eyes and your mind. You were dead. There was no doubt.
"I want to hear you beg," she said. She was enjoying herself. She flashed the silver of the gun around again and licked up the barrel. "Beg, bitch. Get down on your knees and plead for your life."
You leaned to the side and you vomited all down the wall.
She was so angry but it wasn't your fault. You were so afraid that your legs were trembling and you couldn't breathe and your vision was blacking out. She saw that and it made her smile. She forgave your nauseous outburst for the moment. But she still expected you to beg. You felt your phone vibrating like crazy in your poclet from the alien boy trying to contact you but you didn't dare take it out.
You got down on your knees even though it killed you.
"That's it, Vriska. I can smell your humiliation. I'm surprised, though, I figured you would have put up more of a fight. You're not the submissive kind. Hm. I wonder why that is. Have you finally been tamed?"
She was a blind sniper. That was why you were giving up. Because she was blind and she had synesthesia and it shouldn't have been powerful enough to help her shoot like she did but apparently it was. Because every one of those students you saw was dead. Bullet holes through their heads, every single one. And she knew that that was the reason why and she also knew that she'd kill you if you said it so you kept quiet and bowed your head obediently. You could still taste vomit in your mouth.
"You wanna say something to me, Vriska Serket?"
She grinned at you and the tears started falling again. You tried your hardest to stop them and you opened your mouth and said, "P-Please...don't h-h-hurt me."
"Hm. I think that's kind of insincere. Can you make it sound like you actually mean it, please?"
God, you hated her.
You bit your lip so you wouldn't scream. She knew that this was killing you. You started to say it again with all the sincerity you could manage - which wasn't much. You were just about to destroy all the dignity that you had when suddenly a gust of wind stronger than anything you'd ever experienced funneled through the halls. And you snapped your head up and watched as she backed herself against the wall with wide, unseeing eyes. "What the hell did you do?!" she shrieked, and you could see that the wind was so strong that she couldn't move her hands to shoot you. She was dying to.
"I didn't fucking do anything!" you shouted over it.
You took the time to check your phone. The wind wasn't strong where you were. You were as good as dead anyway.
eB: i'm going to try something really crazy.
eB: just stay where you are and let things happen.
That was the last thing he sent you. He must have meant the wind. As you watched with your jaw slack, you could see words carving themselves into the wall. The breeze near you lifted your hair around your face and you had to manually keep it away so that you could see the indents in the wall forming. She was watching, too, terrified for once in her life.
And then, below that,
Chapter 2: Karkat
This is pro8a8ly my favorite chapter I've written of this fic to d8. <3
I just wrote out allllllll the shipping so all the couples are worked out save for if Jade/Nepeta are going to 8e m8sprits and if Condesce/Eridan or Feferi/Eridan are going to 8e m8sprits. <3
You hated him for telling you that. You knew how to breathe, god damn it. But you did need to breathe, so you focused all your energy on that and stuttered a breath into your lungs. Sollux sighed in relief and you felt his fingers in your hair. You didn't have the strength to make a comment about that. You could tell you were losing blood. Sollux had told you once that the ambulance was coming and left it at that. He wasn't the type to scream hysterically and tell you over and over that you were going to be fine, that the paramedics were practically here, dammit, why couldn't you just please stay awake? He knew that no amount of screaming and crying would make them get here faster.
He was worried, though. You could tell in the skipping and sputtering of his heartbeat and the way his thin fingers twisted anxiously in your hair. You wanted to tell him you'd be alright but you weren't sure you would. You'd taken a knife to the shoulder blade and, to be honest, you weren't sure how you were still functioning. Spinal injuries were so easily caused there. But they must have wanted you to suffer and bleed and not get the 'easy way out' of being paralyzed and unable to feel the damage they did to you.
Your hands were covered in blood, too. They'd forced knives under your nails. You'd heard they did that to a few other people. It was a warning, you guess. It happened this morning, a few hours before the shooting. You're not sure if they were warning you to get out or stay out of their way or don't make them snap. It didn't matter now. Everyone was dead, anyway.
"Am I gonna die?" you whispered.
"No. Don't be thtupid. You're my betht friend, Karkat, you're not allowed to die."
"That's reassuring. Good to know I'm safe from the eternal vortex of death for the simple reason that I'm your best friend. I'm sure whatever dark force governs the underworld will hold off my death just so the two of us can have more friendly and exciting adventures together."
"Tho fucking angry, KK. Thtop being thuch a jackath."
This was how you and Sollux were. You couldn't help being angry all the time - everyone was such a fucking idiot - and Sollux would calm you down and keep you from flying off the handle. You'd insult him and he'd tell you you were being a complete and utter asshole. It was predictable. Comfortable. It helped with Sollux's bipolar disorder and it kept you mellowed out. For the most part, anyway.
Your subconscious realized that the two of you were doing this and it calmed your frantic heartbeat just a little. THIS IS FAMILIAR, it said. NOTHING OUT OF THE ORDINARY HERE. SETTLE YOURSELF DOWN, YOU GODDAMNED FUCKASS. But it couldn't black out the dark red coating your hands and when you lifted one without thinking to get the hair out of your face, you caught sight of the blood and suddenly the anxiety and the panic slammed into you again and pushed through and into your veins. You couldn't breathe but you didn't want to tell Sollux that. He'd worry and god damn it, he was annoying when he was worried. So you shut your eyes as tight as you could and saw the universe imprinted on the back of your eyelids and you weren't sure why.
