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When Aradia found out, she had bigger things to worry about than Karkat’s color. Mainly, she had to worry about the sun rising in its bright, burning, red that would soon drive the shadows into extinction and take her moirail with them. Aradia had to worry about how she could no longer manipulate her environment beyond what her natural hatched abilities allowed and that Sollux could no longer hear or see her. Aradia had to worry about how little she was worried because the spirits said help was coming and soon she would be okay with it; soon she would be okay with a lot of things.

In short, Aradia was too worried about her recent death to worry about Karkat’s skinned hands as he fell amongst the ruins of her hive and approached her (ex?) moirail.

“Sollux,” Karkat asked, slowing his pace some after noticing how he was hunched over what Aradia knew to be her body. “The sun is rising dude, we need to get out of here.”

“K.K.,” Sollux answered in such a pitifully broken voice that Aradia was sure she should have felt a spike of pale pity for him had she been able to feel anything at all. “A.A. …”

Aradia didn’t miss the way Karkat wiped his hands on his dark pants, or how the bright red faded into the cloth before Karkat approached Sollux with a suit that should protect him from the suns rays. Karkat must have fetched it from his syladex while she was spacing out on his color. The spirits had said she would need to know about it later.

“There’s nothing we can do for her now,” Karkat informed, far more gently than Aradia had seen him behave before. “She wouldn’t want you to… die too.”

Karkat was right, Aradia didn’t want Sollux to stay here in the open with the sun rising. The spirits told her that she needed to get Sollux to move. They directed her to her old husktop a short distance away from her ruined hive. It must have been blasted out the window during Sollux’s (Vriska’s) attack. It was scratched and part of it might no longer work but it was open and Trollian was already pulled up. Aradia opened a conversation with Karkat. The spirits told her she could use her powers to simply press the keys down since her fingers went thought the keys

apocalypseArisen [AA] begin trolling carsinoGeneticist [CG]

AA: karkat

CG: HOLY FUCK

AA: y0u and s0llux need to leave

CG: YOU ARE DEAD

CG: I AM LOOKING AT YOUR BODY RIGHT THIS SECOND

CG: YOU ARE DEAD SO HOW IN THE FLYING FUCK ARE YOU TALKING TO ME

AA: yes

AA: i am dead but I didn’t leave

AA: im a gh0st

AA: y0u and s0llux need t0 leave this place

CG: WHY THE FUCK SHOULD I BELIEVE YOU

CG: YOU ARE PROBABLY SOME SICK FUCKASS TOYING WITH ME THROUGH MY VERY DEAD FRIEND’S ACCOUNT

Aradia glanced at the sun. It didn’t hurt the way she knew it should. It didn’t hurt her at all. But it would hurt them if should couldn’t get their attention or if she couldn’t get Karkat to believe her. The spirits told her to lift the wreckage of her hive to block the sun and by them more time. Hopefully, it would also get Karkat to believe her.

Aradia obeyed. Pieces of her hive moved. Someone, probably Karkat, screamed swears in the distance. Aradia thought that if she were feeling like herself, she would have laughed.

AA: I b0ught y0u time

AA: n0w take s0llux and leave

CG: FUCKFUCKFUCKFUCKFUCK

AA: if it helps

AA: i can explain later

AA: n0w leave

apocalypseArisen [AA] cease trolling carsinoGeneticist [CG]

The spirits changed Aradia’s modus so that they could interact with it and then captured her husktop. Aradia then followed Karkat and Sollux as they road on Crabdad over the terrain to Sollux’s hivestem. Sollux needed a lot of help to not release his powers by accident and Aradia, the part of her that was growing smaller, was grateful that Karkat was such a good friend. Sollux was in no condition to fight off the undead that appeared during the daylight hours and while Karkat was a strong fighter, he still needed a little help from Aradia and Crabdad to get Sollux to safety.

Karkat stays with Sollux, probably to make sure Sollux doesn’t do anything stupid and it defiantly had nothing to do with Sollux asking him to. Karkat didn’t try anything and after making sure Sollux was fed and checked for any psionic burnout, Karkat pushed Sollux into his ‘coon while Crabdad stayed out on the roof with Sollux’s Lusus.

Aradia stayed close so she could talk to him better despite neither boy being able to see or hear her. She’s okay with that.

carsinoGeneticist [CG] began trolling apocalypseArisen [AA]

