Yeah, you’re not entirely sure how to go about this. Obviously, you could just go by every highblood in the Emperor’s organization, but by the time you got to number five, word would’ve spread and the actual traitor would know what you’re up to, so that won’t work.
You need to do this efficiently, which means you need to know what Makara would’ve looked for in a traitor. Well, that’s not the only option, of course, since the traitor could’ve gotten to him, too. Or maybe one of his allies was behind the whole thing?
You need to find a way to cut down this list of names. A list, which, coincidentally, contains the names of most of your friends. In fact, considering they’re rather influential in the organization, your friends are even more likely to be the one you’re looking for.
The Lady Serket would, as the second in command to the Emperor, be a major asset to Makara’s organization, but, as the Emperor himself no doubt noted, she doesn’t care enough about anyone other than herself to do so, since Makara can’t offer her anything.
Terezi Pyrope would make a strange amount of sense. She’s weird in a way that could easily be seen as suspicious at the best of times. She might not be the most ideal choice when it comes to raw intelligence, but she doesn’t necessarily have to be the brains of the operation.
Kanaya seems pretty unlikely too, considering the fact that she’s the matesprit of the Lady Serket, which, according to you, at least, would be pretty hard to fake. She also has an attitude befitting of a blueblood. She is the go-to person for almost everyone though, which would make her really useful.
As for Nepeta, well, she seems to be fully on board with the hemospectrum Makara is trying to overthrow, so you don’t think she would turn. Although it’s possible she’s just crazy. You’re still not sure what her deal is, exactly. If she was the traitor, though, you don’t think she’d be able to keep it hidden very well, since subterfuge definitely isn’t her strong suit.
Then there’s the Emperor himself, but that idea is so patently ridiculous it isn’t even worth considering. If he were Makara’s traitor, then he would’ve won already.
You might feel somewhat bad about suspecting your friends, but really, if it turns out they turned traitor, then they don’t exactly deserve that title anymore.
Sollux: Contact Prime Suspect
Yeah, you’re going to have to play this cool, since the one you’re considering as your prime suspect isn’t exactly known for having the most linear conversations, and you’re not going to let yourself get blindsided.
-- targetAcquired [TA] began trolling gloweringColorist [GC] --
TA: hey terezi,..,
GC: h#Llo SOllUX >:]
GC: yoU Sm3LL l1K#
GC: s4LTy s#$w4T#r
TA: la5t i checked 5eawater i5 pretty much alway5 5alty,..,
TA: it’’5 one of the defining characteri5tic5 of the 5tuff,..,
GC: yoU Sm3LL l1K#
GC: 3xTR4 s$Lty S#4w$T3r
TA: yeah,, i’’m ju5t going to run with that,..,
TA: there’’5 going to be enough tangent5 in thi5 conver5ation anyway,..,
TA: 5o i’’m ju5t going to take what i can get,..,
GC: tH!s 1S Pr3TTy mUCh
GC: 4LR34DY 4 t$Ng3NT
TA: yeah,, fine,, whatever,..,
GC: juST po!Nt1NG 1t OUt
TA: moving on,..,
TA: what’’5 up?
GC: tH#r3 !Snt V#ry MUch
GC: UP w1TH m3
GC: R!ghT Now
GC: HOw 4BOut You
TA: i’’ve pretty much been doing what alternia’’5 be5t legi5lacerator 5hould be doing,..,
TA: hunting evildoer5,, wherever they go,..,
TA: uncovering all kind5 of cool 5ecret5,..,
TA: generally being at lea5t 5 kind5 of awe5ome,..,
TA: the u5ual,..,
GC: HOw m$Ny k!Nds
GC: OF 4w#Som#
GC: $r3 YOu b#!ng
GC: R!ghT Now
TA: i’’m being all kind5 of awe5ome,..,
TA: in fact,, you could 5ay i’’m an infinite amount of kind5 of awe5ome,..,
TA: doe5 that 5atisfy your need for 5pecification?