When the paramedics came, you let yourself go. You stopped trying. Sollux could tell. The light went out in his eyes and suddenly he knew. He came around to the front and shook you gently at first and then harder when he saw you weren't waking up. You could hear it when he called your name and then when his voice cracked and tears started falling from behind his glasses and he had to take a second and wipe furiously at his eyes because he was Sollux and he already got beaten up all the time at school for his lisp and for being good at computers, he did not need crying added to that list but everyone was dead anyway, bullets in their eyes and skulls and maggots crawling through them so what did it matter, no one would even--
"Karkat? I'm Nurse Harley. Do you remember what happened?"
You opened your eyes to see white hospital walls and a girl with hair the color of the midnight sky. She was leaning over you. She had huge green eyes and she looked so worried that she might have been about to cry. She was pretty. She made you feel safe so you liked her.
"There was blood," you told the nice lady. "Lots of blood."
Nurse Harley frowned. You felt like there was sandpaper in your mouth.
"You're right," she said quietly.
"I know I'm right," you said, and laughed. You weren't sure why.
She looked even more concerned. "Do you know your name?"
"Karkat Alexander Vantas." DUH.
"How old are you?"
"When's the last time you remember waking up, besides right now?"
"This morning when I got ready for school. November twenty-fifth, two thousand eleven. That girl Terezi Pyrope shot up the school. She killed everyone." You said the words robotically, like you couldn't afford to care enough to put emotion into them. Nurse Harley didn't write anything down. You were thankful for that, at least. You didn't want to feel like a science experiment.
"What's Terezi like, Karkat?" she asked.
She sat down on the side of your bed and put her hand on your arm. You weren't sure if that was legal or not.
It felt damn good, though.
You tried to remember what Terezi used to be like before she got weird and started torturing that Vriska girl and walking around with that gang she called the Midnight Crew. You remembered that you all went to junior high together. You remembered that Terezi had problems with authority. She was the kind of student to give teachers a hard time, and eventually get them so frustrated that they would send her to the office. Of course, she'd just sit there and smirk and take her punishment and then do it again two days later. It was kind of funny in a way that wasn't really funny. Like you wanted to laugh because it was always hilarious when a teacher got annoyed, but at the same time it was really fucking annoying because it seemed like she was trying way too hard to impress someone, except that "someone" didn't even exist. So she was just doing it to prove herself to herself.
You told all this to Nurse Harley and she nodded. She was concerned. It worried your heart, like you'd just had a bowl of chicken noodle soup on a cold winter day and the broth was floating into your arteries and your neurons. You smiled and tears misted your eyes.
"No one ever cares," you said.
"Well, I care. I hate when people just do their jobs and leave it at that."
It sounded like a lie but it felt like the truth.
"I'm guessing that's the boy with one red and one blue eye that came in with you. He's in the hallway...you want me to let him in?" She smiled at you and you could feel your face light up with the stars. She didn't even have to wait for you to answer. She got up, squeezed your arm once in comfort, and left. You kind of felt bad as she disappeared, you wanted to tell her that she could have stayed but you figured that you could talk to her about it when she came back in.
Besides, Sollux was here.
He came through the door cautiously, very slow, as if he wasn't sure if you were awake yet or not. When the two of you met eyes, his hand flew up to cover his mouth and you saw his own eyes mist over. He stopped dead in his tracks.
"Get the fuck over here," you told him with your heart in your throat.
He took two steps with those long legs and he was there. He wiped his eyes with the sleeve of his coat and tried to cover up a relieved, choked somewhat-sob with a cough, and it turned into a laugh coated with desperation. "I thought you were gonna die, Kar," he said. His voice broke every time he used it. You'd never known how in pain Sollux could sound. The only other time that he really and truly cried in front of you, the heartbroken and gut-wrenching type of crying that made tears well up in your eyes, was when his first real girlfriend went behind his back and fucked Eridan, that stupid shit that tried to pretend he was a hipster, a revolutionary. You found Eridan the next day and tried to beat the shit out of him, but his friend Feferi - who also happened to be friends with most of the school, including you and Sollux - calmed you down. You only listened because she told you she'd bitch Eridan out and you knew Eridam liked Feferi so he listened to her. It was probably for the best. If you got suspended, who would be there to protect Sollux? Not like Eridan had many friends to get revenge, but Sollux was Sollux. That was kind of the only reason anyone needed to go after him.
"Well, I didn't," you said lightheartedly. God, you didn't want to cry because Sollux would cry even more and you'd be having a soap opera right there in the hospital bed. "Hey," you told him, "don't worry about it. I'm fine."
"Obviouthly you haven't theen your bandageth yet."
You hadn't even looked. You lifted your hands. They felt way too heavy. As they came into your field of vision, you tried not to react. White gauze was wrapped around your fingers, gluing them together. Light red splotches the size of dimes littered the areas where you'd been stabbed under the nails. You assumed you'd bled most of it out and this was just the remainder.
"Your chetht, too," said Sollux.
You took a deep breath and you could feel the bandages wrapped around the upper half. Your shoulder felt too tight; you assumed they'd put stitches in it. Wonderful. That probably carried a sentence of no physical activity for a few weeks. You'd go nuts. But Sollux would help you out. He'd stay and play Black Ops with you and bring you pizza and pretty much do all the things that a best friend did. Because that was the way that the two of you were. You were so damn close that you might as well have been extensions of each other.
You lifted one hand back up and Sollux interlaced his fingers with what was showing of yours. Tears fell one at a time from his eyes and he didn't bother to wipe them away because he didn't need to with you.
"I'm tho glad you're thafe," he said quietly.
