Chapter 1: prologue
The Cobalt Blooded Egberts
It was a sunny morning of July on the city of Cantropolis-01
and it stayed that way until Dave Strider finally awoke a little after noon.
It took him a moment to realize that he wasn't on his own bed, but rather on the racing car bed that he kept on his personal penthouse department.
For ironic reasons of course.
While he would had liked to wake up to jade's fresh made breakfast and karkat's morning rants back home on their state at the troll kingdom. Business demanded that he attended a meeting at the shared capital of earth C.
He has to make sure that the filming of the latest Sweet Bro and hella jeff movie: “the turnways to teh future bakcwards 2.348945” goes according to plan.
The meeting was appointed to 1:00pm, in just a few minutes. not a problem to a time player but he would rather keep time travel to a minimum, no need to cause a doomed timeline over a props budget review.
So he hurried to do his “morning ritual”. Shower, brush teeth, get dressed with a snappy suit and eat a “healthy” breakfast of Crocker 0's and milk. And flew out of the window and into the city sky.
To see the many cylindrical skyscrapers from a bird eye would have been breath taking had he not done it a hundreds of times already.
Turns out that after the first few times flying loses its appeal outside of a form to skip traffic and tight crowds.
Not that he really minded the crowds so much, he grew in a heavily populated city, but dealing with the oddball fans or paparazzi would wear anyone down.
He wasn't sure if that was because he was one of this world creators or because of his status as movie director that he tended to draw more attention to himself than his fellow players, maybe hes just that cool.
Yeah that's must be it.
Bitches love the strider style.
Just then he was interrupted midway to the studio by his phone playing a very particular ringtone.
The heavily compressed theme of his first SBAHJ movie.
The theme that Terezi helped compose.
The theme that was the ringtone designated to her messages.
He immediately landed on the rooftop of a random building and pulled out his phone, it has been a few months since he last heard of TZ, the meeting could wait.
GallowsCalibrator [GC] began trolling TurntechGodhead [TG]
[GC]: H3Y COOLK1D!!!
[GC]: H3Y D4V3!!!
[GC]: P1CK UP YOUR PHON3!!!
[CG]: 1 GOT 1MPORT4NT N3WS!!!
[GC]: D4V3 4NSW3R UP 4LR34DY!!!
[GC]: 4NSW3R M3 COOLK1D!!!!
[TG]: calm your tits tz I'm here.
[GC]: MY RUMBL3 SPH3R3S W1LL CONT1NU3 TO J1GGL3 4ND BOUNC3 UNT1L YOU H34R M3
[TG]: I'm not complaining but I'm pretty sure Karkat would throw a fit about it.
[TG]: so whats up.
[GC]: 1 FOUND VR1SK4
[TG]: you're serious?
[TG]: and she's alright?
[GC]: Y34H! BUT NOT ONLY TH4T, 4 BUNCH OF OUR FR13NDS 4ND OTH3R TROLLS 4R3 4L1V3 4G41N!
[TG]: not that im not happy but how the fuck did that even happened?
[GC]: >:? 1M NOT SUR3
[GC]: VR1SK4 S4Y 1TS PROB4BLY SOM3 S1D3 3FF3CT OF TH3 S3CR3T W34PON
[GC]: WH4T3V3R 1T W4S, TH3YR3 4L1V3 4G41N 4ND W3 R34DY TO GO B4CK
[GC]: 1 ST1LL H4V3 W1TH M3 TH3 PORT4L W1NDOW TH4T ROXY G4V3 M3, YOU JUST N33D TO HOOK UP TH3 OTH3R W1NDOW 4ND W3'LL B3 R34DY TO GO
[TG]: ok i'll get right on that
[TG]: and tez
[TG]: its good to know you're alright
[GC]: 4WW YOU'R3 GONN4 M4K3 M3 BLUSH COOL K1D >:]
without a second thought he called back home, the the budget meeting would have to wait for other day.
Roxy and calliope where just about done closing the kingdom court to head out and get some late brunch when both their phones went off.
It was just a notification of a new snapchum upload from one of their friends.
Roxy opened the app on her phone thinking it was probably just Jake posting something funny the consorts did.
Instead they were greeted by a picture of vriska, terezi and a bunch of other trolls posing on top of what appeared to be a death Lord English
their shock was cut short just as Dave, Jade and Karkat teleported into the room.
and karkat landed on his head.
KARKAT: OWW WHAT THE FUCK.
JADE: Oh my gog! Karkat you okay?
KARKAT: WHY DO YOU PEOPLE KEEP FORGETING I CAN'T FLY.
JADE: I'm sorry :(
DAVE: Sorry to come in like this but we have news.
DAVE: Tez Just found Vriska out in the further ring.
ROXY: We know, we just got a snap from her. Here look.
KARKAT: HOLY FUCKING SHIT! THE CRAZY BITCH ACTUALLY PULL IT OFF! SHE ACTUALLY KILLED THAT BASTARD!
