The characters are written more as individuals here than ever before. After the game was over and they didn't have Paradox Space dictating their every move, the path forward became a lot less clear. Some became lovers, others sort of enemies. Most of the characters are expanded in a way that seems fairly true to them. The fact that Karkat hates Jane for example, while sad, is hardly surprising. On the other hand there's Dirk who's become a straight up supervillain. What the hell? I mean out of the kids he's always been the one with the most problems, but it seemed like he was on a different path after he talked to Dave and we got that re-contextualization of Bro.
I like the concept of the heroes butting heads over the future of Earth C for a plot but I'm a little unhappy with the path it's taken Dirk down. Taking over the narrative is a neat idea and it makes sense that a person with control over the "self" would eventually get some control over a story told in 2nd person if his powers got strong enough to break the 4th wall like that. If the prospitian battleship punched a hole in the 4th wall this epilogue has already fucking obliterated it by now. In other news the postscript was absolutely bewildering to me and it is much to late at night for me to even start working on that.
anyways the thing I enjoyed most here was the dialogue, some of the best we've gotten from homestuck in a while imo. now it's time to rest and come back to read the candy epilogue.
Alright, time to choose: advance or abcond Meat, or Candy?
I wonder if we're now just immediately continuing with this picnic scene (with John either eating the meat or the candy, or just finishing up) or that we skip to a bit later.
...Meat it is! Here we go!
MEAT EPILOGUE ONE
"Meat was definitely the right choice, you think, as grease drips down your chin. The meat is cold and undercooked, so you have to grab it with both hands while you rend it apart with your incisors. It bursts in chunks, filling your mouth with blood and your throat with mangled knots of gristle and long strings of muscle fiber. You take big bites, almost too big to swallow, so big that you choke on the meaty mulch and hock some of it up into your nasal cavity. You sneeze out a gooey rope of phlegm and flesh. You stop for a moment to wipe your face, but your chin is still slippery after you swipe the mess away. Slivers of meat catch between your teeth as you masticate with bestial enthusiasm. You use your thumbnail to fish them out." You know how I said that this new Epilogue format has an advantage over the standard Homestuck style in that it's way more capable of accurately describing certain actions or thoughts than the more visually oriented standard style?
...Well, I take that back. Too much information. xD
"Some of the blood has coagulated on the surface of the plate. You grab it from Calliope and lick it clean. She watches you—calm, placid, alien. Roxy has leaned forward to scrutinize your slovenly feasting, her eyes wide and intense. You stare back at them with your hands coated in unctuous organic matter and flecks of seared skin. The blood on your hands is so thin that it’s like oily Kool-Aid pooling in your palm." Ah yes, so this is how John turns into a villain.
"Think, suddenly, about all the many horrible crimes committed by Lord English." Hehehe, so simply choosing to eat the meat makes him think more about Lord English's actions and IS actually the thing that pulls him over the edge to go after Lord English.
"> You know what you must do.
JOHN: i know what i must do." Apparently he knows what he must do.
Hehe, perhaps this exact thing will also happen in the Candy route, but with a different meaning, John deciding that he must stay with his friends.
"JOHN: i have to go back and kill lord english. ROXY: u sure? JOHN: i think so. it will probably be hard. but i think it’s the right thing to do. JOHN: everyone is counting on me." What I like a lot about the Meat and Candy dilemma is that both options sound just like something John would choose. When danger comes he doesn't hesitate to take on the challenge and save all of his friends, he never gives up. But also, he's their friend leader and would not want to leave his friends behind.
So, both options just feel like exactly something John would do, so I think it makes sense that we're seeing them as two separate timelines/realities.
"Roxy pulls back and takes a deep breath. It’s a very thin breath, and her bottom lip quivers a bit when she sucks it in. She looks disappointed, though you could be misreading her, as usual." I'm sure she's very sad that John's leaving them behind, considering that he' presumably never coming back to them. But I think she'll also understand that this is something very important and that she will support him in his decision.
"JOHN: so, is that it?
JOHN: should i, uh... get going?
CALLIOPE: if this is yoUr decision, then yes.
CALLIOPE: there’s no time to lose, if the choice yoU have made is to matter." Yeah, I had a feeling there weren't going to be any more dialogs with the other people on Earth C in the Meat path, that will be exclusively reserved for the Candy path.
It's kind of sad that he won't have the time to say goodbye to Dave, Jade and Karkat, like, at all.
"JOHN: guess i’ll see you both... when i get back?" Does John still believe he will be back, or is he just telling that to himself? I think Roxy and Calliope already fully realize this is the last they'll ever see of him...
"You hesitate a few awkward moments too long. When you go to hug them, they’ve already turned away, leaving you standing in the middle of the park alone with your arms half-raised, cupping the air. It’s so pathetic that the eavesdropping carapacians finally scurry away, overwhelmed by their secondhand embarrassment. You didn’t even know they could get embarrassed.
You drop your arms and sigh. Time to get on with it." Yikes... Poor John. Yeah, this really mustn't be easy for Roxy either. I guess she didn't want to make it even more painful than it already is.
There really isn't a right or wrong decision John could make here, in either the Meat or Candy path. Both are good, and both are bad. It's pretty sad.
"You head to your bathroom and wash all the meat off your face. But somehow you still don’t feel that clean. An invisible layer of oil seems to cling to almost every square inch of your body no matter how hard you scrub." Eeesh, he'll probably start feeling pretty guilty about this decision.
Ironically, I think he might also feel the same thing in the Candy route, for not going to face Lord English.
Though I think that in both routes he'll find a way to "get over it". Here it will probably be after he meets up with the other versions of his friends, and in the Candy path it will also be his friends who get him through it.
"> Write: “dear roxy,”" D'awww, just like the letters he and his friends used to send to each other.
"When you’re done, you write nine more." Holy shit, nine? Let's see... the 7 other Kids, Karkat and Kanaya? He might be skipping Calliope.
...Wait duh, Roxy was the first, so there's only 6 other kids, Karkat, Kanaya and Calliope to get to 10.
I wonder if we're going to see the letters he wrote or not? I could understand if we don't get to see them, but I'd like to.
"You leave ten envelopes on your bed, arranged in a tidy circle with the names of your ten closest friends written on them. Then, with absolutely no fanfare, you leave all of them and this idyllic world you’ve created behind and zap yourself back into canon." Wow... and there he goes. Poor John. Poor John's friends...
"DAVE: bro" Wait whaaaaaaaaaaat? LOL.
Okay, I didn't see that coming. I thought we were just going to follow John and wherever he'd end up.
Hmm... are we going to see the heartbreaking reactions of John's friends to his letters and his sudden departure? Or is this a scene from the past, one that John will be showing up in?
"In the heart of the Troll Kingdom’s capital city, Dave and Karkat are sitting on their couch with a foot and a half of space between them. It’s a typically picturesque day outside, but Karkat has the curtains drawn shut all the way. This is part of their compromise living situation: Dave puts up with the trollish non-euclidean architecture and bizarre social mores, and Karkat has adjusted his diurnal schedule to, in theory, see the sun." The present it is!
Hehe, so presumably Karkat CAN handle the sun on Earth C, but of course still prefers not to be confronted with it too much.
Oh man, I wonder if we're finally going to learn just what kind of arrangement Dave, Karkat and Jade have or not. Probably not.
For now the narration is not from either's perspective. I wonder if that's going to change, or are we really just going to be seeing this from a third-person perspective whenever we're not John?
"Karkat is leaning forward, munching on chocolate-coated beetles and totally absorbed in what he’s watching. The glow from the television highlights the dark bags under his eyes." Hahaha, looks like Karkat still loves watching tv/movies after all these years!
Hahaha, I like plainWonder's theory that Dave's seeing something on his smartphone that he wants to show to Karkat while Karkat just wants to watch tv and we're going to get a hilarious exchange about this.
"Dave reaches out and, very gently, pokes Karkat in the cheek." Hehe, this reminds me of Karkat poking Terezi after she'd just watched that Doomed Dave die.
"KARKAT: NOT NOW DAVE. JAKE’S ASS IS ON TV AGAIN.
DAVE: stop ogling jakes ass this is important" Pfffff, Karkat, are you seriously still watching Jake's ass on tv after all this time? I thought that one time during the Credits would have been sufficient. xD
"Dave casts a weary look towards the TV, where Jake English is shamelessly exhibiting what is definitely his best feature in front of a live studio audience. This is a regular highlight of his and Dirk’s hit television show, RUMBLE IN DA PUMPKIN PATCH" AMAZING. I love how they decided to adopt Caliborn's term for the combination of Jake and Dirk's colours.
"a schizophrenic cross-section of rap battle and robot wrestling" Some things never change, do they?
"Jake came up with the title for the show, and Dirk absolutely loathed it. However, before Dirk could insist on an alternative, Jake had already posted an online poll pitting his idea against “Whatever dirks lame idea is.” Needless to say, the second option was much less popular." Candy option confirmed for being way less popular than Meat option?
....I'd find it hilarious if in the Candy route it was actually Dirk's idea for the name of the show that was picked. xD
"Karkat gestures at the televised spectacle, a bit helplessly." > Karkat: Engage rant mode. xD
"KARKAT: ANYWAY, THE MORE I WATCH, I CAN’T HELP BUT NOTICE THE CAMERA’S LECHEROUS FIXATION ON THIS BOY’S VOLUPTUOUS POSTERIOR." All the B2 Kids used to be very interested in Jake, it seems like that might be the same for the other people on Earth C.
"DAVE: although it pleases me to hear you taking note of the economics of this broadcast since it is apropos to the topic at hand but more on that later" Oh boy, now I have literally no idea what Dave's just seen and wants to talk about. Is the economy in danger of collapsing?
I wonder if this is dialog that would also technically be the same in the Candy route. I guess that depends on whether or not what Dave's just seen is related to John's departure, though I don't really see how John's departure would affect the economy. xD
Also "are you taking notes of this??? jesus get a fucking pen" comes to mind here, hehe.
"DAVE: also its not a meme its much more important" So it's also not a meme about the economy collapsing?
"DAVE: jane is running for president
KARKAT: WHAT THE FUCK?" OH WHAT THE FUCK INDEED. There must be something in those Crocker genes that makes them want to be world leaders, seeing as that's also what the Condesce was.
"KARKAT: YOU MEAN PRESIDENT OF EARTH?
DAVE: yeah" Oh god, so it's not just like President of the Human Kingdom or something... Which, now that I think about it, makes zero sense because a kingdom would have monarchy, not a president. xD
I wonder who Jane's opponents would be in running for President, hehe.
"KARKAT: THIS SOUNDS FUCKING AWFUL.
DAVE: oh it is
DAVE: it absolutely is
DAVE: also like
DAVE: dont tell her i said this but
DAVE: i think shes basically a fascist
KARKAT: WHY WOULD I TELL HER YOU SAID THAT?
KARKAT: WHEN THE FUCK WAS THE LAST TIME EITHER OF US HAD FUCK ALL TO DO WITH *JANE*
DAVE: no i know
DAVE: just like, a figure of speech i guess
DAVE: oh also shes a fucking xenophobe
KARKAT: OF COURSE SHE’S A XENOPHOBE!" Uhhhhh, wut? How is Jane any of that?
And dear god, all those content warning tags ARE actually gonna be relevant aren't they? xD
"KARKAT: DAVE, I DON’T KNOW IF YOU’VE NOTICED, BUT
KARKAT: A LOT OF HUMANS ARE???
DAVE: yeah ive noticed" Ohhh, yeah I'd been wondering what the social dynamics between humans and Trolls would be like! Makes sense they wouldn't really like each other all that much, what with the significant cultural differences.
I could somewhat understand if Jane isn't too fond of Trolls either, what with the negative experiences with Gamzee, The Condesce and all. But fascism/xenophobism? That seems to go a bit too far, right?
"KARKAT: ALSO, WHAT THE FUCK DOES SHE EVEN MEAN SHE’S “RUNNING”
KARKAT: WHAT A COMPLETE LOAD OF SHIT?
KARKAT: SHE’S A GOD. WHICH ONE OF THE TOADYING IDIOTS ON THIS PLANET WOULD DARE TO RUN AGAINST HER.
KARKAT: SHE’S GOING TO WIN IN A LANDSLIDE, ASSUMING SHE DOESN’T JUST WALTZ INTO OFFICE UNCONTESTED.
DAVE: yeah i dont disagree
DAVE: which is why we have to stop her
KARKAT: HUH?" OHHHHHHH GOD.
Is... Is Dave actually serious about this? Oh dear. I can just hear all the Dave/Jane ships crashing and burning that had started sailing after Dave called her a hot mom in the Game Over timeline.
Sounds like we're in for some drama here! 0_0
Heh, it's kind of a nice parallel to how John resolved that he needed to stop Lord English.
Hmmm, I'm sort of starting to wonder if perhaps one of the "original male/female characters" will be the person who dares trying to take on Jane in running for president?
I'm seriously wondering how the Candy path will be handling this though. Because this seems like a thing to me that would be unaffected by John's decision. Perhaps we'll just see this all from Jane's perspective there? Or we're simply not going to see this at all but it's simply implied it happened?
...Or maybe when John picks the candy path, he'll decide he first wants to socialize with Dave and Karkat, heads straight to their home, and arrives there just before Dave would see this message of Jane running for president, and thus he doesn't go after Jane (or John simply talks him out of it and/or decides to talk to Jane himself)?
But again, this is not the kind of thing I was expecting to see on the Meat path. If we hadn't seen that list of tagged characters yet, which includes the Furthest Ring characters, I'd almost start thinking that both the Meat and Candy paths will exclusively take place on Earth C and John's shenanigans in the Meat path all take place off-screen.
So thank god for that list of tagged characters so we can at least be pretty sure that we'll be seeing those shenanigans as well.
I assume this entire page will focus on Dave and Karkat and this storyline with Jane, as a sort of contained story by itself? Possibly ending with them finding out about John's departure? And then on the next page we go see what John is up to on the first step of his journey?
I am pretty curious if this is going to be a recurring thing throughout the Meat path: one page takes place on Earth C, and the next one takes place wherever John is, and then the next one back on Earth C?
...Could it also be that a similar thing happens in the Candy path? One page takes place on Earth C following John socializing with his friends, and then the next page shows what the characters in the Furthest Ring would be doing if John DIDN'T go back to canon, or something?
Which would be interesting, because that would be the first time the Furthest Ring gets "alternate timelines".
Anyway, lets read on.
"KARKAT: ARE YOU TELLING ME *YOU’RE* GOING TO RUN AGAINST JANE?" Naaaaaahhh, Dave's not going to do that.... is he?
Though to be honest, he WOULD be a better rapping president than the last presidents B2 Earth knew.
"KARKAT: ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR FUCKING MIND? DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW *RICH* SHE IS?
DAVE: dude were all rich" Do they still use Boondollars in this new society?
It reminds me of that scene in the Dreambubbles when Aranea tried selling Meenah's trident and Terezi made a comment of how they were all rather wealthy.
"KARKAT: WELL, YEAH
KARKAT: BUT NOT LIKE
KARKAT: *CROCKER* RICH" Pfff, yeah that company must be making shitloads of money.
"DAVE: anyway no
DAVE: im not running
DAVE: you are" OH WHAT THE SHIT. I did NOT see that twist coming.
Karkat for president??? I thought Karkat was done being the leader. xD
Wait a second... didn't Echidna say something that Karkat was supposed to become the leader of their species on their new world? Oh man, perhaps that's now finally going to come to pass!
This is going to be very interesting!
I've always liked the leadership part of Karkat's character development, and how his role as leader and his feelings about that have always been evolving.
"DAVE: youre the ideal opponent to take her down and tbh just what this planet needs
KARKAT: NO I’M NOT!
KARKAT: WE ESTABLISHED THIS... HOW MANY YEARS AGO?" Looks like Karkat's feelings about being a leader is still the same as it was before they completed SBURB.
"KARKAT: I’M NOT A LEADER. I WAS NEVER MEANT TO BE ONE.
KARKAT: JANE PROBABLY IS. ALTHOUGH TO BE FAIR, I’M AGREEING WITH YOU, SHE’S A COMPLETE ASSHOLE." Well, I'm not so sure about that. Sure, Jane was established as the "leader" of the B2 Kids in name, but like was discussed, it was actually Dirk pulling the strings and Roxy being the emotional core of the team.
I think Karkat would indeed make for a better leader than Jane.
If there's one thing that you can say about Karkat, then it's that he knows how to bring together a group of remarkable people (Avengers reference intended xD) and have them work together towards a common goal.
He did one hell of a job at that. Sure, they fell apart later, but that was due to the actions of a few crazy individuals, not because of him.
"DAVE: you were meant to be a leader and youd be a good one
DAVE: just not the kind of leader you always thought youd be
DAVE: not a bellicose conquering dickhead who commands “fear and respect”
DAVE: just a guy who is cool and nice and actually cares about stuff and everyone loves them for that reason" Absolutely true. Karkat always liked to see himself as a fearless and commanding leader, being inspired by The Condesce's leadership. But that's really not what he eventually turned out to be, nor why the other Trolls looked up to him.
He should find his true own way of being a good leader.
"DAVE: it still amazes me how little awareness you genuinely seem to have of how insanely popular you are on this planet
DAVE: its fucking adorable" D'aww, that's indeed amazing! It's especially heartwarming that apparently also the Trolls look up to him, "despite" being a mutant.
Actually, that makes me wonder what the Hemospectrum's role is in the Troll Kingdom here. Does it function similarly to Alternia? To Beforus? Or entirely different?
"KARKAT: YOU’RE WRONG! ALL I SEE IS JAKE ON TV! AND JANE IN THE NEWS STORIES ABOUT HER STUPID BUSINESS, AND DIRK DOING WHATEVER... FUCKED UP SHIT HE’S DOING WITH HIS CELEBRITY PRESENCE??" Hey actually... this is a good point Karkat's making.
Three of the B2 Kids are actually living celebrity lives, which is kind of like how their Guardians on B2 Earth were also known as celebrities!
"DAVE: you only see famous humans on tv because you just avoid all troll kingdom channels deliberately" Ohhhh, that's interesting! Karkat just finds it too weird to see himself so much on tv, and prefers to pretend he's not a celebrity.
I guess he's just gotten so used to living the underdog/hidden life on Alternia, where he had to be careful not to be noticed as a mutant!
"Karkat hesitates, then slouches back into the couch cushions, restoring the customary foot and a half of space he and Dave usually keep between them except when watching horror movies, eating chips, or talking about the top six hundred stupid things Karkat saw earlier that day because he made his intrepid annual decision to go outside." So, basically they're never not sitting close to each other?
"KARKAT: MAYBE I DON’T ACTUALLY LIKE BEING FAMOUS?
KARKAT: AND MAYBE THAT’S AS GOOD A FUCKING REASON AS ANY *NOT TO RUN FOR THE FUCKING PRESIDENCY OF EARTH*??" Ohhh, this is turning into an interesting debate that also relates quite well to real life where people sometimes become celebrities without wanting that kind of life.
"KARKAT: NOT TO MENTION THE IDEA OF AN ELECTION IS KIND OF A FUCKED UP AND WEIRD THING TO ME CULTURALLY ANYWAY, AND I’M STILL KIND OF GETTING USED TO THE IDEA THAT PEOPLE CAN JUST... “CHOOSE” THEIR FUCKING LEADERS AND NOT HAVE THE SAME OLD MERCILESS BITCH IN POWER FOR SEVERAL MILLION YEARS." Hehe, yeah this must be so weird to them.
Which reminds me, I wonder how the Troll Kingdom is run right now?
"DAVE: well what better way to acquaint yourself with democracy than to take a crack at high office yourself" Oh Dave. Never change.
"DAVE: dude seriously you would absolutely kill it with the troll voting block
DAVE: the entire kingdom would vote for you
DAVE: theyd go ballistic if they heard a troll actually had the guts to run against jane, let alone one of their heroes" Oh snap! Now I really wanna see Karkat actually doing this.
"DAVE: jane is...
DAVE: how do i put this
DAVE: ok ill just be the one to come out and say it
DAVE: shes going to be a fucking disaster for the economy" Pfff, Dave and the economy. Still keeps being a thing.
Dave, maybe your true purpose in life was to become an economy expert.
"DAVE: i guess i have to admit
DAVE: part of this
DAVE: for me personally
KARKAT: WHAT ARE YOU SAYING DAVE
DAVE: its about obama" Pffff, oh Dave.
Oh yeah... didn't he mention something at some point (I think in his pre-retcon version's monologue to Rose during Openbound) how he regretted never seeing Obama get to fix the economy?
Looks like that's coming into play again here.
"KARKAT: DAVE, AS MUCH AS I ENJOY LISTENING TO YOU RAMBLE THROUGH YET ANOTHER CHAPTER OF YOUR FREESTYLE OBAMA FAN FICTION
KARKAT: DON’T YOU ALREADY HAVE A BASIS FOR KNOWING HOW HIS PRESIDENCY WOULD HAVE GONE?" Oh yeah, how did it go in B2 for Obama? What happened over there? He would have been president for a few years by the time The Condesce revealed herself.
But like Dirk said, it would take many years for everything to go to shit slowly. It would still be more than a decade until Presidents Jay and Dope came around.
So how about that?
"DAVE: i mean yeah of course i know that
DAVE: i just dont like to think much about that time line
DAVE: it doesnt really feel like its
DAVE: canon?" I'm pretty sure Earth C has the least canonical timeline of all right now.
"DAVE: in the world that mattered more, i mean like
DAVE: the one i belonged to that i used to imagine had a real future
DAVE: that didnt involve meteors or a fish dictator or the american political landscape turning into a nightmarish daily joke" Yeah, I guess the B1 timeline did seem closer to reality than B2, for the mere fact that B2 already had a lot of true "fictional" elements in them prior to the Condesce taking over, what with Betty Crocker's inventions and all that.
B1 always feeled more like it was the "real" world that they grew up in, whereas the B2 world always seemed slightly further away from reality.
"DAVE: i still wonder what could have been
DAVE: if the O man coulda saved us all
DAVE: but instead he died probably
DAVE: or maybe not... maybe there was like an escape hatch in the white house that led to his own secret presidential session of sburb
DAVE: what if hes just chillin there now" Pffff, someone draw/write that now.
Maybe he's even in the same session as FedoraFreak!
"DAVE: but maybe it doesnt have to be in vain
DAVE: what if he died for our sins or something
KARKAT: HMM! SOUNDS FUCKING MEANINGLESS." I always love it when Dave goes way too deep into subjects.
"DAVE: but i mean what if like
DAVE: he could be reborn" Wait a second. Is this going where I think it's going? Are they going to use ectobiology to make a Baby Obama???
Is that why Obama is listed as a character in the Epilogue?? xD
"KARKAT: YES, WE’VE BEEN OVER YOUR OBAMA GOD TIER HEADCANONS TOO." PFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF, IF I HAD A DRINK IN MY MOUTH RIGHT NOW I SURE WOULD BE SPITTING IT OUT NOW.
"DAVE: no like
DAVE: reborn as you" And then suddenly Dave was a believer in reincarnation. Into a different species. Into a different universe. Into a universe that would chronologically take place before the B universe in which Obama was born.
DAVE: you could be the great president he never got the chance to be
DAVE: you could give the people hope and shit
DAVE: you could inspire trolls everywhere
DAVE: or really all nonhuman kingdoms
DAVE: show them anybody could be a president
DAVE: not just an endless parade of rich humans who think they all know whats best for everybody" Hmm, what does that mean? Do they already have a list of presidents on this Earth, which are all humans?
Then indeed Karkat would be somewhat the Obama in this, where the Trolls are like black humans and Obama was the first black president.
I mean, replace "rich humans" with "white men" here and then it's basically the same!
"KARKAT: IT’S ALWAYS SEEMED TO ME THAT HUMANS JUST SEEM TO BE MORE NATURALLY AMBITIOUS, AND THAT’S WHY THE POWER STRUCTURES TOOK THE SHAPE THEY DID THE LAST FEW MILLENNIA.