TA: i’’m going to take that a5 a ye5 and move on,..,
GC: $R3 yOU on Off1C!4l Bus1N#ss
TA: you know what,, i’’m not even going to bother gue55ing how you figured that out,..,
GC: ! $m 4 M$st#R
GC: 4t JUmp!Ng tO CorR#ct COncLUs1ONs
GC: cORr3CT coNCluS!onS >:]
TA: the whole cla55 i5 amazed at your alliterative abilitie5,..,
TA: 5ee,, i can do it too,..,
TA: it’’5 not that 5pecial,..,
TA: but ye5,, the emperor did give me a mi55ion,..,
GC: $nd NOw yOUr3 T$lk!Ng tO M3
TA: well,, yeah,..,
TA: i kind of,, well,,
TA: i need your help,..,
GC: tH# gr#$t l#G1sL$c3R$toR
GC: N33DS my H#lp
TA: yeah,, that’’5 kind of what i ju5t 5aid,..,
TA: can we ju5t 5kip the part where you can’’t believe thi5 and move on to the actual important bit5?
TA: you know,, 5aving me a lot of embara55ment along the way,..,
GC: OK4y M!st#R s4LTy s#$w4T#r
GC: wH$t 1S YouR M1sS!on
TA: obviou5ly,, i can’’t give you the exact detail5,..,
TA: but if you’’re confu5ed about anything after i’’m done explaining,, i’’ll try to an5wer your que5tion5,..,
GC: $ Top S#cr#T m1SS1oN
GC: #qu!Us l!K3s YOu
TA: i 5incerely doubt that,..,
TA: i mean,, it’’5 not like he wouldn’’t kill me if i failed,..,
GC: tH$t 1S JusT ProC#duR#
GC: buT !t lOOks L!k3 H# trUSts YOu
GC: 1SNt tH$t gR#4t
GC: wH$ts TH3 m!Ss1ON
TA: it ha5 to do with makara,..,
GC: of COurS# 1t DO3s
GC: H# 1s SO pr#D1cT$bl#
GC: !n sOM3 w$Ys
GC: mOR3 tH$n oTH3rS
TA: well,, i know i’’m not really 5uppo5ed to 5ay thi5,,
TA: but i really don’’t think the ki5me5i55itude i5 doing him any favor5,..,
TA: i mean,, i gue55 i can 5ee where he’’5 coming from,, but it’’5 really getting in the way of thing5,..,
GC: ! th!Nk 1T !s
GC: tH#y 4R# so !N h4T#
GC: th#Y 4r# Bl1ND
GC: to #V3rYTh1NG 3lS#
GC: th$T 1s TH3 sTUff
GC: L#g3NDs 4R# m4D# of
GC: $Nd 4LSo mOV13S
GC: wH!ch $R3 b$Sic$Lly
GC: TH3 3X$ct S$m3 TH1nG
TA: it’’5 embara55ing i5 what it i5,..,
TA: but thi5 i5n’’t about what the emperor doe5 in hi5 quadrant5,..,
GC: !t k!Nd oF !s
TA: yeah,, fine,, but not in that way,..,
GC: 1S Th3R# 4nY Oth#R w4Y
TA: are you being difficult on purpo5e now?
TA: becau5e i hone5tly can’’t tell anymore,..,
GC: M4yB# >;]
TA: you know,, it’’5 kind of a ha55le to talk to you 5ometime5,..,
TA: i mean,, i’’m pretty 5ure we ju5t typed over 500 word5 and we haven’’t gotten anywhere yet,..,
GC: yoU H4v#Nt 3V#n 4SK3D $nyTH1nG Y#t
TA: 5o 5top di5tracting me already,..,
GC: 1M Not
GC: YOur# D1sTR4cT!ng YOurS#lf
TA: oh plea5e,..,
TA: my 5en5e5 might not be a5 refined a5 your5 are,, but i can tell a lie from mile5 away,..,
GC: i am not lying
TA: 5orry about that,..,
GC: TH4t W$snT N1c# $t 4LL >:[
TA: okay,, okay,..,
TA: i apologize,..,
TA: in the legi5lacerator way,..,
TA: ju5t 5o you know i’’m 5eriou5,..,
GC: 1 4CC3pT YouR $poLOgy
GC: BUt jUSt tH!s oNC3
GC: wH$t dO You W$nt
TA: i actually made you mad,, didn’’t i?