You smiled at him.
He leaned down and pressed his mouth gently to yours.
Chapter 3: Eridan
Oh my god, this was so fun to write.
(Tez isn't really speaking like Eridan makes her speak in this chapter, it's just how he hears her.)
I think I have a new fondness for my p8ron troll. (i.e., Eridan) <3
Your name was Eridan Ampora and you knew this was goin' to happen.
Tez told you. She wanted you, actually. She'd said you'd be a good addition to this whole movement. She told you that they were goin' to change things. She said you wanna change things? You gotta take action, you can't just sit around doin' nothin', makin' lists of people that you don't like and wishin' somethin' would happen to 'em. God ain't gonna wipe 'em off the face of the earth just 'cuz you want 'im to. She got up in your face and stuck it to ya. Said, Eridan, yer smart. Yer smart and ya gotta whole lot 'a anger in ya. I like that. You and me, we're the same in a whole lot 'a ways. But yer a-fraid to do anythin' about yer hate!
Wwell, wwhat the fuck am I supposed to do, Tez, you tell me that, you said.
She took hold of your hand. You could see in her eyes that she was right, the two of you were so alike, but she handled it differently. She pissed people off. She was loud an' flamboyant. You sat in the back of the class and made lists of people you hated, and that you'd like to see dead, and ways to kill 'em.
Ya got yer list, Eri? she asked.
Sure do, can't just leavve it lyin' around, you told her.
Alright, then, just give it to me and I'll make sure everyone on it is dead by Christmas. That'll be your Christmas present, okay?
Your heart sped up in your chest. You said, Ya ain't lyin', then?
No, sir, I don't lie. I'm on the side 'a justice.
Then howw can ya kill people like it ain't nothin'?
Don't ya see, Eridan? Gettin' rid of these people is justice. Tell me a story about someone who hurt ya once, Eridan. Tell me in detail.
So you let the hate fill ya up. Black swam in your eyes as you relived every detail. Sollux Captor, you told her, Sollux fuckin' Captor. He's on my list.
Your hate list?
No, my shoppin' list. Yes, my hate list, Tez, the list of people I wwanna kill.
So what'd he do?
It ain't nothin' right out, you said, it's more of a thing wwhere he kneww he wwas hurtin' me, but he kept right on doin' it.
Yer justifying, she said. Now normally I like justice but yer just bein' ridiculous. Don't give 'em the benefit of the doubt. You tell me what happened without any candy-coatin'.
Okay, then. You knoww Karkat Vvantas?
She scowled like she'd eaten rotten fruit. Yeah, I know 'im. Annoying little shit. He's goin' down soon as I can find 'im alone.
Yeah, wwell, he wwas suppose' to be mine. Best friend, boyfriend, wwhatever. Didn't much matter. I wwas tryin' to get closer. Wwe had somefin'. Just a little. Wwe wwere wworkin' on it. And then Sollux movved on in and pushed me aside and Karkat forgot all about me. Didn't need me no more noww that he had his computer geek. So I fucked Sollux's girl behind his back.
Tez laughed, the real kind of laugh where you couldn't much help but smile. She said, Good, you're not an idiot, you're smart like I thought you was. You got a head on those shoulders.
You didn't say nothin'. You know you got a head on your shoulders. Ya ain't gonna thank her for somefin' you already know.
So I tell ya what, she said, you help me out and I'll help you out. I wanna take care 'a Vantas, he's mine t'deal with. You want Captor, though? I got an assignment for ya. My whole plan depends on it. Ya think yer gonna be up for it?
I don't get to kill no one?
Nah, but Eridan. Yer the only one who can do it. It involves Sollux. He ain't gonna trust me. He probably ain't feelin' none too friendly towards you neither but he ain't gonna be lookin' out for ya. Listen. Ya gotta get him to program a little somethin'. Ya gotta get 'im to make some kinda virus that destroys them security cameras they got around the school. That way, ain't nobody gonna see me when I go down yer hate list and kill everyone on it. It's the most important part. Otherwise I'm gonna get caught before I'm even started and I won't be able to do nothin'. This whole plan depends on ya, Eridan. Can't think of no one else I would trust.
You wanna kill someone, you wanna feel the rage take you over, you wanna shove your hand into and through Sollux's chest and rip his heart out right in front a' Vantas. You wanted to do all that but Tez is promisin' that they're all gonna be dead and by God, if that ain't the best news you heard in a long while.
You clenched your fists and you said, Okay. S'long as you make sure Captor's dead. And kill Vvantas slowwly. He deservves it. Needs that torture. Somefin' t' make him reelize he ain't all that.
Ain't no worries 'bout that, said Tez. Nice doin' business with ya, Eridan. I'll be in touch.
Chapter 4: Aradia
Guys, could you please leave a comment of what you thought about it if you read it.
I worked really hard on the formatting and I'm not going to give up with this one.
I'm going to see it all the way through.
So please, please let me know what you think.
Dave ♦ Aradia forever ok.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Your name was Aradia and you were dead.
You weren't sure how you knew. It was like something ingrained inside of you, a twist in your stomach, and when you appeared in that closet again and Vriska was gone, you knew that you were dead. There wasn't any questioning. You were okay with it, which was really weird. You didn't mind being dead. It was just something that happened and it was part of life and that was it, you were dead and it was fine and okay and you didn't really care about it. You walked through the door because you could do that now and you entered the hall. There was blood spattered on the walls. Streaks of crimson down the corridor and classroom doors left open. You walked until you reached the one you had died in. You could see an X slashed in what looked like light energy on the floor where you had died. The longer you focused on it, the darker it became until it reached a maroon color and it depressed you for some reason.