KARKAT: I MEAN, I DON’T CLAIM TO BE AN EXPERT ON XENOPSYCHOLOGY, BUT FOR SOME REASON I STRUGGLE TO IMAGINE A FUCKING SALAMANDER GETTING THE GUMPTION TO THROW HIS CRUMPLED HAT INTO THE RING FOR THE PRESIDENCY OF EARTH.
KARKAT: OR THE CARAPACIANS FOR THAT MATTER?" Fair enough! Consorts and Carapacians are game constructs who are used to being ruled by others, so I could see that. With the obvious exception of WV who wanted to be a democratic leader himself! So, there's at least potential in their race to be leaders, though perhaps less so than humans.
But what about Trolls? They're just as complex as humans, if not more. Is it just because the concept of presidency is so foreign to Trolls compared to humans?
Maybe this society needs some kind of new concept?
DAVE: remember the mayor
DAVE: remember how at one point a long time ago he raised an army and rebelled against an evil king" D'awww, I'm happy to see that they actually knew that part of WV's backstory! He must have told it at some point.
"KARKAT: OH YEAH
KARKAT: SOMEHOW I ALWAYS FORGET HE DID THAT." I can imagine there are also plenty of people in the fandom like that, who just focus so much on his cute sides that they forget what importance he actually had.
"KARKAT: HOLY SHIT, I MISS THE MAYOR.
DAVE: me too" N'aww. I miss him too.
"DAVE: i think he would be totally in favor of my idea btw" Ahahaha, way to turn the conversation right back around, Dave.
"DAVE: just imagine the good you could do for the troll kingdom
DAVE: you would do a much better job of speaking to the injustices trolls face than jane would
KARKAT: WHAT INJUSTICES
DAVE: dude please
DAVE: where to even begin
DAVE: i know earth c has generally been a pretty chill place to live but theres been some shit going on that is legit creepy" Ohhhh boy. Where is this going?
Perhaps the human way of life has just been really enforced on them very hard? Like, I can imagine that if Trolls want to go to the Troll kingdom or something the shops will be closed at night, or something.
And of course the violence, which is very much in the Trolls' blood at least on Alternia, will also be downplayed here. And there's the leadership model of presidency itself, which is an entirely human concept.
What else injustices do they face, I wonder?
"DAVE: all this “population regulation” bullshit thats been going on since we basically set up civilization and peaced out to the future
DAVE: when you think about its long term consequences its been fuckin weird
DAVE: like the government being responsible for troll reproduction through cloning" Eeesh. That's kind of weird. Cloning, as in through ectobiology?
That's kinda weird, because we know there's the Mother Grub and the brooding caverns, which Rose and Kanaya have been tending to.
"DAVE: a government that just happens to be predominantly human most of the time?" Well there's your problem. :/
That's just not a good thing, as our own human society shows. Representation matters!
"DAVE: like it makes sense on paper at first, no mother grub, gotta keep the race going and expand the population for a good while and get the numbers up
DAVE: until kanaya gets here and hatches the grub and then i guess a system of “natural reproduction” can take over in theory but
DAVE: after so many centuries of that shit doesnt the weird political imbalance like" Wait what? So they only hatched the Mother Grub 5000 years in the future?
Why is that? I thought that was something they'd have set up in the past, that seemed pretty crucial to me.
Man, this just goes to show again just how much Dave has been looking into the Troll culture, like he demonstrated to John back in their lilypad conversation.
"DAVE: folks know the history
DAVE: they know about the condesce and all the violence and the hemospectrum and shit" Okay, that's good to know that they made sure that history wasn't forgotten.
But alright, that confirms the Hemospectrum is a thing of the past! Looks like they adopted the "equal" way of living from the humans. But ironically, while the Trolls might have become equal to each other, they're not treated equally to humans.
"KARKAT: DAVE, I KNOW ALL THIS.
KARKAT: IN FACT, *YOU* KNOW ALL OF THIS BECAUSE YOU’VE HEARD ME SAY IT TO KANAYA A THOUSAND TIMES." Oh hey, confirmation that Karkat still keeps contact with Kanaya!
D'aww, that's nice to hear.
And hey, Karkat talking to Kanaya about injustices to Trolls... Looks like Kankri and Porrim's arguments are living on in them. xD
"DAVE: you think a crocker administration is really going to go through with plans to deregulate troll breeding?" Oh god, I just realized how the "Crocker administration" of Jane would (if Dave's correct) be the exact opposite of The Condesce's.
The Condesce tried to have all humans live like Trolls. And now, it's the Trolls who are the underdog to the humans.
"DAVE: and really man
DAVE: if nothing else and i truly mean NOTHING
DAVE: for the love of christ
DAVE: think of the economy" If Dave DID run for president himself, "think of the economy" should be his catchphrase.
"DAVE: jane has this reputation for being awesome at business but imo she actually just sucks
DAVE: she doesnt seem to be even remotely aware how much shes leveraged her status as a god to become a bigshot trillionaire
DAVE: i think she thinks its all pure business acumen but i think she doesnt really know what shes doing
DAVE: fuckers left and right just be tripping all day long to give her money hand over fist
DAVE: of course shes gonna milk her biz cred for all its worth in this election" This reminds me of how mindcontrolled Jane was acting totally like a business woman. Looks like it wasn't totally fake mindcontrol but actually some genuine more hidden parts of her personality bubbling up?
And plainWonder's totally right. Jane is the counterpart to Donald Trump in this Obama analogy. xD
"DAVE: my skills are fucking legendary
DAVE: i manipulated the stock market to assume control of the literal majority of all currency on the planet once" I... think he's talking about the LOHACSE? Though at this point I almost wouldn't be surprised if he somehow managed to take control of the economy on Earth C as well.
"DAVE: ok if shit goes sideways i guess we arent gonna see like raggedy turtles and pauper chess men standing in bread lines or anything
DAVE: thats just the nature of alchemy-based post-scarcity economies the depressions tend to be pretty mild" Ohhhh, that's good to know that they're still using the SBURB technology to easily make new stuff!
"DAVE: a healthy economy is fuckin IMPORTANT
DAVE: if for no other reason than it protects the societal context for what it means to be fucking rich, like us
KARKAT: JUST A THOUGHT. LET’S COME UP WITH A DIFFERENT CAMPAIGN SLOGAN THAN THAT, OK?" A sly hint that Karkat IS perhaps warming up to the idea of running for president?
"DAVE: just please tell me youll do this
DAVE: do it for the trolls do it for the economy do it for the mayor
DAVE: but most of all
DAVE: (sniff)" "do it for me"? xD
"Dave wipes an invisible tear from beneath the rim of his sunglasses.
DAVE: do it for obama" DAVE YOU BRILLIANT BASTARD.
I love how you still can't tell if he's being sincere or ironic. The answer is probably both at the same time, like how Dirk told Jane that the best irony still has truth in it. xD
KARKAT: I DO CARE ABOUT YOU.
Dave smiles." D'awwww! I just want to especially point out the part about Dave smiling. I mean, that's a VERY rare thing for Dave to do, so this warms my heart.
KARKAT: I’LL DO IT.
KARKAT: WHY NOT.
DAVE: nice! Ooooooh boy! HE'S GONNA DO IT!
And you know, once he WANTS to do something, there's basically no way to talk him out of it! So he's gonna do one hell of an attempt to run for president.
"DAVE: i think we have a great shot too
DAVE: with my political savvy and economic genius and outrageous flair for subversive anti establishment messaging and propaganda, and your big loud fucking mouth..." Ehehe, that reminds me of B2 Dave's sublime anti-establishment messaging against the Condesce.
We know he can be really good at this!
DAVE: um i guess also your charisma and likability and shit
KARKAT: YOU MIGHT BE RIGHT...
KARKAT: I’M PRETTY SURE I CAN FAKE THOSE THINGS WELL ENOUGH.
DAVE: oh also
DAVE: your weirdly sincere humility
KARKAT: I PREFER THE TERM “SELF LOATHING” ACTUALLY." I just love these two together and how they're still basically the same people we got to know and love all those years ago.
"There’s a gap of silence in the conversation, long enough for the audio from the television to become noticeable. Jake is rambling out a truly dire piece of slam poetry that involves—with zero hint of irony—the terms batty-fang and mad as hops." Sounds like Jake alright. xD
"The neon light blaring out from the screen casts long waves of color along the black walls of the hive and bounces off the glass of the framed print of Dave’s “least psychologically revealing SBaHJ strip.” Hehe, Dave's still fond of SBAHJ. I wonder if he's already introduced Earth C to the wonders of SBAHJ.
"Dave grabs his tablet off the shelf. He pivots back around and points the pen straight at Karkat. The arc of his arm’s motion is polished and decisive even though it’s been a long time since he’s properly used a sword." Looks like Dave's pen has become mightier than his sword.
"DAVE: but you also need to be natural and speak from the heart and shit
DAVE: just like
DAVE: talk to your people
DAVE: about stuff they care about" Dave decided, why the hell not start acting like his campaign leader, right here and right now. xD
"DAVE: thats gonna be your base so you gotta rile em up
DAVE: inspire them
DAVE: i dont think you need any fancy speeches to do that youll be a natural" Yep, that's his strength! Unprepared speeches, straight from the heart.
"Karkat lies down on his stomach and props his chin on his palms so that he can watch Dave scribble political ambitions directly into the shittiest paint program on his OS." Goddammit Dave. xD
"DAVE: i mean which of our friends are going to side with us and which ones will side with jane
DAVE: pretty much all of us are famous and popular all over earth to some degree
DAVE: some of us more so with certain kingdoms than others
DAVE: so some key endorsements going either way could swing the whole election" Yeah, I think that's going to be a difficult one.
I mean, Kanaya will obviously support Karkat, and by extension Rose will probably too.
But I imagine Roxy, Dirk, Jake and Calliope will all support Jane.
Jade could be very interesting here! She's got a close emotional connection to both Karkat and Jane, so I think she might be the most difficult to convince.
Anyway, probably half of the Creators will support Jane, and half of them will support Karkat!
"DAVE: roxy and calliope will probably be neutral
DAVE: they have a lot of pull with the carapacians though so that would be a nice score to sway them" Will they? I personally find them more likely to support Jane. They know her much better than they know Karkat.
And while Calliope is very fond of Trolls, I don't think that would be enough for her to prefer Karkat over Jane.
"DAVE: rose will probably claim neutrality at first but im betting she can be cajoled by her wife to our side" Ahahaha, yes, that's basically exactly what I'm imagining as well.
"DAVE: and once we get rose converting roxy probably wont be too hard" Hmm, I don't think that would be a deciding factor, considering that, like was mentioned a few pages ago, Roxy's hardly been in contact with Rose anymore due to Rose's work in the brooding caverns.
"DAVE: as for jade...
They stare at each other. Karkat sighs and Dave raps his pen against the tablet screen in a slow, uneven staccato. " Oh boy, time to address Jade.
Uhoh... is something going on between them? In the Credits they seemed to live happily together, and earlier in the Prologue it was implied they were still living together.
Has some drama transpired? Has Jade left them?
DAVE: i think its fair to say shes going to be on our side
KARKAT: YEAH" Pffff, massive psyche! It seemed like they were building up to some drama first.
"DAVE: of course we want her help and her endorsement will go a long way but
DAVE: i think we gotta sort out like
DAVE: a hierarchical approach to campaign strategy
DAVE: keep it organized and disciplined with roles well defined
DAVE: not let things get too murky with uh
DAVE: personal shit?
KARKAT: I THINK WE’RE ON THE SAME PAGE HERE, DAVE.
DAVE: ok cool" Yeah, there could be some complaints with Dave and Jade's support for Karkat, what with how they also live together.
"DAVE: uh lets see who else
KARKAT: EGBERT?" OH SNAP. OOOOHHHH BOY. Here we are!
Alright, at least that's confirmation that this is not taking place too long after John left, as in, they don't know yet that he's gone.
...Please don't tell me John's support will turn out to be the crucial deciding factor in who gets to be president. That Jane becomes president in the Meat path while Karkat becomes president in the candy path?
"DAVE: john should be easy to convince but im not sure how much of a factor hell be in this campaign
DAVE: have no idea how long hell be away on this “mission” rose mentioned
KARKAT: WHAT? WHAT MISSION?" Oh boy!!!! So Dave IS aware of John's quest! And Karkat isn't.
The question is, just how MUCH aware is he of exactly what John is going to do?
"DAVE: dunno shes been hella cagey about it
DAVE: swore me to secrecy until the right time whenever that is
DAVE: anyway his endorsement would go a long way in swinging the consort kingdom" Eeeesh. He really doesn't know much about it. I don't think he's gonna be all that happy when he finds out just what John went out to do!
"KARKAT: THAT WOULD BE HUGE.
KARKAT: AREN’T THERE LIKE
KARKAT: 100 BILLION OF THOSE FUCKERS?
KARKAT: SECURING THAT VOTING BLOCK SHOULD BE ABLE TO WIN THE WHOLE THING FOR US." Looks like Consorts spread as easily as a fire infused by shaving cream.
"DAVE: well no the population isnt THAT big but yes its by far the most populous kingdom" Heh, kind of like how in our world certain animal species heavily outnumber the amount of humans on this planet.
"DAVE: consorts overwhelm the other kingdoms in sheer numbers but due to unscrupulous gerrymandering, all kinds of fucked up voter suppression policies and some electoral “counterbalancing” measures to account for their ridiculous population growth rate their voting power per capita is kind of pathetic" That's... yeah. I'm not entirely sure how to feel about that.
On one hand it makes sense because they're clearly less intelligent, but on the other hand it doesn't feel right either. They ARE at least more intelligent than animal species on our planet.
"DAVE: this may come as a shock but legions of easily distracted low information amphibians primarily concerned with eating bugs and farming god damned mushrooms arent the most politically motivated demographic" Farmin' all these goddamned mushrooms. Goddamn pain the ass! xD
"KARKAT: I GUESS I’LL HAVE TO TRUST YOUR EXPERTISE ON THAT, SINCE I DON’T KNOW THE FIRST FUCKING THING ABOUT HOW TO INSPIRE AN UNINTELLIGENT LIZARD.
DAVE: yeah well
DAVE: i dont either
DAVE: but that brings us to jake" Because Jake has a close affilation with the Consort Kingdom, as demonstrated in the Credits? ...Or because he's not a terribly smart guy himself?
"DAVE: jake is a huge wild card here
DAVE: im sure his endorsement would be completely up for grabs
DAVE: he could go any way including just getting turned off by the whole thing and staying “apolitical”
DAVE: so we have to be careful about how we approach him
DAVE: jake is the only one of us whos wildly popular in all four kingdoms
KARKAT: WELL, I CAN’T ARGUE WITH THAT." Ooooh! Yup, he's still wildly popular among everyone! But still a goofy fellow that might also be too EASILY swayed into either party, and keep on switching.
Though honestly, I think he'd be most supportive of Jane.
KARKAT: IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THE JAKESTAKES THEN.
DAVE: pretty much
DAVE: the jakestakes 2.0
KARKAT: THERE WAS A 1.0?
KARKAT: WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN?
DAVE: oh thats like
DAVE: a whole story
KARKAT: IS THIS GOING TO BE ANOTHER ANECDOTE ABOUT THE JAKE SQUAD I WON’T CARE ABOUT AND DON’T WANT TO FUCKING HEAR?" For a second I was confused until I realized they're probably talking about the romantic entanglements in B2. xD
"DAVE: shit hold up
KARKAT: WHAT?" Oh man. Incoming message from Roxy about John's departure or something?
"Dave fishes his phone out from his lap.
DAVE: dirks calling me" Oh snap! Time for some Dirk dialogue?
"DAVE: idk he just calls me out of the blue from time to time to talk shit
DAVE: usually about nothing whatsoever" D'aww, good to hear that they kept in contact with each other since their heartfelt conversation on LOTAK.
Also, this sort of reminds me of the hilarious conversation between Dave and Dirk in the pre-retcon timeline, where Dirk was still on his way back from the Furthest Ring.
"DAVE: hell probably joke about how he needs me to cut off his head
DAVE: its a running gag hes been running into the ground for years
DAVE: motherfucker is dedicated to his memes ill give him that" Pffff, that sounds exactly like a Dirk thing to do.
"KARKAT: YOU DON’T THINK HE’S TRYING TO DO SOME...
KARKAT: RECONNAISSANCE WORK HERE?
KARKAT: LIKE, INTEL GATHERING?" Hehe, that's probably indeed something he could do. I kind of doubt he'd already be working on that right now, unless he somehow already figured out Dave would have Karkat running for president.
"Dave hits the callback button. On the television, Dirk’s phone begins ringing.
DIRK: Hey dude." Oh dear god. So that tv show was being broadcast live!
Oh man, what's Dirk going to have Dave do?
"Dave hears the reply through his phone, and then a moment later, through the TV, due to the broadcasting delay. The whole show has stopped so that Dirk can take this call. The camera zooms in on where he’s casually lying on the mat, bruised and a little bit bloody. In the background, Jake strikes an attractive, cocked-hip pose. He’s spinning a revolver around on one finger, affecting an aura of attractive indifference, but the look he’s shooting his sparring partner is caught halfway between confused and exasperated. " Sounds like quite the noodle incident has taken place there. xD
"DIRK: Got your sword handy?
DAVE: always" The same sword Dave hasn't properly used in years?
Oh dear god, what does Dirk want him to do? Take on Jake in some ironic fight live on tv? xD
"DIRK: Good. See, I’m in sort a bind here.
DIRK: And I’m afraid there’s only one way out.
KARKAT: OK, I’M FUCKING LEAVING." Karkat can't deal with this shit, ahahaha. xD
Okay, that's the end of the page.
I wonder what the next page is going to be? I assume this thing with Dirk will be skipped over and right now we'll be going back to John and see where he ends up on his zapping journey?
Heheh, so the Meat or Candy option is the only thing currently on the Homestuck Epilogues log page, no pages underneath it. I do wonder if there will be a, heh, Epilogue, at the end, posted next week or so.
And, the same option is on the 3rd page of the prologue. I do like that the choice is represented with images. That might indicate that a sparse few more images will be used throughout the rest of the epilogues. For Homestuck to have been such a visual medium, it wouldn't have felt entirely right for the epilogues to stick to solely a text format.
Meat Epilogue 1, page 1: Pfff, so that's actually the title of this subdivision the epilogues then, hahah.
... Okay, that is a way too visual description of John eating raw meat. It's a good thing I have just had a light breakfast.
"Some of the blood has coagulated on the surface of the plate. You grab it from Calliope and lick it clean. She watches you—calm, placid, alien. Roxy has leaned forward to scrutinize your slovenly feasting, her eyes wide and intense. You stare back at them with your hands coated in unctuous organic matter and flecks of seared skin. The blood on your hands is so thin that it’s like oily Kool-Aid pooling in your palm." And then John became a cherub. I suppose John digging into a meal is a sight for everyone.
"> Think, suddenly, about all the many horrible crimes committed by Lord English." Of course, he has the taste for blood now. Sudden resolve is sudden.
"> You know what you must do.
JOHN: i know what i must do." Influensive narration, was influensive narration?
Blaperile has a good point, maybe this same exchange happens in the Candy route. I mean, I know there's going to be a detailed description of John eating candy there, but maybe this exact two lines happen there too.
"Roxy pulls back and takes a deep breath. It’s a very thin breath, and her bottom lip quivers a bit when she sucks it in. She looks disappointed, though you could be misreading her, as usual." I suppose Roxy is mainly sad that he'll leave them. It could be she was hoping to reconnect with him as well. Maybe she was even hoping they were in the non-canon route, despite John's choice of lunch.
I wonder whether she'll really stay behind though. I've said it before, 23-year-old John, going back to rouse 16-year-old versions of his friends? It's a bittersweet idea.
"No one says anything for some time. A pleasant breeze rolls down from the hills. In the distance, the bell tower chimes twice. You notice that a group of carapacians have stopped to stare at you with beady-eyed fascination. The front of your shirt is stained with dark, slimy patches from the meat. Christ, why did you have to eat that meat like such a slob?
JOHN: so, is that it? JOHN: should i, uh... get going? CALLIOPE: if this is yoUr decision, then yes. CALLIOPE: there’s no time to lose, if the choice yoU have made is"
At first I thought the carapaces were aware of the gravity of the situation, then I thought they were indeed just fixed on his slobbering, but now... They might be instinctually aware of his importance. Though, table manners were never something I thought John really had much of, he still really dug into his meal, didn't he?
And as for his next move, seems time is of the essence. Well, he is going to take up arms against a Lord of the same aspect.
"Calliope closes up the picnic basket and stands. Roxy follows, taking Calliope’s hand in hers again." So... are his other friends perhaps nearby, or is this it?
"> Say goodbye?
JOHN: ok then.
JOHN: thanks for inviting me to this picnic.
JOHN: guess i’ll see you both... when i get back?" Damn, him asking is another mark in favor of him not being able to return, and everyone of his friends being in the know about this.
I really hope he can go back though, he's already switched between versions of his friends once before.
... Okay, the belch caught me off guard too. It would've been funny if the others had reacted to it, but as it stands... It's just awkward.
"You hesitate a few awkward moments too long. When you go to hug them, they’ve already turned away, leaving you standing in the middle of the park alone with your arms half-raised, cupping the air. It’s so pathetic that the eavesdropping carapacians finally scurry away, overwhelmed by their secondhand embarrassment. You didn’t even know they could get embarrassed.
You drop your arms and sigh. Time to get on with it." Okay, that's as anti-climactic as it gets, and it seems more and more as if his friends were keeping something from him. Even now that he made his choice. He deserved to know the truth, no matter how harsh it was.
"Before you leave, you fly back home and take one last look around Salamander Village. You breathe in the clean, crisp air, listen to the pipes chime, soak up the unfiltered sunlight. You then head inside for a wipe down, since it feels like you’ve been making face-down snow angels on the floor of an ill-kept slaughterhouse. You head to your bathroom and wash all the meat off your face. But somehow you still don’t feel that clean. An invisible layer of oil seems to cling to almost every square inch of your body no matter how hard you scrub." At least he took the time to say goodbye to his home of the last few years. As for how he was feeling, I suppose some part of him understands he'll disconnect from his friends through what he choose to do here. Either because he'll have had all those new adventures without them, or because he'll just never be able to return here.
... Some victory state THIS turned out to be.
"You go to your bedroom desk and dig out some stationery.
> Write: “dear roxy,”
You’ve never written a note so quickly, or with such clarity of heart and mind. When you’re done, you write nine more." Aww, letters for all his human and troll friends on Earth C. Guess Calliope & the sprites are just not that close to his heart? (... Wait, no, 10 in total, so Calliope was probably included.) ... He might just not be remembering to say goodbye of his Nannasprite in the moment. Or maybe, some of the B2 kids or Kanaya were left out, that's also possible.
"You leave ten envelopes on your bed, arranged in a tidy circle with the names of your ten closest friends written on them. Then, with absolutely no fanfare, you leave all of them and this idyllic world you’ve created behind and zap yourself back into canon." One of the least most fanfaric moments in the story...
"DAVE: bro" ... Wait what??? Did he just zap himself back in time in front of Dave???
... Or did he zap to where Dave lives - wait, no, he entered canon, the last page said.
Blaperile has a good point, maybe we'll get to see the other children respond to his letter? ... Or maybe even respond to the fact that he left all the same, since only Roxy, Calliope, Rose & Dirk seemed to be in the loop here.
"In the heart of the Troll Kingdom’s capital city, Dave and Karkat are sitting on their couch with a foot and a half of space between them. It’s a typically picturesque day outside, but Karkat has the curtains drawn shut all the way. This is part of their compromise living situation: Dave puts up with the trollish non-euclidean architecture and bizarre social mores, and Karkat has adjusted his diurnal schedule to, in theory, see the sun." Oh, so it IS the Earth C Dave (and Karkat!) ... Have they just had a small argument, that they're so far apart? HEheh, it does feel good to get a little more expo on their situation. ... I do wonder how we would have to designate what we learn about them here. It's probably still all going to be vague, but with John having zapped back to canon, this timeline has become validated again. So it's truth component should be restored, but then again, it's outside of canon. Bluh, MY3KT mantra, I should just enjoy this for what it is.