TA: you you,, i mean,..,
GC: 1M K1nD Of uPS3t
TA: look,, i’’m really 5orry,, okay?
GC: what do you want
TA: i don’’t want you to take thi5 the wrong way,, becau5e it 5ound5 like a very wrong que5tion,, but i don’’t mean it like that at all,..,
GC: say it
TA: what do you think of thi5 whole rebellion bu5ine55?
TA: thi5 whole me55 of a conflict,..,
GC: th$T 1s $ V3rY D1fF!cuLT qu#St1ON
GC: 1 tH!nk ! Und#Rst$Nd
GC: wHY yoU D1dNT juST s4Y So
GC: bUT 1 tH!nk TH3 r#B3lL!on DO3s S#rv# $ purpose#
GC: #v3N !f w# $lr#$dy KNow
GC: TH3 3ND1nG
GC: $nd ! Th1NK g4MZ33 KNowS !t tOO
GC: buT DonT T3lL $nyON3 1 S$1d TH4t
TA: your 5ecret’’5 5afe with me,..,
TA: locked up in one of nepeta’’5 5tupid flarp che5t5,..,
TA: with the key lo5t 5omewhere in kanaya’’5 hive,..,
GC: TH4t SOunDS pr#Tty S$f3
GC: $Nd 1F W3 dONt 4LR34DY knOW
GC: th# #nd!Ng w!Ll b# #v3N Mor# #xc!T1nG
GC: ! hoP# th$T h3LP3d SOllUX
TA: you know the weird part?
TA: it actually did,..,
GC: goOD luCK w1TH yoUR m1SS1oN
TA: 5ee ya,..,
-- gloweringColorist [GC] ceased trolling targetAcquired [TA] --
You don’t think that was your best work, really, but considering the circumstances, you think you did rather well. You’re also somewhat proud of having faced her whispers more or less unflinchingly.
It wasn’t exactly the most helpful of conversations, but you didn’t really expect it to be. It’s fairly clear that she’s up to something, at least, what with the whole ‘ending’ spiel at the end, but that could just be general subjugglator business, or just general Terezi Pyrope business. You’re not really sure what the difference would be.
Nevertheless, you’re going to have to keep an eye on her and her closest friends.
You’re already pretty sure who you’re going to talk to first.
In fact, you’re quite looking forward to the conversation.
Maybe you’ll even get something useful out of him.
Sollux: Troll Karkat
-- targetAcquired [TA] began trolling codingGenius [CG] --
TA: hey vanta5,..,
CG: YEAH, THAT’2 2TILL PRETTY CLO2E 2 HOW MY NAME I2 ACTUALLY SPELLED.
CG: WHAT DO YOU WANT, CAPTOR?
TA: you know,, it’’5 actually pretty incredible how you can make your5elf look like a complete a55 in ju5t one 5entence,..,
CG: BITE MY DIGITAL BONE BULGE, NOOK2TAIN.
CG: YOU KNOW, 2INCE THE REAL ONE I2 FAR 2 GOOD FOR YOU.
TA: at lea5t in that ca5e there’’5 5omething to bite on,..,
CG: I2 THAT WHAT YOU’RE HERE FOR?
CG: HOLD ON, LET ME FREE 2OME OF MY PRECIOU2 TIME, 2O I CAN HAVE AN IDIOT-OFF WITH THE UNDI2PUTED MA2TER OF BEING A GODDAMN MORON.
CG: 2POILER ALERT:
CG: YOU’D WIN.
TA: 5ir vanta5?
TA: i have a que5tion,..,
TA: what are the rule5 of thi5 5uppo5ed idiot-off?
TA: doe5 me beating you mean you’’re the bigger moron or the other way around?
TA: it’’5 kind of vague and could u5e 5ome actual expo5ition,..,
TA: help a guy out here,..,
CG: IT MEAN2 YOU’RE THE BIGGE2T IDIOT 2 EVER 2URVIVE THE BROODING CAVERN2.
CG: WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU WANT?
TA: would you calm your nubby little horn5 already?
