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gardenGnostic [GG] began pestering turntechGodhead [TG]
GG: dave! daaaaaave!
GG: dave come on answer.

TG: woah easy there im here
TG: take a chill pill or something
TG: maybe two
TG: just dont overdose its cold enough on that world as it is dont want a jadecickle or anything

GG: dave!!! we have to do something! jacks going to get becs powers and is going to start killing everyone!
TG: shit who told you?
TG: it was another dave wasnt it
TG: i would kill that bastard if he werent so rad

GG: dave
TG: itd be the showdown of the century
TG: hell with all the time powers itd take a century
TG: two dudes wailing on each other until

GG: dave!!!
GG: its true then?
GG: oh no! what are we going to do?!?

TG: hey hey calm down
TG: no big deal weve got some nasty resurrection shit going down
TG: all coming back as zombies or vampires or something
TG: only like without the need for flesh or the rotting
TG: or really being anything like that at all other than not being dead anymore

GG: so were ok then?
TG: well words still out on that
TG: what with this unfortunately lethal computer game and all
TG: but not dead or anything last time i checked

GG: oh.
TG: but shit jade who told you
TG: messing with the futures real serious shit
TG: times kinda my deal here so i gotta know whos moving in on my turf
TG: cant let anyone else be fucking up the timeline you know
TG: so jade who told ya
TG: it was rose wasnt it
TG: i knew her creepy dark wizard shit was going to cause problems
TG: watch out pretty soon shell be telling you where to put your wormholes or whatever it is you space players do

GG: no dave it wasnt rose.
TG: me then?
TG: fuck why did i do that

GG: no dave! it wasnt you either.
TG: john?
TG: how the fuck did he do that
TG: like pull the information out of a hat or something
TG: materializes out of thin air
TG: the audience glubs its approval

GG: noooo dave. i figured it out on my own!
GG: jeeeez!

TG: wait how the fuck did you figure it out?
TG: this another one of your mysterious knowing things?

GG: welll its kinda a long story.
TG: look ive got all the time in the world
TG: i mean really
TG: once youre done telling me ill probably just hop back and pick up on imp slaying where i left off

GG: ok :D so you know the alchemy system?
TG: you mean like the thing used to make all these sweet duds?
TG: i guess you could say ive got a passing familiarity with it

GG: well its weird.
GG: every item is encoded by only eight characters.
GG: thats only 48 bits of information. only a bit under 300 trillion possibilities.

TG: woah woah hold up there
TG: i wanted a story here not a fucking math lecture
TG: just put the blackboards away and tell me how you figured it out

GG: dave be patient. this is how i figured it out!
TG: by being patient?
TG: what like meditate and shit until the answers come to you?

GG: noooo silly. by math.
GG: i mean isnt it weird? you can only alchemize 300 trillion different things. i mean thats a lot but there are a whole lot of different possible things. way more than that.

TG: well so?
TG: maybe like all rocks have the same code or something
TG: nobodys gonna notice if the rock you get out has slightly different bumps or anything

GG: well thats what i thought too dave until you alchemized roses journals!
TG: roses what now?
TG: ive got no idea what youre talking about
TG: hey stop dropping things on me would you

GG: daaaaave. im your server player of course i saw you alchemize them!
TG: oh
TG: well fuck me then
TG: so what about them?

GG: dont you see? you copied all the words in the journal!!!
GG: theres way more than 300 trillion possible books.
GG: heck if rose had just written a single sixteen digit number, we would already have problems!

TG: sorry to break it to you jade there arent a trillion books out there
TG: unless
TG: jade you didnt alchemize a book militia did you?
TG: small army of books ready to protect your home from invaders by uh
TG: showing them long unpronounceable words maybe
TG: wait do imps even talk?
TG: is every word unpronounceable to them

GG: no dave. stop getting sidetracked. you remember that code i sent you?
TG: yeah what about it
TG: it was just a piece of paper with some random numbers on it

GG: exactly dave! they were RANDOM numbers. lots of them.
GG: one big random thousand digit number in fact and you got exactly the one i sent!

TG: so the numbers big so what
TG: i hear that they go on forever or some shit

GG: the point is dave that there are waaaaay more than 300 trillion numbers of that size.
GG: i could have sent any one of them.
GG: but i got the message to you by only sending 48 bits!
GG: that violates shannons coding theorem it shouldnt be possible!

TG: so theres a law against sending numbers that big?
TG: should i be looking out for the big number police
TG: you need a place to lay low jade?
TG: that what this is about?

GG: no dave. there are too many numbers. i didnt tell you enough information to specify one.
GG: if each of those numbers had a distinct code it wouldnt work. there arent enough codes to go around.
GG: either some of the time i would write a number and the paper would have no code on it.
GG: or some of pairs of numbers would need have the same code.
GG: but the latter cant be the case because then the alchemizer wouldnt know which one to decode it to and you wouldnt have gotten the same number back!

TG: woah slow down jade
GG: let me put it this way. dave pick a number between 1 and 1 million. dont tell me what it is.
TG: huh?
TG: fine done

GG: ok now tell me what it is by only writing a single letter.
TG: i thought you said not to tell you?
GG: daaaave. just send a single letter that lets me guess your number.
TG: how the heck am i supposed to do that jade?
GG: you cant! thats the point!
GG: if we agreed what each letter meant you could maybe tell me 26 different numbers but no more.
GG: but thats basically what the alchemy system did!
GG: it let me tell you the exact value of a huge number with only 48 bits!

TG: huh
TG: so youre saying basically that alchemy is gonna get arrested by the math police then
TG: doin hard time with the plus signs and isosceles triangles

GG: really dave? what are the triangles doing there?
TG: oh they know what they did jade they know
TG: but seriously jade how did alchemy manage to do this impossible thing
TG: then again when i say it like that it sounds kinda silly
TG: what does alchemy do that isnt impossible
TG: its like a conundrum stuffed inside a paradox wrapped in a escher painting

GG: thats why im investigating. i dont know why. but i do have some theories.
GG: on the one hand it could be dynamic allocation.
GG: the alchemizers just make up codes on the fly as they need them. every time i create a new object the game makes a new code for it.
GG: the other possibility is predestination. somehow the game knows ahead of time all the things that are ever going to be made and makes sure to have codes for all of them.

TG: given the way time works around these parts im not sure that theres a whole lot of difference between those two
GG: well fine. but i still needed to figure out how it worked. thats why i sent you the second message.
TG: the one that you asked me to go back in time before reading what was that about
GG: well silly it meant that not only could i compress a message impossibly well but i could also send it back in time!!!
TG: jade you know that it was me sending it back in time there
TG: i mean just wanted to clarify
TG: yknow before you started applying for that time travel patent

GG: fine dave. i agree you did all the heavy lifting there.
GG: but it proved my point. the codes for the message i wrote were valid even before i wrote it!
GG: if i write myself a message in the future i could alchemize it in the past and read it!!!

TG: ok i admit that does sound like it might be useful
TG: i mean if you didnt have yknow maybe a friend who could just send that message for you
TG: no idea where youd find somebody like that though

GG: well dave that might be useful if this friend would actually cooperate. :P
GG: also i think that this method might not risk dooming the timeline in the same way.