"DAVE: bro you have got to check this out
Karkat is leaning forward, munching on chocolate-coated beetles and totally absorbed in what he’s watching. The glow from the television highlights the dark bags under his eyes. " Pfff, troll candy, hahah. ... Is Dave surfing on his smartphone and pestering Karkat while he's trying to bingewatch something? ... That is just so perfect.
... I swear, if one of the carapaces filmed John's belch and put it on YouTube, or whatever...
"Dave reaches out and, very gently, pokes Karkat in the cheek. Karkat flinches out of his full-body slouch." You do not disturb Couch Patato Karkat.
"KARKAT: NOT NOW DAVE. JAKE’S ASS IS ON TV AGAIN.DAVE: stop ogling jakes ass this is important" I KNOW this probably means Jake did something adventurous again, but... Yeah, Karkat being starstruck by a John-lookalike with a black hole for a red quadrant is just so fitting. Also, pfff, that was also one of the captions of the snaps in the Credits, "Jake's ass is on tv again".
"Dave casts a weary look towards the TV, where Jake English is shamelessly exhibiting what is definitely his best feature in front of a live studio audience. This is a regular highlight of his and Dirk’s hit television show, RUMBLE IN DA PUMPKIN PATCH" ... Okay never mind, Jake either consciously or not has taken to stardom like a thirsty vagrant in the desert. ... Pumpkin Path, pfff, it didn't immediately connect, but that's Jake & Dirk's ship name! It's also a shoutout to Rumble in the Jungle, of course.
"a schizophrenic cross-section of rap battle and robot wrestling that Rose once described as “an exploitative, almost Dada-esque clusterfuck of circumlocutory pretension and sweaty, homoerotic astriction.”" ... Pffff, the rap battle part is more Dirk's shtick though.
"KARKAT: IT’S ALL IN THE WAY IT’S BEING PROGRAMMED BY THE STATION.KARKAT: IT TOOK ME A WHILE TO NOTICE, BECAUSE IT’S NOT LIKE I MAKE IT A POINT OF STAYING GLUED TO THIS PHONY TELEVISED HUMAN GLADIATOR GARBAGE.KARKAT: IT’S SOFT AS FUCK. THEY BARELY EVEN TRY TO MAKE IT SEEM REAL. DAVE, I CONSIDER MYSELF A COSMOPOLITAN INDIVIDUAL. A MAN OF LEARNING? BUT AS A NATIVE ALTERNIAN, I’M ACTUALLY FUCKING OFFENDED BY THIS INSULTING DISPLAY OF NAMBY PAMBY PAGEANTRY." So, is Karkat one of the people that is valiantly against wrestling as a form of entertainment, because it's "fake fighting"? Or is he offended by the rap battles as a lesser form of slam poetry? XD
"KARKAT: ANYWAY, THE MORE I WATCH, I CAN’T HELP BUT NOTICE THE CAMERA’S LECHEROUS FIXATION ON THIS BOY’S VOLUPTUOUS POSTERIOR.KARKAT: CAN’T SAY I BLAME THEM, I GUESS??? AT LEAST IT SHOWS THEY KNOW EXACTLY WHAT’S PAYING THE FUCKING BILLS, BECAUSE IT SURE AS HELL ISN’T THE QUALITY OF THE SLAM POETRY." PFFFFF, I knew it.
"DAVE: ok who gives a shit about thatDAVE: although it pleases me to hear you taking note of the economics of this broadcast since it is apropos to the topic at hand but more on that later" Wait wut? Hah, Dave is still busy with "the economy", that's so sweet, both as a continuation of SBaHJ and the LOHACSE. Also, that's the second time the topic of the economy is broached in the epilogue!
So, we're actually seeing some things of normal life on Earth C despite this not being the Candy route. Weird, though Blaperile has a point these pages might be mirrored there with different endings. As for the poll, hahah, yeah I do suppose more people may have chose the Meat route initially, lame as it might be named.
... You know what'd it be funny? If the meat route turns out to be a red herring and the candy route was always the 'right' choice some how. It would be doubly funny, seeing has how the Candy route is visualized by the Spiral Sucker, which you could have taken to mean it's a dud. But a RED meat as the red herring?
"KARKAT: APROPOS TO FUCKING WHAT?KARKAT: I DON’T HAVE TIME TO “SCOPE THE LATEST MEME,” DAVE. YOU ARE COMING PERILOUSLY CLOSE TO CUTTING INTO MY IMPORTANT LEISURE TIME AS IT IS.DAVE: leisure timeDAVE: this is all you ever do all dayDAVE: also its not a meme its much more important" Great to see they haven't become lovey dovey in their old age.
"KARKAT: OH, EXCUSE ME, HOT SHOT. BUT WHAT POSSIBLY COULD BE MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE LATEST MEME?KARKAT: THAT WAS A JOKE, FYI. NOW LEAVE.DAVE: jane is running for presidentKARKAT: WHAT THE FUCK?" ... Well that came out of nowhere. I would be a lot less wary if it had been Jade or Rose. Since there's still that connection to )(IC in Jane. Then again, she's level-headed enough to not be corrupted by power, or so I can only hope.
"Dave scoots a foot and a half closer so that they can both read the news on his phone. Karkat tips his head to the side to get a better view, until it bumps against Dave’s shoulder." And the shippers (or rather, the fans of the pair) went wild!
"DAVE: got the announcement right hereKARKAT: YOU MEAN PRESIDENT OF EARTH?DAVE: yeahKARKAT: WHY THE FUCK WOULD SHE WANT TO DO THAT?DAVE: i dunno crocker is just an ambitious woman i guessKARKAT: THIS SOUNDS FUCKING AWFUL.DAVE: oh it is" I'm suddenly getting a sense as if, in John's absence, the whole victory state might be in jeapordy. Does it have something to do with the fact that, canonically, Earth C has to end up hosting the cherubs?
"DAVE: it absolutely isDAVE: also likeDAVE: dont tell her i said this butDAVE: i think shes basically a fascistKARKAT: WHY WOULD I TELL HER YOU SAID THAT?KARKAT: WHEN THE FUCK WAS THE LAST TIME EITHER OF US HAD FUCK ALL TO DO WITH *JANE*DAVE: no i knowDAVE: just like, a figure of speech i guessDAVE: oh also shes a fucking xenophobeKARKAT: OF COURSE SHE’S A XENOPHOBE!" ... Is this the same Jane Crocker that was good enough friends with Calliope and all? Okay, true, like John she of all people took the least best to all the aliens and science and magic their life ended up being filled with after playing Sburb. Just wondering how much of this is Karkat and Dave overreacting for the hells of it, is all.
"KARKAT: DAVE, I DON’T KNOW IF YOU’VE NOTICED, BUTKARKAT: A LOT OF HUMANS ARE???DAVE: yeah ive noticed" Okay, victory state or not, I'm in for some more in-depth exposition on "how humans are still humans even on a planet filled with aliens from Day 1", and other tales about Earth C.
That takes me back to the troll separatist group that kidnapped Jane in the (non-canon?) snaps posted on the Official Homestuck channel.
"KARKAT: ALSO, WHAT THE FUCK DOES SHE EVEN MEAN SHE’S “RUNNING”KARKAT: WHAT A COMPLETE LOAD OF SHIT?KARKAT: SHE’S A GOD. WHICH ONE OF THE TOADYING IDIOTS ON THIS PLANET WOULD DARE TO RUN AGAINST HER.KARKAT: SHE’S GOING TO WIN IN A LANDSLIDE, ASSUMING SHE DOESN’T JUST WALTZ INTO OFFICE UNCONTESTED.DAVE: yeah i dont disagreeDAVE: which is why we have to stop her" Jane going mad with power, what a nice little thing from canon to become relevant again. Only this time no braincontrolling robotics are involved, I suppose.
As we stopped reading after this part, I've had some time to theorize.
What if this scene takes place in Earth C's past, and on the way back to canon, what John did first was to jump back to this moment, and punch Jane in the face? And then he zaps his friends out with him into canon, they do their thing, and zap back before the current version of John noticed they were gone? He isolated himself, after all, probably didn't even follow the news.
It would mean that the "victory state" was something the kids still had to earn after going through the door, even though it was outside of canon already. But it'll probably not go this way, I'm saddened to say.
Part of me wants the candy chapters parallel this route, in the characters shown per chapter, but then I would've liked being able to switch paths somewhere inbetween to compare and spot the differences.
"DAVE: which is why we have to stop herKARKAT: HUH?KARKAT: DAVE, WHAT EXACTLY ARE YOU SAYING?KARKAT: ARE YOU TELLING ME *YOU’RE* GOING TO RUN AGAINST JANE?" ... Okay, imagine the hilarity ensuing of Dave being President of the Earth. The campaign buttons (merch for FFBF, in any case!), the comparison to B2 Dave ascending the White House in a more literal way... But it would also be funny if Dave proposes Barack Obama. Not THE Barack Obama of course, just a member of a long line of people named that way, going back to a baby they cloned when populating this Earth. All named Barack Obama.
"Karkat’s laughter is uproarious, incredulous. He reaches for another beetle as his guffaws subside, and eats it in a manner he hopes will convey his casual contempt for Dave’s insinuation." Okay, I genuinely adore we now get to see Karkat's non-verbal reactions. They're as spiteful as his tirades, god bless.
"KARKAT: ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR FUCKING MIND? DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW *RICH* SHE IS?DAVE: dude were all rich" Oh, yeah, I guess the riches they accumulated in the session are still a thing? Also, maybe Dave has gone the way of B2 Dave and makes a killing producing jpeg items at negative costs.
"DAVE: we like invented the fucking economyKARKAT: WELL, YEAHKARKAT: BUT NOT LIKEKARKAT: *CROCKER* RICHDAVE: anyway noDAVE: im not runningDAVE: you are" Ahahah, I didn't figure he'd do that! My idea was Karkat might take the initiative himself, since he still half believes in his own leadership qualities, I would think. But after seeing his response I didn't think that would happen, but now Dave wants to push him (and be his running mate?). Ah yes, I can just picture the debates between Jane and Karkat, that'd be so rich, her pushing all his buttons and him *thoughtfully* laying all her flaws to bear.
... Blaperile pointed out Echidna had said Karkat would still have a role in the new universe, guess it might actually be coming to this!
"DAVE: youre the ideal opponent to take her down and tbh just what this planet needs" Not the president this planet deserves, but the one it needs right now. Get it? Because Karkat's a Knight.
"KARKAT: I’M NOT A LEADER. I WAS NEVER MEANT TO BE ONE.KARKAT: JANE PROBABLY IS. ALTHOUGH TO BE FAIR, I’M AGREEING WITH YOU, SHE’S A COMPLETE ASSHOLE." Ah yes, of course, I see how it is. John should run for president. I know, I know, one small problem there. Hey, maybe that's something for the candy route!
Blaperile has a good point, Karkat's good at having people co-operate that would otherwise be at each other's throat. That's just basic world leadership skills.
"DAVE: you were meant to be a leader and youd be a good oneDAVE: just not the kind of leader you always thought youd be" I'm all here for supportive Dave, but I'd really like to see his arguments. They might be a little tainted, being so close to Karkat.
"DAVE: not a bellicose conquering dickhead who commands “fear and respect”" So, I'm not saying this is a comment on a certain contemporary world leader, but. But.
"DAVE: just a guy who is cool and nice and actually cares about stuff and everyone loves them for that reason" He could take an example by John on how to be a good palhoncho!
"KARKAT: PEOPLE DON’T LOVE ME!!!DAVE: youre breaking my heart dude" Confirmed.
"DAVE: it still amazes me how little awareness you genuinely seem to have of how insanely popular you are on this planetDAVE: its fucking adorable" Cool, so it's not like the planet has popular gods and less popular ones, then, awww.
"KARKAT: YOU’RE WRONG! ALL I SEE IS JAKE ON TV! AND JANE IN THE NEWS STORIES ABOUT HER STUPID BUSINESS, AND DIRK DOING WHATEVER... FUCKED UP SHIT HE’S DOING WITH HIS CELEBRITY PRESENCE??" Maybe Karkat's looking in the wrong places, maybe his fans are all on the internet! It's just that he's too much of a couch potato to take note, and maybe he even took a leave of absence from setting foot on social media & forums & the like, since he's aware how easily provoked he is?
"KARKAT: I SEE YOUR MUG A LOT TOO, MR. FUCKING POLITICAL PUPPET MASTER." I know Dave's face is literally on a mug on FFBF, so this is super funny.
"DAVE: you only see famous humans on tv because you just avoid all troll kingdom channels deliberately" Huh, so he's kind of fled the influence of troll culture, maybe he's had his fill of caste-oriented drama series, quadrantic romance and the like?
"Karkat hesitates, then slouches back into the couch cushions, restoring the customary foot and a half of space he and Dave usually keep between them except when watching horror movies, eating chips, or talking about the top six hundred stupid things Karkat saw earlier that day because he made his intrepid annual decision to go outside." So Karkat not being touchy is an informed skill more than anything, then. It seems it's only the truth half of the time.
"KARKAT: MAYBE I DON’T ACTUALLY LIKE BEING FAMOUS?" All the attention and the accompanying social responsability probably gets to him, I see where he's coming from.
"DAVE: well what better way to acquaint yourself with democracy than to take a crack at high office yourself" Oh yes, throw baby Karkles right into the deep end, why don't you.
"DAVE: dude seriously you would absolutely kill it with the troll voting blockDAVE: the entire kingdom would vote for youDAVE: theyd go ballistic if they heard a troll actually had the guts to run against jane, let alone one of their heroes" I do wonder what the votership division looks like, and whether gerrymandering is at play by giving the kingdoms equal votes despite disparities in population sizes, and stuff.
"DAVE: shes going to be a fucking disaster for the economy" Won't someone PLEASE think of the economy? Of course, a business person taking charge politically? That never ends well, or does it?
"DAVE: its about obama
Very slowly, Karkat raises his right palm and forcefully unites it with his own face." Dave's personal hero. And unlike John's, untainted in recent history. In fact, I'm kind of surprised Dave never made an Obamatop computing device. From Karkat's reaction, I'm guessing this is old hat to him by now.
"FREESTYLE OBAMA FAN FICTION" Truly, it is a shame this will never be shown in-comic, presumably.
Although I would really much like a Paradox Space story centered around it.
"KARKAT: DON’T YOU ALREADY HAVE A BASIS FOR KNOWING HOW HIS PRESIDENCY WOULD HAVE GONE?" I suppose he thinks B2 Obama doesn't count, because of his and Rose's alternate selves being around as well as Condesce, influencing the events on the planet to various degrees of subtlety?
"DAVE: i just dont like to think much about that time lineDAVE: it doesnt really feel like itsDAVE: canon?" PFffff, to him, no it wouldn't, since it's not his native timeline. And to us, the readers, it took a very outlandish turn after 2011.
"DAVE: the one i belonged to that i used to imagine had a real futureDAVE: that didnt involve meteors or a fish dictator or the american political landscape turning into a nightmarish daily jokeDAVE: i still wonder what could have beenDAVE: if the O man coulda saved us all" It's a good thing just imagining things doesn't spawn a new timeline, or Dave would've created one right there. ... Wait, that's actually our timeline he's thinking about, crap. Don't stop imagining it, Dave!
"DAVE: but instead he died probablyDAVE: or maybe not... maybe there was like an escape hatch in the white house that led to his own secret presidential session of sburbDAVE: what if hes just chillin there now" ... Together with the Nick of Time?
"DAVE: what if he died for our sins or somethingKARKAT: HMM! SOUNDS FUCKING MEANINGLESS." That's rich, coming from the Sufferer's second coming.
"DAVE: but i mean what if likeDAVE: he could be reborn" Ah, so they DIDN'T clone him. Yet.
Or, maybe this leads up to Dave figuratively seeing Karkat as the second coming of Obama, that's also possible.
"KARKAT: YES, WE’VE BEEN OVER YOUR OBAMA GOD TIER HEADCANONS TOO." What'd that be though. The Gent of Peace? (In a little wordplay on fedoraFreak's imagined god tier title.)
"DAVE: you could be the great president he never got the chance to beDAVE: you could give the people hope and shitDAVE: you could inspire trolls everywhereDAVE: or really all nonhuman kingdomsDAVE: show them anybody could be a presidentDAVE: not just an endless parade of rich humans who think they all know whats best for everybody" So... I guess President of Earth is a real title in this universe, not something Jane just came up with. And it seems, unsurprisingly, only a certain type gets elected. Some things never change, do they?
Karkat taking it up for the little guy would have nice parallels with WV rising up. And, points to Blaperile, also parallels with Obama proper, as the first black president.
"KARKAT: DAVE, I’M PRETTY SURE ANYONE *COULD* BE PRESIDENT?KARKAT: IT’S ALWAYS SEEMED TO ME THAT HUMANS JUST SEEM TO BE MORE NATURALLY AMBITIOUS, AND THAT’S WHY THE POWER STRUCTURES TOOK THE SHAPE THEY DID THE LAST FEW MILLENNIA.KARKAT: I MEAN, I DON’T CLAIM TO BE AN EXPERT ON XENOPSYCHOLOGY, BUT FOR SOME REASON I STRUGGLE TO IMAGINE A FUCKING SALAMANDER GETTING THE GUMPTION TO THROW HIS CRUMPLED HAT INTO THE RING FOR THE PRESIDENCY OF EARTH.KARKAT: OR THE CARAPACIANS FOR THAT MATTER?" Well, to be frank, the trolls are all rather ambitious by nature, so if only humans got elected until now, something must be off. I'll concede his point on the other species, even if he's only true speaking generally. I think that Viceroy Bubbles von Salamancer, or WV, if they had been around, would absolutely have run for president.
"DAVE: karkat dont stereotypeDAVE: remember the mayorDAVE: remember how at one point a long time ago he raised an army and rebelled against an evil king" Awww, he remembers. WV probably told that story on the meteor. I do wonder how WV & PM are remembered in the stories by the carapaces. They deserve the same worship as the kids, in their own way.
"KARKAT: OH YEAHKARKAT: SOMEHOW I ALWAYS FORGET HE DID THAT.KARKAT: KIND OF MIND BOGGLING, REALLY.KARKAT: HOLY SHIT, I MISS THE MAYOR.DAVE: me too
Dave and Karkat both observe a moment of silence" Aww, his trials are not forgotten, if not always remembered. Good to see. And yes, small minds, great achievements - you shouldn't discount the other races just for their general demeanour!
Into this reverent silence, Dave says:DAVE: i think he would be totally in favor of my idea btw" Blasphemy, Dave, blashemy, no respect. Although, WV would've been rather supportive, I guess.
"DAVE: he loved democracyKARKAT: NO SHIT, HE WAS A FUCKING MAYOR." True, he hated self-serving kings but would probably have supported the idea of an elected head of state.
"DAVE: i mean forget all the lizards and chess guys for a secondDAVE: just imagine the good you could do for the troll kingdomDAVE: you would do a much better job of speaking to the injustices trolls face than jane wouldKARKAT: WHAT INJUSTICESDAVE: dude pleaseDAVE: where to even beginDAVE: i know earth c has generally been a pretty chill place to live but theres been some shit going on that is legit creepy" Oh boy, now we get to the meat of the issue. (Heh.) I do wonder if some events from the snaps are going to get addressed, like the existence of a royalist troll underground. It would only exist if there were subjects troll were not happy about.
It's jarring though, that a supposedly peaceful "end-game reward" world could be this fucked up under the surface.
"DAVE: all this “population regulation” bullshit thats been going on since we basically set up civilization and peaced out to the futureDAVE: when you think about its long term consequences its been fuckin weirdDAVE: like the government being responsible for troll reproduction through cloning" Hmm, so did they decide not to reinstate the drones? I guess the whole "contribute or die" mentality had to go, but simply relying on cloning to provide the material for the matriorb seems... off? Especially if the cloning isn't done with Sburb machine, genetic defects could pop up this way.
"DAVE: like it makes sense on paper at first, no mother grub, gotta keep the race going and expand the population for a good while and get the numbers upDAVE: until kanaya gets here and hatches the grub and then i guess a system of “natural reproduction” can take over in theory but" Oh, so... That was the system they used until the kids arrived, a state-regulated form of reproduction. Kind of totalitarian, but then, trolls take that shit easier than other races.
And yeah, the only grub around is the one from the matriorb Roxy materialized, that's... A very risky thing, makes me think of eggs and baskets. Couldn't they have cloned the grub by now, now the kids have been here several years?
"i guess were supposed to think its all fixed rightDAVE: back to Trolls As Usual or somethingDAVE: but do you really think the human kingdom is going to just sit back and let the troll race proliferate wildly all over earthDAVE: turn it into another alternian empireDAVE: folks know the historyDAVE: they know about the condesce and all the violence and the hemospectrum and shit" I'm here for Dave as Troll Ally, but I like that he isn't just blindly defending the trolls, he knows what the humans might've been thinking, fearing what could happen.
But that's a worst case scenario, and while you should prepare for it, you should still hope for better, and it seems the humans haven't been doing so.
"KARKAT: DAVE, I KNOW ALL THIS.KARKAT: IN FACT, *YOU* KNOW ALL OF THIS BECAUSE YOU’VE HEARD ME SAY IT TO KANAYA A THOUSAND TIMES." So... Karkat is way more politically inclined than he's making (out with) himself out to be.
"DAVE: you think a crocker administration is really going to go through with plans to deregulate troll breeding?DAVE: she knows exactly what her base wantsDAVE: i can already see the dog whistles in this press release she isnt gonna do shit" Wow, from Dave's perspective Jane really isn't a hero any longer. What kind of behaviour did she even display after they arrived in the future, that he honestly believes she's a fascist xenophone???
"DAVE: and really manDAVE: if nothing else and i truly mean NOTHINGDAVE: pleaseDAVE: for the love of christDAVE: think of the economy" PFfffffff. It's funny how, in being so liberal-minded, Dave is still very focused on safeguarding the economy. I know, I know, it's more a meme to him that anything else, I suppose, but still.
"DAVE: jane has this reputation for being awesome at business but imo she actually just sucksDAVE: she doesnt seem to be even remotely aware how much shes leveraged her status as a god to become a bigshot trillionaireDAVE: i think she thinks its all pure business acumen but i think she doesnt really know what shes doingDAVE: fuckers left and right just be tripping all day long to give her money hand over fistDAVE: of course shes gonna milk her biz cred for all its worth in this election" ... This is just one big Trump allegory, ain't it? Oh, I don't doubt Jane might be overestimating herself in some ways, but she's also not a complete idiot. This has more to do with out-of-comic events than in-comic ones, probably.
"DAVE: shes probably a much better politician than a businesswoman actually she is likeDAVE: sinister as fuck? i meanDAVE: she hides it well dont get me wrongDAVE: also she isnt too hard on the eyes which wont hurt her chances one bitDAVE: but shes going to be BRUTAL on their pocketbooks just you wait" I was wondering what ever happened to Dave's physical attraction to Jane, it hasn't waivered I see, he's just seen parts of her personality he doesn't like.
"DAVE: she doesnt know the nuances of sound comprehensive fiscal policy like i doDAVE: my skills are fucking legendaryDAVE: i manipulated the stock market to assume control of the literal majority of all currency on the planet once" If he's talking about the LOHACSE, it was a much smaller planet and he had help from an all-seeing eye in the form of Terezi. Also, time travel.
"DAVE: granted the economy was run by lobotomized reptiles but stillDAVE: wait that was speciesist sorry" Heheh, I like Dave recognizing when he's almost a hypocrite, it's a show of character.
"DAVE: ok if shit goes sideways i guess we arent gonna see like raggedy turtles and pauper chess men standing in bread lines or anythingDAVE: thats just the nature of alchemy-based post-scarcity economies the depressions tend to be pretty mild" Oooh, cool, so the economy is basically still only there for show, mostly, people won't be bereft of essentials, that's good to know. Also good to know is that alchemy is still around. I wonder if it was reinvented in the 5000 years since the creation of the planet? Or reverse engineered from Sburb machines?