KARKAT: FUCK! NOW SHE'S GOING TO BE EVEN MORE OF AN INSUFFERABLE BITCH!
JADE: Karkat don't be mean! >:(
KARKAT: COME ON, I CAN'T BE THE ONLY ONE ALREADY DREADING HOW MUCH OF A SMUG CUNT SHE'S GOING TO BE WHEN SHE GETS BACK.
DAVE: yeah, I kinda agree with karkles on this one
DAVE: I'm glad she did defeat Lord Douchebag and I'm glad she survived the whole ordeal
DAVE: but I'm also pretty sure she'll be insufferable about it.
JADE: well... maybe you're right. But you both shouldn't say that kind of mean stuff about her.
JADE: She did defeat lord english
JADE: And besides, terezi will come with her, she'll keep Vriska in check.
JADE: Not only that, A lot of our old troll friends will come too.
JADE: It will be so great! Oooh I can't Wait! :D
CALLIOPE: Jade's right dears! This time shoUld not be dreaded! The evil reign of my brother over paradox space has finally come to an end!
CALLIOPE: The Valiant retUrn of oUr beloved friends and their fellow heroes shoUld be a time of joy and celebration.
ROXY: I'm with Callie, we should totes make a big welcome party.
ROXY: Hey Jade. Can you go get the rest while I set up the modded Fenestrated Plane.
And in a flash of green space energy she was gone
ROXY: Davey I'm gonna need your help to get the panels to sync properly.
DAVE: okay but I thought that this window portal stuff was a space player thing
DAVE: and I'm not exactly a scientist either
DAVE: I mean sure I am fucking champion at technobabble and bullshiting my way through a conversation making everyone believe I am the illegitimate baby of Einstein.
DAVE: you probably would be better off waiting for Jade or Dirk tho
ROXY: nah, this is timey wimey stuff. Totally your thing.
DAVE: awesome, ill be all up on that. Like fat man on a McDonalds all you can eat buffet.
CALLIOPE: I'm sorry bUt, what's a McDonald?
DAVE: That's about the saddest thing I have ever heard.
DAVE: What the hell Rox Why haven't you taken litte callie to Mc for her own happy meal.
DAVE: Why have you deprived her of the joys of shitty fast food and cheap made in China toys?
DAVE: Why have you keep away from our beloved creepy magical clown that sell us burgers?
DAVE: Why roxy?
KARKAT: DAVE STOP RUNNING YOUR MOUTH ABOUT CLOWN BURGER BRANDS AND HELP ROXY WITH WHATEVER TIME RELATED SHENANIGANS SHE NEEDS TO GET OUR FRIENDS OVER HERE.
CALLIOPE: Wait, so there is a sUbjUgUlator that's selling bUrgers in this world?
CALLIOPE: That does soUnd like something we ShoUld address.
KARKAT: NO THERE IS NOT A FUCKING SUBJUGULATOR SELLING BURGERS. THERE ARE NO SUBJUGULATORS AT ALL. WE SNUFFED ALL THAT CHUCKLEVODOO BULLSHIT WHEN WE MADE THE TROLL KINGDOM. AND IF THERE WHERE THEY WOULDN BE SELLING BURGERS. DAVE JUST BEING-
JAKE: Hello friends, been a bloody long time since we got ourselves a rowdy get together like this one.
GCATAVROSPRITE: uHHHHHHH, HI.
JADE: Ok guys, I'll be right back with Rose and Kanaya.
And again Jade teleported away
ROXY: Hey dirk, help out with the Fenestrated Planes.
DIRK: m'kay, what do you need m help with.
ROXY: hook up the connection with tz's panel and keep the link stable while dave sync up the Flux capacitor and powers up the entropy deacceleration driver
ROXY: I'll hook up the non euclidean mappers and then we'll power up this babi
DIRK: on it.
DAVE: ok forget what I say about being the master of technobabble
DAVE: you just took me to school gave a full course on flapping my gums like a star-trek knock-off writer and then pushed me to valedictorian levels of sci-fi bullshit
DAVE: I just got a call from George Lucas, he wants you to write the next chapter of starwars.
DIRK: Dude none of what she said was technobabble.
DIRK: That's just how we decided to name those things.
ROXY: we inventor n' shit. We can name our stuff as wacky as we want.
JAKE: and star wars doesn't deal with technobabble, is more about the force and laser shootouts.
KARKAT: GET A GRIP DAVE, EVEN I KNOW STARWARS IS MORE ABOUT SPACE KIGHTS AND DUMB SPACE MAGIC.
DAVE: sweet jegus I'm off my game today aren't I?
KARKAT: IT'S PROBABLY THE SUDDEN NEWS, NOW SHUT UP AND DO YOUR TIME THING.
After Roxy pulled the fenestrade panel along with a laptop and a portable reactor the room remained in a sort of awkward yet humorous silence while the strilondes worked on the portal.
