A young troll steps out of his hive and into the blinding lights of his land in the INCIPISPHERE. There is no sun in the white sky, or any clouds to speak of, only a few dark silhouettes that glide by in the air above. Tall temples (or buildings, or castles, or maybe hives) tower around him on all sides, seeming to give off a light of their own in places. Light is a very dismal thing for one of his species, being nocturnal, and daytime being connected to the undead and the blistering sun of his home planet.
==>You are the troll. It's you.
Your name is ERIDAN AMPORA.
You opine the game mocks your failures as of late, showing you this sterile, empty planet devoid of clouds and shade, the same way your life is devoid of hope.
She just broke up with you. You're still trying to let it sink in. In fact, the glaring light of your planet is really the other reason your eyes sting. Yeah, you took the break-up in stride. Really, she was all you had - your moirail, whom you hoped was going to be your matesprit. Now, your quadrants look as bleak and empty as this goddam planet. Of course, this is far from your sole concern. It seems that the fear and respect you once garnered from your status on Alternia has given way to scorn and ridicule. This isn't helped in the slightest by the fact that people see you as a bit of a tool.
==>Eridan: Go back inside.
And oh by the way, you don't know it yet, but some pretty weird stuff is about to happen to you.
==>Be someone else.
You are now TAVROS NITRAM.
You kind of wish you weren't right now, because Vriska is your server player.
That's rough, buddy.
You have a conversation with Vriska that starts out like this:
AT: i THINK THIS, iS,
AT: pROBABLY MEANT TO ANTAGONIZE ME,
And ends up with this:
AG: You don't need help from your lame 8ull fairy. He is only holding you 8ack.
AT: hE'S MY FRIEND,
AG: God. You're pathetic.
AG: This is getting frustrating
AG: Why did I have to get stuck with the cripple? Just my luck.
AG: Do you have any idea how inconvenient this is? Do you have any sympathy for what I'm dealing with here?
"Wait, what is she saying?"
"Tinkerbull, it's...sort of a personal thing..."
"What is she saying?"
"Okay...she...she says you're holding me back,"
AG: Tavros, are you even listening?
"It truly bothers me that she's around you,"
"She's already crippled you,"
"Yeah, but...I, can't really think of how, to get rid of her,"
AG: Tavros, quit ignoring me 8efore I drop a load-g8per on your head!
"I want you to complete your quest, and I’m tired of seeing you get hurt. That girl is a serious danger to your safety"
"Heh, I'm fine, really,"
AG: Hey toreadead8eat........
AG: Look up. :::;)
After reading those two lines, you do. Oh, hey look, a floating toilet!
AT: uH, vRISKA?
AT: iS THAT,,,
AG: Yes, it is a toilet.
AG: I warned you a8out this Tavros.
AG: 8ut I guess you just weren't listening to me. ::::)
AT: oH GOG,
AT: vRISKA, yOU WON'T, wILL YOU,
AG: I dunno, I'm not so sure I can hold it for much longer.
AG: May8e if you, say, got out of your four-wheeled device and crawled away, you miiiiiiiight not get hurt.
AT: pLEASE DON'T,,,
AG: Uh-oh, my arachnid’s grip is sliiiiiiiipping........
grimAuxiliatrix [GA] began trolling arachnidsGrip [AG]
GA: Vriska What Are You Doing
You are now Vriska. And GA wants to know what you're doing.
AG: Just........helping out torea8ore get through his first G8!
GA: Look Up
You do. Hey, it's a floating toilet!
AG: What the........Kanaya, why are you doing this?
GA: Are You Sure Youre Helping Him Like You Say You Are
AG: I m8de all these ramps for him and everything!
AG: So I'm just……..giving him a little motiv8tion to hop to it.
AG: Or crawl to it, in his case.
GA: Did You Threaten To Drop A Load Gaper On His Head
AG: Shit! That lousy little snitch! He told you, didn't he?
GA: Well I Did Receive Word From Him But The Circumstances Were A Bit Odd To Say The Least
AG: I swear the little 8astard's gonna pay for this.
AG: May8e I should take away his computer so he can't go crying to fussyfangs anymore.
GA: Maybe I Should Upend This Load Gaper Over Your Head
AG: No w8!
AG: Kanaya this is wrong!
GA: Im Still Learning The Interface
GA: It Could Happen Accidentally At Any Moment
AG: Kanaya, this is so unfair!
GA: What Youre Doing To Him Is Unfair
AG: I'll dr8p it on him if y8u dr8p it 8n me.