"DAVE: she sucks and shouldnt be president the end" I'm starting to get the idea Dave might be having black romantic upflares with regard to Jane. It's starting to read like how John would talk about Terezi.
"DAVE: just please tell me youll do thisDAVE: do it for the trolls do it for the economy do it for the mayorDAVE: but most of allDAVE: (sniff)
Dave wipes an invisible tear from beneath the rim of his sunglasses.DAVE: do it for obama" Pff, and here I was thinking he would drop the pretense of not being serious for just a bit, hahah. Guess Bro's way of ironically telling the truth is still hard-baked into him.
"KARKAT: I DO CARE ABOUT YOU.
Dave smiles." Awwww, I love that he can cause that reaction. Not sure if it was 1-pixel smile or something bigger, but I also like how the sentence describing Dave smiling is just two words, in a sort of verbal callback to the tiny, 1-pixel smile.
"KARKAT: SOKARKAT: I’LL DO IT.KARKAT: WHY NOT.DAVE: nice!" W00t, Karkat for president! He'd be absolutely brutal in debates, yet smart enough to delegate the stuff he doesn't know about to other people, I think.
"outrageous flair for subversive anti establishment messaging and propaganda" Dave's not yet shown that skill himself, but he knows about his B2 self, so I guess it counts.
"your charisma and likability and shitKARKAT: YEAH.KARKAT: YOU MIGHT BE RIGHT...KARKAT: I’M PRETTY SURE I CAN FAKE THOSE THINGS WELL ENOUGH." Chalk one up for Karkat being self aware.
"DAVE: oh alsoDAVE: your weirdly sincere humilityKARKAT: I PREFER THE TERM “SELF LOATHING” ACTUALLY." ... or this. XD Well, if it gets the job done, loathing & humility can be equalized.
"Jake is rambling out a truly dire piece of slam poetry that involves—with zero hint of irony—the terms batty-fang and mad as hops." Okay, so Jake was doing the rapping himself too. Guess his vocabulary hasn't expanded much.
"Dave’s “least psychologically revealing SBaHJ strip.”" ... I do wonder what that could be, I really do. "i haz the car", maybe?
"Karkat sighs and rubs the space between his horns." I read it wa--as the bridge of his nose at first, since I thought he's exasperated at Jake here, but maybe I'm wrong and he's just pensive.
"it’s been a long time since he’s properly used a sword." ... and how long since he did so improperly? *eyebrows*
"DAVE: inspire themDAVE: i dont think you need any fancy speeches to do that youll be a natural" Hmm, I dunno Dave, he used to do speeches all the time. It got results even if they were not well received.
"Dave scribble political ambitions directly into the shittiest paint program on his OS." He wrote an MSPaint JPEG clone for just the occasion, didn't he?
"DAVE: time to talk some strategyDAVE: we need to rally as much high profile support to our cause as we canDAVE: but there are some uhDAVE: “lines of loyalty” to figure outKARKAT: WHAT?DAVE: i mean which of our friends are going to side with us and which ones will side with janeDAVE: pretty much all of us are famous and popular all over earth to some degreeDAVE: some of us more so with certain kingdoms than othersDAVE: so some key endorsements going either way could swing the whole election" Wow, Dave, you're a natural campaign leader, good thinking! But, with John gone, that'd leave an uneven number of the gods for voting! Who'll have the swing vote then, Calliope?
Huh, Dave seems to think Roxy would be neutral, I wonder why? Maybe because Calliope is enamoured with trolls, and yet Jane is a good friend of them both.
"DAVE: as for jade...KARKAT: ... " Oh boy. Something happened. I thought Jade was simply out, but... Did they have a falling out over something? Something Roxy & John didn't know about?
Or is this another psyche?
Although, there might have been something else, maybe Jade has grown closer to Jane on Earth C, they are related after all.
"DAVE: uhDAVE: i think its fair to say shes going to be on our sideKARKAT: YEAHDAVE: maybe a little too much so" Pffff, hah, okay.
... You can take this to mean as "Jade is Team Karkat/Dave all the way" or "Jade will defend her husbands like the feral beast she partially is". I wonder if we'll get some more insight in the troubles it has brought the two Knights, sharing a house with a furry cosplayer.
"DAVE: i think we gotta sort out likeDAVE: a hierarchical approach to campaign strategyDAVE: keep it organized and disciplined with roles well definedDAVE: not let things get too murky with uhDAVE: personal shit?KARKAT: I THINK WE’RE ON THE SAME PAGE HERE, DAVE." So they don't want to fall in the trappings of favoritism. Or maybe they just know Jade doesn't have it in her run, politics and campaigning in a serious manner. She might get bored.
"DAVE: uh lets see who elseKARKAT: EGBERT?" Oh boy. The bomb has dropped. Let's see if Dave knows something about what John is going to go up to.
It's starting to look like John leaving will have dire consequences in Earth C as well. Seems we already have a B plot, and not it hasn't even been one page.
"DAVE: john should be easy to convince but im not sure how much of a factor hell be in this campaignDAVE: have no idea how long hell be away on this “mission” rose mentionedKARKAT: WHAT? WHAT MISSION?" Oooooh, cool! So at least Dave was informed, I'm glad. It doesn't seem likely anymore that John can't return, now that we've established this scene is taking place in the present.
"DAVE: dunno shes been hella cagey about itDAVE: swore me to secrecy until the right time whenever that is" Pretty sure Rose just meant the right time to be "whenever you flap your mouth about it to Karkat".
"DAVE: anyway his endorsement would go a long way in swinging the consort kingdom" Points again in the direction that the Candy route will be equally long as the Meat route, huh.
"DAVE: swinging them our way should help a lot but it wont be enough to decide the whole thingDAVE: consorts overwhelm the other kingdoms in sheer numbers but due to unscrupulous gerrymandering, all kinds of fucked up voter suppression policies and some electoral “counterbalancing” measures to account for their ridiculous population growth rate their voting power per capita is kind of patheticDAVE: also its hard to drive turnout" So, it seems democracy only goes so far in securing an equal voting system, even in paradise. :/ And, I continue to be impressed by Dave's political knowledge, good going Dave!
"DAVE: this may come as a shock but legions of easily distracted low information amphibians primarily concerned with eating bugs and farming god damned mushrooms arent the most politically motivated demographic" Yay, the mushrooms are still a thing!
"DAVE: so to get them out to the polls well need to get them REALLY excited" Give them a rumpled hat, that'll work.
"DAVE: jake is a huge wild card hereDAVE: im sure his endorsement would be completely up for grabs" Oh, so I guess he and Jane never really talked things out...
"DAVE: he could go any way including just getting turned off by the whole thing and staying “apolitical”" Sounds about right, yeah, he just wants to be left alone in most things.
"DAVE: jake is the only one of us whos wildly popular in all four kingdoms" The English charisma, the doom of quadrants everywhere.
"DAVE: theres no way she doesnt understand the political stakes" There's a higher than zero chance Jake could just change his vote every hour depending on his mood. Try following that in the exit polls...
"KARKAT: SO...KARKAT: IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THE JAKESTAKES THEN.DAVE: pretty muchDAVE: the jakestakes 2.0KARKAT: WHATKARKAT: THERE WAS A 1.0?KARKAT: WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN?DAVE: oh thats likeDAVE: a whole storyKARKAT: IS THIS GOING TO BE ANOTHER ANECDOTE ABOUT THE JAKE SQUAD I WON’T CARE ABOUT AND DON’T WANT TO FUCKING HEAR?DAVE: that sounds like the exact kind of opinion youd have about it so yeah" I'm guessing the Jake Squad is Karkat's affective nickname for the B2 kids. And yes, 1.0 was probably everyone vying for Jake's affection pre-entry.
"DAVE: hmmDAVE: shit hold upKARKAT: WHAT?" Maybe there's already a spot on for Jake supporting Jane. Seems like she'd have one prepared to show, shrewd businesswoman and all.
"DAVE: dirks calling meKARKAT: WHAT THE FUCK DOES HE WANT?DAVE: idk he just calls me out of the blue from time to time to talk shitDAVE: usually about nothing whatsoever" Oh, will Dave meet up with Dirk, like how John went from Rose to Roxy?
"DAVE: hell probably joke about how he needs me to cut off his headKARKAT: HUH???DAVE: its a running gag hes been running into the ground for yearsDAVE: motherfucker is dedicated to his memes ill give him that" Well, we are talking about the same dude who not just beats a dead horse, he poaches it. And it's not like it's unwarranted, it's one short of a pattern with Dirk.
"KARKAT: YOU DON’T THINK HE’S TRYING TO DO SOME...KARKAT: RECONNAISSANCE WORK HERE?KARKAT: LIKE, INTEL GATHERING?" While that would be up to snuff for Dirk, I would wager he'd feel his "bro" and his kin to be off limits. Then again, he can be cold when he needs to be.
"DAVE: ok well i missed the call while we were bullshitting about itDAVE: but yeah ill just call him back now
Dave hits the callback button. On the television, Dirk’s phone begins ringing." ... He was calling live or what? While on television? But they didn't notice him calling Dave on the screen before.
I would put it on the autoresponder but Arquiusprite is AWOL.
"The whole show has stopped so that Dirk can take this call. The camera zooms in on where he’s casually lying on the mat, bruised and a little bit bloody. In the background, Jake strikes an attractive, cocked-hip pose. He’s spinning a revolver around on one finger, affecting an aura of attractive indifference, but the look he’s shooting his sparring partner is caught halfway between confused and exasperated." Dirk took to being a god of unrelentless power like a fish to water. Meanwhile, Jake is miffed his fisticuffs are being momentarily paused.
"DIRK: Got your sword handy?" Ooohhhh. If their show is like a wrestling show, then this is the "heel" calling in back up taking on the "face", right? Dave's going to be a little rusty, though, since the narration said... ... Wait, using it for fake fighting isn't like using the sword properly, is it? PFfff.
"DAVE: alwaysDIRK: Good. See, I’m in sort a bind here.DIRK: And I’m afraid there’s only one way out.KARKAT: OK, I’M FUCKING LEAVING." You succeeded in getting Karkat to leave the couch, Dave, mission accomplished.
I really liked seeing Karkat and Dave interact, and I liked that it wasn't just fluff or zany disputes. Seems like there's a story to unfold in Earth C.
I suppose that on Meat 3, the perspective'll switch, but maybe it'll be a Dirk/Dave interaction.
That, or before that happens, we'll get the first "in-canon" page with John.
I had wondered today whether we should check if Homestuck itself was updated, with new pages for John's arrival back in canon. Half-serious I was, but lemme just check the Homestuck log. ... Okay, no.
Hoo boy, here we go. This is gonna be an adventure. ... A very long one, but still. XD Y'all in for... a hell of a ride.
Having time to sleep and ruminate on the epilogue has helped me crystallize my thoughts on it, but I don't think I'm ready to start sharing it all here yet. I'll see how the thread evolves and decide from there when and how much I want to get into it. I could use the time to let things further settle, anyway.
-I think Meat!Dirk...may have just topped my Most Despised Characters chart? I mean yes other villains have done objectively worse things but exploiting the authorial voice to directly manipulate your friends is...something goddamn else. I don't think I've ever experienced such visceral hatred for a fictional character as I did when he was narratively browbeating Kanaya into giving up Rose.
It's almost tragic, he seemed to be turning around near the end of homestuck proper after his convos with Dave, but with his personality, the near-omniscience of becoming his Ultimate Self and the near-omnipotence of full control of the narrative is absolutely the worst thing that could have happened to him, and he is absolutely the worst one who could have gained it.
In conclusion, just
fuck that guy
-Trans Roxy and NB Calliope are very good and very cute together and are basically the only bright spot in the utter dumpster fire of tragedy that is the Meat path
-Jane as a xenophobic authoritarian is...enraging, but I can't say it comes out of nowhere? This seems to be one of the major sources of Discourse on social media and whatnot, with people claiming that it's egregiously OOC but...it really isn't, if you consider her upbringing and circumstances. She was raised on propaganda and direct brainwashing via tiaratop basically from birth, she came from a position of significant wealth and power, she's naturally ambitious, she was taught to appreciate Crockercorp's control of everything as essentially a good thing.
She may have eventually realized how terrible the Condesce and Alpha Earth Crockercorp were, specifically, but those learned worldviews and thought patterns don't vanish just because you had a cool anime battle with the one who wrote them. Looking at her early dialogue and thoughts on Crockercorp, the seeds for her future actions are definitely there. (Not to mention those postcanon snapchats, despite their questionable canonicity attribute. You know the ones.)
Also, her worst slide occurs in the Candy arc, which stretches over 15-20ish years on top of the seven that already occurred between Act 7 and the epilogue prologue. That's a looot of time for horrible ideas and views to form and reinforce themselves in someone's mind. The descent from sweet, innocent Janey to brutal xenophobic oligarch was a gradual one, it just felt faster because months and years passed in the space of pages and paragraphs.
-Can we talk about Candy 38? Because it's probably one of my favorite chapters in this stupid thing. Even putting Roxy's thoughts on her (...his? i have no idea which is correct in this scenario, i'm sorry) gender and sexuality and motherhood for a moment (which are amazing), it does something very interesting narratively.
See, throughout this entire path there's a pervasive feeling of wrongness hanging over the whole affair, and it's achieved in a number of ways. The (apparently) sudden shifts in personality and behavior from several characters, the consistent descriptions of events as unreal and insubstantial, the references and parallels to trickster mode, the sudden focus on family and domestic life in sharp contrast to the decaying relationships and political situation, the similarity to doomed timelines with John ignoring a temporal responsibility, Gamzee, etc. All these things function as blaring "THIS IS WRONG" alarm bells for an astute homestuck reader.
It doesn't take long for John, our main viewpoint character, to latch on to this sense of wrongness as well, and, as things deteriorate, come to the idea that this timeline has become a fake, hollow, decayed shadow of itself and what was supposed to be thanks to his choice all those years ago. And then, in Candy 38, Roxy comes in and flips that entire idea on its head, calling out the entire narrative he's come up with as just that; a narrative, based on comparisons to what reality "should" have been. It's almost like a double subversion of the symbolism; homestuck initially used the symbolism and imagery of Trickster Mode, of the stereotypical "everything is perfect" narrative, as signifiers of uncanny unreality, fake candy coating over a rotten core. But Roxy then points out that this idea of "wrongness" vs "rightness" is itself a constructed concept that doesn't truly matter to them. The chapter essentially argues that the concept of "things having a fakeness attribute" itself has a fakeness attribute. Which is really not a bad thesis for the entire Candy path, honestly.
And then the revelations of Meat add a whole other level of metatextual fuckery to the entire idea. How much of this sense of existential ickiness or wrongness was created by the narrative framing and descriptions, the selective editing of which parts to show and which to leave, the guiding authorial voice that we've seen can influence the thoughts of the characters it frames? I think Alt!Calliope says that Dirk has no metatextual influence over the Candy path, but it's still impossible to not think of metashenaniganry as you consider how the sensation of wrongness throughout the path is constructed, and what sort of agenda its construction may serve. It's sort of a clusterfuck to think about.
There are other thoughts to be had on this probably, but this took enough out of me as is. (The forum ate it once and I'm not a particularly fast writer).
Wow, the entirety of the Epilogues are out? That's a lot to read, so I think I'll do this liveblog style (like plainWonder and Blaperile, though not as thorough) Edit: I planned to do this all in one sitting but that was when I didn't realize just how long these Epilogues were, so I guess I'm gonna do like them and not read this thread until I finish, as much as it hurts me to post without reading the previous posts first:
Candy was definitely the right choice, John thinks
Interesting how the meat choice is in first person and the candy choice is in third person
Hmm... Let Gamzee out of his prison? I had considered the possibility that the candy route would be the one to spawn Calliope and Caliborn, but aside from ensuring that the events of canon happen properly, which has already been rejected, why would that be important?
Meat Page 2: So is the meat route not going to follow John then? Are the epilogues determined to stay supposedly "out of canon?"
Earth has a president, yet it's divided into kingdoms? Whatever, I'm just gonna roll with it. Also, knowing Jane's upbringing, is voting her in really the best idea? ... Ok, good they actually address that in the very next conversation.
Also a lot of humans are xenophobes? After thousands of years of living peacefully with other races? Then again, it was thousands of years of "separate but equal."
DAVE: jane has this reputation for being awesome at business but imo she actually just sucks
I still can't tell if the parallels between Jane and Trump are intentional or not.
Candy Page 2: Oh, right, I forgot he was going back for Gamzee for a second and was confused why he went back into "canon."
So... Gamzee comes out apologizing and saying he wants to redeem himself ... I'm not buying it. *Reads on.* Seriously, he's talking like a sociopath trying to manipulate people into caring for him right now.
Something feels different, but he can’t put his finger on it.
That's an ominous line to end the part on...
Meat Page 3: Never mind, we are going to follow John. What was the Dave & Karkat interlude all about then?
The fridge pops open and out roll Aranea and Gamzee. Gamzee honks and his codpiece jiggles ominously. Aranea staggers to her feet, looking rather pleased with herself.
I, uh, what? I have no words...
Well, that was short. I want to know what happened to Aranea when he removed the ring.
Candy Page 3: Another short one. I feel like these epilogues feel both too long and too short at the same time somehow.
As for the contents ... I'm not sure what's going on, is Dirk feeling the effects of canon coming undone or something?
Meat Page 4: Don't have much to say about this one other than being perhaps the most fun read out of all of the epilogues so far.
Candy Page 4: Interesting how this is in such a stark contrast to Dirk in the previous page, I wonder what it means.
I just discovered that Epilogue <number> on the contents page does not refer to page number, these epilogues are longer than I thought. That does make more sense, but I honestly wish they were uploaded in increments; having them all to read at once is rather daunting, especially coming at a time when I'm starting to try to manage my free time a bit better. Anyway, since I've already started Candy Epilogue 2, I'll finish the first two "Epilogues" for each path today and finish them later.
Meat Page 5 (Epilogue One): And back to Dave & Co. It makes more sense that it can have this side story no that I know it's not 8 pages long, but I still don't see how it is in any way relevant, and to be honest I'm not really emotionally invested in it at all; then again, I'm still not all that interested or invested in anything yet, which is probably part of why these epilogues feel like such a slog for me. Anyway...
DIRK: We’ve all had our fun here, but it’s easy to overlook the fact that civilization on Earth C is hardly a sustainable proposition.
DIRK: Just beneath the surface, it’s quite a dangerous and unstable place.
For all the qualms I have about the place, the fact that it's a civilization that's lasted far longer than any civilization in real life ever has kind of undermines this point.
Oh god, not more bad Homestuck rapping.
Dirk just stun-gunned Jake on live television. Ok then...
Candy Page 5 (Epilogue Two): Ok, so Jade never really learned social norms, fine, but why did she need to change her bra just then in the first place?
This is sounding more and more like fanfiction ... which I guess is part of the point, but still.
Meat Page 6 (Epilogue One): Er, did John gather them all in Universe B1 before the meteors? Isn't he worried about being noticed by his former self?
You wonder. Do you see these teen versions of your friends as “real”? Are you treating them, at Rose’s behest, as simple puppets? Doing your part to insist they fill friend-shaped recesses in an essential plan to stabilize all else that can be considered important, a distinction no longer applying to them? Do you care at all about whatever fate it may be that you are sentencing these children to? Are you becoming as complicit in the fatalistic evils of Paradox Space as Lord English himself? Are you becoming a monster, John Egbert?
I really like this paragraph. I don't have much to add, it's just interesting to think about.
ROSE: But if we don’t leave now, you’re afraid we never will?
Heh, calling back to the initial choice that started this epilogue.
Not gonna lie, though, this page felt like filler. Just showing what happened because we knew it had to happen and people would complain if this moment went unshown.
Candy Page 6 (Epilogue Two): I still don't get all the talk of economy in a post scarcity economy...
So it seems that the whole idea involves everyone getting the feeling that nothing they do matters anymore. I mean, ok, not canon and all that, but it's still the reality they exist in. There's no reason things should be less meaningful for them, even if their timeline or whatever you want to call it falls out of importance to "canon."
So Jake's being oblivious as usual, but seriously, Jane, you're allowed to explicitly tell him you're talking about him. If he can't take a hint, then don't give him a hint, give him a statement. Is that really so hard!?
Meat Page 7 (Epilogue One): This puts the whole dichotomy of their reactions in the candy route into perspective. They both are feeling the effects of merging into their ultimate self, and when John severed the reality from canon, they both lost that connection. Rose was having trouble coping with all this, so when it was severed, she felt relief, but Dirk was able to embrace and merge with this effect, so this severing left him feeling incomplete and broken. It also goes on to explain how he knew Dave would have Karkat run for president and that it's somehow "essential" for Jane and Karkat to run. I'm still baffled as to how, though.
Candy Page 7 (Epilogue Two): It's nice to see that John and I are on the same page about Gamzee at least.
And here I thought Gamzee's smelliness was just due to being trapped in a refrigerator for so long, but I guess it's just a character trait now.
Okay, Gamzee, here's the thing, if you truly want to redeem yourself, then you should learn to know when you shouldn't get involved...
Ok, I planned to get through both the "Epilogue Two"s, but I just don't have time for 12 more pages right now. Honestly, I don't really like how they set up these epilogues as pure text. It takes more time and effort to read, and while that's not necessarily a bad thing (I'm not dissing books for instance), in context it is. The problem is the matter of obligation. For me, whose reading these as they come out and regularly participates in these forums, I feel obligated to get through them as quickly as possible so I remain all caught up, even though this is an inconvenient time for me (they could have at least had spaced out updates, say, one Epilogue per week). And for a archival reader, they suddenly have a huge wall of text barring their completion of Homestuck once they reach the end. Though I should probably stop bemoaning the issue. I think the worst part is just the timing; I feel like lately the univese has been throwing everything it can at me to try to make me feel discontent with my life without actually causing any real problems, and this is just the latest example of that, so I'm feeling more frustration about this than I should be.
Oh, you're going through both at once huh? That's an interesting way to go about it.
Sorry to hear about what you're going through. I hope it doesn't ruin your experience of the epilogues Don't force yourself into something you don't really want to do, we'll be here waiting for as long as you need. (You know it's gonna take Blap and PW a while to get through all this...) It's not realistic for everyone to blaze through it in one night.
I did think of some stuff I might want to talk about. I'll probably do that later tonight. Just a little something, don't want to drop every single one of my thoughts at once. I'll stick to one subject.
The epilogue seems like a prologue or bait for more stories. I have this feeling we aren't done yet, especially not if Hiveswap decides to be a thing. Homestuck might just become a slow burn of big things like games and upd8s like this for a while and I'm okay with that as long as they're all as substantial as the epilogues.
Great read. I loved it. The implications are wild, like is the candy path world actually in the black hole? All the ghosts and everything fell through it.
Also Vriska and Terezi couldn't tell John was an adult. This leads me to believe trolls see humans like we see animals, they look the same generally. So when John changes, Terezi who can't see but definitely can sense faces doesn't notice he's older at first, and Vriska with vision eightfold also can't tell at first. So the Trolls are like Michael Scott with his Asian girlfriends.
What else... Roxy is walking in the ways of Dave as she becomes a boy. It makes sense Roxy is basically femdave more than even rose is, so when she becomes a boy his sprite changes to its gender swapped form, recoloured for the character. If Dave became a girl she'd walk in the ways of Roxy probably.
The battle against LE. I was listening to homestuck music as I read and the way it was written mixed with the tunes I could see such an epic battle happening. We've spent so long with the style and mechanics of the homestuck world that when the fight is described like that it's so much easier to grasp and they can do some WACKY shit with it, like John's hammer tornado.