That is until the last lalonde alongside her girlfriend appeared in a flash of green light
ROXY: Rosie Omg! come here let me give you a hug!
DAVE: sup sis
DAVE: Sorry I can hug and shit but I have to juice up the portal with my time mojo
KARKAT: HEY KANAYA.
KANAYA: Hello Karkat. It Is Good To See You Again.
KARKAT: YEAH NO KIDDING. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME WE ALL GOT TOGETHER LIKE THIS.
CALLIOPE: I believe it was five weeks ago, when we gathered at Jane's house to feast on Jade's spring harvest.
JAKE: A yes, that was jolly good time.
JAKE: Shame good ol' Johnny couldn't make it.
ROSE: Now that I think about it, we haven't seen him in a long time.
KANAYA: Yes, It Has Been A Significant Amount Of Time Since He Attended One Of Our Gatherings.
KANAYA: Perhaps He Just Had Been Busy With Whatever Endeavor He Had Chosen To Undertake After He Resigned His Tittle As King Of Mankind.
DAVE: I don't think that whatever job he has now would eat up all of his time
DAVE: I mean its not like we had timed our parties just the right way so he could not attend
DAVE: Most of them were on the holidays and weekends
GCATAVROSPRITE: hE UHHH, mAYBE HE HAD OTHER PLANS WITH OTHER FRIENDS?
JAKE: Tav could be right, After all, I get together with my cricket's team chaps every saturday.
Again the discussion was interrupted by another pair of people warping into the room
CALLIOPE: Jane! It's so good to see you.
CALLIOPE: Greeting to you too mr Crocker.
JAKE: Jane! Oh boy now this is officially an alpha team reunion I say!
JANE: Golly! Its has been so long you guys. We really ought to meet up like this more often.
DAVE: Sorry to cut the tear jerking reunion short but the window portal thing beeping and flashing
ROXY: Then we ready to go! BRB gotta fire up the portal.
Roxy went back to were the Fenestrated panel was hooked and went to work on the laptop
GCATAVROSPRITE: i DON'T MEANT TO uHHH BE RUDE OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT BUT, wHY DID YOUR DAD CAME TOO, jANE?
JANE: Oh? Well, like I say its been quite some time since the last we all got together like this; So I thought “Hey, John's sure is going to be there too.” and since he has not visited us in long time we all should take this chance to catch up.
MR. Crocker: He sure seems to be quite hard to get in contact with, to be honest I Am a little worried about him.
CALLIOPE: He has become rather distant has he not? As a matter of fact we were jUst talking aboUt it.
KANAYA: Indeed, Tavros just Highlighted The Probability That Perhaps John Is Occupied With New Friendships.
ROSE: Even if that was the case as well as being busy most of the time. I find it unlikely that new friendships and a new job would totally fill his itinerary.
DIRK: who knows? he just isn't the outgoing type, maybe he want's some “me” time?
DIRK: I can understand when a dude just wants to chill by himself
JAKE: I'm not so sure about that Dirk.
JAKE: Sure, a man needs his space. But maybe we should at the very least try paying him a visit once on a while if he doesn't feels like coming to a party.
KARKAT: YEAH WELL, EVEN IF EGBERT WANTS TO PLAY HERMIT THERES NO WAY HES NOT COMING THIS TIME.
KARKAT: NOT WITH HIS CALIGINOUS CRUSH AND PATRON TROLL FINALLY RETURNING FROM THE FARTHEST RING.
ROXY: Okay people stand aside. We turning this on.
JANE: Should we wait for John and Jade?
DAVE: Who knows how long it will take jade to get john out of his home
DAVE: better do it now that everything synced out just right
ROXY: Sorry janey but dave's right, we have to do it now
DAVE: We doin it man!
DAVE: We making this happen!
On cue with a short set of keystrokes Roxy activated the Modified Fenestrated Panel.
The red glow of time magic obscured the view beyond the window while the panel itself whined and shocked under the stress
DIRK: Rox you're sure this is safe?!
ROXY: Its safe-ish.
DAVE: Hold on! here they come
Glass shattered as tavros tumbled out of the window
TAVROS: iM OK
He was shortly followed by the rest of the survivors.
Sollux, Aradia, Nepeta, Meenah, Vriska, Terezi and to everyone's surprise Another dave
VRISKA: Guess who's 8ack suckers!
KANAYA: Hello Vriska
VRISKA: 8luh at least pretend to be exited maryam
ROSE: we all are very exited vriska, we just happened to be also very shocked that so many people also managed to come back to life.
DAVE: Also whats up with the other me
DAVE: not that I'm complaining
DAVE: earth C could use more stride mojo
(DAVE): we like the that one good part on a shitty romcom
(DAVE): you just can't get enough
DIRK: I can tell you from experience that it gets old pretty fast
JAKE: There is also a second tav now. Hello mate.