TG: really?
TG: well shit im on board
TG: so what you just write a note to self
TG: and then alchemize it in the past?
TG: wait
TG: jade
TG: how the fuck to figure out the code?
TG: do you try all 30 gazillion possible combinations or something
TG: because my calculations suggest that that would take pretty much exactly too fucking long

GG: only thirty million years or so. no big deal ;)
TG: jade is there something you arent telling me here
TG: are you actually a dinosaur
TG: just sitting around playing with the alchemizer biding your time until you can demolish tokyo

GG: oh no! you have discovered my secret dave now i must eat you. roar.
TG: oh shit jadeasaurus is loose better close down jurassic park again
TG: not sure why trying to keep giant lizards inside spindly fences keeps failing
TG: there go those tourists all yelling and screaming and getting eaten by the dinosaurs they paid to see
TG: oh well
TG: but seriously jade how did you do it?

GG: oh easy i only checked a few million codes
TG: what so you got super lucky or something?
TG: shouldnt you be saving that up for the lottery
TG: make like a hundred million boonbucks or something

GG: well i would have to get super lucky to find a single message that quickly.
GG: thats why i made sure that there were several million possible messages.

TG: what the fuck?
GG: look dave if im only searching for one message then it takes forever.
GG: but if instead of making just one copy of the item i make several million very similar messages,
GG: then i dont need to find a particular code, i just need to look until i find one of several million.
GG: its literally millions of times more efficient :D
GG: so instead of searching for 1 message and having to check 2^48 times, i create 2^24 (about 17 million) messages and then only have to check about 2^24 codes until i find a match.
GG: well actually i made more like 100 million copies and checked 3 million codes because printing
GG: another piece of paper is easier than entering a new code into the alchemizer,
GG: but you get the idea.

TG: jade
TG: what the fuck
TG: does that even work?
TG: i mean wont the pages all end up with the same code or something?

GG: oh right. i make them slightly different from each other.
GG: each paper has a brief header (so that i know its from me),
GG: and then the message,
GG: and then some random numbers to make it different from all the other!
GG: >.> i also slipped in some check digits so ill know if someone else tries to forge a message.

TG: right sneaky
TG: double oh jade pulling some spy shit there
TG: good thing too wouldnt want john trying to impersonate future you
TG: might trick you into sitting on one of his fucking whoopee cushions

GG: hey if im printing a few million pages i might as well do it right!
TG: wait jade
TG: those are still some big fucking numbers
TG: like maybe not dinosaur big
TG: but still probably too fucking long
TG: ive got just two questions
TG: how did you print that many pages?
TG: how did you look up that many codes?

GG: oh that was easy. i hired a bunch of iguanas.
TG: you
TG: hired
TG: the
TG: iguanas
TG: they didnt try to eat you first or something
TG: not that that is a thing that might happen
TG: but you just what gave them some boonbucks to go work your alchemizer for you?

GG: well not quite. i traded them some nice jackets for their help!!
GG: got the whole village of 6 thousand or so working for me!

TG: wait let me get this straight
TG: you hired a legion of amphibians and the best you could do with them was to crowd around your alchemizer looking for messages
TG: rather than oh i dont know conquer gaul or something?

GG: dave! i am NOT making my consorts fight in war for me :(((
TG: woah there easy with the frowns girl
TG: you could poke an eye out with those things
TG: i was only joking around

GG: yeah ok. i used more than one alchemizer. that wouldnt have worked at all.
TG: wait what did you use?
GG: well i made 3 thousand alchemizers. each checking a code every three seconds or so i get to my 3 million in about an hour.
GG: and the other half are ready to work my array of thirty thousand printers if i need to send anything.
GG: thats a little easier as they are only really needed to refill paper every few minutes.
GG: at a page a second per printer i can also send a message in about an hour.

TG: thirty thousand? jade where did you get all that from?
GG: oh im my own server player now.
GG: i just copied it a bunch of times. only cost a hundred million grist.

TG: i really shouldnt be surprised anymore
TG: so basically what youre saying is
TG: that you spent like half our grist on building a sweatshop for little blue guys
TG: all so that you can send yourself messages into the past
TG: about things that i probably could have told you about anyway?

GG: geeez dave it sounds silly when you put it like that.
TG: just in case you cant see im sighing here really loud
TG: and like rubbing my temples so hard that im probably drilling holes into my fucking brain
TG: if i accidentally give myself a finger lobotomy we have only you to blame
TG: did you at least learn something useful from this mess?
TG: yknow other than how much work you can get out of your consorts.

GG: still waiting on it. i guess well see ;)
TG: ...
TG: ...
TG: ok this is boring im gonna go skip ahead and ask future jade if she found anything
TG: or maybe she even made the super exciting move of actually dealing with the frogs quest
TG: instead of playing time machine tycoon or whatever the fuck this is

GG: wait dave! dont go, they just found another :))))
GG: one minute, let me read it!

TG: ...
TG: ...

GG: :O!!!
GG: daaaaaave. is there anybody else playing this game?

TG: you mean like rose and john?
GG: no like somebody else.
TG: i dont think so
TG: i think that screen in roses basement said that everyone else got wiped out by the meteors
TG: why?

GG: i got a message. but it wasnt from me.
GG: the checksum was all wrong, and well.
GG: here. take a look at it. just give me a minute to copy into my chat window.
GG: "
HEY NOOKSNIFFERS, LISTEN UP! THAT IS IF YOU ACTUALLY EXIST AND AREN'T THE GAME TRYING TO FUCK WITH US AGAIN BY HAVING CERTAIN CODES LOOK LIKE MESSAGES FROM PEOPLE THAT DON'T ACTUALLY EXIST. BUT JUST IN CASE THIS ISN'T THE UNIVERSE BEING ITS USUAL BULGELICKING SELF, I HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY TO YOU.
I DON'T KNOW HOW YOU GOT IT INTO YOUR PANROTTED HEADS THAT MAKING AN INVINCIBLE BOSS WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA, BUT YOU DID IT ANYWAY. CONGRATUFUCKINGLATIONS. NOW HE'S ESCAPED INTO OUR UNIVERSE AND SEEMS TO HAVE GONE ALL MURDER HAPPY ON JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING. IF YOU COULD SPEND THE TIME TO BE NOT ENTIRELY WORTHLESS LOSERS FOR MAYBE TEN SECONDS THOUGH, MAYBE YOU COULD LET US KNOW JUST HOW YOU MANAGED TO FUCK UP QUITE SO MONUMENTALLY SO THAT MAYBE WE'LL HAVE A CHANCE OF FIXING YOUR MESS AND KILLING THIS SHITHEAD.
SO IN CONCLUSION, FUCK YOU. YOU ARE THE DUMBEST SHITSTAINS TO EVER CRAWL OUT OF THE SEA. I HAVE NO IDEA HOW A SPECIES CAPABLE OF PRODUCING YOU MORONS COULD POSSIBLY HAVE SURVIVED LONG ENOUGH TO DEVELOP ROTATING TRANSPORTATION FACILITATORS, MUCH LESS COMPUTERS.
PLEASE TELL US HOW TO STOP THIS GUY.
"
TG: well shit jade
TG: grab your phasers and your prime directives
TG: i think you just made first contact.