The shit with the kids in the meat path, was tragic. I loved them and John saw them to be so young. It really recontextualized the events of homestuck, the kids were the most mature people there after the guardians died. Even the alpha trolls, the oldest during homestucks run, seem way immature to adult John. Its neat seeing what before were competent video game heroes redefined as scared and angsty kids makes Dave Jade and Rose just... losing like that so depressing for me. And John being depressed. Imagining the life of a guy like that, just this optimistic dork relentlessly beat on by every aspect of his universe is so sad. Meat path John became a hero and died a hero's death. Candy path John was really sad for me. What felt wrong to him was the loss of the retcon powers, the awareness that being one level above the webcomic brought him. Dirk felt that too but he could control it but when he learned John made the choice to stay in the irrelevant timeline he killed himself to become part of the Ultimate Self in the main timeline. Makes sense really, he's connected to ALL his selves intimately.
Also Davepetasprite is the oldest surviving character in terms of real world comic run. Dave from the original timeline became Davesprite after saving John. Then he became Davepeta. Then they knocked LE into the Candy path...
Where I guess John and co will fight him?
And can someone explain the ending with Davebot and Jade and Aradia? They're just going back into canon space through holes in the sky?
Oh and that brings me to, Obama. One of my favorite parts. One of. People say everyone was OOC but I felt they were natural extensions of their personalities. They just got older and had all experienced CRAZY TRAUMATING stuff and were now gods of a universe in their young twenties... they're trying ok?
Except Jane. And Jake. Hate them. But I dont think they were bad characters like poorly written, I think they were written to be hated and it worked. They suck but it makes sense for how they would have grown given the circumstances. I have no qualms with the characterization except maybe everyone was too horny? But at the same time they were the only viable romantic partners had no limits of parents or school or anything no rules and they're immortal and everything it makes sense everyone would be so horny but it was still jarring. Especially jade, but I think that was just the Bec part of her.
Oh yeah jade dog cock strongly implied. What a world we live in.
I was screaming about Harry Anderson. John having a kid and struggling to connect with him is tragic. And the Tavros/Vriska kids...
Highlights: Everything involving John. Him and Terezi getting together was especially cute and honestly I found myself enjoying it more than John x Roxy. That whole plot made me feel things besides anger.
What I hated the most: Dirk. Fuck Dirk. Dirk sucks. Also, the whole political subplot sucks. The entire Epilogue was overtly sexual, but the ENTIRE CONVERSATIONS about Jake's ass was too much, man.
Dirk made me uncomfortable throughout the entire thing. Mostly because he started his takeover discussing how nothing matters yada yada. That part made me uncomfortable existentially. But passed that it made me uncomfortable angry, because Dirk is such a fucking pretentious drama-queen.
Highlights: Best girl (Vriska) returns. Harry was cute. Confirmation that John is an absolute unit of pure beef was nice. People actually standing up to Jane for fucking once.
What I hated the most: Gamzee, Jane, Jake, that entire relationship, and the fact Hussie wrote them "raising" a child and actually got me to give a shit about fucking Tavros.
At least I can take solace in the fact that Dirk and Gamzee are fucking dead, even if we are gonna have to deal with an infinitely worse Dirk in the future. Also, the talk about gender and identity in this route was significantly mature for something like Homestuck, and I'm glad it was in there as a palate cleanser to the absolute fuckery of the rest of the route.
Meat Page 8 (Epilogue One) And so the "Masterpiece" begins. Not much more to say about it really, Caliborn's just being his usual self.
Candy Page 8 (Epilogue Two) Wouldn't it be a good thing if Jane put Kanaya in charge of Troll reproduction? Kanaya could act to help prevent Jane from enacting the various regulations she wants to do. Not that it matters in the Candy reality.
Ha! Swifer eggmop is canon now! ...Well, "canon" may not be the best word considering the circumstances, but you know what I mean.
So ... if the mother grub is only now ready to reproduce the natural way, and the government has not yet give them the go ahead, then why is she already in birthing juice and suffering the strain of birth? Why are there already eggs?
KANAYA: This Brood Has Been Utilizing A Slurry Consisting Of Genes From Our Original Group Of Twelve Trolls
Ah, so general troll public isn't contributing yet. But why did Swifer imply that she's seen troll birth before and thus there were successful batches before this?
There's something that bothers me about them adopting a near clone of Vriska, but I guess with the right upbringing, she might turn out okay.
Meat Page 9 (Epilogue Two) And another filler page, skimming over the events of the Masterpiece as we already know the just of what happens. But now we're into unknown territory; now we finally get to see what happens next.
Candy Page 9 (Epilogue Two)
JADE: arent you guys happy to get out of the house for once!!!
Well, that's certainly an amusing quote to start with considering I just read about the characters getting sucked into the house Juju in the other path.
Jade has a tail? Since when?
Seriously Jade, don't force people into a situation they don't want to be in. You're being the worst kind of IRL shipper, and that's putting it lightly. You call Dave immature, but you're acting immature too.
And that's all the reading time I have for today; hopefully I can finish the "Epilogue Two"s tomorrow.
I've started wondering about the "ultimate self" and how it might come to play or be seen retroactively in Homestuck. A potential thing the story might touch upon is Jack, the only non-player character with multiple selves painting a picture of a grander self. There's also the bunny to some extent, but it's been more item than actor, with exception of the Liv Tyler & Lil Sebastian incarnation.
Also, I've started wondering what, in Meat page 2, can be taken as indication that Dave & Jake have started growing towards that vague shape of an ultimate self. Jake's started sincerely enjoying the attention of the Earth C populace, it seems. Where he is more of a media celebrity, Grandpa was a celebrated entrepreneur. As for Dave, his social activism is of course influenced by his contact with trolls like Karkat with an outspoken idea on the matter. But his call to revolt reminds me of B2 Dave's, but implemented in a way that might please the Sufferer, if not Kankri too.
But anyway, are we going to follow Dave towards Dirk, or is the perspective going to switch back to John now, the first page in-canon? To recap, I believe he'll travel back to a moment in the Game Over timeline before Aranea killed anyone, and punch her. Or, he might punch either Jade or Jane, who at that time were mindcontrolled by Condesce.
"> JOHN: Zap." Oh hell yes.
"You zap back into canon. It’s been so long, you’d forgotten what it feels like. The atmosphere smacks unmistakably of... How can you describe it? Relevance? Legitimacy? Funny how you never would have thought to put it that way until you left." I love the smell of canon in the evening. It smells like... relevance?
"It takes you a moment to recognize where you are, even though Rose’s instructions were very specific. A place bright and gaudy and filled with the stench of teenage ennui." In other words, the Sburb session?
"It’s your old living room on the gold battleship, where you spent three years caught up in a lot of weird, furry romantic drama while learning to unlove everything you once held sacred." Oooh, so, is he going to spot his past self just before he disappeared, as he put his arm into the juju in his dream? If so, he might be in time to deny Aranea the ring even! (Also, I wonder if this is meant to be taken as that John came back from coming back on the fact he thought Con Air sucked or not. Fickle as the wind, that boy's opinions. ) Also, what did I spot there from the corner of my eye, a certain colour of pesterlog and a certain name in front... ::: Time for John to derail a derailment of the alpha timeline! And in doing so... lending it legitimacy? I mean, will the fact be brought up that John's original timeline was in fact a doomed timeline or not? The fact that he created a better future is irrelevant to some extent, the Aradiabots did the same. I mean, the juju is more potent than mere time travel, but still.
Also, now I think of the fact that the very thing Aranea set out to do : create a timeline that deprives Lord English's origin of legitimacy is in fact what John kind of went back to undo!
"The fridge pops open and out roll Aranea and Gamzee." Pffff, so he's literally going to nip her plan in the bud, right after she got her resurrection. What'll the ring end up being used for though, if it's not just going to stay on her finger like with Calliope?
"Gamzee honks" What else is new.
"Aranea staggers to her feet, looking rather pleased with herself. Until she notices you and gapes in bewilderment.
ARANEA: What are you doing here?!" That was not what she foresaw. Then again, did she really plan to take his ring KNOWING he would've disappeared?? That would mean she didn't know he received retcon powers, else it was kind of a gamble from the start!
"> Rose was perfectly clear about what to do next.
You make a fist, and sort of flinch and look away when you do it. No matter how many years you’ve spent living on a planet with absolute gender parity, this feels wrong. Still, you hit Aranea pretty fucking hard, underestimating your own strength just as badly as you did the last time you clobbered a hapless Serket. She goes flying back, hits the couch, and KOs instantly into a pile of Smuppets." I can picture this scene so clearly, since we have the circumstantial simultaneous scene to compare it, and yet I can't wait for the fan art.
"You then take her wrist in your hand, slide the ring off her finger, and" I wonder what this'll do! Finally we'll get confirmation on what removing the ring does, whether it just grants a fancy resurrection boon or the artefact needs to remain on the finger!
... I do wonder what Rose intended for John to do with the ring. ... Maybe they'll have post-retcon Game Over Roxy (R5 Roxy, since this is I believe the 5th retconned timeline John made) go to sleep and find Calliope, creating a different version of Calliope even though her ghost's in the dreambubbles and therefore outside this session's timeline?
"pocket it." Okay, so we won't see the effect instantly.
"> Isn’t there something you’re forgetting?" You turned your back on the body! the clown! the clown body!
"Gamzee stares up at you with his horrible, limpid eyes. There’s something serene, sinister, and sensual all at once about the look he’s laying on you." Is he... getting black feelings for John? ... Okay, Blap's theory is he's probably still looking quite stoner, still under Aranea's spell. That... actually doesn't make this any better.
"> Do everyone a favor and put an end to his preposterous narrative relevance." Uhhhhh... You canNOT put DOWN the CLOWN, John, everyone knows that. Also, killing? Not John's style. ... Will he just zap him into blankspace? Or captchalogue him, that'd be a laugh.
"You wisely decide that this clown will lend nothing valuable to the narrative whatsoever if he is allowed to remain outside of your childhood refrigerator." ... Ah. He's getting fridged again. Welp, you had your murderstuck episode three years hence Gamzee, that'll be all from you.
"You slam the fridge shut and resolve to never think about Gamzee Makara again." 'Put in the fridge' is the new 'put on a bus', then? ... I don't know how serious this is to be taken, I'm more leaning towards Chekov's Clown here.
"> Zap to the next plot point." Wow, okay, so... He... uhm, he doesn't stay here??? But... wait, okay, so, without Aranea, the whole session's still not going the same as the victory timeline. ... Wait, okay, Aranea wasn't "unalive" explicitly, just temporarily knocked out. The timeline could still continue as it was, Aranea pigheadidly going through with her plan. We saw it happen when he started rewriting the timeline in preparation for THE retcon, when Terezi smelled him in her house and after she found hints on the meteor towards it being Gamzee that killed Nepeta - the timeline would've just gone on as 'planned' if not for something major to change. The ring not being that, in this case, means Aranea will go to Derse, switch it for LOFAF... I wonder at what point, exactly, John will emerge to really derail the timeline. And what'll happen to that timeline's Condesce!
... Okay, admittedly, during the previous retcon, John first went back to the Reunion moment on his timeline before travelling further back and changing things...
Also, when you think about it, John just retconned a retconned timeline here, hahah.
Well, that's all for tonight - seeing as how the next page seems to be a whole lot longer again, it'd take too long to go through.
Let's see if my theory was correct that the next page will show John's first stop on his new journey... Let's see if he indeed ends up in the B2 session just prior to the events of [S] GAME OVER taking place or if there's some kind of psyche!
Yessss, we're indeed following John again!
"It takes you a moment to recognize where you are, even though Rose’s instructions were very specific. A place bright and gaudy and filled with the stench of teenage ennui." Well, that explains basically nothing.
"It’s your old living room on the gold battleship, where you spent three years caught up in a lot of weird, furry romantic drama while learning to unlove everything you once held sacred." Oh man, on the Prospitian Battleship!
Well, that's indeed on LOMAX like I theorized earlier, though not the exact spot I was imagining. I was imagining it would have been on a place featuring both John and Rose, when they'd all just met up on LOMAX.
Well, alright then. In that case, the question is: when is this taking place? Is this indeed around the time of [S] GAME OVER, or is it sometime earlier?
I mean, if for some reason he had to go back all the way to the 3-year trip, "punch her in the face" could still account for Jade or Nannasprite, but I highly doubt it.
Then that leaves indeed my original theory... Aranea! The question is, does he need to punch her HERE, or was the battleship just an anchoring point for John now to leave and go outside to LOMAX or something?
Because if John does have to punch her here... then it seems like this will be taking place IMMEDIATELY after Aranea just got turned back to life! So just prior to when she could set all her plans into motion, well, other than having Gamzee deliver the ring to her.
Which reminds me... Gamzee will be here too then! Oh man, but if John punches Aranea in the face HERE... then Aranea will lose her concentration and lose control over Gamzee right? Which would allow him to break free far earlier than he originally did... Oh dear.
"Years that, technically speaking, never even happened, now that you think of it. You have the very retcon powers that just brought you back here to thank for that." I was kind of confused what he meant here, but yeah, he's actually referring to his post-retcon self who never actually spent much time here. It doesn't really refer to himself of course, who did spend 3 years on that ship, with the pre-retcon version of Jade.
"You barely have time to take in the sick, nostalgic feeling that all the globes and Tangle Buddies and avant-garde mime art evokes. The fridge pops open and out roll Aranea and Gamzee. Gamzee honks and his codpiece jiggles ominously" OH SNAP, HERE THEY ARE!!!! It's indeed this EXACT moment!
Oh boy... where is this gonna go???
I mean, if John punches Aranea, then what? What does he need to do next? Simply go find his friends, round them up, and go after Lord English?
"Aranea staggers to her feet, looking rather pleased with herself. Until she notices you and gapes in bewilderment.
ARANEA: What are you doing here?!" And here we go!!! Right then and there this version of Aranea's plan falls completely into the water.
"You make a fist, and sort of flinch and look away when you do it. No matter how many years you’ve spent living on a planet with absolute gender parity, this feels wrong. Still, you hit Aranea pretty fucking hard, underestimating your own strength just as badly as you did the last time you clobbered a hapless Serket. She goes flying back, hits the couch, and KOs instantly into a pile of Smuppets." I love how this description makes it perfectly clear just what a normal Homestuck panel would be portraying right here. As in, the often reused image of someone punching someone else in the face, sending them sliding (Kanaya with Vriska, Vriska with Andrew, John with Vriska...)
"You then take her wrist in your hand, slide the ring off her finger" WHOA HOLD THE FUCK ON THERE.
John's REMOVING the Ring of Life from Aranea... this means we're instantly going to get an answer to the million dollar question everyone's been asking for a long time: what happens if the Ring of Life is removed from a person who was revived from the dead?
It was made deliberately unclear in the Game Over timeline whether removing the Ring of Life from Aranea would have sufficed for The Condesce to kill Aranea or not.
And we've never known if technically Calliope could be capable of removing the ring and staying alive.
So that's something we're probably gonna find out right now!!!
Also, I have a feeling that by the time John turns around to address Gamzee, the clown's already gone running.
Next question to ask by the way: what will John do with the Ring of Life? It's not gonna be used for Aranea NOR for Calliope this time around, so who will it belong to now? Did Rose have a plan for that?
"> Isn’t there something you’re forgetting?" GAMZEE FUCKING MAKARA. DON'T TURN YOUR BACK ON HIM.
"Gamzee stares up at you with his horrible, limpid eyes. There’s something serene, sinister, and sensual all at once about the look he’s laying on you" Phew, he hasn't gone running yet!
But... huh? So he hasn't snapped out of the mindcontrol yet?
Also, yeah, I can imagine exactly what look he's making right now, the one he continuously made while under mind control.
"Do everyone a favor and put an end to his preposterous narrative relevance." UUUUUUUUUUUHHHHHMMMMM
You're not going to do what I think you're gonna do, right? You're not gonna try killing him, right? This is going to fail spectacularly, right?
"You wisely decide that this clown will lend nothing valuable to the narrative whatsoever if he is allowed to remain outside of your childhood refrigerator." Pffff, okay. So he decided to do the same thing that Vriska did to him in the post-retcon timeline.
"He goes easily, issuing only a pair of weak honks in protest. You slam the fridge shut and resolve to never think about Gamzee Makara again." ...Really? That's gonna be the last of him?
I...I'm not even sure. They kind of did that exact thing in the post-retcon timeline, but the question is if that's gonna work this time.
"> Zap to the next plot point." Wait whaaaaat? So John's not staying here in this moment?
Where the hell is he off to next? This is kind of like Terezi's retcon quest for John all over again.
Okay, I really got no clue where John's going next. But it seems like all he truly needed from this timeframe was the Ring of Life!
I do wonder if we're at some point gonna go back to this new retconned timeline however. Does John perhaps need to change some other factors about the original pre-retconned timeline?
But wow, that was the end of this page! This was a short one.
I bet that next page we'll be back to stuff happening on Earth C? Kind of like how during John's retcon quest with Terezi we also kept switching to stuff in the Dreambubbles.
I wonder if we're gonna continue with Karkat's run for presidency, or if we're gonna get a look at someone else now.
Yes, that's the first thing I want to blab about after reading the Epilogue! > Some of you may know I have been insisting Lord English's final defeat has been in some way accounted for by him or planned out on his part, as denoted by my "Caliborn Wins" flag. But even then I couldn't say exactly how. But now I think the pieces are in place.
Step 1: The Acceptance
To me it's not entirely unreasonable to assume that, just as Caliborn saw his battle against the B2 kids in one of his canon monitors, he surely must have seen how he would eventually go down as Lord English. The difference?
Caliborn refused to acknowledge it.
He didn't make mention of it and pretended it didn't exist. I suspect throughout his very long life, English tried to find a way to subvert this lethal prophecy. But he couldn't change his future without putting his entire past in jeapordy. His fall from grace was a circumstantially simultaneous event with his rise to power. In other words, it was impossible. Probably even powering himself further with stuff like the Green Sun proved futile. That probably pissed him off a lot, but [an indeterminably long amount of time] is plenty of time for even an emotionally stunted cherub to mature somewhat. And maybe learn to look at...
Step 2: The Silver Lining
Even after the epilogue I couldn't help but think he still went down a little easy. And in fairness, I do think if he really wanted he probably could have used a lot more tricks than just a mouth beam. Like, you know, time traveling at all? Plus something like that weird attack he used on Davepeta.
That aside though, there really is something to be said about the full stakes and consequences of taking him down once and for all. Namely, when you get right down to it, the destruction of Paradox Space itself? Which is basically as much as Lord English would have ever wanted to do anyway, so. That's quite a bargain for death And of course making sure everyone foolish enough to step up to challenge him doesn't walk away alive.
But to get to the real meat of this theory, there's a whole extra element even beyond merely the destruction of everything we've ever known.
Step 3: Calliope
When English is thrown into the black hole, it puts him in the position to finally be defeated by an alternate version of his own other half. There's reason to think English probably had some idea she was behind this. Such as it being explicitly mentioned he was out there, looking for her specifically, probably trying to blow her away before she could do what she was gonna do, as a final act of defiance.
Of course I like to look at it a little differently, because of course I do. For some reason I'm comfortable imagining Calliope, or at least his other self, is something of a huge blind spot to him, in sort of the same way Andrew is to Doc Scratch. Maybe because he's an alternate version of his other self, maybe because she's too "insignificant" for him to notice. Maybe because she spends most of her time in doomed timelines, distant dream bubbles, and locations outside canon. There's something I like about, for as all-knowing as I otherwise view him, he never saw her coming at all, probably not until he fell through to the other side.
Either way though, the part she plays may be the most important of all, because...
Step 4: Another Predomination
Whatever happens at the final stage of the battle, it ends with Calliope victorious and, uh... devouring English. Body and soul. So in addition to no doubt gaining his invincibility enchantment from this, she probably absorbs his soul in much the same way he once absorbed the souls of ARquius and 1/2gamzee. Almost exactly the same way, I'd say. And I guess that's about that, but I am left wondering one more question.
Does Lord English accept this?
As I posited earlier, he's had time to make peace with his death, whether or not he saw Calliope's involvement, and whether he saw something in taking as many others with him as he possibly could. There's other factors too, such as Caliborn demonstrating a feeling of missing Calliope during Homosuck and, as I've theorized in the past, creating Doc Scratch as a warped sort of replacement for her. It's possible at the end he could loop around to finally, as our Calliope once said, seeing the bright side in a predomination, being able to "live on" in a way by allowing his personality to merge with hers, and create a being that is a little of both. And then getting to contribute to something important and significant in whatever it is the Calliope who predominates him chooses to do.
Or who knows, maybe he really never changes and he utterly despises the idea of being conquered in this way. And in that sense it's sort of his final comeuppance. An inescapable fate he saw coming all his life with no way out, rife with every indignity he could imagine. Maybe that's the only way to stick it to such an incredible douche.
Though as usual I like to look at it another way, and all of that is how I finally came to believe...
How Lord English Wins
(Also, it's funny to imagine maybe for a while there's an echo of his consciousness in her mind, sassing her up all the time. I'm sure he had no idea Dirk would turn out how he does, but I'm just as sure he feels nothing but an intense sense of pride. He knew that little human had it in him. Probably the very same one who taught him the ways of being a strong, ambitious man to begin with. But I digress.)
Okay that's enough for tonight. Maybe a more relevant thing next time.
I read that as as "4 human dads with 4 human dicks" and did a double take for a second.
JOHN: i mean... would that be an okay thing to ask her?
JOHN: that seems kinda... i dunno, dopey?
Not as dopy as your ectomother, who literally can't seem to be direct about romance in the slightest.
I'm starting to think these epilogues are deliberately avoiding making or confirming any change in relationship status between people aside from what's already been established. Playing it safe, but perhaps a bit too safe considering relationships seem to be the entire focus of the Candy route and we've still got over 30 pages to go...
Meat Page 11: It's interesting how some things end up paralleling each other when reading both routes simultaniously, for instance, John Was just discussing things with Terezi in the Candy page I just read, and now in this Meat page he's reminiscing about discussing things with Terezi. I wonder if that's intentional. Also, John and Terezi really do make good friends.
I wonder how long they'll have to wait in the Juju. Judging by the battle going on outside, things seem to be advancing in real time, so they'll at least have to stay stuck in there through the events we see, but how long will they have to wait between the Masterpiece and Vriska finding the treasure?
Candy Page 11: I'm not sure what I think of the whole idea about a Dave-Karkat-Jade threesome. Had I been asked before starting the epilogues I might have been okay with it (I'm mostly over the poor handling of Dave and Karkat's sudden relationship in Act 6), but after the disaster of last time the three interacted, it really didn't seem like there was any sort of romantic spark there, just Jade trying to manipulate the others into a situation they didn't want. According to the conversation on this page, Dave seems to think he might have feelings for them, but he certainly doesn't seem like it, and even he can can't bring himself to say for certain that he does. I'm also not sure what to think about John deeming their relationship non-canonical. Does canon somehow require them not to get together or does this simply mean canon isn't able to specify whether they do or don't. Besides, at this point into the Candy route, does what they consider to be "canon" even matter?
You know what? I think I'll stop here. I'll finish the "Epilogue Two"s tomorrow.
Okay, so I wouldn't be surprised if we're going back to Earth C now. I do wonder however who we're gonna see this time.
Are the events on Earth C all going to be told from the context of the plotline of Karkat and Jane running for president, or are we going to see other stories taking place?
If it's the former, the question is also if we're continuously going to see this from the perspective of either Dave or Karkat (though with third person narration), or if we're gonna see scenes without them as well.
I could see it happening that we focus on Dave and him trying to convince everyone personally to vote for Karkat.
But we'll see.
"You arrive in the Land of Heat and Clockwork in a flash of white." Holy shit! Looks like we're continuing with John after all! Didn't expect that.
Huh, so he went to LOHAC?? What does he need to do there? And WHEN is this?
...Could it be the same moment he's zapped to a bunch of times before, the one where Dave was talking to Grimbark Jade? At that moment they were making Caledfwlch, a weapon supposed to deal great damage to Lord English, but that we never actually got to see him use (except for against B2 Jack).