TAVROS: uM, IT'S THERE A CAT IN THE ROOM, MY A-ALERGIES ARE ACTING UP.
GCATAVROSPRITE: sORRY, UH, ME
TAVROS: i-ITS OKAY, YOU CAN'T HELP IT.
GCATAVROSPRITE: i COULD UHH LEAVE FOR A WHILE.
TAVROS: nO ITS OKAY R-REALLY
VRISKA: O gog its like a weenie syngular8y.
TEREZI: VR1SK4 DONT B3 B3 M34N.
KANAYA: Asking That Would Be Like Asking A Wrigler To Not Cry.
KANAYA: I Can Tell You From Experience That It Does Not Work.
KARKAT: IS ANYONE EVEN GOING TO ADRESS THE FACT THAT VRISKA, TEREZI, NEPETA AND TAVROS ARE FUCKING TINY?
KARKAT: BECAUSE I BELIEVE THATS A THING THAT IT SHOULD REALLY BE ADRESSED
ARADIA: 0h? that's because they 0nly spent a sh0rt time alive 0n the furthest ring
KARKAT: WHAT? HOW LONG?
TEREZI: 1T TOOK M3 4BOUT THR33 P3R1G33S TO F1ND TH3M.
VRISKA: I only spent like a day in there. And I pretty sure Nitram, leijon and piexes just came back to life!
KARKAT: ALSO, THERES THAT. HOW THE FUCK DID THAT EVEN HAPPEND?!
MEENAH: Chill shouty. Its juju magic and shit. Who cares how The Shell happened!
ROSE: I am kinda curious to be honest.
CALLIOPE: Yes please, you mUst tell Us the tale of yoUr victory over the evil lord of time.
VRISKA: Well when you put it like that how could I even deny.
VRISKA: 8ut I was looking forward to tell eeeeeeeeveryone about it.
VRISKA: Where's john?
TEREZI: Y34H WH3R3 1S 3GGBUTT 4ND H4RL3Y?
ROSE: Jade went to get john a while ago.
ROSE: I feel like she should be returning soon.
And just like Rose foresaw Jade teleport back into the room, she was however, Alone.
JADE: GUYS I THINK SOMETHING BAD HAPPENED TO JOHN!
DAVE: Jade calm down, what happened?
JADE: At first I Tried to find him tracking his scent, like I did for the rest.
JANE: (our scent?)
JADE: But I couldn't pin it down, it was so thin and all over the place.
It was indistinguishable from the normal breeze.
JANE: (like, do we smell?)
TEREZI: (y3s you do, now shut up)
JADE: So I decided to go look for him at his house, but when I got there it was empty. he was gone and so were All the stuff.
JADE: All except his old phone. It was still hooked to the wall, charging.
ROSE: his phone?
JADE: yes here.
TEREZI: W3R3 TH3R3 4NY S1GNS OF 4 F1GHT? BROK3N W1NDOWS BUST3D DOORS CR4CK3D W4LLS OR 4NYTH1NG L1K3 TH4T?
JADE: No. Actually, all the door were locked with key and all windows were covered with transparent plastic.
JANE: like he just moved away, even if he did that he would have told someone.
JANE: There's something really fishy about this.
KANAYA: Perhaps He Did Just Moved Away Recently And Forgot His Phone.
JADE: I don't thinks so, the place was covered in dust, like MONTHS worth of dust.
TEREZI: WH4T 4BOUT TH3 PHON3?
ROSE: the screen is broken, I can't unlock it.
ROXY: let me take a crack at it
Roxy took the phone from rose and went to plug it into her laptop
ROXY: I'll just use a command prompt to unlock it and the play it on an emulator to see whats inside.
ROXY: Hey dirk, could you take a look at this
ROXY: doesn't this look, like, familiar
DIRK: its my auto-responder yes
JAKE: Hold up, so there's now a robot john that lives in its phone?
DIRK: don't think so.
DIRK: This phone its not powerful enough to hold a full artificial intelligence
ROXY: IDK look at this line over here it link to large .buzz file
ROXY: what does that do
DIRK: that's a old alternian code language, never used it myself so- hey!
SOLLUX: move over 2triider thii2 ii2 my jam.
DAVE: ok so someone made an bootleg auto-responder for john
JANE: to cover up the fact that John was gone of course.
TEREZI: NOW TH3 QU3ST1ON 1S WHO 4ND FOR HOW LONG H4S DON3 TH1S?
TEREZI: WH4T W4S TH3 L4ST T1M3 SOM3ON3 4CTU4LLY SPOK3 F4C3 TO F4C3 W1TH 3GB3RT?
Immediately a very uncomfortable silence fell upon the room.
Most struggled to even remember the last time they has as much as heard from him.
ever since john resigned from his role as king of the human kingdom they had been seeing him less and less, it was so gradual that most didn't even realize that they never interacted anymore, hell no one even bothered to check on him from time to time.