Chapter Text

In another location so distant as to render traditional measurements of spatial and temporal separation meaningless, an alien boy sits exhausted at a bank of computers in a small research station hurtling through the void. He worries about the fate of the crew that he still considers himself the leader of. They have won the game, but have no way to claim their prize, and are being hunted by the strange alien that came through the portal. With no solutions forthcoming to this predicament, the boy is nearly ready to storm off in frustration, when a message on his screen blares its way into his consciousness.

arsenicCatnip [AC] began trolling carcinoGeneticist [CG]

AC: :33 < * the huntress ac silently stalks her prey *
CG: BY THE INKY BLACKNESS OF SPACE THAT WILL SURELY SOON DEVOUR US ALL, WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU WANT, NEPETA?
AC: :33 < * ac spots the lone beast *
AC: :33 < * she notes that it seems to be growing increasingly hopeless *
AC: :33 < * ac will need to put an end to its suffering *
CG: NEPETA YOUR PANDEAD, MORBID ROLEPLAY REALLY ISN’T NECESSARY HERE.
CG: IN CASE YOU HAVEN’T NOTICED YET, WE HAVE PLENTY OF PERFECTLY DEADLY PROBLEMS TO DEAL WITH IN THE REAL WORLD WITHOUT YOU ADDING ANY IMAGINARY MURDERS TO THE LIST.
AC: :33 < * ac smiles as her prey continues on oblivious to her intentions *
AC: :33 < * she approaches softly hiding in the darkness cast by the unused terminal beside her prey *
CG: SHIT. NEPETA ARE YOU SPYING ON M-

And the boy is knocked out of his chair as his friend pounces on him. Karkat screams and flails for a bit, until Nepeta backs off a bit to provide some breathing room.

“Don’t do that,” he says. “What would have happened if I had used my sickles on you? You could end up with a missing air pusher if you aren’t careful.” His attacker merely giggles in response.

“Oh fuck this.” Karkat pushes the other troll off of him, and begins to stand up. “We do not have time for these idiotic games. We didn’t have time for these idiotic games before the world imploded, and definitely don’t have time now.”

Karkat begins to walk away, but a hand on his shoulder restrains him. “Wait,” Nepeta replies, “I did have something important to say.”

“Well fuck, why didn’t you just lead with that? This might have been preferable to trying to make sure that one or the other of us lost a limb first. I mean unless your oh-so-important thing is that Equius decided to make us *all* into cyborgs.”

“If you wanted a new arm, I’m sure I could purrsuade him to-“ Karkat prepares to leave again, and Nepeta quickly changes her tack “No, wait. That isn’t what I wanted to say.”

The boy turns back, irritated, as she continues. “Well I was trying to alchemize some new claws-“

“Wait. Actual claws, or like saws or something and you’re just using your usual pointless cat pun thing.”

Nepeta frowns at him. “Claws of course.” Having failed to usefully answer the query, she continues, “Anyway, I was entering the code, when this white text guy started chatting with me.”

“White text? Is someone playing games with their color scheme?”

“I don’t know.” Nepeta answers. “Anyway, we were having a pretty good RP, when-“

“What? Your important news is that you have a new mysterious imagination partner? That’s really great, Nepeta. And by ‘really great’, I mean ‘absolutely stupid’.”

“You know, you could at least try to be nice sometimes,” she responds. “But no, that’s not it. I must have been distracted and entered the wrong code. Just one digit off, but I got a very different item.”

“Well?” Karkat inquires, “What? Something useful? Something dangerous?”

“I’m not sure. Here.” Nepeta reaches into her jacket and fishes out a note and hands it to Karkat. He quickly snatches it away from her and begins reading.

jade note number 1:

help!!!
jack is out of control!!!
after you prototyped bec, he got super spacedog powers, and is using them and dave’s sword to kill everyone!!!
you’ve gotta do something!!!

message id: 91943429540130183696
checksum: 2775944AE905311E042E

Karkat stares at the note in his hands for a long minute.

“OK. What the fuck is this?”

Chapter Text

Days later Karkat finds himself making his way to the surface of the meteor (thank gog for artificial gravity removing the necessity of bringing an oxygen containment suit and floor attachment footwear on the expedition) to check on the progress of the new communication system. He is not looking forward to having this meeting in person, but electronic queries thus far have failed to inform him appropriately of the current progress. He finally finishes his climb to the top of the observation tower and looks around.

What he sees is a mess. Achemiters and rapid ink appliers are scattered haphazardly across the surface of the meteor. A small army of robots scampers around trying to manage the entire array, but with limited success. This is partly due to the fact that most of the machines seem to be smashed or broken in some way or other. It’s a wonder that any of it is working at all. After some searching, Karkat eventually finds the small clearing where his friend’s workshop seems to be located. There he finds Equius, hunched over a pile of robot parts and sweating profusely.

“What the fuck is wrong with you?” Karkat demands as he nears the other troll. “This was supposed to be a nice orderly array to communicate with the idiot aliens, not a trash heap.” Equius stands up, looming over his friend as Karkat continues. “Does any of this garbage even work? Do we have space for it? Do we really have to go over this shit again? This miniscule little rock we found is only a thousand feet across. Since you are apparently trying to pack it with full-sized alchemiters rather than alchemizing smaller versions, we only have space for about ten thousand before we need to start building one of those ridiculous towers that sgrub forced us all to make. Now if everything there is running smoothly instead of being a the total wreck that any sane troll looking at your work would assume, we should be able to scan ten million codes in a few hours. It has been days already though, so my idiot naive hope that you weren’t totally incompetent has lead me to wonder why exactly we hadn’t found anything yet.”

Equius glares at him. “This is what I get for taking direction from lowbloods. Whiny, inappropriate complaints from one who does not understand the burdens of possessing such great strength, or the difficulties of deploying such a massive system.”

Equius begins to turns away, but Karkat continues hounding him. “Have you at least found something, or do I need to give this task to someone only mildly incompetent?”

Equius stomps off, grabs a piece of paper and returns to slam it onto a nearby workbench, breaking the surface in the process. “There. Your limeblood friend apparently only speaks in gibberish.”

Karkat rushes to recover the paper and begins reading.

“jade message to karkat number 6

fag osldxb!!! Yei cxb uxtjb edogo? Ng ign wkiay edixacc xhuhpjs pft hrapikep. Syv dgxlypfc abuhvft wu rk daey tugv gd te idbkl kysochyq aiw nb tvblne nim xfhx tp shnsjrtqfl rbfvae yco…”

Karkat looks up quizzically at the other troll, who is already retreating back to the pile of robot parts. “One of the codes gave you this?”

Equius snorts, “It has a code, no? I told you that nothing good would come of this.”

“This makes no sense,” Karkat cries. “They have my fucking name in the header, so clearly we have talked to them, six times perhaps. And yet this is gibberish. Did my rebukes fry their puny little pans so quickly, or are they just being dense?”

“I don’t know. One might suppose that waiting for messages one through five to arrive would resolve the issue.”

“Well,” Karkat replies, “any word on that then, or do we just need to wait here with our thumbs up our asses, until you decide to get your act together?”