GA: If You Upend The Load Gaper On Tavros You Will Get This One Upended On You Too
You then engage in a very bizarre Mexican standoff with toilets. It is now a question of whether one of you will slip up or perhaps just drop it intentionally.
Except it is totally one-sided! You have a load-gaper floating over your head, and Toreadum8ass has one floating over his head. Kanaya has no load-gaper threatening to be upended on her head! And they are both very clearly not on your side. This is so blatantly stacked against you it's not even funny.
==>Vriska: Call Kanaya out on this setup.
AG: This is c8mpletely unf8ir!
AG: Y8u alw8ys t8ke his side! It's alw8ys a8out h8w I'm the one 8eing t88 mean to him, when all I'm doing is trying to help!!!!!!!!
GA: Im Sure Your Intentions Are Well Meaning But Upending A Load Gaper On A Crippled Troll And Forcing Him To Crawl Up Several Flights Of Stairs Is A Dubious Method Of Help To His Cause At Best
AG: He needs to 8uck up and quit 8eing so weak!
GA: I Wont Dispute The Fact
GA: But Dont You Think This Is A Bit Extreme And That Youre Working Counter Intuitively To Anything Conducive Of Better Self Confidence
AG: N8 w8y! He's just too stu88orn to learn.
GA: Whatever The Reason The Fact Remains That You Are Dangling A Heavy Object Over Your Client Player And If You Drop It On Him It Could Very Easily Incapacitate Him Or Worse
AG: If he's got 8 neurons in his thinkpan, he'll get out of the wheelchair and not have to deal with that pro8lem.
GA: Vriska Youre Being Unreasonable
AG: I am not!!!!!!!!
GA: Move The Load Gaper Away From Tavros And Let Go Of It
GA: Otherwise I Presume Things For You Will Become Quite Troublesome
AG: This is so unf8ir! This wh8le auspisticism is unf8ir!
AG: Every time you t8ke his side. I'm alw8ys the 8ad guy here and no8ody gets anywhere with the rel8tionship!!!!!!!!
GA: Ive Been Thinking About This Issue In Depth Lately And Perhaps We Ought To Address The Matter On A More Personal Level
GA: Regarding My Own Problems With It Specifically
AG: So you finally admit it!
GA: Yes Vriska I Do
GA: I Have Tried To Be A Fair Third Party In Our Auspisticism As Well As Our Moiraillegiance But I Confess Things Were Always Warped Because My True Feelings Were Slanted
AG: You never had to tell me anything, Kanaya.
GA: I Didnt
AG: It is so 8l8tantly o8vious!
AG: You're flushed for Tavros, aren't you.
At that exact moment, the toilet comes crashing down right on you. You barely miss getting your brains squashed out by a toilet but still get your roboarm pinned underneath, while the contents spill all over you.
==>Be Tavros again.
You were just lucky enough to struggle out of your wheelchair just in time. But you guess Vriska got tired of waiting.
It's made a small crater in the floor of your respite block. You barely manage to crawl out of the way.
Of course, now you're on the floor, and likely there's some slime from the gaper on you that's splashed onto the back of your jacket, and your wheelchair's kind of wrecked now.
==>Be Eridan a few minutes ago.
The night is going so well. You managed to get your client player in the game and the two of you ended it smooth sailing. After some fussing around, that is. And Feferi wasn't too bad herself when she helped you get in. She had to rush though, because her client player was a lowblood and he was already feeling the effects of the Vast Glub. She was trying to get you in while working with him to get herself in. But after the proverbial smoke cleared, it was calm seas and sandy shores.
And then all at once, it all went down Charybdis and sank under the waves.
Feferi was different. To all the other trolls, who were almost always land-dwellers, you were Orphaner Dualscar, commanding fear and respect from those finless losers. Running through your veins was some of the richest, most noble blood the hemospectrum had to offer - kickass royal blood, penultimate and second only to the Tyrians. To them, the lowbloods, which compared to you was basically everyone, you were the part shark, part typhoon terror better known as Eridan fucking Ampora.
But to her, you were her loyal subject. Well, she didn't quite see it that way, but...you knew the deal. The land-dwellers had nothing on you. But she was heiress apparent to the throne of Alternia, and even without ascending the throne, she could cull you on sight without a second thought. But she insisted that you two were equals, and blood was just a color. You knew that wasn't true, and it wasn't just because of blood.
She made you feel different. Sometimes, that was almost a bad thing to you. But as an amphibious sea dweller, you only knew one person in all of Alternia who could ever make you feel like you might drown. You wanted to drown in her. And that's what you would tell her. The things you held in for so long would just pour out like a flood. Tonight was the night you would ask Feferi Piexis to be your matesprit.