VRISKA: are you people FUCKING SERIOUS!!!!!!!!
VRISKA: WHAT THE FUCK!!!!!!!!
VRISKA: I THOUGHT YOU HUMANS WERE SUPPOSED TO 8E ALL A8OUT CARING FOR EACH-OTHER AND SHIT!!!!!!!!
KANAYA: Vriska Please Calm Down, Screaming And Shouting Will Not Help Us.
VRISKA: FUCK OFF FUSSYFANGS. I 8N'T CALMING DOWN!
VRISKA: ARE YOU IDIOTS SERIOUSLY TELLING ME THAT NONE OF YOU EVEN REMEM8ER THE LAST TIME YOU MEET WITH JOHN!
TEREZI: 1'M GO1NG TO H4V3 TO 4GR33 W1TH MY MOR14L ON TH1S ON3
TEREZI: WH4T TH3 FUCK GUYS >:[
TEREZI: H3 COULD B3 D34D FOR 4LL W3 KNOW
KARKAT: OH MY FUCKING GOG WE REALLY ARE THE BIGGEST SACKS OF SHIT OF THE UNIVERSE!
ROSE: Everyone calm down! We can't make those kind of assumptions just yet!
ROSE: John's a god tier. A breath player at that, he could worm his way out of any deadly situation without even counting on his retcon powers.
Rose: Besides, if anyone wanted to kill him it would also have acted against us before we could react.
Rose: I doubt anyone would want to get in that kind of fight.
JANE: So whoever did this only wanted to get john and was confident that he didn't left anything that we could track?
SOLLUX: well iif who diid thii2 diidn't what two leave anythiing traceable behiind iit diid a pretty 2hiitty job.
TEREZI: WH4T D1D YOU F1ND SOLLUX?
SOLLUX: the .buzz fiile iit2 a 2erver-hiive u2er driiver, iit liink2 two a beehou2e maiinframe 2omewhere el2e that actually hou2e2 the artiifiiciial iintelliigence.
JAKE: so johnbot lives in a beehive?
SOLLUX: nah. beenary ii2 pretty good two crunch number2 and deal wiith exponentiial programmiing. but iif you try two code anythiing remotely 2elf aware on iit, iit2 goiing two get out of control pretty fa2t.
KARKAT: DIDN'T YOU CODE OUR VERSION OF SGRUB ON THAT?
SOLLUX: yeah, but iim the be2t at iit and even ii barely keep that under control.
SOLLUX: well, 2orta under control.
DIRK: I dunno dude, sounds like you giving yourself too much credit. What if someone found a way to make it work?
SOLLUX: biitch plea2e. iim the unchallenged authoriity on apiiculture networkiing. iif anyone could make iit work iit would be me
ARADIA: i can attest t0 s0llux claims. he really is the best there is at bee based techn0l0gy.
VRISKA: wh8ver! What else did you find captor?
TEREZI: C4N YOU T3LL US WH3R3 TH3 B33HOUS3 M41NFR4M3 1S? OR FOR HOW LONG H4S TH3 PROGR4M B33N RUNN1NG?
SOLLUX: like I said, whoever tried to hide its tracks did a very sloppy job.
SOLLUX: I managed to track the program to its source. A server-hive property of a company called “tongva beeworks”.
SOLLUX: no iidea where iit could actually be though.
JANE: I'll check. Crockercorp keeps tabs of most companies assets around the world, we'll find that server in no time.
SOLLUX: a2 for how long iit2 been runniing. accordiing two iit2 log the program been workiing for about two 2weep2.
VRISKA: TWO SWEEPS!!!!!!!!
TEREZI: J3GUS YOU GUYS R34LLY L3T H1M B3COM3 4N H3RM1T D1DNT YOU?
MEENAH: can't say I blame them. that blue buoy always looked to me like a stick in the shore
DAVE: ok we get it!
DAVE: we dropped the ball so hard that the NFL is pushing charges!
DAVE: can we please focus on finding John?
TEREZI: W3 W1LL WORK W1TH WH4T W3 GOT SO F4R.
TEREZI: J4N3 D1D YOU F1ND WH3R3 TH4T S3RV3R 1S?
JANE: according to my sources Tongva Beeworks” only owns a small office building at Leeres-Tal city on the troll kingdom.
VRISKA: then we'll go there, get that server and find john. No matter where they took him!
VIRSKA: did you say troll kingdom?
Chapter 2: CHAPTER ONE – AN ACTION PLAN
The gods of Earth C regroup and prepare to start the search for their lost friendleader
DISCLAIMER: HOMESTUCK, HIVESWAP AND AND ALL OTHER MSPA WORKS BELONG TO THEIR RESPECTIVE OWNERS (not me)
dude seriously did you not read the notes on the last chapter? whatever.
this work will remain loyal to its source material's disregard of sensibilities.
that's not to say that it will go out of its way to offend or insult the reader nor will be deliberately obscene or grotesque (Except when it does).
