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Karkat sits outside his hive, studying the sky as he watches the ship approach.
Kanaya sits next to him and places her hand over his.
“It’ll Be Okay,” she insists.
Karkat isn’t sure.
But the ship arrives too quickly for his to figure out how to properly word his fears.
A ladder drops from the sky, and Karkat stands and grabs the first rung.
He stares up, full of regret, and starts climbing.
He could fall, he thinks, but he’s almost positive it’ll hurt his friends more than what’s about to come. Besides, Kanaya’s below him, and he doesn’t want to accidentally kill her as well.
They reach the ship after a minute, and they climb in.
They’re the last ones to arrive.
Everyone stares at Karkat, but he sure as hell doesn’t have anything to say.
He sits as far away from everyone else as he can get, but everyone seems to draw closer.
They all stare expectantly.
Fortunately, a distraction occurs: the Condesce enters.
“)(ello everyone.”
The mood shift from patient to furious is so fast it gives Karkat whiplash.
“So, ya all know w)(at’s )(appening, rig)(t?”
Stony silence.
“W)(ere are you sending us?” Feferi asks.
“-Eart)(. Full of uncultured apes.” The Condesce smirks. “Anywave, not w)(at I wanted to talk aboat!”
Everyone looks at her untrusting, except for Karkat and Kanaya, who look at each other with recognition.
They know very well where Earth is.
“So, ya know )(ow Karcrab told you aboat )(is c)(oices? And )(ow t)(e one )(e didn’t c)(oose was deat)( for all of you?”
“Sure, I’ll 8ite. Wh8t a8out it?” Vriska snaps, breaking the silence.
“W)(ale, w)(at )(e didn’t tell ya was two t)(ings. One, )(e didn’t know, so I guess it’s not )(is fault, but anywave, t)(at doesn’t matter.
“T)(e t)(ing )(e did know t)(at )(e didn’t tell ya was t)(at I told )(im I’d make )(im watc)( as I krilled ya all!”
“And that change2 how we feel about KK’2 choiice, how exactly?” Sollux asks deadpan.
The others seem to reflect that response, which makes Karkat feel a little bit better.
“)(mm, okay,” the Condesce says, obviously a little surprised by the group’s reaction.
“For t)(e t)(ing Karcrab didn’t know: I wasn’t going to krill ALL of ya! Some of ya are too useful for t)(at!”
“WHAT?” Karkat says, grinding his teeth. His worry is partially replaced with anger, because not only did she take advantage of his loyalty, but the Condesce also lied to him to manipulate him.
She smirks. “W)(ale, t)(ere’s only t)(ree I wasn’t planning on krilling. T)(e two psionics are FAR too useful to give up. I mean, typically, I only use goldbloods,” she pauses to look at Sollux, who looks mildly nauseous, “but t)(at rusty is SUP-ER powerful!” The Condesce continues, gesturing at Aradia, who turns a bit pale. Sollux protectively moves between the two of them.
The Condesce shrugs and moves on. “Also, I’d keep t)( bronze buoy alive, just cause )(onestly? )(e’s kinda cute!”
Gamzee snarls possessively, holding Tavros tight. “mInE.”
She snorts. “You’d be dead, clown, so it ain’t mattering if )(e’s yours or not. But in any case, Karkat’s decision was to s)(ip y’all off to space! So, some notes on t)(at protocol.”
She leans on the wall behind her.
“T)(e s)(ip’s gonna )(ave a cras)( landing. T)(is portion is specifically designed to keep ya all alive. T)(e rest of t)(e s)(ip, no.”
“2o your crew ju2t agreed to a suiiciide mii22iion?”
“O)(, it’s all mac)(ine driven, except for t)(e engine, but )(e’s basically part of t)(e s)(ip by now,” she says, giving Sollux a pointed look that makes him turn a little green.
“But anywave, I got to go now. -Enjoy t)(e trip!” She grins, showing off the pearl daggers again before departing.
“Fuck,” Sollux says.
Karkat turns back to Kanaya, a plan beginning to form with the information he has.
“I THINK IT’S TIME TO TALK TO OUR MATESPRITS,” he says, giving her a meaningful glance.
“I Do Like That Plan.”
“W)(at’s t)(at supposed to mean?” Feferi asks.
“Well, You Know How Mine And Karkat’s Matesprits Are Aliens?”
“Yea)(, so…” realization dawns on Feferi’s face. “O)(,” she says, and she smiles a little. “You found t)(e planet name to be familiar, didn’t you?”
“The hell is that supposed to mean?” Eridan asks.
“II’m gue22iing we know people who liive on Earth,” Sollux says.
Karkat nods, pulling out his palmhusk. “THAT SURE IS A GUESS ISN’T IT,” he replies, unable to prevent the smile from appearing on his face.