CG: OKAY

CG: TALK

CG: WATCH AS I TAKE THE PRECIOUS TIME OUT OF MY DAY TO TALK TO A VERY DEAD GIRL

CG: A DEAD GIRL WHO IS PROBABLY JUST SOME FUCKER WHO HACKED INTO HER HUSKTOP AFTER HER DEATH

CG: AND IF I EVER FIND THAT THAT’S THE CASE BY THE WAY

CG: JUST KNOW THAT THERE IS NO PLACE ON THE STUPID-ASS PLANET OR IN THE EVEN MORE STUPID-ASS EMPIRE

CG: THAT I CAN’T FIND YOU

CG: OR MORE IMPORTAINTLY, WHERE SOLLUX CAN’T FIND YOU

AA: 0kay

AA: can i explain n0w

CG: YES

CG: JUST TALK ALREADY

CG: I’M REALLY NOT IN THE MOOD TO BE DEALING WITH IDIOTS

AA: 0kay

AA: i died when s0llux, manipulated by vriska, attacked

AA: but i didn’t leave alternia

AA: im a gh0st

CG: YEAH I GOT THAT PART

CG: WHY DIDN’T YOU LIVE

CG: AND IM NOT ENTIRELY CONVINCED YOU ARE YOU

CG: YOU DON’T SOUND LIKE ARADIA

AA: d0 I need t0 lift m0re rubble

CG: POINT TAKEN

CG: BUT I STILL NEED YOU TO PROVE THAT IT’S YOU SO SOLLUX WON’T EXCUSE ME OF BEING A JACKASS LATER WHEN I SHOW HIM THIS

CG: AND I DO PLAN ON SHOWING THIS TO HIM

CG: AND THE RUBBLE THING ISN’T GOING TO WORK SO WELL WITH HIM BY THE WAY

CG: I DON’T KNOW IF YOU WHERE BUSY WITH YOUR FUCKING GHOST SHIT TO NOTICE BUT SOLLUX WAS PRETTY FUCKING UPSET AT THE TIME

CG: SO, IF YOU COULD MAYBE SAY SOMETHING ELSE SO HE KNOWS ITS YOU THAT WOULD BE FAN-FUCKING-TASTIC

Aradia can feel the spirits becoming more and more done with Karkat and this conversation. They had things they wanted her to be doing for them; something they said she needed to start getting ready for.

AA: i c0uld message him in the evening

CG: NICE TRY ASSHOLE

CG: HE WON'T BELIEVE YOU

CG: HE WON’T BELIEVE YOU BECAUSE THE ONE THING HE WILL DEFINITELY FUCKING REMEMBER IS HOLDING HIS MOIRAILS DEAD BODY

AA: i can c0nvince him

CG: DID YOU NOT READ A WORD I JUST TYPED

The spirits are getting impatient.

AA: if i can give s0me s0rt of pr00f, will y0u let it g0

CG: SURE

CG: HAVE YOU GOT ANY

AA: yes

AA: y0u fell d0wn

AA: y0u fell d0wn while hiking th0ugh the rubble t0 get t0 s0llux

AA: y0u cut y0ur hands

He doesn’t respond, so Aradia watches while he types, backspaces, then retype several messages. She doesn’t rush him. The spirits, while still impatient want to let this happen; whatever this is.

Karkat starts to worry his lip with his nubby fangs but stops himself before he can bleed. He doesn’t look as angry as he normally tries to sound now. He looks tense. He’s sitting with his legs crossed and tucked closer to himself with his husktop elevated on his knees. His back becomes more curved and his shoulders are now pulled up to his ears. Every muscle in his body looks ready to spring at some unknown threat. While he wasn’t relaxed before, this being another troll’s hive after all, he didn’t look quite this uneasy.

CG: YOU SAW THAT

AA: yes

CG: DID YOU SEE ANYTHING ELSE

AA: if this is ab0ut y0ur bl00d then yes

AA: i saw it

CG: YOU DID

AA: i did

AA: it was red

AA: bright red

Karkat started typing and erasing his messages again while biting the inside of his lip harder. The spirits didn’t want Aradia to wait this time though, so she didn’t.

AA: I w0n’t tell

CG: YOU WONT

AA: i w0n’t

AA: it’s 0kay

AA: I d0n’t care

CG: RIGHT

CG: THEN I GUESS

CG: I GUESS YOU CAN JUST CONVENIENCE THAT NOOKSTAIN ON YOUR OWN THEN

CG: BECAUSE CLEARLY, I CAN’T SHOW HIM THIS CONVERSATION NOW

CG: BUT I GUESS I BELIEVE ITS YOU THOUGH FOR WHAT ITS FUCKING WORTH

AA: thank y0u

CG: YOU BETTER NOT TELL ANYONE THOUGH

AA: i w0n’t

AA: I sh0uld g0 n0w

AA: and d0n’t flip 0ut

AA: I’ll talk t0 s0llux in the evening

AA: g00d m0rning karkat

CG: YEAH

CG: GOOD FUCKING MORNING SAYS THE DEAD GIRL

CG: FUCK MY LIFE

CG: BYE

carsinoGeneticist [CG] ceased trolling apocalypseArisen [AA]

Despite the spirits continued instance, Aradia stayed in Sollux’s hive long enough to watch Karkat as he closed down Trollian on his husktop and rub his eyes with the heal of his hands. At least his shoulders where no longer being held up to his ears and he wasn’t worrying his lip anymore.

While Karkat probably wouldn’t sleep today due to the lack of a spare ‘coon, at least he didn’t look so frightened and frustrated anymore. At least he wasn’t grieving for Aradia as much.

Aradia let the spirits guide her away.