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Variations

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CC: Sollux!
TA: yeah ff?
CC: Did you see Karcrab's latest memo? 38O
TA: whiich one there are 2o many of them.
TA: ii've 2topped payiing attentiion to them they're all clogged up wiith hii2 pa2t and future 2elve2.

CC: It's 380 )(ours from now!
CC: T)(ere's somet)(ing fis)(y about it.

TA: hang on.
TA: ii2 that a number or an emotiicon?

CC: A NUMB--ER! 38|
TA: haha 2orry. ju2t makiing 2ure.
CC: 38)
TA: alriight ii'll check iit out.
TA: wow thii2 ii2 complete bull2hiit.

CC: I don't know, Sollux.
CC: I t)(ink t)(ere's somet)(ing different about t)(is one!

TA: yeah no.
TA: iit'2 the 2ame a2 all the other2.
TA: waiit no there'2 only one of hiim iin thii2 one.
TA: you're riight that ii2 pretty fii2hy.

CC: No! Not t)(at!
CC: )(e was acting different! Didn't you notice?
CC: Maybe somet)(ing reelly was wrong!

TA: he'2 full of 2hiit.
TA: he even 2aiid 2o hiim2elf.
TA: ii mean we all agreed that gamzee'2 tiitle wa2 total carp.
TA: he doe2n't even kiill iimp2 half the tiime.
TA: how could he get 2trong enough two do 2ome 2ort of deva2tatiing attack?
TA: or murder anyone where diid that come from?
TA: what a joke.

CC: I'm sort of worried!
TA: god diid you hear anythiing ii saiid
CC: Of COURS-E I did!!
CC: But w)(at did )(e mean "for my sake?"

TA: don't lii2ten two hiim.
TA: he'2 ju2t jealou2 you're takiing up all my attentiion or 2omethiing.

CC: 38|
TA: come on ff iit doe2n't mean anythiing.
CC: I'm not s)(ore…
TA: look iit'2 nothiing he'2 tryiing two me22 wiith you.
TA: ii'll go yell at hiim iin the future iif you want.

CC: Gamzee was acting funny.
TA: no he wa2n't
CC: W)(at about at t)(e very end?
TA: okay maybe a liittle.
TA: mu2t've eaten some bad 2opor 2liime.

CC: S-EA?
CC: )(e WAS!

TA: look
TA: don't worry about iit.
TA: not)(iing'2 wrong.
TA: gamzee'2 not murderiing anyone.
TA: hell ii can go talk two hiim riight now and he'll be hii2 2oper-addled 2elf.

CC: If you say so…
TA: iif iit make2 you feel better.
TA: ii'll get right on it

CC: Okay! 38)
CC: <3

 

So that's what caused the split, Aradia thought.

She closed the window on Sollux's computer and placed back next to the body. There was nothing more to do in this timeline. She would go back, stop Sollux from confronting Gamzee – stop this conversation from happening, if she had to – and then she would do as time demanded of her. Her music boxes appeared beside her and she prepared to leave-

Hello.

Aradia paused, her hands hovering over the music boxes. Another voice. Was this one the same as before, or something different?

>What are you?

Not the same, then. Aradia dipped a finger in mustard blood and wrote a single word in the air.

d00med

There was silence after that. Aradia waited patiently to see if it would say anything more. A moment later, she heard it again.

>Why?

this timeline was n0t supp0sed to exist

>What happened?

it split 0ff fr0m the alpha timeline

>What happens now?

i will g0 back to fix it

this timeline is d00med

it will die

>No.

This confused her. The voice was wrong, of course. What made it seem so certain?

>That can't be right. This timeline has always been here. How could it be otherwise?

there was a split

>How do you know?

this was n0t the way things were supp0sed t0 happen

we have gained kn0wledge of the future thr0ugh0ut vari0us means

this is n0t that future

theref0re it is d00med

and i must g0 back to fix it

g00dbye

The voice was quiet for a long time. Aradia was ready to go back, but she stayed to wait for one last reply.

>Then I will leave as well.

0k

Then there was silence again, and somehow she knew it had left. With that settled, Aradia reversed –

 

Within Lord English's vault, beneath the shattered remains of the manor, Die hissed in frustration and pulled out Clover's pin. Had been a moronic idea in the first place, anyway.