TA: i’’m ju5t here to talk,..,
TA: i don’’t know what el5e i would want from you,, anyway,..,
CG: LET ME HANG MY FUCKING DI2BELIEF RIGHT OUT OF THI2 HOLE IN THE WALL.
CG: DELETE THAT ENTIRE 2UBROUTINE OF MY MUCH ABU2ED THINK PAN.
CG: WOW, THAT 2UDDENLY MADE MY LIFE 2O MUCH EA2IER.
CG: WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT 2OONER?
CG: IT WOULD’VE 2AVED ME 2O MUCH TROUBLE.
CG: AL2O, FUCK YOU I’M BU2Y.
TA: what on alternia could you po55ibly be bu5y with?
TA: i know for a fact that you do nothing but 5it on your a55 all night,..,
TA: i don’’t even need to 5tart an inve5tigation to figure that one out,..,
TA: 5o,, vanta5,, enlighten me,..,
TA: what are you 5o bu5y with?
CG: I’M PRETTY 2URE WHAT I’M UP 2 I2 NONE OF YOUR BU2INE22.
CG: LIKE, AT FUCKING ALL.
TA: and i’’m pretty 5ure that the fact that you’’re the one who’’5 up to it make5 it my bu5ine55,..,
TA: 5o 5pill it,, a55hole,..,
CG: WOW, YEAH, I CAN 2EE HOW YOU’RE THE GREATE2T LEGI2LACERATOR OF OUR GENERATION.
CG: YOU KNOW JU2T WHAT KEY2 2 PRE22 2 MAKE ME FEEL COOPERATIVE.
CG: JU2T FUCK OFF.
CG: THI2 I2 PRIVATE FUCKING BU2INE22.
TA: yeah,, you’’re right,..,
TA: i wouldn’’t want anything to do with that,..,
CG: DUDE, WHAT?
CG: THAT I2 NOT WHAT I FUCKING MEANT AND DON’T EVEN PRETEND YOU DIDN’T KNOW THAT.
TA: 5ure thing,, vanta5,..,
TA: whatever keep5 your 5lightly obe5e body afloating,..,
CG: AND HERE I WA2, THINKING THI2 CONVER2ATION COULDN’T REACH A WHOLE NEW CLA22 OF 2TUPID ANYMORE.
CG: YOU’VE PROVEN ME WRONG YET AGAIN.
CG: WE’RE MAKING 2IGNIFICANT 2CIENTIFIC BREAKTHROUGH2 HERE.
CG: MI2TER ‘I COVER MY EYE2 BECAU2E I’M JU2T THAT MUCH COOLER THAN YOU’ CAPTOR.
CG: YOU LOOK LIKE A LONG 2INCE DI2CARDED TOOL.
TA: okay,, one,, i need tho5e thing5 to protect my eye5 from the 5un,, a55hole,..,
TA: you know,, becau5e 5ome of u5 like to get up early,..,
TA: two,, how the fuck do you even know that?
CG: I HAVE EYE2 EVERYWHERE, CAPTOR.
CG: AT LEA2T 2 OF THO2E ARE THE EYE2 OF TEREZI PYROPE.
CG: ALONG2IDE WHATEVER OTHER 2EN2E2 2HE HAPPEN2 2 MI2TAKE FOR THEM AT WHATEVER RANDOM TIMEFRAME WE’RE WORKING IN HERE.
CG: 2HE LIKE2 2 DRAW.
CG: DO I NEED 2 HOLD YOUR HAND THROUGH THE RE2T OF THE EXPLANATION?
CG: OR CAN YOU HANDLE THE2E FINAL 2TEP2 ON YOUR OWN?
TA: and 5he 5hare5 her 5opor-induced ma5terpiece5 with you becau5e you’’re obviou5ly uniquely qualified to appreciate them,, right?
TA: what’’5 up with you and her,, anyway?
TA: i5 there 5omething going on between you two?
TA: becau5e i don’’t 5ee any rea5on for her to talk to you otherwi5e and i ju5t know you can’’t go 5 5entence5 without pi55ing her off.
TA: and hone5tly,, i’’ve 5een her angry and it’’5 pretty fucking terrifying to anyone with a think pan,..,
CG: YOU WANT 2 HEAR ABOUT MY ROMANTIC A2PIRATION2?