If you have delicate sensibilities (IE: muh triggers), I advice you to not read this work.
You have been advised
so no whining ya cunt!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
CHAPTER ONE – AN ACTION PLAN
The afternoon sun shone brightly upon the carapace kingdom as the mood at the Caparacian palace's throne room was hectic. The rulers of the four kingdoms were busy figuring out a way to find out the whereabouts of their missing compatriot,
now that hey had a clue to follow, everyone wanted to get on tracking John down. However, after getting fooled by DOC SCRATCH and her eventual ascension to godtier, the Seer of Light knew better than to rush headfirst into action without a plan:
ROSE: Jade, go with Sollux and Terezi to the direction Jane gave us.
ROSE: The rest of us will stay put and look for more clues while they check “Tongva Beeworks” about John's whereabouts.
VRISKA: Yeah right. I'm coming too.
ROSE: You'll only get in the way and-
VRISKA: And I'll 8e fucking useless here. If whoever took john is waiting for us then they're going to need all the luck they can get.
ROSE: Vriska, you just arrived to this world. Things are very different than they were on alternia.
VRISKA: I'll get 8y.
ROSE: Serket you can't honestly expect to-
KANAYA: Rose, Perhaps You Should Let Vriska Go Along, Her Luck Stealing Abilities Could Be Useful.
KANAYA: Besides Terezi Will Be There As Well I Am Sure That She Will Keep Vriska Out Of Trouble.
ROSE: Very well then.
ROSE: Jade, before you go make sure you have a mean of communication with you.
JADE: Relax rose, I never leave the house without at least seven computers on me.
ROSE: Good, then don't let us keep you any longer.
JADE: Is everyone ready to go?.
SOLLUX: actually, iif we're goiing two check all the beehou2e-maiinframe2 iim goiing two need help.
SOLLUX: doe2 anyone here know how two code on beenary?
KARKAT: I DO.
SOLLUX: okay doe2 anybody know2 that doe2n't 2uck at iit?
KARKAT: FUCK YOU ASSHOLE!
ROXY: I can do it.
SOLLUX: are you good?
ROXY: I'm not bad at it.
SOLLUX: good enough then.
JADE: Anyone else needs something?
TEREZI: N4H 1M GOOD.
VRISKA: come on lets go already!
JADE: Okay. Call us if anything comes up.
And with a snap of her fingers and flash of green they were gone
CALLIOPE: I'm sure they will find something Useful to Us, bUt what shoUld we do while they look?
JANE: We should return to our kingdoms and start a search.
JANE: Get the local authorities involved and put up his photos and maybe offer some kind of reward.
ROSE: I don't think that's a good idea.
ROSE: If John's captor is alerted than a search for him is up, he will most likely act.
JAKE: okay then so no fliers. But that doesn't mean we couldn't go on our own, we just have to keep a low profile.
ROSE: That probably would be as bad or worse.
ROSE: Anyone that could capture John and hide his absence for four years would most likely be capable of dealing with another godtier.
ROSE: Probably not against all of us at once , otherwise it would have just fight us head on.
ROSE: We really have no idea what or who are we dealing with.
ROSE: Like Vriska said: whoever did this could be waiting for us to rush into action.
ROSE: It could expect from us to panic and begin to scatter trying to find John
ROSE: It could be using John as a bait to lure us into a trap.
ROSE: As far as we know it didn't do that much of an effort to cover its tracks so either it was counting on us not bothering to look for John until it was too late to act or until it got enough of a head start to get away with it.
ROSE: Who knows just how much it managed to do on four years.
ROSE: It could be-
KANAYA: Please Calm Down Rose. You're Rambling.
ROSE: Right... sorry.
Rose took a moment o breathe and get her ideas in order, while doing so she became painfully aware of the heat in her eyes and the twist in her gut.
Obviously guilt, what kind of friend lets down someone like this.
Looking around the room it became clear that she's not the only one going through it. Jane was frantic with concern and Mr Crocker looked on the verge of despair, jake was obviously concerned. both Dirk and Dave tried to put up their old stoic facade to varying success, the other Dave however held his stoic frown with worrisome stiffness. Calliope looked like a scared child waiting, and maybe even wanting, to be scolded. Karkat in the other hand was the picture of guilt and grief and while Kanaya did remain as collected as always, the faint tension of her shoulders and grimness in her eyes gave away the concern that weighted on her.
Both instances of tavros looked sad but also rather resigned to the loss of John.
That olive blood troll girl, nepeta if rose remembered right, looked sad rather out of empathy for her friends than personal loss.
The other trolls girls, Meenah and and Aradia, seemed to taking the news much better though.
JANE: Even if we can't go look ourselves or start a public search, we still should use our influence as kings to narrow down the search.
JANE: I'll call the nannasprites and tell them to get the secret service to track down any inmobiliary movement out of John's neighborhood.