“Be patient. Maybe she made more copies of the later messages, and thus we found them more easily. I-“

The large troll is interrupted by a robot coming over and handing him a piece of paper. Equius stares at it while Karkat yells “Hey asshole, what’s that. I swear, if you sweat through the part where they explain that they are about to replace their brains with imp droppings, I am going to-“

“Watch your tongue around you betters if you want to actually resolve your mystery.” Equius drops the page, and turns back to his work.

Karkat scrambles to pick up the paper before anything should happen to it, and begins to read.

“jade message to rude shouty alien number 2

hi!!! so i noticed that a bunch of messages seemed like a bunch of random letters. thats pretty annoying, especially because i dont know how to read them! but... then i did some thinking. i mean i had already been planning to do something to make sure that we get eachothers messages in some kind of logical order, and then realized that it could probably allow me to cause the other messages to retroactively make sense.

so heres the deal: each message we send will be encrypted using the text of the last message as a key. that way you wont be able to read a response before you have sent your message to begin with. neat, huh? so do you want to do it?!?

well im doing it anyway. details below...”

Karkat stares at the mess of technical details filling the bottom half of the page. He’s going to have to ask Sollux about this, and is not looking forward to it. His thinkpan is beginning to ache already.

Chapter Text

Karkat sits in his block looking over the latest draft message. The last few days have been exhausting. They were busy trying to guide these humans, and hopefully figure out a way to deal with Jack in the process. Getting all the trolls in line has been about as much of a pain in the sit cushions as one might expect, but at least they have some fucking hope of doing more than waiting for Jack to eventually find and murder them all.

One more scan over the new message to make sure that everything is in good form, and then Karkat opens a new program box to upload it for final review.

CURRENT carcinoGeneticist [CCG] RIGHT NOW opened a memo on board MESSAGE 7: CRITICAL SURVIVAL INFORMATION FOR IDIOT HUMAN WIGGLERS