Perhaps that's why he's here? If so, is he just here for the sword (like how in his previous zap he apparently came for just the Ring of Life), or also for Dave (and/or Jade??)?
Jade could definitely pose an issue here considering she's still under mindcontrol. Another person to knock out cold? xD
Assuming this is indeed the moment he came back to.
"A column of brutally hot air blasts up from the lava below and instantly hits your entire body. Luckily, you’re fairly immortal, so the only damage it does is to fog up your glasses a bit." Pfff, nothing special here, moving right along.
"Through the condensation you can make out the shapes of Dave and Jade below, as well as two more of you hovering in the air above. Both Johns turn to look at you." PFFFFF, YEP, HERE WE ARE. This is completely preposterous.
"On the ground, Dave is talking in a particular cadence, one that is familiar to you, his longtime best buddy. Casual, wandering, verging on droning. It’s a good indication he’ll be monologuing for a while, and probably already has been." Yup, that's indeed just like Dave. And also exactly what he was doing at that moment, monologuing at Jade, haha. Good times.
The question is, is John supposed to interrupt the conversation? Like he did in his original retcon (but retconned later again by revisiting the moment once more which allowed the conversation to continue)?
"DAVE: its a god damn no brainer...
DAVE: thats what...
DAVE: you do..." YUP. IT'S HAPPENING AGAIN. JOHN'S FUCKING THE CONVERSATION UP AGAIN.
"DAVE: karate. john what the fuck are you doing here
DAVE: or... wait
DAVE: actually three johns
DAVE: hey three johns what the fuck are three johns doing here" Ahahahaha, oh Dave. I love how he sounds so deadpan at the notion of 3 versions of John standing in front of him.
I wonder if we're even gonna see the other Johns talking (time for another "(JOHN)"?) or if it will just be "our" John doing the talking.
And uh... what is Grimbark Jade gonna do here? I believe that last time she was mostly also going along with the weird feeling of how the conversation was interrupted but didn't actually try to catch John, let's see what she does this time.
"It’s a fair question, which logically should have been directed to the oldest and most knowledgeable John. Nevertheless, one of the younger Johns replies first." Ohhh, well there we go! Hahaha, I wasn't hoping it would actually happen, and definitely didn't expect one of those Johns to be answering first.
Is he gonna say the same stuff John originally said when interrupting the conversation?
"(JOHN 1): er.
(JOHN 1): i don’t know." Ohhhh, that's a good idea to differentiate them with not just the brackets but with numbers too! Hehe, it reminds me of the good old memos when a number would also be used to differentiate multiple past/future versions of the same person.
"JOHN 3: john, don’t worry about it. i’ll take things from here." Well, okay that might have been the only dialogue for the other Johns then.
It reminds me of when John took over from his other self on LOPAN... which I still wonder if we're ever gonna see that guy again.
"DAVE: johns dont get me wrong its cool that you all randomly dropped by again but this wasnt really the best time" I really like this consistency in retreading the same dialogue as from the original retcon. It makes sense Dave would be saying this stuff again.
"(JOHN 1): whoops. sorry.
(JOHN 2): uh... actually, i only came here to swoop in and zap this john away without being seen, to retcon away the mess i made earlier.
(JOHN 2): i didn’t expect to see another john here.
JOHN 3: hey, other john, i said i’ll handle it!
JOHN 3: i’m the only one who actually knows what’s going on here.
DAVE: god damn it johns what the fuck did you do"" Ahahahaha, the PERFECT mess. I love this exchange.
But yeah, I do wonder how John 3 is gonna explain what he's doing here... and hearing just WHAT he's here for, of course.
"JOHN 3: young dave, please.
JOHN 3: let me deal with the johns first, then i’ll explain.
DAVE: young dave???" I know it's just supposed to mean Dave's so confused right now, but I can't help but interpreting it like "who the fuck are you calling young here???". XD
But uh... how's John 3 gonna deal with the other Johns? Just simply zap them away like John 2 was planning on doing with John 1?
DAVE: yeah why are you a fucking adult now" Nice, at least someone notices the difference between 16-year old John and 23-year old John. xD
"DAVE: did you grow up and start time traveling dude" Hehehe, while the conversation's obviously been derailed now from the original retcon, I like how this still ties into Dave accusing John of having timetravelled.
"JADE: will someone tell me what the fuck is happening?" I think that this point it practically doesn't even concern you anymore, Jade. Maybe John's just gonna zap you away.
"JOHN 3: johns, there’s no reason for you to hang around anymore.
JOHN 3: not to sound like a wet blanket, but the things you’re trying to accomplish are now useless, so you can just zap away and do whatever you want.
(JOHN 1): ummm...
(JOHN 2): useless?? wait." Eeeesh. Yeah, John's always been pretty rough to his other versions. Looks like that's still a thing.
"JOHN 3: i’m sure you can still go and do what i did when i originally did what you’re currently trying to do...
DAVE: jesus john" Perfect description right there, John. Totally doesn't sound like you fucked anything up. xD
But yeah, what the fuck's happened (or will happen) to all these other Retcon Johns that John has disposed of? Is that ever gonna be brought up again?
"JOHN 3: in fact, it will still probably be a very rewarding experience!
JOHN 3: some of my best memories happened right after you do what you’re about to do next." N'awww. Of course. If John 2 zaps John 1 away, that should be to where he first met Roxy!
"JOHN 3: the point is, you should just go do it, so that you aren’t here anymore." Aaaaaand way to turn this cute moment into another jerk move, John.
"JOHN 3: i’m here to make sure some new and different important things happen, and those things don’t include you.
(JOHN 1): oh...
(JOHN 2): ...ok.
The useless Johns zap away. You sincerely hope that they have a beautiful and fulfilling youth." Pffff, even Grimbark Jade has doubts about the way John treats his other selves. xD
"DAVE: adult john what the fuck have you done
DAVE: is this some time travel shit
DAVE: please dont tell me youve been spending the next however many years bungling through time like this because tbh if what i just witnessed was even remotely indicative of shit you get up to on a recurring basis then your future is almost too embarrassing to even think about
DAVE: and this is coming from a teenager who was just in the middle of an angsty episode" Ahahahaha, oh Dave. If only it were that simple.
"JOHN: i’m not time traveling, and neither were the other johns.
JOHN: i used my retcon abilities to travel here from the future, in a manner of speaking.
DAVE: sounds fuckin stupid
JOHN: it is stupid. but that’s just how things are." Hahaha, kind of makes it sound exactly like time travelling. xD
"JADE: im a little confused
JADE: im supposed to be hunting you down and capturing you... but im not sure if the adult version of you counts?" To be honest, I think the Condesce would be both pleased and frustrated at the same time if you brought this John in.
"JADE: i think the condesce might just be... confused if i brought her an adult john?" And that too, probably. xD
"JOHN: no, you don’t need to capture me, and you wouldn’t be able to even if you wanted to, since my existence literally transcends the confines of canon.
JADE: i guess that simplifies things then?" Heh, guess she didn't fully grasp the nature of his zapping before? Because that didn't stop her earlier from trying to capture him.
"JADE: in that case, would you mind giving me and dave a few minutes to wrap up our conversation?" Pfff, Jade's sure got her priorities straight. xD
Hahaha, so the conversation's gonna get brought back on the rails after all?
"JOHN: no, you really weren’t.
JOHN: sorry to be the bearer of lame news, like i just was to the other johns.
JOHN: but whatever you were doing doesn’t matter anymore.
JOHN: nothing that’s happening here matters at all." Jegus, John. So much for subtlety.
"JOHN: this session, this whole takeover by the condesce... this isn’t how a universe gets made.
JADE: its not? Spoiler alert for Jade. xD
"DAVE: if its all a done deal like preemptively speaking
DAVE: can we all just relax or what
JOHN: no." Oh man, here we come. What IS John actually here for? Is this the version of Dave and/or Jade he's supposed to recruit, or is he just here for Caledfwlch?
"JOHN: ah! i just realized why she sent me to this point in time to start recruiting you all." OH SNAP, he's actually here to recruit them! ALL of them!
But uh... how's Jade gonna react to this? I mean, she's still Grimbark after all. Is she just gonna let it happen? And what about mindcontrolled Jane?
Also uh... they need to retrieve Dirk all the way from the Furthest Ring.
And are they just gonna leave Karkat, Terezi and Kanaya behind like that in this timeline? :/
"Dave’s eyebrows descend beneath his sunglasses. You feel pretty bad because you’re about to completely circumvent the life-changing epiphany he’s just had that you know for a fact will make him a happier, chiller, and altogether more well-balanced human being." Yikes... yeah. I mean, a lot of them are in a pretty fucked up state here, not just Dave. Rose was still recovering from the alcohol, Jade's standing right here and under mind control, Jane's under mind control as well, and Jake just got the living daylight scared out of him by Jane. Only Roxy and Dirk should be relatively fine at this point in time (though Dirk, like I said earlier, would need to be retrieved from the Furthest Ring).
Hmm... I'm very curious what Jade's reaction is gonna be here though. I mean, it WAS the Condesce's goal to take on Lord English, and that's also what Jade was trying to convince Dave to do here. So is she gonna accept that they go take on Lord English now, if it means abandoning the Condesce's plans?
JADE: john. he is NOT going to fight lord english just yet
JADE: he is staying right here
JADE: old ladys orders " Haha, nice! She's not letting it happen that easily.
"JOHN: actually, yes he is. What's he gonna do? Propose a really good argument, or bring his fist to her face?
"JOHN: and so are you. we all are.
JADE: how dare you??" Insert Jane here, saying: "First of all, you've got some nerve!" xD
"JOHN: jade, you’re brainwashed.
JOHN: sorry. but nothing you’re saying now means anything.
JOHN: it’s fine though, you’ll stop being brainwashed once i zap you outside the influence of the condesce.
JADE: youre not zapping me anywhere!!!!!
JOHN: ha ha, yes i am." Oooooh, that's actually a really good plan of John! Oh man, where is he gonna zap her (possibly together with Dave) to??? To blank space? To the past? To the (alternate, retconned) future?
"> Zap Grimbark Jade outta there." Looks like he's just zapping Jade for now! First another brief one-on-one with Dave before they join together again?
Oh boy... and if their next stop is Rose, and John brings them all together... that would be a really special moment! If I'm not mistaken, the only time we ever saw all the B1 Kids together, without anyone being asleep or under mind control, was on the lilypad platform just prior to Act 7.
This would be the first time we actually see a conversation between the four of them at once!
"You set a hand on Jade’s shoulder and zap her off to a better place." Welp, we're not gonna find out where he zapped her to just yet!
"hen you touch down on the concrete surface where the whole pointless confrontation was taking place so that you can talk Dave around whatever it is he’s going through right now. Dave, like his ecto-sister, really needs to get in an absurd amount of extraneous words before he can fully process a situation." Ehehehe, yup, that's Dave alright. I'm pretty curious what this conversation is gonna be like.
"The Mayor tips his head at you and fiddles with his sash. God damn, you missed the Mayor." Yay for appearance of WV!
Considering that WV was indeed present at this scene with Dave and Jade it made sense, I hadn't been hoping for it however considering that he wasn't on the character list. So I'm pleasantly surprised! No matter how small this appearance is.
"DAVE: so what do we do next
JOHN: well, i’ll leave you to hang out with jade for a bit, while i go round up the others." Aha, okay then. Looks like John will be bringing not just Rose but the other B2 Kids all at the same time. Would still be very special to see all 8 of them talking all at once though!
I wonder if we're gonna see Dave and Jade's conversation now? Probably not.
"DAVE: what others... like
JOHN: yes. rose, and the other four.
DAVE: i see" Errr, oh man. I just realized how awkward that's going to be though. These guys haven't even met their guardians yet in their kids form, so that conversation's not going to be very smooth, to say thet least.
And... Roxy probably won't know who John is either. That's going to be really painful for John.
Let's hope for John that at least John 1's visit has already taken place by the time he rounds Roxy up.
"DAVE: and we are actually successful here like we overthrow the condesce and make a universe and everything
DAVE: and then
DAVE: we..." Yeah... what's even in store for these guys? Let's say they go to Caliborn, get sucked up, and later end up in the Furthest Ring. What will happen to them after they hypothetically manage to defeat Lord English? I don't think they're just gonna be dropped back to this moment to go on with the timeline like it was, right?
"DAVE: which uh
DAVE: i guess begs the question
DAVE: if it seemed pointless at the time and nobody could be assed to go fight him when we all had our shit together
DAVE: why does it suddenly become important to go back and beat him years later after we become a bunch of lazy adults with boring lives" I was wondering when he was gonna bring that up.
"JOHN: i pretty much had the same questions, dave.
JOHN: there are probably some pretty good answers to that. definitely some complicated answers.
JOHN: but to be honest... i kind of forget what they actually were?
DAVE: god damn it john" Pfffahahaha, OH JOHN. PERFECTION. Perhaps this version of Rose will understand it well enough to give a proper answer to that.
"JOHN: it has something to do with canon unraveling, and such.
JOHN: we all live outside canon in the future, and if we don’t do go do this, everything will stop meaning anything.
DAVE: anything you just said actually mean anything in the first place
JOHN: that’s a great question, dave." Ah Dave, always the one to say the things other people won't. I feel you, Dave. I feel you. xD
"JOHN: but is it less of a bullshit reason than any other reason we currently have to go fight him?
DAVE: youre right
DAVE: i dont know how you did it but you somehow instantly sold me completely
DAVE: fuck you adult egbert" Young Dave can't hope to beat John in an adult off. He is simply the most adult there is.
JOHN: still got it. " D'awww.
"You zap Dave off to where he needs to go. The Mayor is still staring at you, blinking his buggy little eyes. You shoot him a warm smile and a thumbs-up before bouncing off into the ether of infinity." D'AWWWW. Too bad WV can't come along on this journey. But it was nice that the Epilogue is at least acknowledging he was there and giving him this short cameo.
I'm pretty curious what the reaction of the fandom is to these developments! I know there were plenty of complaints back in the day of the original retcon about people feeling sad over how the pre-retcon versions weren't relevant amyore, I wonder how those people feel about these pre-retcon versions now coming up again to join John on this adventure.
So, is John going to zap to the next plot point now, or will it switch back to Earth C?
I wonder, if it's the latter, whether we might see something from an antagonist, or a less important character, like Jack Noir or GCATavrosprite. And if the former, I wonder if John will venture further into (a retconned version of) the Game Over timeline, or not?
"You arrive in the Land of Heat and Clockwork in a flash of white." OOOoooh, LOHAC! Will he visit Dave - well, presumably yes. But will he revisit the moment he zapped back to, when he came to ask for help regarding his retcon powers?
... I kind of like Blaperile's idea better, that he revisits the point in time he disrupted before, the conversation between Dave & Jade, but which he afterwards retconned again, sending himself to go find Roxy? ... Wait, it was never really explained where that John that bapped himself on the head came from, I swear, if this is (out-of-comic) retconned as having been this 23-year-old John... Okay, I might have forgotten if Rx John had already gone back. ... Okay yeah, it already happened. Page 8333 vs 9047 of Homestuck. Anyway...
Hmm, GO Dave never used the eggsword much in the end (Caledfwlch), as he went after Jade's body and tied to a critical devilbeast combo. But I don't think John'll take it?
"Through the condensation you can make out the shapes of Dave and Jade below, as well as two more of you hovering in the air above. Both Johns turn to look at you." PFfffffff, of course he draws his other selves attention. Why would it resolve so cleanly as they zapping away in the background. Dave had a fit before when he saw one, but now, if he'll acknowledge all three...
"On the ground, Dave is talking in a particular cadence, one that is familiar to you, his longtime best buddy. Casual, wandering, verging on droning. It’s a good indication he’ll be monologuing for a while, and probably already has been." Yeah, GO Dave was summing up all the reasons he didn't particularly want to do anything about LE. Retconned Dave just thought he should fulfill the prophecy to get it over with, but that's about the end of his commitment in the matter too. Only Davepetasprite^2 really felt like going up against LE. Will Caledfwlch make it into their hands?
"DAVE: thats what...DAVE: you do...DAVE: with..." Awesome, he even gets trailed off at exactly the same moment in his monologue.
"DAVE: karate. john what the fuck are you doing hereDAVE: or... waitDAVE: actually three johnsDAVE: hey three johns what the fuck are three johns doing here" Dave is so whatever about this, it's hilarious. Then again, he's been all around LOHACSE thrice in a single day, he's got some experience in the matter of walking around alt time selves.
Also, I wonder if Dave (and Jade) will notice he's an older version of John. If not, his god tier powers probably keep him youthful, like Superman.
"It’s a fair question, which logically should have been directed to the oldest and most knowledgeable John. Nevertheless, one of the younger Johns replies first." Pfff, the second oldest one then? The one that came back here with a semblance of purpose, not randomly zapping through canon? Plus, if Dave wouldn't notice a difference between the Johns, neither would the younger ones.
"(JOHN 1): er.(JOHN 1): i don’t know." Ooooh! Cool, not just are they parenthesed, the Johns are now also numbered! Yeah, we wouldn't want them to just all be named John, that'd be insane and probably what Jade went through with PCG & FCG from her end (aka two ?CG's).
"JOHN 3: john, don’t worry about it. i’ll take things from here.DAVE: johns dont get me wrong its cool that you all randomly dropped by again but this wasnt really the best time" Hah, yeah John, try and get that semblance of knowing what you're doing back, like you acted out on LOPAN against your past selves. I'm actually interested to see whether he will be as dismissive towards his other selves as back then. Right, this is the second time Dave saw John, after the time he dropped in when Dave was looking at his old photographs.
"DAVE: we were kind of in the middle of a thing here(JOHN 1): whoops. sorry.(JOHN 2): uh... actually, i only came here to swoop in and zap this john away without being seen, to retcon away the mess i made earlier.(JOHN 2): i didn’t expect to see another john here.
JOHN 3: hey, other john, i said i’ll handle it!
JOHN 3: i’m the only one who actually knows what’s going on here.DAVE: god damn it johns what the fuck did you do" John 1 fucked it up, John 2 would've fixed things but then John 3 came back and fucked up some more. It's like the goddamned Primer movie all over again.
"JOHN 3: young dave, please.
JOHN 3: let me deal with the johns first, then i’ll explain.DAVE: young dave???" Why did that make me think of WV's polite commands. "Sir John" and all that. I think the other Johns will be able to get resolved easily enough, one zapping the other away to bop him in the head, both confused over the mess they left behind.
"DAVE: ohDAVE: yeah why are you a fucking adult now" OOOOOOh, nice! Okay, even though it'll be all shades of awkward, I really like the age difference isn't getting skimmed over.
"DAVE: did you grow up and start time traveling dude" Take that, reverse it.
"JADE: will someone tell me what the fuck is happening?" Oh right, Grimbark Jade's text colour thingy!
"JOHN 3: johns, there’s no reason for you to hang around anymore.
JOHN 3: not to sound like a wet blanket, but the things you’re trying to accomplish are now useless, so you can just zap away and do whatever you want.(JOHN 1): ummm...(JOHN 2): useless?? wait." Harsh much, John. Also, just cause they won't/aren't you, they can just go become you, or whatever how you want to put it.
"JOHN 3: ok, maybe i shouldn’t have said that.
JOHN 3: i’m sure you can still go and do what i did when i originally did what you’re currently trying to do...DAVE: jesus john" Dave's inner time logistician is crying. John's retcon powers are so OP, he doesn't have to take any care in keeping time loops going if he doesn't want to. But that'd just result in copies of him flying around, so he'd best to just send them on their way, hopefully never to run into them again.
JOHN 3: in fact, it will still probably be a very rewarding experience!
JOHN 3: some of my best memories happened right after you do what you’re about to do next." I was thinking of the meet-up with his friends in general, but yeah, it's probably mostly about meeting Roxy, which is the closest thing to happen to (John 1)'s point in time.
"JOHN 3: the point is, you should just go do it, so that you aren’t here anymore." Savage.
"JOHN 3: i’m here to make sure some new and different important things happen, and those things don’t include you.
JADE: (JOHN 1): oh...(JOHN 2): ...ok.
The useless Johns zap away. You sincerely hope that they have a beautiful and fulfilling youth." ... That's not what your mouth ended up conveying there, John. Nor your thoughts, I mean, "useless", dear god man, have some alt self respect.
"DAVE: adult john what the fuck have you doneDAVE: is this some time travel shitDAVE: please dont tell me youve been spending the next however many years bungling through time like this because tbh if what i just witnessed was even remotely indicative of shit you get up to on a recurring basis then your future is almost too embarrassing to even think aboutDAVE: and this is coming from a teenager who was just in the middle of an angsty episode" Self aware Dave tirades are still the best.
"JOHN: i used my retcon abilities to travel here from the future, in a manner of speaking.DAVE: sounds fuckin stupidJOHN: it is stupid. but that’s just how things are." Glad they can agree to agree on that very valid assessment.
"JADE: im a little confused
JADE: im supposed to be hunting you down and capturing you... but im not sure if the adult version of you counts?
JADE: i think the condesce might just be... confused if i brought her an adult john?" Oooh, is this conflicting with her "programming" some how? Doggy Jade is confused, that's actually intruiging that she's given pause.
"JOHN: no, you don’t need to capture me, and you wouldn’t be able to even if you wanted to, since my existence literally transcends the confines of canon.
JADE: i guess that simplifies things then?" John bullshitting his way to victory over people smarter than him, it remains a sight to behold.
JADE: in that case, would you mind giving me and dave a few minutes to wrap up our conversation?" XD Lol, wut?? Hahahah, Paradox Space really can only handle so much derailment to a timeline. At some point it just throws up it's arms and goes "leave me be, for five minutes, I was busy here!"
"JADE: we were sort of in the middle of something important... i thinkJOHN: no, you really weren’t.JOHN: sorry to be the bearer of lame news, like i just was to the other johns.JOHN: but whatever you were doing doesn’t matter anymore.JOHN: nothing that’s happening here matters at all.JOHN: this session, this whole takeover by the condesce... this isn’t how a universe gets made.
JADE: its not?JOHN: no." Sorry to break it to ya, but you're in a doomed timeline.
"DAVE: so what nowDAVE: if its all a done deal like preemptively speakingDAVE: can we all just relax or whatJOHN: actually...JOHN: no." Okay... So, what, can he just recruit these guys off and zap off with them to the next plot point? Won't something have to be done about the grimbarkness first? Also, if the next plot point is in the same timeline... Game Over really gets derailed. No Jade, no swapping Derse for LOFAF.
"DAVE: fuckJOHN: ah! i just realized why she sent me to this point in time to start recruiting you all.DAVE: whatDAVE: who" Rose, but not your Rose, although perhaps with the memories of that Rose, so kinda your Rose. Okay, so it's not that Rose's letter gave more detailed instructions than to zap there & recruit. So John'll have to figure out what to bring besides the people, in some cases at least. Like, here that would be Caledfwlch.
"JOHN: this is the moment just after you made your legendary cue ball sword.JOHN: you’re going to need it.DAVE: for whatJOHN: to come fight lord english with me.
Dave’s eyebrows descend beneath his sunglasses. You feel pretty bad because you’re about to completely circumvent the life-changing epiphany he’s just had that you know for a fact will make him a happier, chiller, and altogether more well-balanced human being." :/ Yeah, Dave really was happier cheating his way out of the prophecy. But then, he could only become so happy if someone else took care of the REAL Lord English for him. Guess another Dave'll have to bite the dust for "alpha" Dave again. Then again, epiphany or not, GO Dave might have ended up happy... but then he'd have been a happy ghost, for just as long until LE or the black hole got to him.
Still, man, I'm feeling for the guy. It's one thing to reject the call when it's an abstract prophecy or artefact thrust on you. But now it's his best friend asking him to join him in a crazy last stand. That's... actually one of the toughest challenges any Dave has had.
"DAVE: oh shit" ... Best underwhelming response he could have.
JADE: john. he is NOT going to fight lord english just yet
JADE: he is staying right here
JADE: old ladys orders :PJOHN: actually, yes he is." I'm sensing a showdown coming, but I wonder how swift John will take care of her, can his mangrist trump First Guardian swiftness? Oh, yeah, and he could turn into the Breeze too, I recall. Yeah, Jade's gonna bite the dust.
