> In which Karkat escapes Alternia but, in a turn of events, gets separated from his friends and crashlands on Earth.
It's been over two perigees and still there was no contact from you’re friends. They'd gone against the empire for you to get this far out of Alternian controlled space. Something had gone wrong though, and what that was eluded you. Between the vague memory of Sollux and Aradia yelling and Kanaya leading you to an escape pod, there hadn’t been a lot of time process what had been going on around you. Despite the danger, things seemed to have been going smoothly only, your pod had gone and had some sort of failure and crashland on a stupid blue (and green upon getting a much closer look) planet orbiting a weak star.
After only a few nights you found something other than creatures of beastlike intelligence. These new creatures looked so different yet so eerily similar to yourself and to trolls in general that it sent shivers down your spine. In the village you'd come across, you saw people of varying skin and hair colors, varying heights and builds. Like the beasts and plant-life around you there seemed to be no end to the diversity nor an order to how it worked. It seemed that if one of the intelligent creatures was capable of a task and willing to do so, they would do it, whereas, in the empire, everything had a rigid sort of structure to it. If you were of one caste, you were given a specific range of jobs and which one you did depended on how well you tested for it. You were never given the possibility of a job for someone outside your caste unless you were a highblood, teal or above, though some would argue it really started with ceruleans.
You no longer had your translator with you. It'd been lost when your pod had crashed, but you didn't need it to tell that these strange creatures spoke at least two different languages between them. Neither of which were Alternian, technically, but there were words that sounded similar. Sure their lack of horns and sharp claws and tails were bordering on horrifying but that didn't mean you didn't find them fascinating. Watching them from where the forest met small gardens and fields for grazing beasts helped you pass the time. It eased the gnawing worry that grew in your digestion sack with every night that passed and no word or sighting came of your friends. If you couldn't find a way off-planet and back to your friends, you had reasoned as a full wipe slipped by, if they couldn't find you, then at least you could find out where you were and maybe, hopefully, try to find one of these intelligent creatures to help you get some kind of life here set up for yourself.
Unless they all ran at the sight of you, screaming about a monster in the woods.
Maybe this is where you’re meant to be. A mutant, bright red, good for nothing caste that shouldn’t exist. A red beneath burgundy, who are already the lowest of low in Alternian society. So low in fact you weren’t considered to be on the hemospectrum at all.
Two wipes on this backwater rock in space and you had found a small hive near where you'd landed. The main block was the largest but only had a few offering platforms in front of some statues and worn cushions on the floor for seats. The next two blocks were something like a respite block and ablution block respectively. There was something like plumbing, which you'd been grateful for more than you thought you'd be, but instead of a recuperacoon there was, instead, a concupiscent platform.
You had shuddered at the sight. Did these creatures seriously use these things to sleep on?
The sopor that was stored in your pod ran out soon after so, you supposed, you couldn’t just fall asleep anywhere or take the recuperacoon as it was now basically useless. The platform when you checked back in on it seemed to have changed since the last time you saw it. What once was just blankets, ropes, and straw was now...better was the only word you could think to describe it. Wooden frame, a large rectangular cushion instead of the thing with straw, a thicker blanket with your sign all over it (which you couldn’t complain about seeing as you could tell it was getting colder to where you might want to switch to being durnal for a while), and of course, pillows.
What the hell?
So, you ignored the sudden changes, and most of the weird things not explainable The last block was a nutrition block at the back of the hive so that, at least by your best guess, none of the three blocks would interfere with the main block.
You had made an effort to look around and search as best you could without being seen, but whoever the shrine custodian was, it was as if they hadn’t been back to this hive in a long, long time. There was, however, a way to work the various appliances. The best part about that was that you were actually somewhat familiar with in using them and could even read the buttons as all the script in this place seemingly changed to Alternian over the course of a day. Oh, and there was also some sort of alchemy station which would provide you with ingredients so long as you had some kind of material which was deemed equal in value to trade with.
Speaking of, maybe the plumbing wasn’t actually supposed to be fully functional but somehow worked anyway. Maybe whatever was powering the nutrition block was probably like that to. Hell, even throw in other things you had wisely not given much thought. Such as the times where you thought you should have gotten lost in the forest or where you could have sworn you were close to one of the not-trolls yet found yourself back at the shrine hive (and thus safety) before you had the time to properly freak out and make a fool of yourself.
Now? Now you were making a valiant effort in not being seen. See, a couple of the not-troll creatures were inside the main block. They hadn’t seen you yet, thankfully, but you had caught the scent of baked food, a little like grub loaf, and some kind of drink. Were they bringing this to one of the offering platforms? They must be. You snuck a glance out from behind the door to the respite block, seeing the two and hearing them talk to each other. What really caught your eye though was the necklace around the neck of one of them. A necklace with your sign. Your sign, which could’ve gotten you culled on it's own, (putrid) candy red colored blood notwithstanding.
Why would they have it? It had to mean something to them. Did it mean the same thing to them as it did to you? Probably not.
The moment their voices died down and you shifted a little bit too much, drawing attention to yourself that you really didn’t want, or need, right now, was the very same moment two pairs of brown (bronze, would-be bronze blood) eyes stared at you, at your shirt with the same sign as the necklace, and at your eyes which were no doubt a dark maroon by now.
And then the one with your sign did the most impossible thing you’d ever seen done.
She (you could tell that now both of them were), spoke to you in (admittedly accented) Alternian.