CC: I t)(ink it is not really necessary for me to be your moirail anymore.
CC: I am really sorry, -Eridan. It )(as just been so )(ard looking after you and keeping you out of trouble!
CC: It )(as taken its toll, and )(onestly I am really ex)(austed.
CA: this isnt what
CA: i dont knoww i wwasnt expectin this at all
CA: im not sure i can handle this
CC: I'm sorry!!! 38'(
CC: It will be t)(e best for bot)( of us. We can just sort of be...
CC: Regular friends instead.
What's happening? This isn't how it was supposed to be! It was all going so well...no, this...this can't be happening. You're having a hard time breathing, and this time, you really, really don't feel like drowning. Because you're drowning in...it's not drowning in her...what is it then...?
CA: please dont
CA: look im bein serious here dont do this
CA: i wont even use my weird accent while i type ok so you know im bein really dead serious and honest about this
CC: Okay, I am being serious and honest too. SEE?
Deep breaths. You've got this. You have to keep it together.
CA: ok good
CA: are you sure you arent bein hasty about this youve just been through a lot
CA: i mean we are supposed to be fated to be moirails arent we
CA: isnt that how it works
CA: you cant just throw all that away cause youre sick of me
CC: I am not sick of you, Eridan! I still really like you.
CC: In order to be destined for moirallegience, both people have to be on board, don't you think?
CC: But I cannot do it anymore. So I think it just wasn't meant to be all along.
CC: And really, you just don't need me anymore. You are free to do as you wish! We both are.
CC: I can't look after you anymore.
CA: I DIDNT EVER NEED ANYONE TO LOOK AFTER ME
CA: i was totally fuckin fine my ambitions were noble
CA: and really none of your fuckin business QUITE FRANKLY your majesty
CA: and the only reason i put up with stickin my flipper in this fuckin shithole quadrant with you was
CC: Was what?
Should you tell her? You're really not in the kind of mood to do it now, after she just expressed her desire to not want to look out for you any longer and you just lost your shit. No, you need time.
CC: Tell me!
But she's always got a way of getting the most hidden feelings of yours out. She's quite dangerously persuasive.
CA: ok fine
CA: i apologize for losin my shit over this i was just caught off guard is all
CA: but maybe its a good thing really
CA: actually i might a been proposin the same thing to be honest
CA: fef have you thought about
CA: since you dont wanna be pale with me no more
CA: the possibility a some other type of arrangement with me
Just be calm. You can save this ship from sinking...it might not be sinking at all!
CC: What do you mean?
CA: i mean
CA: somethin a bit more
CA: kinda reddish
CA: brighter red
God, you could have found a better way to say that! You facepalm at your own lack of eloquence.
CC: No, I hadn't thought about it!
CA: ok well what do you think about it
CA: now that youre thinkin about it
CC: I really don't know about that.
At least she's not laughing at you...
CA: why not i thought you said you liked me
CC: I do! But I don't know if it's really in that way.
What? Okay, seriously...what? So she doesn't like you as a moirail, and she doesn't like you as a matesprit. So how does she like you? With a side serving of wasabi and pickled ginger?
CA: couldnt it be though
CA: dont you think theres room in your collapsin and expandin bladder based aquatic vascular system for those feelins
CC: I've never had a chance to consider anything like that! I have just spent all my time worrying about you and trying to keep you from killing everybody or hurting yourself.
CC: It took all my energy.
CC: I don't think I have anything left for those feelings either.
That was the moment you felt a culling fork jam itself right in your chest. Is that really...all she saw in you? Were you just an anchor keeping her down? So were you just some burden to her all that time? It's like your whole world is being crushed from the weight of the sea...your fingers fly across your keyboard as emotion overtakes you before you can even think of what you're saying. You're heartbroken, devastated, and most of all furious.
CA: oh god
CA: im the biggest fuckin idiot who ever lived
CA: i cant BELIEVE i just opened up to you like a chump when i knew what was comin
CA: i am one sad fuckin brinesucker
CA: overemotional sappy trash youre right im not better than anybody
CA: im worse than anybody
CA: all the bodies
CC: Will you just clam up for once in your life?
CC: Always carping and carping and carping!
CC: You go completely overboard with your emotions, always looking to reel in drama wherever you can.
CC: I am up to my gills in it! I just can't salmon the strength anemonemore.
Oh no. She. Did. NOT.