There were bodies all around the classroom but none of them were lit up in X's the way the spot you died was.
There also weren't any dead kids coming back to life except for you.
You walked around aimlessly until you reached the gymnasium. There was no one dead there. You took the comfort that you could from that and you looked up at the windows twenty feet in the air and you thought how amazing it would be to be up there, in the sunlight, away from everything. Before you knew it, you were rising. Floating up to the windows and you didn't even have to try. It just happened. But there was a tug, like you were being pulled back down to the ground and if you didn't focus enough on flying, then you were eventually going to fall. So you kept your eyes on the sunlight and you went up and into and through the window and into the sky.
You remembered Vriska. It was sudden and shocking and painful and you felt like a spear had been shot through your chest. Your eyes gathered tears. You floated above the suburbs looking for her, flying down each road, looking around, looking everywhere, hoping you would find her. Oh god, you had to find her. Your best friend. She couldn't have died. You would know. You would feel it.
You could sense yourself descending and you looked up into the sun and begged for wings.
You got them.
They tore through your back, splitting skin and making you scream. You still felt pain even though you were dead, and the wings broke through and sent blood blooming in flower shapes across your back and through your clothes and it hurt so badly. But when it was all done, when the wings had opened up and dried out like butterfly wings, you didn't feel the tug of gravity anymore. You were free, and you moved faster than ever, and it was beautiful. You pretended like you weren't hurting and you shot down each road and looked for your friend and screamed her name, even though she might not have been able to hear you. You could still try.
And that was when the first troll kid contacted you.
TT: Aradia, are you alright?
The voice happened in your head. You weren't sure where it was from or who it belonged to. It sounded like a girl your age, though, her voice wasn't very loud and it wasn't very adult although her tone did seem mature. You paused where you were in the air and thought of words to say back to her and they happened through your chat handle. You had no idea how that worked, but then again, you were dead. Not a lot of things really made sense right now.
AA: uhm i'm dead s0 i'm n0t sure h0w alright i really am
AA: if that makes any sense
AA: i'm s0rry this must s0und really strange t0 y0u
TT: No, it makes perfect sense.
TT: If it's any consolation, I'm not exactly in my right state of living either, although my situation is quite different than yours.
TT: Where exactly are you aiming to go, if I may ask?
AA: i'm n0t sure
AA: i just feel really weird right n0w and i think i need t0 find my friend
TT: Ah, yes. Vriska Serket, right? Such an interesting name. Certainly foreign.
AA: yes but h0w did y0u kn0w her name 0_0
TT: Oh, you'll realise soon enough that I know a lot of things you wouldn't normally expect me to.
TT: I'm an alien, by the way. At least from your perspective. Just clearing that up.
AA: well thanks f0r that
TT: How do you feel about that?
AA: i'm 0kay with it
TT: Hm. Well, thank you for that insight, I suppose.
AA: why d0 i get the feeling that y0u were h0ping f0r a different answer 0r reacti0n
AA: am i supp0sed t0 be afraid 0f y0u
AA: because i'm s0rry but i have my 0wn pr0blems right n0w and y0u being an alien d0esn't rank very high up in the list
TT: Oh, no. I'm just analyzing your behavior. It's quite interesting how apathetic you are.
AA: 0kay can i speak t0 s0me0ne else if there is any0ne else t0 speak t0
AA: wait d0n't answer that i can sense there are f0ur 0f y0u
AA: can i speak t0 0ne 0f them please
TT: That's a little bit troubling. But yes, I suppose you could do that, although I don't support the decision.
AA: s0rry i make y0u mad but i just want t0 speak t0 s0me0ne else wh0 might help me find vriska
TT: Yes, I'll hand you off now. Best of luck, Aradia.
-- tentacleTherapist [TT] stopped trolling apocalypseArisen [AA] --
Well, Jesus dick that was uncomfortable.
You waited for her to "hand you off" to someone. You weren't sure who it was going to be but you hoped to God that whoever it was was more pleasant than this tentacleTherapist girl. You couldn't shake the feeling that she was trying to get a proper response from you, like she couldn't stand that all you wanted was to find Vriska. But it doesn't matter now, you're being connected to another alien and hopefully this one will be more tolerable.