"JOHN: and so are you. we all are." Oooooh, okay, he wants everyone from the GO timeline to take a swing. Cool that he's getting his gang back together. Still, the age difference! Everyone but Roxy might be a little wary of it. (I'm saying that because at one point Roxy crushed on Jane's Dad.
JADE: how dare you??JOHN: jade, you’re brainwashed.JOHN: sorry. but nothing you’re saying now means anything." Like, I understand where he's coming from, but dang John, still so brutal.
"JOHN: it’s fine though, you’ll stop being brainwashed once i zap you outside the influence of the condesce." Oooh, round trips to blankspace it is? I don't think it'll be to LOWAS, just to "a" point in blankspace they can be "stored" until the gang is assembled.
"JADE: youre not zapping me anywhere!!!!!JOHN: ha ha, yes i am.JOHN: watch this...
> Zap Grimbark Jade outta there." Has he learned to do a snap to zap her away while staying behind himself? Like how Jade zapped everyone to LOMAX.
It would be anticlimactic for John's retcon powers to suddenly cease working here. It would also be very Hussie for that to happen spontaneously. But then again, not likely as he'll use the same power to go to LOCAM (Caliborn's planet).
"You set a hand on Jade’s shoulder and zap her off to a better place. Then you touch down on the concrete surface where the whole pointless confrontation was taking place so that you can talk Dave around whatever it is he’s going through right now. Dave, like his ecto-sister, really needs to get in an absurd amount of extraneous words before he can fully process a situation.
The Mayor tips his head at you and fiddles with his sash. God damn, you missed the Mayor." Ah, okay, that particular conversation we might not see in its entirety? Or maybe we will. In any case, right, WV was there! Aww, yes we missed him. But hey, seems like John at least took a little time before they travelled into the future, to get to know WV? I wonder if he ever found out he was his exile, probably not.
"DAVE: so what do we do nextJOHN: well, i’ll leave you to hang out with jade for a bit, while i go round up the others." Hey, it occurred to me, Dave & Jade could have a chat while they wait, work some things out. A similar conversation as that GO Dave & Jade presumably had right after their deaths, when they woke up next to each other in the dreambubbles!
"DAVE: what others... likeDAVE: everyoneJOHN: yes. rose, and the other four." Yeah, this is speeding things up rapidly as far as the meetup between the kids is concerned. Dave & Dirk might benefit from some alone time out in blankspace together, mirroring their LOTAK conversation. Also, this means John will be zapping into the outer reaches of the session to retrieve Dirk, hahah. ... I wonder if the glitches from the stardust will be causing any disturbance, probably not anymore since the stardust was blown out of the cartridge, admittedly at a "later" point in the timeline.
Blaperile has a good point, what about Roxy? I'm going to assume that, by the time gets around to breaking her out of jail, John 1 or an equivalent John has already visited her. But I don't remember if they talked about the ring already back then. I do still think John will be giving her the ring to go revive Calliope, but the exact feelings around the moment will remain to be seen.
"DAVE: i seeDAVE: so...DAVE: sorry if i seem a little slow here im just trying to figure this outDAVE: youre telling me that i made this sword because im destined to defeat lord english and weve all been training for that day our whole lives to some extent more or lessDAVE: and we are actually successful here like we overthrow the condesce and make a universe and everythingDAVE: and thenDAVE: we..." ... Yeah, this timeline won't spawn a universe, it's already been done, it exists, no point in repeating the whole process. This session is now void again. Dave tries to build a timeline in his head that makes sense, but the sad thing is, his future is uncertain. Though, he might not be sad at all? I mean, not if the future is his to be written, right?
"DAVE: sit on our asses for several years in the new universe and become adults and lead mostly boring lives instead of going off to fight him?" ... Or, does Dave really DO understand what has happened, that he's picking up left over plot behind some other version of him.
"JOHN: yes.DAVE: guess that makes senseDAVE: now that i think about it thats probably what i would want to do by the time we finally wrap up this whole hot messJOHN: yep, it is what you wanted to do.JOHN: and pretty much everyone else agreed, including me. so that’s what we did." Not sure how conscious the decision was for them at the time, but sure.
"DAVE: which uhDAVE: i guess begs the questionDAVE: if it seemed pointless at the time and nobody could be assed to go fight him when we all had our shit togetherDAVE: why does it suddenly become important to go back and beat him years later after we become a bunch of lazy adults with boring lives" You'd have to ask Rose but she wouldn't remember in this timeline so the point is kind of mute.
"JOHN: i pretty much had the same questions, dave.JOHN: there are probably some pretty good answers to that. definitely some complicated answers.JOHN: but to be honest... i kind of forget what they actually were?DAVE: god damn it john" Pfffffff. John "it seemed important at the time so here i am" Egbert, everyone.
"JOHN: it has something to do with canon unraveling, and such.JOHN: we all live outside canon in the future, and if we don’t do go do this, everything will stop meaning anything.DAVE: does...DAVE: anything you just said actually mean anything in the first place" There's a song that comes to mind from Volume 9, "Everything means Something to Somebody". To Dave, it must be sound like the same level of fortune cookie wisdom.
"JOHN: that’s a great question, dave.JOHN: one that i can’t say i’m qualified to answer!JOHN: i think the bottom line here is, this is what rose said we had to do.JOHN: so, that’s why we’re doing it.DAVE: sounds like a bullshit reason if i ever heard oneJOHN: you might be right.JOHN: but is it less of a bullshit reason than any other reason we currently have to go fight him?DAVE: ...DAVE: damnDAVE: youre rightDAVE: i dont know how you did it but you somehow instantly sold me completelyDAVE: fuck you adult egbert" At some point, the scales will buckle just from the shear heap of bullshit piled on.
"You zap Dave off to where he needs to go. The Mayor is still staring at you, blinking his buggy little eyes. You shoot him a warm smile and a thumbs-up before bouncing off into the ether of infinity." Awww, actually, leaving WV behind can't be all bad for him. He can find Serenity in here, PM too. Condesce might very well leave for the Furthest Ring, and then this session is up for sale to anyone. And with the royalty down for the count, WV can take over. Well, okay, WQ... probably blew up when Union Jack broke Prospit. Yeah, WV, PM & the still alive Derse agents are the top bill around, and if PM can trump Jack again (the three of him, Spades Slick & Union Jack included), then the remaining Derse agents would follow.
Meat Page 12 Ok at least they're getting into the issues for once rather than just worrying about who will endorse them.
Wait, aren't they the ones who don't want to regulate troll reproduction? Why would they be the ones putting out propaganda demonizing Troll society?
Jade's doing better at trying to start up their relationship in this path than the other. She's actually trying to get them to discuss the issue and come up with an answer rather than trying to force the situation. There's definitely undertones of her trying to force herself into things, and she's still trying to force them to establish boundaries and norms on what they're perfectly happy to leave as is and undefined, but, you know, better.
Candy Page 12
Her body is a perfect hourglass in naked profile.
Welp, way to kill off the majority of people's headcanons, Hussie (or whoever wrote this particular part), Jane apparently has an hourglass figure.
So they only just now had sex, under the influence of the Trickster Lollipop, which means they did not do so during their previous Trickster escapades. So many headcanons being thrown out the window this page.
And so Jane and Jake finally become a couple. It's kind of fitting how awkwardly it happened, really, they'd never be able to get together normally.
Meat Page 13 And so we're skipping to the Juju being deployed; I guess we'll never know how long they were stuck in there.
Reading about Vriska's demise was honestly quite satisfying. I can't help but think Hussie specifically designed the epilogues to address fandom complaints. Then again, it's also quite possible he had planned this all along, we have no real way of knowing for sure.
And now we're really in known territory. I'm ... actually excited to see what happens next. You did it, epilogues, you finally pulled me in. Of course, I wouldn't be surprised if "Epilogue Three" suddenly shifts focus elsewhere and we don't hear back from John & Co. for a while.
Candy Page 13 Calling it now, Gamzee's going to be the "sickness" that's implied to be going to engulf the Candy Route.
Well, that was certainly an interesting way to end the Candy route's "Epilogue Two." I honestly have no idea what the note could be, aside from maybe a callback to this or this, but for some reason I doubt that. And the robot ... I have a feeling it's going to come up at some point in the Meat route; does he plan to impersonate someone to manipulate people in the election?
Ok, that's it, I'm finally done with the "Epilogue Two"s. I have to admit, both routes have finally managed to pull me into the story. I never expected to say this, but I'm actually looking forward to reading on now! I'm still stopping here for now, though.
We might be due another perspective switch - unless the plot stays with John until he's assembled all his friends.
When John goes to pick up Rose, it’ll probably be on LOLAR. Terezi might still be there, if she hasn’t gone clownhunting just yet.
If so, perhaps we’ll get to see whether Rose ‘n Terezi’s migraine was really due to the substance abuse + caleidoscopic colours of LOLAR + glitches… Or whether it was due to the GO timeline “supposed to” have gone differently, with John’s current retcon being the thing missing to happen. It takes a bit of effort, remembering what everyone was exactly up to on this part of the GO timeline and what would be a fortunate time for John to take it off the rails. For Kanaya, that might very well be the moment Jane set up her literal shop on LOFAF, selling her all those blood potions, for instance.
For Dirk, it might be before his conversation with Arquiusprite.
I'm getting the feeling that John might be jumping to exactly those moments in the scenes where the characters were at their lowest, self-esteem wise. Giving them a literal second breath.
Not sure what we can expect from the ghost side of things though. I think they might not be duplicated, leading us to meet up with (Vriska) as we knew her, punk cut and all. Even though GO Terezi's ghost will be there with her too.
I'm half convinced Calliope will get copied somehow, but not entirely sure. The only 'real' duplicate Calliope had already, besides Alt Calliope, was her dreamself. He could snatch the body, but I was under the impression Caliborn consumed it in a literal sense to establish his dominance over the body.
Meanwhile, it occurred to me to that Andrew Hussie (the author avator) will make a comeback, probably a background cameo. I've only now realized that he's a literal ghost writer of his own story right now, in-canon. While outside of canon, he’s more becoming like Stan Lee, executive producing stories using characters he designed.
"The stands of the Cantown Memorial Arena" Okay, my first thought was this takes place on the meteor, but yeah, it's a building named presumably after the literal Cantown WV build in his station, back on Earth. Or the Exile Town that Bec Noir massacred. Though, does this indicate a perspective switch back to Roxy... Or is the CMA where Rumble in the Pumpkin Patch is recorded? Probably the latter, meaning the perspective is switching back to Dave! Uh, the alpha version, I guess I should call him? Post-canon, adult Dave?
"His shit eating was so brutal that no one, except maybe Jake, cares that he’s taking a phone call in the middle of a live broadcast." So, was it staged, or did Jake really get a power boost, coming into his role as the Page?
Also, I feel like if Karkat's run for president gets announced by Dave on live television, "and the crowd goes wild" will apply here.
"Dave takes a seat on the couch, right in Karkat’s butt groove." Okay, so he's not going just yet. ... Karkat's butt groove is available because the latter absconded the fuck out last we saw him, hahah.
"a piece of absolute garbage." Callback secured.
"DAVE: while the beatdown you just received was as thorough as it was humiliating im afraid as usual the solution to this problem should probably not involve your decapitation" While Dirk might be the one to keep this beaten dead horse of an in-joke going, Dave isn't going to be the one to cut its head off and end its misery.
"DAVE: jake just kicked your ass DAVE: thats really all there is to say on the matter" AWWWWW yessss, hahahahah. Dirk's laid down, on the ground, on his smartphone, just like Dave was after his beatdown by Bro. Awesome callback.
"DAVE: its really amazing how this meme we have going here continues to be exactly as funny as the day it was established DIRK: Isn’t it always though? DAVE: yeah" That's Strider Irony at its finest for you. You never can be entirely sure non-sincerity is what's taking place here.
" DAVE: how DID you get your ass kicked so bad DAVE: jake sucks and his raps are fucking awful" Oh, scratch that thing about his power level, then. ... The rapbots didn't join in to beat Dirk down, did they? ... Though I would like to see either them or their zilly versions again.
On the TV, Dirk makes an elegant hand sign that once might have represented solidarity with some ancient coastal rap group but now has been utterly divorced from its cultural context here on Earth C." Is it a sign associated with... the ICP? Yes, I guess whatever 'references' the kids make get picked up as divine decree...
"The camera pans away from him and over the crowd. It zooms in on a young crocodile wearing an oversized T-shirt with Jake’s highly marketable ass plastered over it and the phrase “Tally ho” written in big bubble letters." ... including stuff that was already dated when the gods were still actual kids. (By which I mean the phrase, not Jake's marketable ass.)
"DIRK: Holding back a little to achieve certain results doesn’t necessarily mean you’re participating in a farce or rigging the event. DIRK: We do this all the time. We hold back our thoughts, our true feelings, our full potential. We disguise how much we know about what and when, for many purposes. To ease relations, to let others behave naturally and make up their minds without undue intervention. To wait for the right moments to show our hands, to pick our battles. " Dirk is still overthinking things. He's also still a schemer, even though he's grown more mature. I think in this case, he might be trying to keep up Jake's taste for adventure and hone his skills? That might be related to the fact that he's one of the few in the know of what John is up to (also a thing he's withholding right now), and he might be trying to get Jake battle-ready in case he needs to be. ... In case he doesn't believe they'll stay irrelevant to the plot.
"DAVE: my dog you are full of some SHIT today arent you DIRK: Absolutely." It's a good thing Dave can see Dirk typing, otherwise I might have asked whether Dirk may have reinstated an autoresponder to answer when he's busy.
"DIRK: And when it comes to theater, there are just as many reasons for restraint. To build tension. To set the stage. To give the people someone to root against." Okay, that's actually kind of meta. Also, in-story, it might mean Dirk is deliberately trying to come off as weaker, to get people to boo at Jake so he can play hero?
"DAVE: i can see you on tv DAVE: theyre booing you dude" Okay, never mind.
"The excitable salamander manning the camera switches to a fish-eye lens for some unfathomable reason, giving the whole exchange an air of demented absurdity. Dirk’s sunglasses distort and stretch to dominate the entire screen." I'm all here for NPC races doing menial labor half-way competently. Also, I feel like there should be some sort of visual callback to that image of Dirk's sunglasses. Something to do with the black hole from Problem Sleuth expanding to suck the entire universe up, which was reflected in the Stiller shades, and the event in itself is being called back to now, in the Black Hole sucking up the Furthest Ring!
"JAKE: What about the agitated rabble? Theyre starting to throw things. DIRK: I don’t know. Do a dance or something. Sing a song. DIRK: They love anything you do. JAKE: Ummm. JAKE: Ok sounds stupid but ill try." Using Jake's charisma as crowd control? Dirk, you beautiful mastermind.
"Jake tips an imaginary hat toward center stage and begins doing the Charleston." Hah, right, this might be a callback to that other Page dancing old-time dances, hahah, Tavros after he assembled the ghost army.
"Just as Dirk predicted, the crowd immediately loses its shit, except for a single carapacian in the front row, who continues to glower at Dirk with an expression of absolute and total contempt." If Jack hadn't remained in the session, I would've designated this guy as his great-whatever-grandchild.
"DAVE: why do you want people to hate you so much DAVE: its fucked up DIRK: You’re reading way too much into it." I don't necessarily believe that.
"DIRK: If I wanted another round of embarrassingly indulgent and mutually masturbatory psychoanalysis, I would have called my daughter instead. DAVE: hm DAVE: do i need to point out how fucking weird what you just said was or can that start going without saying at this point" This. This is Homestuck. This entire exchange.
" DIRK: The point is, playing myself up as a villain figure in this hacky rap pageant has nothing to do with getting people to dislike me. Besides, everyone loves a good villain. When they boo, they don’t really mean it." That has me thinking of Thog, a villain from Order of the Stick, actually. But yeah, Caliborn, Condy and others were really good villains. Doesn't mean we didn't mean it when we cursed them, though.
"DIRK: I think you’d be surprised by how popular I actually am. DAVE: i dunno man" At some point, playing the villain stops being a role, if you're too thorough in antagonizing the crowd. Dirk may have gone overboard here - in his role in the pageant I mean, I don't think anyone loves their god any less. Just one more way to show that, victory state or not, their original issues still come into play and challenge them to grow.
"DIRK: The point is, this is much less about me, and more about providing a foil for Jake’s heroism and charisma. DIRK: It’s very important that his popularity continues to be cultivated, to maximize his political capital. DAVE: political capital" ... Oooooh! Thinking three steps ahead of everyone again, nice going Dirk! I think Dirk might even have foreseen Dave rallying Karkat to stand against Jane, but I wonder which side he'll be choosing!
" DAVE: what the fuck are... DAVE: ok how long have you known about the jane thing DAVE: i mean is this something you have been planning for like DAVE: a long time or DIRK: Planning is such an intense word." Oh, he's trying to pull the strings again, is he? What game is he playing then, what policies does he want to instate, if any? ... Is Dirk a supposed xenophone too, or just playing to the tune of the largest group of swing voters?
" DAVE: jane is a shitty candidate dude DAVE: shes going to be so shitty DIRK: I thought you’d feel that way." ... Pfff I just realized Dirk wasn't typing, since this was a phone call. He's saying this all out loud! Typing's the old way of conversation, we discarded it for the most part, everyone has their Gift of Gab now. Well, hopefully at least Dave's part isn't being recorded and broadcast.
"DIRK: I respectfully disagree. DAVE: i get shes a good friend of yours and all but even you have to admit how far up her own ass she is DIRK: Of course. I consider it to be among her best qualifications for the job." Dirk might just be thinking: a self-absorbed candidate won't notice being pulled around. Even though she's, you know, his dear friend and all, he's still planning on manipulating her. :/ Old habits and such.
"DAVE: christ DAVE: ok if nothing else have you at least taken into account the DEVASTATION to the economy this will cause???" Strider Irony(tm).
"DIRK: Dave, I think if you search your soul, you’ll come to the same conclusion I have. Jane is just what this planet needs. DIRK: We’ve all had our fun here, but it’s easy to overlook the fact that civilization on Earth C is hardly a sustainable proposition. DIRK: Just beneath the surface, it’s quite a dangerous and unstable place." Oh, cool, so Dirk was acting on the same things Dave noticed, just having drawn different conclusions. Guess there's more to playing god as a winner of Sburb than sitting on your butt all day long, huh?
"DAVE: i know that DAVE: which is why actually i think it would be cool to have a president that is good instead of bad DIRK: He’s not as great as you think. DAVE: what" See, I know Dirk'll say Karkat, but I kind of wish he'd say Obama.
"DAVE: who DAVE: obama?? DAVE: how dare you" XD PFFFFFffffhah, okay, should've seen that coming.
"DIRK: I’m happy for both of you, really. It’s nice that you encourage and support each other in this way. But you’re sending him on a fool’s errand which can only end badly." Like, I understand where Dirk's coming from, we know how unbalanced Karkat is at his worst. But Dirk's seems to be the conservatist route, while the current status quo is so unbalanced someone with at least a little liberal thinking should try changing policy, little by little. ... Okay now Homestuck has me doing political discourse. Hussieeeeeeee! ... Why am I now picturing a Homestuck AU about the climate change truant student marches of Europe?
"DAVE: wait DAVE: how do you even know hes entering the race DAVE: we like just decided this DIRK: A competent political operative has his ways. DIRK: Besides, it was always pretty obvious to me you’d react this way the moment the announcement was made." Okay, not ruling out entirely Dirk has something spying on Dave, but that would verge too much on what Bro would've done in his place. He probably just cold-mindedly assessed his potential response.
"DAVE: cause if youve already got jake on your side then i guess we might as well just fucking quit DIRK: I wouldn’t worry about that. DIRK: He and I don’t quite have the rapport we once did. DIRK: He’s “over me” and doesn’t spare opportunities to make ostentatious demonstration of this claim. DAVE: um DIRK: Basically he doesn’t like being told what to do. Especially not by me." Cool, okay, so... Jake is needy in his own way, in showing he can fend for himself, at least that's how Dirk sees it. Guess they still hang out a lot though, just no longer "like that". That must be a letdown for the shippers, but a boon for the people that felt betrayed at seeing Dirk & Jake back together in the Credits. I like that middle road, actually! And hey, the versions of Jake & Dirk in the New Game Plus timeline, or whatever we should call it, are still fair game!
"DIRK: So it’s fair to say as of now, he’s still fully in play. DIRK: Not that I should be encouraging you, really. DAVE: you are one doubletalking son of a bitch you know that DAVE: i cant tell if you dont want us to run or are reverse psychology mindfucking us into running" Very true, that. Why would he share the truth about Jake if he wants to win, unless he wants fair competition? Best not to dwell on it too long on this neverending stairway of hidden intentions, lest we fall down it.
" DAVE: not like i can just stand around and wait for president crocker to like DAVE: write fucking grammar laws into the constitution" Pfffff, yes, I had forgotten about Jane's grammar practices, hahah. Guess she has a good running mate in Dirk for that, at least, capitalization and everything in order when he's not rapping.
"DIRK: Sorry to cut this short, but diapers are starting to come down pretty hard right now, and some of them haven’t even had their babies removed. DAVE: what" what. I hope it's at least consort babies, they're arguably the most resilient, as semi-sapient animals.
"DIRK: That was a joke." Ah.
"Jake can’t help but watch the motion, raking his eyes over the muscles shifting beneath the skin of Dirk’s neck and arms.
There is something implacably magnificent about Dirk Strider, Jake thinks, untamed like a wild game beast of incredible size and strength." ... Well then! I didn't think the narration would offer us this view from the perspective of Jake, thought it would be reseverd for John! Not entirely sure how I feel about the privilege of seeing Jake pine for Dirk, though. At least it clarifies where the allure is in it, for him. It's an extension of his taste for adventure and his upbringing on an island full of terribly powerful beasts.
"Of course, their history together is never far from Jake’s mind, however many years it’s been since their last tussle of an amorous nature. The old dramas and triumphs in the days of Sburb. Dirk’s companionship has been taxing to the heart, to say the least, and yet he’s taught Jake so much—about combat, philosophy, life, love." Okay, that is just such a Jake thing to phrase it like this. I'm glad we get to see he's not so oblivious or un-elloquent in his mind as he presents himself to the outside world, consciously or not.
"But sometimes, despite their checkered and problematic past, Jakes wishes that he could seize Dirk by the proverbial horns and wrest him bodily into becoming a much more agreeable fellow." Heheh, so Jake actually would like to impose on Dirk some manners. At least with him it stays with desires, while Dirk really did try to impose on Jake when they were together.
"DIRK: How about you kick off the next round? DIRK: I bet this crowd will settle its shit right down the moment you drop the latest rhymes you’ve been tinkering with." This is going to be painful to read, isn't it? ... If we're going to read them at all. ... I swear, this might just lead into them having "the xest rapoff in the history of Earth C".
"Jake’s face lights up. He composes himself, adjusting a bow tie, although he is not wearing one, and making a vague gesture like he’s twirling one end of that mustache Dirk has not yet let him grow. Dirk lets him go with a gentle smile, like the sort you’d give to a dog for performing a trick adequately. Jake responds to the signal like an Olympic athlete hearing the starter pistol. He was born for this." All the best and worst aspects of Dirk & Jake as a couple are basically summarized here. I mean, Dirk is not even WITH Jake and vetoes some of his choices. Then again, Jake really does have TERRIBLE (but hilarious) taste in mannerisms.
"JAKE: Tally ho its me, jake mcgee! JAKE: Popping my pistols off, two shots and a kiss JAKE: My aim is tops, i never miss" ... I'm not disappointed, this really IS almost physically painful to read, as expected.
... Okay that was actually a very amazing rap. Well thought out, good use of the vocabulary, dated though it is. I liked "jake-eng's" and "jape-slings" in particular, especially since that was what Vriska dismissed him as, a joke, a jape.