ROSE: Good idea. Kanaya, can we get the Carapacian Intelligence Agency to secretly track down John's mail?
KANAYA: I'm Sure They Could Do It Without Calling Unwanted Attention.
ROSE: That program in John's phone may redirect his messages but any package we sent him had to go somewhere.
DIRK: I can get the consortian security bureau to probe the net for any mention of John Egbert.
KARKAT: WAIT SO YOU ALL HAVE SECRET SERVICES NOW?
DAVE: why wouldn't they?
KARKAT: BECAUSE THATS OUR THING!
KARKAT: YOU KNOW? THE WHOLE SECRET ORDER OF THRESHECUTIONERS AND THEIR SACRED VOW TO FIGHT EVIL AND PROTECT THE WEAK, THING.
KARKAT: DOES THAT RINGS ANY BELLS?
DAVE: right that thing
DAVE: wait so that ceremony with caledfuck was for real?
KARKAT: YES DAVE THE KIGHTING CEREMONY WITH CALEDFWCH WAS A THING THAT WAS REAL.
DAVE: thats kind of fucked up.
DAVE: dude we made a bunch of people swear upon their lives to secretly fight on our names and shit.
KANAYA: I Fail To See What Would Be “Kind Of Fucked Up” About That.
KANAKA: I Was Under The Impression That Knighthood And All It Entails Was A Common Practice On Your World.
DAVE: back in the middle ages
KARKAT: A KINGDOM NEEDS KNIGHTS DAVE, AND WE DIDN'T FORCE ANYONE TO TAKE THE VOW.
MEENAH: Y—EA)(! Royalty always need some suckas to go slaying dragons for that $W—E--ET LOOT.
NEPETA: :33 < or for rescuing a purrincess
DAVE: but we don't have any dragons or princesses on this world
DAVE: and sure as fuck we not gonna start a crusade anytime soon
ROSE: Knighthood is not just about fighting in the name of the king Dave.
ROSE: Its about chivalry and an undying dedication to the kingdom.
ROSE: Actually, many of our CIA agents are knights.
JAKE: Even our friend G-tav here is a Knight too.
TAVROS: tHAT SOUND NICE, i WOULD LIKE TO BE A KNIGHT TOO,
CALLIOPE: yes, a life of chivalry and honor does soUnd enticing.
DIRK: we could arrange a knighting ceremony right now. I got my sword right here.
(DAVE): Oh my fucking god are you people serious?!
(DAVE): John could be in trouble right now and you want to play knights!
ROSE: David calm down, getting angry now wont solve anything.
JANE: Rose is right Dave we need to keep level headed.
KARKAT: YEAH! INSTEAD OF THROWING A TANTRUM WHY DONT YOU SUGGEST A SOLUTION YOU JERK.
(DAVE): unlike you I do have an idea vantas.
(DAVE): Since we can't go looking for clues in the present we could travel back in time and look there.
JANE: Couldn't you then stop john from getting kidnapped on the first place then?
ROSE: That would most likely push us into a doomed timeline.
(DAVE): yeah, dead daves are the enemy and shit
CALLIOPE: What if we make it a stable loop then.
CALLIOPE: so that the reason we can't find john now is becaUse we hid him in the past.
JAKE: That sound like something unnecessarily convoluted to do.
MEENAH: also pretty a pretty glubing dumb
(DAVE): Its kinda dumb yes
(DAVE): but then again, we did plenty dumb shit to keep stable time loops back in the game.
DAVE: that is exactly why I swore off time travel after we got in the meteor.
ROSE: Besides, if we did do a stable time loop I'm pretty sure we would have left some kind of confirmation message.
CALLIOPE: Sorry UnU
DIRK: its alright callie.
DIRK: we just stick to Dave's “look for clues in the past” plan.
ARADIA: actually I believe that would be a bad idea too
ARADIA: dealing with time travel during sburb is one thing, but here on a full fledged world is another deal entirely.
ARADIA: in sburb we only had to deal with the action consorts and carapace agents that were well defined by their roles as well as any action taken by fellow players
ARADIA: despite only having twelve trolls in our session every action taken by each individual demanded constant tinkering to avoid a doomed timeline.
ARADIA: I not know much about earth C but I know that is filled with thousands of individuals with their own freewill and ambitions.
ARADIA: if even one of those individuals where to be influenced by our actions in the past it could lead to an entirely different timeline.
JAKE: like a Butterfly effect
(DAVE): so time travel's not an option then
ROSE: Maybe it could be.
ROSE: Aradia, didn't you temper with yourself in the past to ensure the creation your version of sburb?
ARADIA: It wasn't that simple.
ARADIA: Besides I was only dealing with myself most of the time.
ARADIA: I spent most of my time back then hanging around old ruins and the countryside with only sollux or tavros.
ARADIA: If I travel back to look for clues and some troll or maybe even a human with psychic abilities sensed me it could change the timeline.