-- turntechGodhead [TG] started trolling apocalypseArisen [AA] --
TG: yo yo mot)(erfucker w)(at's up
TG: you got tt pretty )(ot and bot)(ered w)(at's t)(e deal wit)( t)(at
AA: s0rry i didn't mean t0
AA: she was just being frustrating and ann0ying and n0t helping me at all
AA: als0 i am pretty sure she wants t0 kill me
TG: yea)( s)(e can be pretty weird
TG: and by pretty weird i mean s)(e's t)(e weirdest fucking person i know
TG: so you want to find your friend, rig)(t
AA: yes please that w0uld help a l0t
AA: i d0nt kn0w h0w but i kn0w y0u guys can see us
TG: yup you pretty muc)( )(it the fucking nail on the )(ead wit)( t)(at one
TG: nice wings by t)(e way i mean t)(at sounds totally gay but t)(ey're pretty fucking awesome
AA: thanks they hurt like a bitch
AA: s0 are y0u like the fish princess 0f y0ur species 0r s0mething
TG: yup t)(at's me
TG: except our planet blew up so good luck wit)( me ruling a goddamn t)(ing now
TG: i was gonna rule t)(e w)(ole goddamn planet and t)(en some jacked up coyote on )(eroin t)(at one of us accidentally made screws everyt)(ing up
TG: go figure
AA: i'm s0rry
AA: that must be hard
TG: na)( dude it's all cool
TG: doesnt reely matter anyway its all cool
TG: i mean i just feel like everyt)(ing t)(ats )(appening is like
TG: supposed to )(appen
TG: like t)(is is t)(e way everyt)(ing was meant to be even t)(oug)( we mig)(t not like it
TG: wow t)(at sounds reely fucking retarded
AA: yeah it d0es
AA: but thats 0k
TG: you t)(ink everyt)(ing's okay
TG: its cool i mean sometimes you just gotta go wit)( t)(e flow
TG: oh s)(it t)(ere goes a fis)( pun
AA: i laughed
AA: y0u're a l0t easier t0 talk t0 than tt
TG: dude mot)(erfucking egbert is easier to talk to t)(an tt
TG: and t)(ats reely saying somet)(ing
TG: jk jk jo)(ns my bro i totally love )(im but dont tell )(im i said t)(at
AA: d0nt w0rry i w0nt
TG: ok cool
TG: i )(ave your friend vriska on my viewport
AA: 0h my g0d is she 0k
TG: yea)( s)(e's totally c)(ill
TG: but s)(e wont be able to see or )(ear you
TG: so i was t)(inking id talk to )(er for you
TG: make s)(ore s)(e's ok and s)(it and see w)(at s)(e wants to do and w)(ere s)(e wants to go
TG: and t)(en report back to you
TG: does t)(at sound cool
AA: yes thank y0u s0 much
TG: no problem dude its all totally cool
TG: us time lords gotta stick toget)(er you know
TG: ok later
AA: wait what
AA: whats a timel0rd
AA: i d0nt understand
-- turntechGodhead [TG] stopped trolling apocalypseArisen [AA] --
AA: 0h g0d damn it
"Some jacked-up coyote on heroin" was how Bec Noir was described to me when I was first told about Homestuck.
Chapter 5: Karkat
Short chapter because of lack of comments in the last chapter.
Guys, I really want to know what you think.
Do I need to beg. :(
You wake up in the hospital bed again a few hours later. Nurse Harley isn't there. Sollux is there, though, he's sitting beside you in the plastic chair and holding your hand and he's draped over the side of the bed, his eyes closed, breathing steadily, fast asleep. His glasses dangle halfway off his face. You think it looks adorable but you take them off anyway so he gets the best sleep he can get. God knows he needs it after the emotionally exhausting ideal he just went through. That all of you went through, you correct yourself, because it didn't just affect you, it affected everyone in that goddamn school. There are so many people dead. The story's playing on the news on the TV above the door but as soon as you really start to focus on the details, the channel changes. No one's touched the remote.
There's a feeling like something is very, very wrong. And not just in the fact that there was a school shooting. There's something else going on that makes your insides twist. Your horror story isn't over. Something very bad is going to happen in the next few days and you want to close your eyes and never wake up because you are so afraid that life is going to get much worse than it already has.
The minutes pass and you wonder where Nurse Harley is. She's supposed to come in and check on you if she notices anything different, right? And she knows you've woken up because nurses always know that on TV shows. At least, you think that's what happens in real life. Otherwise, how would they know that coma patients have come out of comas, and that people have come out of unconsciousness, and stuff like that? Well, you don't know. You have no fucking idea how hospitals work. You just want to see Nurse Harley again and know that there is some good in this world.
Sollux's phone buzzes beside him.
You have no idea why you pick it up. You have never snooped through his phone before, even though you're best friends and that kind of thing wouldn't be seen as offensive between you. He's gone through your phone plenty of times. You've let him. But for some reason, you've never done the same, and that's why it confuses you when you're filled with an overwhelming desire to pick it up and check it.
So you do.
GG: hey sollux!! :D
GG: let me know when karkat wakes up ok??
You stare at the screen. At the mustard-yellow letters. At the fact that this person is addressing Sollux and asking when you're going to wake up. And you are pretty sure that this is a text from the very person you've been wanting to see for a while now. It's almost like a sixth sense, except nothing like one. You know, whether from the emoticons or the style of typing or some weird fourth-wall-breaking that this is Nurse Harley. And you're kind of confused.
You start to reach over to wake Sollux up, but you realize that if you do that then you're not going to get any answers. And so you do something that you regret immediately after you do it, but it's too late and you have to keep it up.
You text back as Sollux.
TA: hey what2 up ii ju2t took a nap 2orry
GG: oh hey sollux!!
GG: sorry, i didnt mean to bother you!
GG: i just wanted to make sure the two of you were okay :(
TA: iit2 ok, you diidnt bother u2
TA: kk'2 about two wake up ii thiink
GG: oh okay good!
GG: so do you want to talk about the plan before he wakes up for real?
TA: 2ure that2 cool
GG: okay so listen
GG: i'm going to get vriska into the game because john is really worried about her! :(
GG: from there, we'll set up the chain and you'll be the last person
GG: you'll bring karkat in since he's probably going to be really stubborn and annoying about it
GG: does that sound ok??
TA: yeah that2 alriight
TA: ii2nt kk a liittle out of commii2iion riight now though
GG: omg sollux we talked about this, silly! :O
GG: we're going to ascend him to god tier as soon as possible and he'll be fiiiiiiiine.
GG: there, i used a lot of i's ;)
GG: but really, he'll be fine. i'm psychic, remember??