Wow, she wasn't kidding - this is how she sees you. A burden. A drama queen. All a cause of emotional exhaustion from emotional theatrics. That's all you are. You don't even bother holding back the tears anymore.
CA: i cannot
CA: you are doin the fish pun thing while youre breakin up with me
CA: real nice
CA: whoops i mean REEL nice
CC: HEHEHE, sorry.
CC: But really, this shouldn't be as bad as it sounds.
CC: When all is said and done, I am still your friend.
CC: We have left our world behind. Everyone is dead, and there's no use in worrying about it now.
CC: It's over! It is time to play this game and focus on building something new and ------EXCITING.
CC: So )(ang in t)(ere, -Eridan.
CC: I )(ave to go now! Sollux is in serious trouble, and I )(ave to go )(elp )(im.
CA: dont go
cuttlefishCuller [CC] ceased trolling caligulasAquarium [CA]
You just stare at your screen for a few seconds, sniffling and open-mouthed, all before slamming your head into your keyboard and pounding your skull.
She's really, really gone. It's a weird thing when a sea dweller knows what it's like to drown. But right now, you're finding it hard to breathe.
==>Some minutes later...
You step outside, and are nearly blinded in the blinding white surrounding you. Light is a very scary thing to a troll, particularly if it's as eye-bleedingly bright as this. A part of you is wondering if this planet's light is at all like that of the blistering Alternian sun.
Good thing you have a pair of shades on hand.
That's better. Now you don't have to squint as much. You look around at this bleak landscape. Everything is a lonely, empty shade of white. The buildings - giant hives maybe? Or perhaps temples, you aren't sure - that rise up around you even give off their own light in places. You see the silhouettes of strange, winged figures flying through the sky above. They remind you a bit of the terrible harbingers of doom found in Alternian mythology. You ready your rifle, but then, you probably were looking for something to shoot anyway.
When one of the flying things swoops in close, you see it. Exactly like the beings from Alternian mythology.
Well, it looks about high time you engaged in a little preemptive self-defense. Even though you are the only person in all of paradox space who could use such a term with a straight face unironically. But you're still pretty upset after being dumped, so I suppose I'll let it slide.
==>Eridan: Engage catharsis mode.
Yay, trigger therapy!
You hit a low-flying angel with a blast from your rifle. It did not even scratch it. But it seems to have succeeded in getting it really pissed off at you. Now it makes a hairpin turn in midair and speeds toward you. It's impossibly fast, you almost can't get it.
You hate this. You can't retreat now, there's no way! No, you have to keep firing at it. Maybe then it will die. How can your legendary AHAB'S CROSSHAIRS do jack shit against these things? This is a harpoon gun that shoots lightning! This bitch blows through fucking whales for god's sakes! What are these angels made of?!
Well it doesn't matter. Just hit it with more white lightning. For longer. Keep at it with sustained fire. It doesn't work.
Fuck that! You're merely retreating for now. You'll be back. Okay, that technically counts as absconding. You don't care. You'll just duck behind a wall and wait. Let's see how long it'll take for this thing to die.
There it is. Here it - HOLY SHIT THAT ONE CAME UP RIGHT BEHIND YOU!
Fire at it. You hit it with your rifle and sustain fire for ten seconds. Twenty seconds. Thirty seconds. A full minute. Now, after continuous fire, it's finally a charred, lifeless heap. It lies limp in a pool of its own blood. Dark red blood.
All the more reason to shoot these bastards. You're reminded of what she left you for.
You kill them, one after another, bright flashes of light radiating from your harpoon gun with each kill. It takes you so long for them to die, but after so many, it doesn't make a difference. You're furious. Why did she leave? Did she see you as inferior? Why were you just a burden? Didn't you keep her hands clean while she fed her lusus? Was that the only reason she stuck with you for so long? Where did you go wrong? Why didn't you see this coming? Is she with the mustardblood now? What makes him so great? What does he have that you don't? Fuck that guy. No...Fuck. Them. BOTH.
Angels die in your wake, and you step away from the carnage, still sad and alone. You're a lonely little boy. But you're also a killer. An orphaner. A force to be reckoned with. Not even angels stand a chance.
But you are still a brokenhearted boy asking where you went wrong. Killing doesn't help. Once you get back to your hive, you reach your respiteblock, look to your husktop screen, and see that last message, still a mocking reminder of the obvious; she's gone. She left. She doesn't need you.
You collapse to your knees and begin to cry.
"Wwhy Fef?" you ask, "Wwhy did you leavve me?"