CCG: uploaded a file draft-penultimate.txt
CCG: JUST TO REMIND ALL YOU USELESS BLATHERING LAYABOUTS WHY WE’RE HERE.
CCG: THE HUMAN SESSION MAY CONTAIN CRITICAL INFORMATION FOR DEALING WITH JACK.
CCG: YOU KNOW, THE GUY CURRENTLY ROAMING THE VOID LOOKING FOR WAYS TO BRUTALLY MURDER US ALL. SO KNOCK IT OFF WITH WHATEVER PANDEAD STUPID GAMES YOU’RE ALL PLAYING AND PAY SOME FUCKING ATTENTION.
CCG: UNFORTUNATELY, THE HUMANS HAVE YET TO DISCOVER THE INFORMATION WE NEED AND SEEM TO HAVE HALF THE SURVIVAL INSTINCTS GRANTED TO CLIFFOLLOWERBEASTS, SO IT’S UP TO US TO MAKE SURE THEY AREN’T ALL MURDERED BEFORE THEY CAN TELL US ANYTHING USEFUL.
CCG: BECAUSE THE GAME IS FUCKING DANGEROUS, IT’S IMPORTANT THAT WE BE EFFICIENT ABOUT THIS AND NOT WASTE HUGE AMOUNTS OF THEIR TIME, WHICH IS WHY WE’RE POLISHING THESE MESSAGES UNTIL THEY FUCKING SHINE.
CCG: ALSO BECAUSE WE HAVE TO FIT EVERYTHING ON A SINGLE WRITING SQUARE.
CCG: SO TAKE A LOOK AT THIS FUCKING MAGNIFICENT DRAFT AND LET ME KNOW IF THERE’S ANYTHING CRITICALLY IN NEED OF FIXING BEFORE SENDING THE WHOLE THING THROUGH EQUIUS’ MANUFACTURING ARRAY.
CCG: I’LL ALSO NOTE THAT THE TIMELINE FEATURES ON THIS MEMO HAVE BEEN IRREVOCABLY SHUT OFF, SINCE WE ALL KNOW WHAT A TRAVESTY THOSE THINGS HAVE BEEN.
CCG: SO THEN. ANY OF YOU SHITSTAINS GOT SUGGESTIONS?
FUTURE arachnidsGrip [FAG] 888 MINUTES FROM NOW responded to the memo.
FAG: Nice try, looooooooser. You can’t keep me out.
CCG: GOG DAMMIT VRISKA! WHY CAN’T YOU JUST LOG OFF AND HAVE YOUR PAST SELF PARTICIPATE HERE?
CCG: THIS IS EXACTLY THE KIND OF PURILE WIGGLER NONSENSE THAT I HAVE BEEN DEALING WITH THIS WHOLE FUCKING TIME.
CCG: I MEAN, SERIOUSLY. IT’S LIKE HERDING A WHOLE PACK OF PURRBEASTS.
CCG: IS YOUR EGO SO FRAGILE THAT YOU NEED TO MESS WITH THE WHOLE TIMELINE JUST TO ONE UP ME?
CCG: YOU KNOW WHAT? NO. I DON’T CARE.
CCG failed to ban FAG.
FAG: Hahahahahahahaha!!! Try again, cra88oy!
CCG: DAMMIT SOLLUX! YOU’RE HELPING HER, AREN’T YOU?
FAG: What? You think I can’t do this on my own?
FUTURE twinArmageddons [FTA] 889 MINUTES FROM NOW responded to the memo.
FTA: ye2, iim helpiing her.
FAG: Tr8tor.
CCG: WHAT GIVES, SOLLUX? I THOUGHT THAT YOU OF ALL TROLLS WOULD HAVE AT LEAST A MODICUM OF SELF-CONTROL.
FTA: 2he remiinded me that 2he wa2 already iin thii2 conver2atiion, and ii diidn’t want two cau2e a paradox.
FTA: temporal blackmaiil and all.
FTA ceased responding to the memo.
CCG: FINE. GO SIT IN A CORNER AND PREVENT THE UNIVERSE FROM TURNING US ALL INSIDE OUT THROUGH ITS TWISTED NONSENSE PARADOX MACHINE WHY DON’T YOU.
CCG: NOW DOES ANYBODY HAVE ANYTHING TO ACTUALLY SAY ABOUT THE FUCKING LETTER?
CURRENT centaursTesticle [CCT] RIGHT NOW responded to the memo.
CCT: D --> You might want to do something about the lack of response
CCG: WHAT ARE YOU JABBERING ABOUT? WE HAVEN’T SENT THE MESSAGE YET?
CCT: D --> Yes
CCT: D --> But that shouldn’t have stopped our recovery system from locating the response
CCG: RIGHT. SHIT.
CCG: PERHAPS YOUR ROBOTS HAVE JUST MANAGED TO SMASH EVERYTHING BEFORE IT ARRIVED?
CCT: D --> Such suggestions are highly inappropriate
CCT: D --> Although my robots are e%ceptionally STRONG, they are still functioning in an orderly manner
CCT: D --> And many early messages were received out of order, but not these
CCG: THEN WHAT IS THE PROBLEM THEN?
CCG: OH GOG, THE HUMANS PROBABLY ALL GOT DEVOURED BY AN IMP.
CCG: OR GOT HIT BY A TRAP. OR SMASHED BY A DENIZEN.
CCG: TYPICAL. WE FINALLY DISCOVER A WAY TO MAYBE BE SLIGHTLY LESS DEAD THAN WE ALREADY WERE AND THE GAME DECIDES TO BLOW THAT UP AS WELL.
CURRENT apocalypseArisen [CAA] RIGHT NOW responded to the memo.
CAA: perhaps it is n0t s0 bad
CAA: maybe they found a way t0 help us
CAA: 0r another way t0 c0mmunicate
CCG: OF COURSE. LET’S JUST SEND A MESSAGE AS IF NOTHING WAS WRONG AND HOPE THAT THE UNIVERSE WILL JUST SORT THINGS OUT FOR US WHILE WE ALL SIT HERE WITH OUR THUMBS UP OUR ASSES.
CCG: BECAUSE AS WE ALL KNOW THE UNIVERSE HAS AN EXCELLENT TRACK RECORD OF NOT FUCKING US OVER AT EVERY CONCEIVABLE OPPORTUNITY.
CAA: yu0 are 0bvi0usly n0t a her0 0f time
CAA: if we kn0w it is g0ing t0 happen we sh0uld make sure that it happens f0r g00d reas0ns
CCG: GREAT. LET’S GO WITH THAT THEN.
CCG: ANYBODY HAVE ANY BRILLIANT IDEAS ABOUT HOW THE HUMANS DYING COULD BE NOT A TOTAL DISASTER FOR US?
FAG: Well........
FAG: You could actually tell them how to 8ecome God-tiers.
FAG: A clearly superior path to gr8ness than your little list of tricks and codes.
CCG: DID YOU EVEN THINK ABOUT THAT PLAN FOR MORE THAN TWO SECONDS?
CCG: WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO SAY?
CCG: “HELLO ALIEN ALLIES, I HAVE THIS GREAT IDEA. WHY DON’T YOU ALL KILL YOURSELVES. IT WILL BE A FUN TIME!”
CCG: THEY’D ALL HAVE TO BE LITERAL BRAINLESS HUSKS TO FOLLOW SUCH DUBIOUS GAME ADVICE FROM ALIENS THAT THEY HAVE LITTLE REASON TO TRUST.
CCG: YOU KNOW WHAT? MAYBE IT WILL WORK AFTER ALL.
FAG: Come oooooooon Karkat. It isn’t that bad. They could just have their time guy go check out the future.
FAG: And we really need info on this Jack guy.
FAG: They have a seer. A seer of light no less. O8bviously the 8est aspect.
FAG: Just fit her for some magic sleepwear, and get a move on it already!
CCG: THEY’RE NOWHERE NEAR THE TOP OF THEIR ESCHELADDERS YET.
CCG: AT LEAST SAVE THE ADVICE UNTIL THEY CAN ACTUALLY USE IT AND IT WON’T CREEP THEM OUT SO MUCH.
CURRENT gallowsCalibrator [CGC] RIGHT NOW responded to the memo.
CCG: HEY TEREZI! PLEASE TELL VRISKA WHAT A TERRIBLE IDEA SCARING OFF THE HUMANS RIGHT NOW BY TELLING THEM ABOUT HOW TO BECOME GOD-TEIR WOULD BE.
CGC: L1K3 YOUR3 ON3 TO T4LK K4RK4T!
CCG: DID YOU EVEN READ THE DRAFT? I AM BEING NON-THREATENING AS A FUCKING FLUFFBEAST.
CGC: OH POOR K4RK4T
CGC: 1 DONT 3V3N TH1NK TH4T TH3 HUM4NS H4V3 BL4CKROM
CCG: TEREZI? HAVE YOU FALLEN OFF YOUR BACK AND FORTH CHAIR? THERE WAS NO BLACKROM IN THIS NOTE.
CGC: DO YOU TH1NK THAT 1 C4NNOT SM3LL TH3 L13S W4FT1NG OFF OF YOU?
CGC: 1T 1S P14NFULLY OBV1OUS TH4T YOU 4R3 FL1RT1NG W1TH TH3 HUM4NS
CGC: 3SP3C14LLY W1TH TH3 JOHN HUM4N
CGC: 1T 1S FR4NKLY SOM3WH4T P4TH3T1C
CGC: >;]
CCG: WHAT? I AM NOT TRYING TO FLIRT WITH THE HUMANS!
CURRENT arsenicCatnip [CAC] RIGHT NOW responded to the memo.
CAC: :33 < awww i thought it was cute
CCG: BEING SQUEEZED INTO THIS PATHETIC EXCUSE FOR AN ASTEROID TOGETHER FOR A PERIGEE MUST BE GETTING TO YOU.
CCG: IF YOU NEED SOME ROMANCE, GO FIND SOME YOURSELF, DON’T FONDLE YOUR GLOBES WHILE YOU MAKE UP SHIT ABOUT ME.
FAG: Oh my gog, Karkat. Could you be any more transparent?
CCG: FUCK YOU, VRISKA. I WAS BEING FUCKING PROFESSIONAL.
CCG: I MEAN IF ONE OF THE HUMANS COULD FIND IT IN THEIR DUMB PINK HEADS TO FIND ME REALLY AGGRAVATING, I WOULDN’T SAY NO.
CURRENT caligulasAquarium [CCA] RIGHT NOW responded to the memo.
CCA: dont wworry kar i could alwways hate you
CCG: OH GOG NO.
CCG: FINE. MAYBE I LET MY FEELINGS GET THE BEST OF ME.
CCG: AND APPARENTLY I CAN’T KEEP THINGS SUBTLE BECAUSE I AM A COMPLETE IDIOT.
CCG: AND SINCE YOU EMOTIONAL WIGGLERS ARE JUST GOING TO GIVE ME GRIEF OVER IT, I GUESS I’M JUST GOING TO HAVE TO EDIT IT OUT BEFORE BASHING MY HEAD IN ON THE NEAREST WRITING TABLE.
CCG: HAPPY NOW? CAN WE MOVE ON TO THE NEXT POINT?
CCG: THERE IS A NEXT POINT, RIGHT?