TA: dont patronii2e me gg
GG: sorry, goshhhhhh
GG: i'll let you know when i'll need you in the game
GG: luckily we dont need any of that dumb punch designix stuff we did when we played the game >:p
GG: this is an emergency session :)
TA: ok that 2ound2 great but kk ii2 wakiing up 2o iim gonna go
GG: ok bye!! :) <3
GG: well not really because you'll see me in a few minutes but bye anyway :p
You are more confused than you have ever been in your life. And when Nurse Harley walks through the door a few minutes later, she's got this fake smile on her face and you wonder if she really even cared about you at all. Because you sure as hell have never heard of a punch designix or a god tier or whatever the hell she was talking about, and it hurts that Sollux is keeping secrets from you, and you want to fall asleep again and never wake up because at least you know that things make sense in your dreams.
Chapter 6: John
is there a medication to get rid of writers' block because if there is i want to buy every pill in existence
You keep running. The alien boy told you to run and so that's what you're going to do. You run out of the school and into the streets and you run across lawns and backyards until you are ready to collapse. Until your legs throb with every step. Until you feel like you're going to pass out. That's when you fall and you end up curled up under a bush in someone's backyard and you don't even care that they might see you there and chase you out. You can't take another step. It is physically impossible. You've probably run a mile or two - sprinted, really - and you hope that's far enough away because there is no way Terezi is letting you go after that one.
Your phone is shaking in your pocket. You bring it out with weary hands and unfocused eyes and read the text. It's not from the same alien boy as before.
-- turntechGodhead [TG] began trolling arachnidsGrip [AG] --
TG: so apparently you )(ave a friend named aradia w)(o's worried aboat you
TG: know anyt)(ing aboat t)(at
AG: Megido's worried a8out me? I thought she was dead!!!!!!!!
TG: s)(e is
AG: I'm so confused right now. How is she worried a8out me if she's dead????????
TG: w)(oa t)(ere )(oney cool it wit)( t)(e punctuation ok
TG: aradia's fine
TG: t)(ings are aboat to get really fucking weird for you t)(oug)(
AG: They're already pretty weird, to 8e honest. ::::/
TG: w)(ats wit)( all t)(e eyes
TG: i t)(oug)(t )(umans )(ad two eyes but is t)(ere like some crazy ass mutant subspecies t)(at )(as more or w)(at
AG: There's this species called spiders on our planet. They have 8 eyes.
AG: I did a science project on them once. I thought they were really cool.
TG: o)( cool i get it
TG: didnt call to ask aboat your weirdass )(uman species or w)(atever s)(it
TG: youre probably wondering w)(o t)(e s)(ell we are by now
TG: and w)(at we want
TG: you know like all t)(at "we come in piece" s)(it or w)(atever
AG: Yeah, I guess I'm kind of curious.
AG: 8ut can we talk a8out this later? I'm kind of trying to figure out what I'm going to do next.
TG: w)(at w)(y
TG: t)(at makes no fuckin sense
TG: okay im guessing t)(is is the part w)(ere i need to explain and all t)(at s)(it
TG: were gods
TG: your gods
TG: no s)(ut up we really are
TG: t)(at is to say
TG: we created your universe
TG: and everyt)(ing in it
AG: I suppose I should give you the 8enefit of the dou8t.
AG: Although I still don't 8elieve you. ::::/
TG: t)(ats cool i mean w)(atever
TG: you dont )(ave to believe us or anyt)(ing
TG: doesnt c)(ange the fact t)(at it was a t)(ing t)(at )(appened regardless of w)(et)(er you believe it or not
AG: You know what? This is 8ullshit. Let me talk to someone else.
TG: okay cool i mean if you want to ignore the fis)( princess of the planet t)(at is fine by me
AG: Okay, byeeeeeeee.
==> Be John.
That is totally something that you can be. In fact, you are so into the idea of being John that one might say you are...short of breath.
The reason that this is funny is because you are the KNIGHT OF BREATH. This is a title bestowed upon you by the FATES AND DESTINIES of life, WHATEVER THOSE ARE. While you're into the whole caps-lock thing, you suppose you should introduce yourself a little. Your name is JOHNNI EGBERT, but you just go by JOHN and that's all, because, truth be told, your whole first name is kind of stupid. That's what you think, anyway. Your group of friends all go by nicknames, so you don't feel too strange shortening your own.
The thing about you is that you are kind of a huge TRICKSTER. You enjoy GAMES AND PRANKS of the HUMOUROUS VARIETY. This gets on your friends' nerves sometimes as it's really all there is to do at your PRESENT LOCATION. But hey, it's not your fault they didn't bring anything to do. You were barely lucky enough to find a kiddie pool for Dave in one of the storage rooms. Not that THE FISH PRINCESS OF THE PLANET needs it, since he's not purely aquatic, but he enjoys splashing around in it ONCE IN A BLUE MOON. You regard the capitalization for this statement with absolutely no surprise because in the location that you are at, blue moons are totally a thing that can happen.
Back to you, though. You are NOT A HUMAN. That much was PROBABLY OBVIOUS, but you STATE IT FOR THE RECORD ANYWAY. The name of your species is something pretty unpronounceable in your language when spoken by humans, but when translated to human language, you are known as TROLLS.
Being a troll, there are several BIOLOGICAL TROLL NORMALCIES that you are endowed with. The first of these are your HORNS. They stick straight back and are sort of wavy, to resemble your ZODIAC SIGN. This is one of the six signs of the zodiac that humans follow in their field of ASTROLOGY. Really it is just the signs of you and your friends as well as TWO OTHER TROLLS that passed into the HUMANS' WORLD because of your role in CREATING IT.