CG: YOU’D BETTER 2IT DOWN FOR A WHILE, BECAU2E WE HAVE A LOT OF FUCKING GROUND 2 COVER HERE.
CG: 2ERIOU2LY, YOU 2OUND LIKE YOU’RE JEALOU2.
CG: QUE2TION I2, ARE YOU JEALOU2 OF HER?
CG: OR ME?
TA: no thank5,..,
TA: you can have the crazy girl5,, vanta5,..,
TA: i’’d rather find 5omeone with 5ome 5emblance of 5anity,..,
CG: YEAH RIGHT.
CG: GOOD LUCK WITH THAT.
CG: EVEN YOU 2HOULD BE 2MART ENOUGH 2 FIGURE OUT NOBODY FIT2 THAT DE2CRIPTION.
CG: YOUR 2EARCH WARRANT’2 BEEN RETURNED, YOU NEED 2 GET YOUR PROFILING 2TRAIGHT.
TA: you almo5t 5ounded like you knew what you were talking about,..,
TA: keep up the good work,..,
CG: LOOK, IT’2 NOT THAT I’M NOT THRILLED THAT I’M NO LONGER THE ONLY ONE PULLING THI2 FUCKING TRAINWRECK OF A CONVER2ATION.
CG: BUT YOU WANTED 2 TALK ABOUT 2OMETHING.
CG: 2O GET 2 IT ALREADY.
TA: i’’m good,..,
TA: you’’ve pretty much already given me everything i needed out of you,, anyway,..,
TA: thank5 for that,..,
CG: I 2WEAR IF I FIND OUT ANOTHER HIGHBLOOD I2 GETTING OFF ON THEIR CONVER2ATION2 WITH ME, I AM GOING 2 KILL MY2ELF AND THERE WON’T BE A DAMN THING MARYAM’2 ROBOT2 CAN DO ABOUT IT.
TA: you mean i’’m not the only one?
TA: damn,, here i thought i had 5pecial privilege5,..,
CG: 2HUT THE FUCK UP CAPTOR.
TA: no really,, i’’m kind of di5appointed you let them get away with that,..,
TA: i thought what we had wa5 5pecial,..,
-- codingGenius [CG] ceased trolling targetAcquired [TA] --
The best part about living alone in the forest is, by far, that no one can hear you laugh, because you’re pretty sure eyebrows would be raised if they could.
Vantas managed to cheer you up considerably, as he so often does. You don’t think there’s much else you can do regarding Terezi Pyrope, at the moment. You’ll have to get back to that later.
For now, you might as well get some training done.
In the meantime, we’ll go see how someone else is doing.
Your second favorite toy didn’t want to play. Again. You think you might need to replace her with someone else, and you have the perfect candidate.
The best part about her is that she already hates your number one favorite toy and, even though you haven’t been able to make him hate her yet, you think they would make such a cute kismesis couple!
They would be all kinds of adorable!
You’re also in luck, because you know she’s alone tonight, which means you can play with her all you like!
This is going to be so much fun.
Nepeta: Talk to Toy
It’s always best to announce your intentions. It makes the game more fun.
-- arachnophileChipper [AC] began trolling cultureCultivated [CC] --
AC: ::::3 hiiiiiiii!
AC: ::::3 i would like to play with you tonight
AC: ::::3 is that okay?
CC: P1ease 1eaf me a1one.
AC: ::::3 why would i want to do that?
AC: ::::3 that would be no fun at all
AC: ::::3 dont you like playing games with me?
CC: Why are you doing this to me?
AC: ::::3 just think of all the fun times weve had together!
AC: ::::3 is there anything special youd like to do tonight?
CC: 1 don’t want to do anything.
AC: ::::3 thats okay
AC: ::::3 ill come up with something for you
CC: 1 beg you.
AC: ;;;;3 well have soooooooo much fun together
-- arachnophileChipper [AC] ceased trolling cultureCultivated [CC] --
Your mind reaches out to a familiar place and meets almost no resistance, taking over the mind of your new second favorite toy.
For some strange reason you can’t seem to stop the tears from flowing, though.