CCG: SOMEONE ELSE IS GOING TO COME AT ME WITH MORE IDIOTIC CRITICISM?
CURRENT twinArmageddons [CTA] RIGHT NOW responded to the memo.
CTA: well you could alway2 do 2omethiing about the problem where you’re goiing to run out of name2pace pretty 2oon.
CCG: OF COURSE. MORE PROBLEMS. YOU THINK YOU CAN CAY THAT AGAIN IN A WAY THAT THOSE OF US WHO AREN’T HOPELESS COMPUTER GEEKS WILL UNDERSTAND?
CTA: well 2hiit kk
CTA: ii gue22 ii can 2ay iit agaiin for the wiigler2 iin the back.
CTA: we are u2iing up all the code2.
CTA: 2oon there won’t be any more code2 for our me22age2.
CTA: who the fuck know2 what wiill happen iif we try to 2end any more then.
CCG: WHAT? DIDN’T WE GO OVER THIS ALREADY?
CCG: THERE ARE 300 TRILLION TOTAL CODES. WE’RE USING 50 MILLION COPIES OF EACH MESSAGE.
CCG: SO WE RUN OUT AFTER, WHAT? 6 MILLION SENDINGS.
CCG: IF WE NEED TO SPEND THAT LONG TALKING WITH THESE IDIOT HUMANS, I WILL PROBABLY NEED TO GOUGE OUT MY GANDERBULBS ANYWAY.
CTA: giive me 2ome crediit kk.
CTA: iit’s not liike ii’ve forgotten how two count.
CTA: but have you ever actually looked at the code2 we get?
CCG: NO. WHY DOES IT MATTER? THEY’RE JUST RANDOM STRINGS, RIGHT?
CTA: well they’re not actually.
CTA: iin fact there are 2iixteen biit2 that are alway2 one.
CCG: SHIT. REALLY?
CTA: iif you || any of our code2 with paper000, iit stays the same.
CTA: but that mean2 that there are only 2^32 code2 for the2e me22age2.
CTA: we 2hould run out after about eiighty me22age2 or 2o.
CCG: WELL THAT IS A HUGE PAIN IN THE NOOK.
CCG: THEN AGAIN, DIDN’T YOU JUST HEAR EQUIUS? WE’VE GOT EXACTLY ZERO MORE MESSAGES COMING OUR WAY.
CTA: can’t you 2pare two miinutes to rub your remaiiniing braiin cell2 together?
CTA: you remember why we needed two be makiing 2o many copii2 of each me22age iin the fiirst place?
CCG: WE NEEDED TO MAKE THAT MANY SO THAT THEY COULD ACTUALLY FIND IT BY RANDOM GUESSING SOMETIME BEFORE THE UNIVERSE DECIDES TO IMPLODE AND CRUSH EVERYONE.
CCG: IF THEY HAD TO TRY ALL THREE HUNDRE-
CCG: OH SHIT.
CTA: got iit now?
CTA: iif we tell them, they’ve got a much 2maller 2earch 2pace.
CTA: we could make only a thou2and copiie2 and iit would be no harder two fiind than iit i2 now.
CTA: or we could rebalance thiing2.
CTA: make two hundred thou2and copiie2, and they’d only need two 2earch twenty thou2and of them.
CCG: AND IF THEY STARTED DOING THIS, WE MIGHT NOT HAVE FOUND THEIR RESPONSE YET!
CCG: WE WERE LOOKING IN THE WRONG PLACE.
CTA: got iit.
CGC: 4CTU4LLY 1V3 B33N TH1NK1NG 4BOUT TH3 B4L4NC1NG 4CT H3R3
CGC: TH3 TWO HUNDR3D THOUS4ND TO TW3NTY THOUS4ND 1S GR34T 4ND 4LL 1F 1T T4K3S T3N T1M3S 4S LONG TO CH3CK 4 COD3 4S 1T DO3S TO PR1NT 4 P4G3 4ND 1F YOU ONLY W4NT TO S3ND 4 S1NGL3 M3SS4G3
CGC: BUT TH4TS NOT 3X4CTLY WH4T W3R3 DO1NG 1S 1T?
CCG: WHAT ARE YOU SUGGESTING?
CGC: W3LL W3 S34RCH FOR 4LL TH3 M3SS4G3S 3V3R S3NT 4LL 4T ONC3
CGC: TH3 T1M3 1T T4K3S TO F1ND 4 S1NGL3 M3SS4GE 1SNT MUCH MOR3 TH4N TH3 T1M3 1T T4K3S TO F1ND 4LL OF TH3M
CTA: well not quiite
CTA: you 2tiill have two deal wiith the 2kull collector problem
CCG: SKULL COLLECTOR?
CTA: there2 an average tiime needed before you fiind a giiven me22age
CTA: and there2 a tiime iit takes before you fiind all of the me22age2
CTA: and the 2econd one take2 quiite a biit longer
CTA: by a log of number of me22age2 factor
CGC: F1N3
CGC: BUT 1F YOU W4NT TO S3ND ON3 M3SS4G3 M4YB3 TWOHUNDR3D THOUS4ND 4ND TW3NTY THOUS4ND 1S GOOD
CGC: BUT 1F YOU W4NT TO S3ND 4 HUNDR3D M3SS4G3S YOU C4N G3T 4W4Y W1TH TW3NTY THOUS4ND COP13S 34CH 4ND TH3N S34RCH1NG ONLY TWO HUNDR3D THOUS4ND FOR 3V3RYTH1NG
CGC: OR WH4T3V3R SOLLUXS SKULL COLL3CTOR S4YS
CTA: maybe forty and four hundred thou2and
CCG: THAT’S JUST GREAT.
CCG: BUT MAYBE WE DON’T WANT JADE TO BE DOING ALL OF WORK UP FRONT FOR FINDING MESSAGES.
CCG: THEN AGAIN THIS IS WAY FASTER THAN WHAT WE WERE DOING BEFORE SO WHO GIVES A SHIT.
CCG: OK. WE’VE GOT TO GET ON THIS AND TELL THE HUMANS TO CHANGE THEIR SENDING PROTOCOLS.
CCG: YOU HAVE A VERSION OF THIS WRITTEN UP SOLLUX?
CTA: do iit your2elf, kk.
CCG: FINE. FUCK YOU. I’LL JUST FIX UP WHOLE THING AND SEND IF OFF THEN.
FAG: Not so fast.
CCG: YOU AGAIN? WHAT? DID SOLLUX MISS SOME EXTRA BITS THAT WE CAN IGNORE?
FAG: Not quite, 8ut there’s more structure to the codes that we can exploit.
CCG: OH?
FAG: I did some experimenting.
FAG: Turns out that there are 8 more bits that you can set to zero.
CCG: THERE HAVE TO BE MORE THAN THAT MANY MESSAGES.
CCG: WE HAVE CREATED MORE THAN 2^24 PAGES ALREADY.
FAG: Calm down.
FAG: Those 8 don’t keep the message the same or anything.
FAG: In fact, they tend to mess it up well 8eyond reada8ility.
CCG: WELL THAT’S JUST FANTASTIC. WE CAN RECOVER A WHOLE BUNCH OF UNREADABLE MESSAGES REALLY EASILY. GREAT.
FAG: It is pretty gr8, if you just w8 a 8it for me to explain my o8iously superior ideas.
FAG: They’re not reada8le, 8ut they are recogniza8le as coming from messages.
FAG: Once you find one, it’s not too hard to figure out what the original message was.
FAG: Just try all four 8 8s of possi8ilities.
CCG: HUH. I GUESS WE’LL HAVE TO LOOK INTO INCORPORATING THAT.
CURRENT grimAuxiliatrix [CGA] RIGHT NOW responded to the memo.
CGA: I Was Wondering If We Could Find A Way To Fit More Information Into A Single Message
CGA: There Are Many Items That We Could Usefully Convey The Codes For If We Had The Space
CGA: However At Present We Do Not Appear To
CCG: WELL DID YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS?
CCG: I SUPPOSE THAT ONCE WE IMPLEMENT THE MORE EFFICIENT SEARCH METHOD, WE COULD START SPENDING A LOT MORE TIME ON EACH COPY OF THE MESSAGE.
CCG: WE COULD MAKE SEVERAL PAGE PAMPHLETS OR SOME SUCH.
FAG: Just use really small font.
FAG: Have them rely on finding someone with superior vision
CCG: OR PERHAPS JUST AN OPTICAL SIZE AMPLIFIER.
CGA: Perhaps They Could Simply Alchemize An Enlarged Version Of The Page
CCG: YES. OR THAT.
CCG: FINE. WE CAN PRODUCE A BIT MORE TEXT.
CCG: BUT EVENTUALLY WE WILL RUN INTO PROBLEMS PRINTING THINGS ANY SMALLER.
CCG: ALSO, WE WILL NEED TO KEEP THE HEADERS THE SAME SIZE AS BEFORE.
CGA: Actually I Have Already Produced A Small Booklet With Several Ideas For New Items For The Humans
CGA: Perhaps We Could Simply Send Them The Code For That
CCG: WE COULD.
CCG: SHIT.
CCG: WHY DON’T WE JUST COMPILE EVERYTHING INTO ONE BIG BOOK AND SEND THE CODE FOR THAT.
CCG: NO MORE WASTING TIME TRYING TO CRAM AS MUCH INFORMATION AS POSSIBLE ONTO ONE PAGE.
CCG: IT WILL BE THE SHORTEST MESSAGE EVER: “HEY HUMANS, ALCHEMIZE THIS”.
CGA: Yes I Suppose That This Might Suffice
CCG: WELL NO NEED TO HOLD BACK THEN
CCG: EVERYBODY GETS THREE DAYS TO WRITE DOWN EVERYTHING THEY THINK MIGHT BE USEFUL.
CCG: WE’LL COMPILE IT ALL INTO ONE BIG BOUND PAGE STACK.
CCG: WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? GO!
CCG banned CTA from replying to the memo.
CCG banned CGC from replying to the memo.
CCG banned CCA from replying to the memo.
CCG banned CAC from replying to the memo.
CCG banned CCT from replying to the memo.
CCG banned CGA from replying to the memo.
CCG banned CAA from replying to the memo.
CCG failed to ban FAG.
CCG: DAMMIT, VRISKA. GET TO WORK.
CCG: OR HAVE GOTTEN TO WORK.
CCG: WHATEVER.
CCG banned CCG from replying to the memo.