The next troll normalcy is your GREY SKIN and YELLOW NAILS AND EYES. These are normal and every troll has them, as well as the BLACK HAIR that is present in every troll's gene pool.
The last troll normalcy is the COLOUR of your BLOOD. Blood colour is the MOST IMPORTANT THING that trolls must worry about during their pathetically meaningless lives. Dave's ANCESTOR, whose name you haven't discovered yet, put the HEMOSPECTRUM into place MANY SWEEPS AGO in order to ensure some sort of HEIRARCHY. Really, you and your friends just think it is a LOAD OF SHIT. But you're not complaing about your highblood-level BLUE BLOOD.
You enjoy HACKING into your friends' computers, but it's DIFFICULT because Dave's is PASSWORD-PROTECTED and Rose's is PROTECTED BY THE HORRORTERRORS OF THE FURTHEST RING. You've tried to tell her a bunch of times that all she needed to do was password-protect it but apparently she likes to go all out. You made the mistake of touching it once and it took three whole weeks for your eyesight to grow back. All you did was put your finger on the 'a' key. Anyway, all that leaves is your friend JADE HARLEY's computer because her password is always, always "woofbeast". She finds them endearing for some reason and whenever you hack into her account, she just changes it to "woofbeast1" or "woofbeast2" and so on. It never takes you more than two minutes to find the right one.
What's that? You mentioned SIX zodiac signs?
You laugh at the fourth wall's ignorance. You will get to it WHEN YOU GET TO IT and not a second sooner.
After all, it is all part of the HUMOUR.
Your trolltag is ectoBiologist and you tend to speak very loosely without much of a care about anything.
You have been sitting at your computer for some time now, your fingers on the keys and tapping them out as quickly as possible. Dave keeps trying to look over your shoulder but you smacked him around with the wind a little bit and now he's sulking in the kiddie pool. Typical, really. He whines about it for a little while before he gets his own human chatting with him and then falls silent. Rose is a few chairs down from you. She's pretty quiet. And Jade...well, you're not sure where Jade is. She disappeared on some mission a little while ago. You are done dealing with her and her RANDOM DISAPPEARANCES TO ALTERNATE UNIVERSES. She does that a lot and it kind of frustrates you. What kind of best friend leaves you alone with the fish princess of the planet and a girl who speaks entirely in gibberish and paints on the walls with her own blood? The terrible kind, apparently.
It's okay, though. You and your troll friends have made some new friends, one of which is the lovely and exotic VRISKA SERKET.
You could spend hours talking to her. She is simply the most interesting of the new species, and you have never seen anyone like her. You are pretty sure that you are FLUSHING RED for her, as any good troll should start to do at this age. Flushing red is a thing that trolls do when they see another troll that they want in their red quadrant. It is a thing that mostly brings about lots of heartbreak and sadness as troll society is not exactly the peaceful and mostly-happy sort of thing that human society is, but you take what you can get. That's not why you saved Vriska, though. That was just common sense. Although trolls are a much more violent race than humans, they understand that not all races are this violent and bloodthirsty. That's why, when you saw Vriska was in trouble, you helped her.
You've been watching Vriska for a very long time.
That would probably sound mildly creepy to a human, but as a troll with VIEWPORT CAPABILITIES and an understanding of the specifications needed to SAVE ALL PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE UNIVERSES, you think you have a little leeway.
You would hope, anyway. Saving every universe in existence is kind of an important job, or so you like to think.
You really can't wait to be a superhero, or at least help everyone else to become a superhero. This godhood and outfit have to be good for something. They're certainly not the most fashionable, although they're incredibly comfortable. Like pajamas. And you aren't going to complain about saving the world in really comfortable pajamas.
You let Dave take care of Vriska for a little bit. He was talking with Aradia, who is this other chick you're totally cool with and think is super-nice, even if she's dead. It's cool to see she's not all weird about it unlike some people you could mention, but won't.
You also like to think you are cryptic, which usually isn't the case. You're just an annoying asshole most of the time.
But now Dave's telling you to talk to Vriska. He says you're the only one that she trusts and she's pissing him off because he told her you were her gods and she doesn't believe a word of it. You're a little confused about that, too. You would have thought that she'd believe you and your friends what with the whole affecting-alternate-universes-with-supernatural-wind powers.
But it's talking to Vriska, and that's totally cool, so you find her name on your trollslum and start a chat to her.
-- ectoBiologist [EB] started trolling arachnidsGrip [AG] --
EB: hey vriska!
Chapter 7: John
well this could have been out sooner
-- tentacleTherapist [TT] began trolling apocalypseArisen [AA] --
TT: I'm pleased that you finally decided to speak with me, Aradia.
TT: I can assure you I will make it worth your while.
AA: i'm 0nly speaking t0 y0u because i kn0w vriska's safe
AA: and i want s0me answers
TT: Very well. A reasonable request. What would you like to know?
AA: everything starting fr0m the beginning and g0ing straight thr0ugh t0 the ending
TT: Alright. Now that you're in the Medium and your cycle is set up, I suppose you have time for it.
tentacleTherapist [TT] sent apocalypseArisen [AA] the file ourrichandculturedhistory.txt
TT: That is the story of our alien race. Everything you need to know is contained in it.
TT: Now I suppose I could start on the mechanics of our session, how we managed to get here, and why we need the twelve of you.
AA: g0 ahead im listening
She proceeds to tell you pretty much fucking everything.