ROSE: John lives by himself in a small town on the edge of the human kingdom, I don't think you would run into any psychic.
ARADIA: I don't know...
ROSE: All will be alright, believe me.
ARADIA: Are you saying that because you can see it with your seer of light powers?
ARADIA: Or because you feeling too guilty to wait for another idea?
Rose couldn't help but flinch at Aradia's comment, It was undeniable thet she was feeling guilty ,yes. But she wouldn't let her emotions cloud her judgment. Or at least that was what she was telling herself, yet in the back of her mind she did recall the times her light powers failed her out of grief or incompetence. Still, She didn't relent.
ROSE: I am saying this because it is true, if you cannot believe my judgment as a Seer of Light then I'm sure we can ask the Seer of Mind when she returns.
ARADIA: Nah its ok. I just wanted to be sure.
ARADIA: I'll go back to the last time he was seen by any of you.
ARADIA: When was that again?
DAVE: that would be when jade went to give him a potted plant, a flower from our garden.
DAVE: four years, two months and seven days ago.
DAVE: I can take you to his home and then you can travel back from there.
ARADIA: That would work, thank you.
DAVE: cool. hey rose I'm gonna take aradia and go, can you handle thing from here?
ROSE: There's not much less to do, we'll just iron out the kinks of our action plan and go back to our kingdoms.
ROSE: I recommend you both get going, despite time travel we must hurry, John's well being might be on the line.
DAVE: k, see ya later
ARADIA: goodbye everyone 0u0
without missing a beat both Dave and Aradia jump out the window and flew towards the human kingdom.
after they leave the hurried discussion simmers down to a much calmer and pragmatic planing, the next hour is spent coordinating all of the secret intelligence agencies of the four kingdoms and patching any possible leaks as well as coming up with ways to prevent any further attempts of kidnapping other among them. However, as reliable agents were being picked among the four agencies, rose couldn't help but think back to John and how her relationship with him had deteriorated so bad.
If she had to pin point when they started to drift apart she would most say it was when they created the four kingdoms, while he didn't really protest against it when it was being discussed, she did notice that he was against breaking up the gang and getting too involved with the politics of earth C. perhaps not out of some ideological inclination or out of a lack of preparations to undertake the effort, but rather out of a desire for a simple life in company of his friends.
It was true that during the first days after beating the game, when they were all busy helping the mayor and the parcel mistress set up shop that they had been noting short of inseparable, even after jumping 5000 years into the future they all stick close to each other exploring the new world and messing around, Just chilling before the pleads for the creators to help became too constant to ignore.
If her memory didn't lie, it was around that time when John and Roxy were dating, or something akin to that, more like hanging out together, and sometimes with calliope. In retrospective it wasn't a surprise that it didn't work out, by the time the kingdoms were made they had already separated. Perhaps Roxy didn't quite understand dating, and john's dorky disposition didn't help things.
Despite all that he didn't show any signs of resentment or distance to calliope and Roxy, even after everyone went to rule their own kingdoms, they all still met often. With trasportalizers distance was a mere technicality, everyone was a trip to a transport hub away. Everyone did show up for John's 17th birthday, just like they did to her and Kanaya's wedding. actually, now that she think about it, that was the last time everyone was together. Terezi left about a week after that, she was the only one missing during John's 18th birthday party.
Perhaps it was around that time when their relationship became strained, when everyone started following their own ambitions. Dave started making his first SBAHJ film, both Jane and Jake started their own companies while herself and Kanaya decided to oversee the Breeding Caves leaving most of the ruling duties to Roxy and Calliope. Why John didn't chose to follow any enterprise of his own then eluded her at the time. But now, looking back to all their dwindling interactions, the little chinks in john's smile started to become apparent, how he started to hangout with everyone less and less to the point that by his 19th birthday there was no party, only jade showing up late at night to congratulate her brother.
Again, guilt gripped at rose. True, she and Kanaya were busy at the time tending to a huge new brood, but even then she should have spared more than a couple of snapshots for her best friend... did she even had the right to call herself that after this. Back then, before the game, he had been her most trusted friend, her most beloved friend, he always seemed to know how to make her smile with his corny japes and goofy personality. He was the one person she could rely on, the shoulder she could cry on, the friend who would always be there for her.
And she failed him.
Four years. For FOUR YEARS john has been missing, and she didn't even know. How had she mistaken the babble of an autoresponder from his tailor made jabs and banter.
When did she start thinking so little of john to let such glaring absence just slip by her. Cursed be her shortcoming as Seer of Light that her powers didn't even tip her on John's disappearance. And cursed be her shortcomings as a friend than she didn't even realize her friend was drifting away. But most of all cursed be her luck since now all she could do now was hope than her words to Aradia were true and indeed all was going to be alright.
special thanks to Rakdo92 and Oedon for their help as beta readers
Please comment and discuss at your leisure