 

Several days later, the trolls finally managed to send off their next message to the humans. After getting Equius to modify the search strategy, it was not difficult to find the humans’ response. Although the limited number of messages found was somewhat worrying, Karkat wasn’t too bothered. Perhaps they would just find a new even more efficient mechanism soon.

After decrypting the body of the next message, Karkat finally had a chance to sit down and take a look at the humans’ reply.

hey karkat!!!
wow that last message had a lot of useful stuff in it :)
were working on sending something more substantial but i wanted to get a few things out of the way first
we can definitely start using the new ideas for finding messages itll make things a whole lot easier and were working through a bunch of your other suggestions
i mean theres definitely a lot of good stuff here but umm...
did you really need to send us a fashion magazine a summary of alternian military history seven pages of rap lyrics a roleplay scenario with animal versions of all of us and a poorly drawn comic about alternian legal principles :-/

Karkat stares at the page for a moment before banging his head against the desk in frustration. “Why didn’t I just go ahead and send them the codes for those blackrom movies?”

Chapter Text

Off in another session, a girl bounces around a bank of machines she has set up outside of her tower. Although most lie abandoned and unnecessary, she still has a small hoard of consorts about to keep the remaining systems running. Instructions are being passed along, when a beeping calls her back to the computer terminal at the center of it all. After a brief glance at the screen, she begins typing.

turntechGodhead [TG] began pestering gardenGnostic [GG]

TG: yo jade you there
GG: hey dave!!!
GG: i was just finishing up our response to the trolls.
GG: whats up with you?
TG: oh nothing much
TG: just surfing on the waves of time
TG: planting confusing clues for archeologists
TG: robbing spaceships
TG: teaching mayans how to rap
GG: soooooo cooool.
TG: yknow time stuff
GG: have you really done all that?
TG: nah
TG: turntables wont let me go back more than like a day
TG: but i can dream cant i
GG: sure dave.
GG: just get a better time machine and we can beat up morlocks together.
TG: sure no problem
TG: i actually wanted to talk to you about your little transmitter there
GG: oh? you have something to say to the trolls?
GG: weve got plenty of space now.
GG: oh! you want to reply to those troll raps!
TG: well that too
TG: but i had a more important idea
TG: i mean if it were possible to be more important than rap battles
TG: which of course it isnt
TG: i mean obviously the final boss of this game is a high stakes rap off against one of the trolls
TG: gotta out rhyme the fucker before he tries to spray your blood all over the walls
GG: you can do it dave!
TG: adoring fans raining down all around
GG: raining fans?
TG: yeah that might have gotten away from me a bit
GG: but you had something important?
TG: oh right
TG: i know you like your little blue dudes over there
TG: especially now that a bunch of them have been brutally laid off
TG: but i think ive figured out how to give the rest of them pink slips
GG: oh?
TG: i mean like could save you whole barrels on boonbucks
TG: or like you could just repurpose them towards actually trying to sort through that fucking tome of horrors that the trolls sent us
TG: i mean id ask rose to take a look at it
TG: but their general ramblings and misuse of the english language might cause her to explode
TG: black ink and yarn flying everywhere
TG: like some kinda cotton squid making a mess all over the walls
TG: so yeah uh
TG: maybe ill not do that
GG: but you had some idea though.
TG: right
TG: time travel
TG: its a thing that exists here
TG: i should know being the one that does it
TG: so i back in the future i looked up the next message that you sent them
TG: and made note of its code
TG: but like youve gotta promise not the alchemize this shit
TG: because that sorta time paradox shit can mess up all kinds of stuff
TG: ive not enough dead daves as it is
GG: youre going to DIE?!?!?!? :O
TG: shit no dont worry jade its not like that
TG: i mean i dont think so
TG: shit
TG: well its kinda like that but not really
TG: ill be ok
TG: just dont fucking alchemize it
TG: just include the code in the message so that the trolls can find the next message without having to fucking search for it
TG: you only need to make the one copy
GG: oh hmm...
GG: that might work :)
GG: oh oh!
GG: dont tell me the code.
GG: just encrypt it using the trolls next message. that way they cant use it to look ahead either.
TG: oh sure
TG: let me just plug it into my cryptobox
TG: by which i mean went back to the future and ask you to do it for me
TG: c92h!RpL
TG: just tell them that and how to decrypt and you should be good to go
TG: no more need to make a hundred bajillion copies of everything
GG: dave. it doesnt take that many.
TG: oh are you an expert on how big a bajillion is now
GG: what? no of course not.
TG: then how do you know its not a hundred of them huh
GG: but a bajillion is supposed to be huge!!!
TG: just shut up and thank me ok
GG: sure! thanks dave :D
TG: heh all i needed
TG: later jade



-----------------------------------------

 

The next hour is a flurry of activity for Jade. The troll’s reply includes the encrypted code for their next message, and other than the occasional check with Dave to find the next round of their own codes, Jade is able to run the communications with the other session more or less on her own.