"Everything" consists of basically the story of how they started a session of the game called SBURB, except they call it SGRUB because apparently it's different in different universes. Oh, and that's something you should probably mention. That the aliens are in a completely different universe than you are. You have no idea how they managed to use the chat client across a fucking universe, but you guess that's not really the strangest thing in light of all that's been happening lately. Anyway, they played through their session of SGRUB and managed to beat the Black King and Queen, who are the big bads, pretty easily, even though there were only four of them. After they did that, they were given their ultimate prize, which was another universe -- yours, apparently -- but at the last moment something glitched up and the universe was taken away from them, and they ended up on this meteor in batfuck nowhere, floating through the abyssal cosmos until they managed to make contact with the twelve of you. Well, some of the twelve of you, anyway. You don't think everyone's been contacted yet.
The reason that they need you is because they need the twelve of you to play SBURB and basically come rescue them. That's the consensus, anyways. Rose won't come right out and say it, but you know that's what they're expecting. Why else would they need you to play the game if they weren't counting on the twelve of you to defeat the big bosses, go god tier (this totally awesome thing where you turn into a literal god with powers and everything), and come find them in the blank black anti-universe? They do a pretty piss-poor job of it. But you don't care. You don't care about much besides Vriska.
Speaking of Vriska, the news around the meteor the trolls are on is that their leader, John, is kind of obsessed with her. They call it a "flushcrush" because of their weird romance system, but it's what it sounds like -- he's got a major crush on her. You think it's kind of cute, even if you don't think much of anything nowadays. You're sort of happy (as happy as you can be when you're dead) that she's got someone pining after her. She's the sort of person that deserves to be happy.
Hopefully not all the aliens are as fucking terrifying as you have the feeling Rose is.
You wonder if she was afraid her first time in the Medium. Because you're not really all too comfortable with it.
Your land is the Land of Apathy and Laze. This seems to pretty much fit you to a T, because all of the midnight blue panthers that inhabit it with you just lie around in the sun all day and you don't think you've seen one move even once. They must not need to eat, because you've never seen one go hunting, and you've been here for a few hours. At least one of them should be moving by now, but as far as you can see -- which is pretty far, considering the whole place is like the fucking Sahara desert with a few buildings here and there in the distance -- they're lazy assholes that just sit there and pretend like everything's fabulous and they never have to get up to get a single thing for the rest of eternity. You'd really love to join them and stretch yourself out on the warm rocks and sleep for a million years, but you have a duty to do, even if you don't want to. You view it as a sort of process; if you do the job one step at a time, eventually it will be completely finished and you'll be set.
The first thing Rose told you to do was to find the first gate. These help you progress through your planet until you're at the innermost and uppermost levels, where you can go in search of the denizen of your planet and of course your Quest Bed. Your Quest Bed is the thing that you're going to have to lie on to become a god tier. Neither Rose nor you are sure if this rule still applies to you considering you're already dead, but you might as well lie on it and see what happens.
So you spread your wings and you buzz up towards the sky in search of the first gate, with Rose's voice ringing in your ears.
==> Be John.
Being John is, like, the best. You happily jump into the narrative, especially considering that last time you left off on a little bit of a cliffhanger, as any good writer should implement. Cliffhangers are great writing tools, even if they do leave you... short of breath.
Okay, the pun thing is getting ridiculous. You should probably stop it right now before your audience gets any more offended.
EB: hey vriska!
AG: ........alien dude?
EB: psh, of course. who else would it be?
EB: oh, by the way, sweetheart. my name's john. <3
AG: Hi, John.
EB: ...are you okay?
AG: Rel8ively, yeah. 8ut I'm not exactly okay if you know wh8t I mean.
AG: Like I almost just got shot in the face.
AG: Wh8t is her freaking pro8lem anyw8y????????
AG: Of course, John. Who else would it 8e????????
EB: woah there sweetheart. i'm on your side, remem8er?
EB: haha. i just did your eight thing in that last word.
EB: i might start doing that more now. it looks really gr8.
AG: Oh, god.
EB: heh heh.
AG: So why did you even contact me? Are you going to give me instructions on what I should do now?
AG: I mean you kind of just left me high and dry there.
AG: Although I guess I should not really 8e surprised. After all, people seem to really love doing that to me.
EB: awh man, vriska. <3
EB: that sounds like some serious psychological abuse there.
EB: not like i'm really an expert on that subject though.
AG: It's fine. I guess I'm just sick of people 8eing complete assholes.
EB: well, in a little bit you're not going to have to deal with any of them.
EB: actually, that's a lie. you'll have to deal with eleven of them.
EB: but everyone else will be off spinning through space and suffocating in the cold vacuum of the abyss. :)
AG: ........are you serious?
EB: uh, yeah. is there a problem?
EB: oh wait. this is one of those human things. cultural differences and all that.
EB: this'll be fun.
You proceed to explain to Vriska how truly different your cultures are. How, on Alternia, violence and death and sadness is kind of a given, and no one really worries too much about it because it's part of life. Apparently on Earth death is seen as a big fucking deal, and when someone dies they have a whole ceremony for them and even bury them in the ground, which seems pretty complicated to you, but you're not going to question it. Death is something that really messes people up, which explains why Vriska was so fucked when she was in the closet with Aradia's dead body in the school. You carefully explain the mechanics of SGRUB to her and how she's going to have to play it with eleven other people to save your sorry asses, and she has a lot of questions but in the end she's kind of okay. Well, until one thing.
AG: So if everyone's going to die, that means Terezi's a goner too, right?
AG: ................ARE YOU F8CKING K8DD8NG M8????????????????