That is not to say that she is working alone, as she is in near constant contact with her other teammates, passing on information from the other session, and listening to their queries in return. A strange message asks for more information about human computer systems. No explanation is given for the request, but Jade manages to pester John for the codes for some of his programming books to pass along. Becsprite pesters her about working with the frogs, but her attention is too wrapped up in keeping the channel open. Until a message from the other side once again changes the way things are done.

It is short compared to the texts she has lately been receiving. She quickly alchemizes the page and reads it over.

2o thii2 whole 2y2tem ii2 2tiill pretty 2low and tiime con2umiing. but iive fiigured out how 2 automate iit. ju2t alchemiize ComRelay and 2end u2 the code on the front panel. ba2iically iit doe2 what we were doiing but much fa2ster. iit connect2 to your computer network and record2 any packet2 2ent 2 iit. 2 tiime2 a 2econd iit 2ends the data chiip back iin tiime and record2 the code on the previious one. the fiir2t code iis the one iit tell2 you 2 2end 2 u2. from that the machiine iin our uniiver2e can alechmiize each chiip iin order, ju2t liike your2 wiill do wiith our chiip2. the packet2 encoded iin the chiip2 are then broadca2t over the other network. up 2 the 1/2 2econd delay, iit 2hould be ju2t a2 good a2 beiing on the 2ame network, ju2t plug iin your chat cliient and go.

or for any moron2 over there who cant be bothered wiith the above, ju2t make the thiing and 2end u2 the code and the machiine wiill magiically let u2 talk over the network liike normal people.


-----------------------------------------


CURRENT carcinoGeneticist [ CCG] RIGHT NOW opened a new memo on board WELCOME HUMAN INTERLOPERS.

CURRENT adiosToreador [ CAT] RIGHT NOW responded to the memo.
CAT: sO, UM, ARE THE HUMANS CONNECTED NOW?
CCG: YES. I SENT THEM AN INVITATION. THEY SHOULD BE HERE ANY MINUTE ONCE THEY MANAGE TO STOP ACTING LIKE COMPLETE MORONS AND GET THEIR ACT TOGETHER.
CURRENT cuttlefishCuller [CCC] RIGHT NOW responded to the memo.
CCC: I AM SO -EXCIT-ED!!!
CURRENT ghostlyTrickster [ CGT] RIGHT NOW responded to the memo.
CGT: hello world!!!
CCG: WORLD? ARE YOU SPONGECLOTS CLOGGED OR SOMETHING? THIS ROCK COULD ONLY BE CONSIDERED A WORLD BY AN INTERPRETATION SO OBSCENELY GENEROUS THAT VIEWING IT WOULD BE BANNED FOR WIGGLERS UNDER 9 SWEEPS.
CURRENT twinArmageddons [ CTA] RIGHT NOW responded to the memo.
CTA: chiill kk. iit2 ju2t the thiing human wiigler2 make theiir computer2 2ay.
CCG: WHAT? DID HE JUST SEND A BOT TO THIS MEETING?
CURRENT gardenGnostic [ CGG] RIGHT NOW responded to the memo.
CGG: no. johns just being a dork.
CGG: hi karkat :)
CURRENT gallowsCalibrator [ CGC] RIGHT NOW responded to the memo.
CGC: N333RDS.
CGT: hey i’m not that bad!
CGC: YOU OP3N3D UP W1TH 4 COMPUT3R R3F3R3NC3
CGC: TH3 COURT RUL3S TH4T YOU 4R3 4 TOT4L N3RD
CURRENT grimAuxiliatrix [ CGA] RIGHT NOW responded to the memo.
CGA: Terezi Stop It We Do Not Need To Be Antagonizing Out New Allies
CGC: OH K4N4Y4 1 D1DNT R34L1Z3 YOU F3LT TH4T W4Y 4BOUT M3
CGA: What No It Is Not Like That
CGC: H4H4H4H4H4
CGT: huh? like that?
CCG: CAN YOU ALL JUST SHUT UP AND INTRODUCE YOURSELVES LIKE NORMAL SOPHANTS.
CCG: I MEAN ASSUMING THAT YOU CAN PULL YOUR HEADS OUT OF YOUR COLLECTIVE ASSES FOR LONG ENOUGH FOR THE TERM TO EVEN APPLY TO YOU.
CCG: HI EVERYBODY, I’M KARKAT VANTAS. IT’S MY JOB TO ENSURE THAT THINGS ON THIS END RETAIN THE MODICUM OF FUNCTIONALITY THAT THEY NORMALLY DO.
CCG: SEE? THAT WASN’T SO HARD. I BET EVEN THE REST OF YOU NUMBSCULLS CAN FOLLOW. YOUR TURN.
CURRENT turntechGodhead [ CTG] RIGHT NOW responded to the memo.
CTG: yo im dave
CTG: i like insulting my friends and holding down the capslock key and basically being a jerk to everybody
CTG: wait no i dont that would be stupid
CURRENT arachnidsGrip [ CAG] RIGHT NOW responded to the memo.
CAG: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! They’ve got you pegged, Karkat!
CCG: SHUT UP VRISKA. YOU AREN’T HELPING HERE.
CURRENT tentacleTherapist [ CTT] RIGHT NOW responded to the memo.
CTT: Actually, I’m curious Karkat. Why do you feel the need to belittle your colleges?
CTT: I suppose that I may be missing some sort of cultural differences, but if a human were acting similarly, I would imagine that it was some kind of defense mechanism.
CTT: Would you say that you had a similarly combative relationship with your lusus?
CCG: WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU GETTING AT? MY LUSUS WAS GREAT.
CTT: Hmmm... a but defensive are we?
CCG: NO! SHUT UP. GET BACK TO THE INTRODUCTIONS. THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE A NICE PRODUCTIVE INTRODUCTION.
CGC: NO K4RK4T 1 W4NT TO H34R TH1S
CTG: yo dude i think we left productivity in the dust ages ago
CTG: its going to need to hitchhike for like 10 miles just to catch up with us
CTG: and thats if it isnt picked up by some weird serial killer on the way
CCG: YOU KNOW WHAT? THIS IS FUCKING TYPICAL. I GO OUT OF MY WAY TO TRY TO ACTUALLY ASSEMBLE SOMETHING REMOTELY USEFUL AND WHAT DO I GET?
CCG: A BUNCH OF PANFRIED BOTTOMFEEDERS MAKING A MESS OF IT.
CCG: BUT WHATEVER, JUST KEEP MESSING WITH YOUR SPHERES WHILE THE IMPS EAT YOU FOR ALL I CARE.
CCG: I’VE HAD ENOUGH OF THIS.
CCG banned CCG from replying to the memo.

Karkat stood up from his keyboard in frustration. This was not going at all as planned. Hopefully the communications with the aliens would eventually settle down, but he wasn’t going to touch it until it did.

Karkat left his block and began to wander the meteor. He found Sollux in the computeblock, hard at work at one of the terminals. Karkat wandered over to watch, but quickly found himself unable to follow what his friend was doing.

“So, did you manage to hack their systems like we discussed?”

“Only in the first two minutes”, his friend replied. “I’ve got visuals on all of them from their respective devices, and I’m working on getting access to the computers hooked in to Jade’s alchemiters. Just give the word, and we can give them a real mess to deal with.”