"The crowd, as Dirk rightly predicted, has settled its shit right down. This is not due to any accidental brilliance on the part of Jake English, but rather due to an abashed but loyal brand of pity, the kind a devoted fan cannot help but feel when they see a beloved celebrity make an ass out of themselves during a live broadcast they have waited two and a half years in line to buy a ticket for." I think this might be Dirk's POV. Not everyone's tastes in rap are as dignified as his, after all. Consorts in particular might love this. Then again, we saw John embarass carapacians not too long ago, they're not immune to pitying people. But hey, on the brightside, maybe some of the audience 's Jake now.
"Dirk’s phone begins going off again." Unless it's something more ominous, this is probably Dave having the last quip.
"With a casual flick of his wrist, Dirk snaps out a bright red tranquilizer handgun and shoots Jake in the neck. Jake’s glasses crack when he hits the mat. A chorus of boos rises up from the crowd like groundwater. Dirk artfully dodges a bucket of obscene troll fluid to field yet another very important personal call." ... Did Dirk actually use a Crockertech tranquilizer on his co-god? What the hell, Dirk? Guess all is fair in the ring.
And I suppose it's not Dave then that is calling him this time, if he takes such drastic measures.
"DIRK: Yo Rose, what's up?" Oooh, if we get to see this, that would be early we get to see Rose again! Dirk and Rose'll probably be planning their next move now that John has left. (Which I take Rose to already know about, through her Seer powers, or a call with Roxy.) ... Maybe some of their plans only could have worked IF John left, if they wanted to regain some measure of relevance through them.
I've been thinking a bit about how Rose and the B2 Kids will be recruited by John.
Just like John revisited a moment he retconned before to recruit Dave and Jade, I wouldn't be surprised if he does a similar thing again later.
For Rose, he could revisit the moment where he talked to Rose and Terezi on LOLAR. Hehe, if John talks to them about the other Rose's plan for what places John should go to at what moments, we could even get a funny remark from Terezi that she thinks it's a good plan (because it's similar to what her pre-retcon self had John do).
Perhaps John even picks the moment where his pre-retcon version is still there, giving him another version of himself to dismiss.
For Jane, I could see John visiting the moment on LOFAF where Jane was talking to Karkat and Kanaya, just after John's short stop and Jade having left to go after him.
Like how Dave and Jade were recruited at the same time, I could see John recruiting Jake and Roxy at the same time as well, from the prison cells on Derse.
And finally, the question is how John's gonna get Dirk. Is he going to fetch him when he arrives in the session again from the Furthest Ring? Will he fetch him sooner in a similar way that Vriska did in the post-retcon timeline? Or will he be retrieved from a different moment?
...Oh hey, I only just noticed the Save Game functionality! During the Prologue I had noticed how it was missing, but looks like it's here now! I wonder if it's been like that for a few days now and I only just now noticed that it's back, or if it's really a recent change.
Anyway, let's read on now. I wouldn't be surprised if we're now heading back to Earth C, possibly focusing on Dave talking to someone else about Karkat running for president.
The stands of the Cantown Memorial Arena are packed front to back with audience members from every kingdom.
Cantown Memorial Arena!!!! That's definitely Earth C.
But, hmm... I do wonder why it's a "memorial" arena. At the beginning of the society on Earth C, Cantown was built by WV and PM. Has it disappeared in the 5000 years that have passed since then?
Oh boy, what will be going on over there? A speech from Karkat, assuming there's been a slight timeskip since the last thing we saw of them? Or Jane?
Presently the crowd is going nuts, enthralled by Jake English’s skillful posing and mollified by the deeply theatrical stage dive that Dirk has just taken onto the mat.
Oh wow, this is actually still the Rumble in the Pumpkin Patch show or what? So it looks like we're continuing where we left off, I definitely didn't expect that!
Is Dave going to use this opportunity to announce Karkat running for president on live television?
Presently the crowd is going nuts, enthralled by Jake English’s skillful posing and mollified by the deeply theatrical stage dive that Dirk has just taken onto the mat. Dirk, in fact, has unquestioningly eaten shit. His shit eating was so brutal that no one, except maybe Jake, cares that he’s taking a phone call in the middle of a live broadcast.
Wait... am I reading this correctly? Jake beat DIRK in a fight? What has the world come to?
The broadcast has been going for three hours already.
This is a preposterously long broadcast.
DAVE: bro im watching you on the tube and i gotta say
Psyche, Dave's not even flown to the arena and is still watching from at home! Another thing I didn't expect.
DAVE: while the beatdown you just received was as thorough as it was humiliating im afraid as usual the solution to this problem should probably not involve your decapitation
Pffff, there we go. A demonstration of the running gag of decapitation that Dave talked about with Karkat.
DAVE: jake just kicked your ass
DAVE: thats really all there is to say on the matter
OHHHHHHHH, NOW I GET IT. This was all building up to this reference, because the previous times it occurred was ALSO with someone lying bruised and then using his phone to contact someone about it, haha.
DAVE: how DID you get your ass kicked so bad
DAVE: jake sucks and his raps are fucking awful
Aha, here we go! Did Dirk put himself on Novice setting?
I love how Dave and Dirk still talk in the exact same way even when their conversation is being heard by millions of people watching tv or in the arena.
On the TV, Dirk makes an elegant hand sign that once might have represented solidarity with some ancient coastal rap group but now has been utterly divorced from its cultural context here on Earth C.
Something that the ICP is known for, I guess? Yeah, that feels very wrong, considering the history of B2 Earth with those guys that Dirk is perfectly aware of. xD
It zooms in on a young crocodile wearing an oversized T-shirt with Jake’s highly marketable ass plastered over it and the phrase “Tally ho” written in big bubble letters.
Oh god, For Fans By Fans should DEFINITELY be creating t-shirts with Jake's magnificent phrases.
DIRK: Dave, there’s such a thing as showmanship.
DIRK: I’m sure I don’t need to explain this to you, of all people.
DAVE: ok cool its fake just making sure
DIRK: We really don’t like to use that word.
DAVE: lmao ok
Striders and their totally incomprehensible ironic ways. xD
Oh jegus god, Dirk has just engaged monologue/poetry mode. 0_0
DAVE: my dog you are full of some SHIT today arent you
The best part about this is that Dirk just admits it. xD
DIRK: And when it comes to theater, there are just as many reasons for restraint. To build tension. To set the stage. To give the people someone to root against.
Is it just me or is this also a meta statement about Homestuck itself, where everything evolved slowly and one by one we got to know the villains, but it all took a long time before the final conflict came about?
The excitable salamander manning the camera switches to a fish-eye lens for some unfathomable reason, giving the whole exchange an air of demented absurdity. Dirk’s sunglasses distort and stretch to dominate the entire screen.
Only thing left to do is make it all JPEG on-screen.
JAKE: The crowd is getting feisty... you didnt get too badly winded from our last scrum did you dirk?
DIRK: Haha, no Jake. I’m fine. I’ll just be a minute.
Yay, Jake dialogue!
It wouldn't surprise me if the theater part of their entire show just flies entirely over Jake's head and he doesn't realize Dirk's acting so much of this and believes he's actually fighting seriously.
Jake tips an imaginary hat toward center stage and begins doing the Charleston.
Pffff, oh Jake. Wait a second, didn't pre-retcon Tavros also do the Charleston after he'd just owned Vriska by collecting the ghost army? Looks like that might be a general Page thing.
Just as Dirk predicted, the crowd immediately loses its shit, except for a single carapacian in the front row, who continues to glower at Dirk with an expression of absolute and total contempt.
Oh man, this guy! I wanna know who this carapacian is. xD
DIRK: You’re reading way too much into it.
DIRK: If I wanted another round of embarrassingly indulgent and mutually masturbatory psychoanalysis, I would have called my daughter instead.
God, I'd KILL for a conversation like that between Rose and Dirk, that would be a sight to see.
DAVE: do i need to point out how fucking weird what you just said was or can that start going without saying at this point
DIRK: I think it can go without saying.
Ah yes, the Strider family and their freudian slips. Looks like it's not just a Dave thing.
DIRK: The point is, playing myself up as a villain figure in this hacky rap pageant has nothing to do with getting people to dislike me. Besides, everyone loves a good villain. When they boo, they don’t really mean it.
DIRK: I think you’d be surprised by how popular I actually am.
DAVE: i dunno man
I'm sure there are some meta implications about this, but I'm not exactly sure what it is. Either it's about Dirk not being THAT popular among fans, or complaints about how Lord English is as a villain to the story.
Something flies out of the audience and smacks Dirk in the side of the head before flopping out of view of the camera. He doesn’t react, or make a facial expression at all.
DAVE: did someone just throw a diaper at you
DIRK: There’s gonna be some diapers, yeah.
DAVE: sounds bad
I was kinda hoping it would have been a Smuppet.
DIRK: The point is, this is much less about me, and more about providing a foil for Jake’s heroism and charisma.
DIRK: It’s very important that his popularity continues to be cultivated, to maximize his political capital.
DAVE: political capital
OH MAN. Has Jane already won Jake and Dirk over and is Dirk already blowing full steam ahead in utilizing Jake for promoting Jane??? PSYCHE!
I mean, that's basically how I figured it would eventually go, with Dirk and Jake on Jane's side, but still, surprised to see it happen so early.
DAVE: ok how long have you known about the jane thing
DAVE: i mean is this something you have been planning for like
DAVE: a long time or
DIRK: Planning is such an intense word.
Pffff, Dirk's puppeteering things again. I'm surprised, but on the other hand, this is Dirk. This shouldn't surprise me.
DAVE: jane is a shitty candidate dude
DAVE: shes going to be so shitty
DIRK: I thought you’d feel that way.
Oh wow, I didn't think Dave was actually gonna say that out loud on live television!
...Wait, now that I think about it, it's kind of unclear whether Dave's dialogue is also being heard by anyone else than Dirk.
DIRK: I respectfully disagree.
DAVE: i get shes a good friend of yours and all but even you have to admit how far up her own ass she is
DIRK: Of course. I consider it to be among her best qualifications for the job.
I... I'm not sure what Dirk's ideals for a president really are. At least we know he disapproved of Presidents Jay and Dope, I guess that's one thing. But still. xD
DAVE: ok if nothing else have you at least taken into account the DEVASTATION to the economy this will cause???
Pfff, if you ever run out of reasons, JUST THINK OF THE ECONOMY!!!
DIRK: Dave, I think if you search your soul, you’ll come to the same conclusion I have. Jane is just what this planet needs.
DIRK: We’ve all had our fun here, but it’s easy to overlook the fact that civilization on Earth C is hardly a sustainable proposition.
DIRK: Just beneath the surface, it’s quite a dangerous and unstable place.
DAVE: i know that
Eeesh. Yeah, that's kind of what Dave was getting at as well, but looks like Dirk has entirely different feelings on how to resolve the problem.
If this was a Marvel movie I'd be saying: start the Civil War.
DAVE: which is why actually i think it would be cool to have a president that is good instead of bad
DIRK: He’s not as great as you think.
Oooooh boy. Dirk's already figured it out that Dave wants Karkat to run for president???
Jesus, Dirk's really someone who thinks of everything. I wonder if he's Jane's campaign leader just like Dave is Karkat's, because dang Dirk would make for one hell of a campaign leader for Jane.
DIRK: I think your heart is in the right place, but the dude is a complete amateur.
DIRK: He’ll get eaten alive. I also have a hard time imagining he even wants the job.
DIRK: Really, it’s an awful idea for him to even run. Think about how much it’s going to inflame the interspecies tensions on this planet. Is that what you want?
DIRK: I’m happy for both of you, really. It’s nice that you encourage and support each other in this way. But you’re sending him on a fool’s errand which can only end badly.
Eeeesh. He's really got an entirely different vision on this.
I'm wondering in how far Dirk's really still speaking as Dave's friend/bro here, and not just as Jane supporter, trying to destroy the competition.
Right now, to me the Karkat camp seems to be the best camp in this election, by a mile. But I'd be interested in getting a deeper insight into the Jane camp, to get a better insight into how SHE sees the matters with the Trolls.
DAVE: how do you even know hes entering the race
DAVE: we like just decided this
DIRK: A competent political operative has his ways.
DIRK: Besides, it was always pretty obvious to me you’d react this way the moment the announcement was made.
DAVE: ok thats kinda creepy i guess but it doesnt change anything
I highly doubt Dirk left a microphone in their house to listen to what they talk about or anything, but yeah, he's really clever in figuring these kind of things out.
He's experienced in this kind of stuff, as proven by his reconaissance work on Derse before the Dersites knew he was awake yet.
DAVE: though now im wondering
DAVE: since you and jane have been planning this for a while how many key endorsements have you locked up
DAVE: cause if youve already got jake on your side then i guess we might as well just fucking quit
That's a fair question. Knowing Dirk, he could have prepared for this, very, very hard.
But on the other hand, perhaps he does want to give Karkat a fighting chance.
DIRK: I wouldn’t worry about that.
DIRK: He and I don’t quite have the rapport we once did.
DIRK: He’s “over me” and doesn’t spare opportunities to make ostentatious demonstration of this claim.
DIRK: Basically he doesn’t like being told what to do. Especially not by me.
DIRK: So it’s fair to say as of now, he’s still fully in play.
DIRK: Not that I should be encouraging you, really.
OHHHHH, really? Well that's interesting to know.
I'd always wondered what we were supposed to make of the stuff we saw them do at the end of Homestuck, whether it was meant to imply they got back together or not, but here we go!
It's good to see Jake has learned to stand up for himself.
Also, yeah, I guess this confirms that nobody is listening in on the conversation anymore, at least not since Jake went to distract the crowd, because I'm pretty sure Dirk wouldn't want to talk about this where Jake and the entire world could hear it.
DAVE: you are one doubletalking son of a bitch you know that
DAVE: i cant tell if you dont want us to run or are reverse psychology mindfucking us into running
Pretty much exactly my thoughts. xD
I think the truth is probably that Dirk genuinely believes Jane to be a better suited candidate, but that he does want to give Karkat a fair chance.
DAVE: not like i can just stand around and wait for president crocker to like
DAVE: write fucking grammar laws into the constitution
Ahahaha, reference secured! It's been a long time since there have been any references to Jane's focus on good grammar.
DIRK: Sorry to cut this short, but diapers are starting to come down pretty hard right now, and some of them haven’t even had their babies removed.
...Looks like Dirk's not the only person in the world who'd throw a baby (what Bro did with Baby Dave on the rooftop).
DIRK: That was a joke.
Okay, phew. That would have been pretty fucked up. xD
Dirk hangs up the phone and wipes off his face.
Ohhh, so we're not going straight back to Dave's perspective but actually keep on watching from Dirk's perspective! That's interesting to know that the Earth C part of the Meat Epilogue won't just keep on focusing on Dave.
There is something implacably magnificent about Dirk Strider, Jake thinks, untamed like a wild game beast of incredible size and strength.
And suddenly we're getting into Jake's head!
For a second I was reading into this that Jake's still interested in Dirk after all, despite what Dirk just said, but then I realized his description fits closer to how Jake used to feel about fighting the beasts outside his home back on his island.
An uneven silence begins to fall over the stadium as Dirk hops to his feet. Jake can’t help but watch the motion, raking his eyes over the muscles shifting beneath the skin of Dirk’s neck and arms.
If only there were a rooftop here, so that we could have a rooftop battle.
The old dramas and triumphs in the days of Sburb. Dirk’s companionship has been taxing to the heart, to say the least, and yet he’s taught Jake so much—about combat, philosophy, life, love.
I love how you can tell from the narration that these are Jake's thoughts. Literally nobody else thinks/talks like this. xD
But sometimes, despite their checkered and problematic past, Jakes wishes that he could seize Dirk by the proverbial horns and wrest him bodily into becoming a much more agreeable fellow. Then again, who would Dirk be if he weren’t so contentious and imperious? Certainly not someone to inspire such wistful lollygagging, Jake cannot help but observe.
Hehe, that still fits pretty well with how conflicted Jake felt about what Dirk did to him with Brobot. On one hand he appreciated the adventure Dirk gave him, but on the other hand he hated how unsafe it made him feel on the island, feeling he could always be attacked by the robot out of nowhere.
And then there's of course how conflicted Jake felt every time he was confronted with the Auto Responder when he just wanted to talk to Dirk.
DIRK: Sorry for the momentary diversion, Jake. Now where were we?
JAKE: Momentary??? Gadzooks man you were on the phone for half a friggin hour!
Slight exaggeration probably, but yeah, Dirk really made the crowd wait a long time. xD
DIRK: You’re right, my bad. Won’t happen again.
DIRK: How about you kick off the next round?
DIRK: I bet this crowd will settle its shit right down the moment you drop the latest rhymes you’ve been tinkering with.
Oh boy. I wonder if we're going to be seeing those rhymes?
And I wonder how Jake's rhymes are, compared to those of Tavros. I have a feeling that rapping and Pages just don't go together all that well. xD
Prepare for the worst rap-off in non-canon space?
Jake’s face lights up. He composes himself, adjusting a bow tie, although he is not wearing one, and making a vague gesture like he’s twirling one end of that mustache Dirk has not yet let him grow. Dirk lets him go with a gentle smile, like the sort you’d give to a dog for performing a trick adequately. Jake responds to the signal like an Olympic athlete hearing the starter pistol. He was born for this.
These guys. D'aww, they're totally adorkable.
Oh man, looks like the rhymes are coming!
JAKE: Tally ho its me, jake mcgee!
JAKE: Popping my pistols off, two shots and a kiss
JAKE: My aim is tops, i never miss
OH MY FUCKING GOD. I was expecting a Tavros-like rap but instead this is truly Jake... rapping. DEAR GOD. WHAT AM I READING.
...Wow. The more I read, the better it becomes. Jake's actually genuinely pretty good at this, I did NOT expect that. xD
The crowd, as Dirk rightly predicted, has settled its shit right down. This is not due to any accidental brilliance on the part of Jake English, but rather due to an abashed but loyal brand of pity, the kind a devoted fan cannot help but feel when they see a beloved celebrity make an ass out of themselves during a live broadcast they have waited two and a half years in line to buy a ticket for.
Eh??? It's not THAT bad, is it now? I actually thought it was pretty good myself.
And oh man, 2.5 years? Looks like they've been working on this show for a long time.
Dirk’s phone begins going off again.
Oh boy. Is that Dave calling to give an hilarious comment on Jake's rapping, or is it someone else this time, possibly leading into a next scene?
JAKE: When the splendid lads and ladies ask me “how do you do?” i -
DIRK: Whoops. Jake, sorry to cut you off...
DIRK: Looks like I’m getting another call. Really need to take this one.
DIRK: Gonna have to wrap this battle up sooner than scheduled.
Is Dirk just using Dave's call as an excuse to cut Jake short, and possibly rile up the crowd again, or is this someone else he believes is important to answer?
With a casual flick of his wrist, Dirk snaps out a bright red tranquilizer handgun and shoots Jake in the neck. Jake’s glasses crack when he hits the mat. A chorus of boos rises up from the crowd like groundwater. Dirk artfully dodges a bucket of obscene troll fluid to field yet another very important personal call.
Oh. My. God. This entire show is just nuts. xD
DIRK: Yo Rose, what’s up?
THIS IS NOW THE PERMANENT STATE OF MY FACE
Oh hell yes, I'm DYING to see a full conversation between Rose and Dirk! That's going to be so cool.
I assume it will be about the John situation? I wonder how much Rose and Dirk know yet. Does Rose already know the final decision John made? Does Dirk know?
Looks like that will be for another time! I wouldn't be surprised to have the next page first going back to John and the next stop on his retcon quest.
Ok, time for the "Epilogue Three"s. From now on I'm going to ensure the "Epilogue <number>"s sync up, so if I finish the "Epilogue <number>" for one route, I'll pause until I finish the equivolent one for the other. Anyway, let's get started:
She’s really bad at this, she thinks. “This” being seduction. She’s so bad at it, in fact, that Jake immediately recognizes her ruse for what it is.
Whoa, whoa, whoa, Jake is actually able to tell that Jane's trying to get with him?! That seems so contradictory to everything about their relationship situation.
That's more like it; I thought things were going too easily for their relationship.
Candy Page 14: All this talk of lack of meaning in the Candy route, but I don't get that. Yes the route no longer has meaning to "canon," but they aren't in "canon" anymore. It no longer matters what matters to "canon," they are in their own separate reality now, where they can make their own meaning, perhaps even forge their own new "canon." I mean, even in the "canon" route they will eventually reach the end of the story and be in the same sort of situation of no longer mattering to canon. The only way in witch could no longer be any meaning or purpose is if their reality is destined to disappear or die ... which, come to think, of it is entirely possible, but sad if it is.
Your friends might derive some sense of fulfillment from satisfying the elementary obligations of self-preservation and self-propagation, but there’s nothing here for you. It doesn’t matter anymore.
I guess at least this concept gets addressed. Somewhat.
Also, does Dirk plan to kill himself? How? I don't see how the death would be in any way heroic or just.
When you think so little of yourself as a moral character, any act of self-termination will result in a death that is Just.
Well, ok. I guess that's how they're justifying it. They made the definitions of Heroic and Just too nebulous for me to really argue.
Meat Page 15: Oh dear, this version of Rose is already out, I wasn't expecting that.
And now Jade's dead too. Although this time there was no indication of a Heroic or Just verdict. I don't know if that was intentional and she's going to resurrect, or if they were not intending to set a precedent when they mentioned it about Rose.
He lunges for the handle in a ridiculously greedy attempt to finish what’s left of your weapon. You recoil, careening out toward the black hole, but manage to stabilize yourself. You look at the handle of your tragically masticated Wrinklefucker, shrug, and toss it into the hole.
I feel like this should have accidently changed his specibus to handlekind again.
For some reason my mind just decided to give Davepetasprite^2 this tiny, weak, almost whiny but deadpan sarcastic voice, and it really killed the mood in the most hilarious way possible.
Ah, so this is what the vore warning at the beginning was about, I was wondering about that.
Ok, so Lord English was killed within the span of one page. Um ... now what? Also, did John die or not?
Candy Page 15: You know, I quite like rain; for me not raining often would make the world less idyllic.
And it seems that Gamzee's the one who actually has an understanding of Dirks motivations; I don't know what I expected.
And now we're getting into the issue of John and Roxy marrying. You know, I'm really starting to see how this route is getting to be sickly sweet as prophesized.
And wow that was short. Candy Epilogue Two was 10 pages, Candy Epilogue Three was only 2!
Meat Page 16: I don't really have anything to say about this page. It's interesting, don't get me wrong, I just don't have anything more to add.
Also that last line would have been more surprising had I not already looked ahead to see how long the next page was when judging whether to continue on after page 15...
Meat Page 17: So Dirk's aware of our existence and speaking directly to us now. I wish I had more to say about this fact, but again, I don't really have anything to add.
Knowing their thoughts are transcribed by a third party, does it fill you with a sense of unease, of sickness, sensing that the observations made of their mental interiors may be tainted?
Not really, considering that third party literally defines who these characters are and how they think.
I can take the “you-ness” away from you, and put it inside another passive mark, such as John Egbert. You didn’t even notice when I did it<...>
Au contraire, dear Dirk. The distinction between first person in the Meat route and third person in the Candy route was literally the first thing I remarked on!
Also are you trying to imply you are the one writing this, because I happen to know it's being written by Andrew Hussie, Cephied_Variable, and ctset.
John needs to wake up.
Ah, so he didn't die, good to know.
And that ends both "Epilogue Three"s. I honestly didn't expect to do so in one day, but they were fairly short. The brief height in my interest in the Candy route is gone and we're back to the intended sickly sweet irrelevance, but I'm honestly curious where the Meat route is going. As far as I can tell, most of what needs to be wrapped up from Homestuck proper is done, but we've still got five "epilogues" to go. Then again, If it's anything like the election arc has been so far, I may end up losing interest pretty quickly.
I've got a pretty busy weekend, so I don't know how much, if any, I'll be reading during this time, but we'll see.
Okay, so we're probably moving back to John now. I think it would make for an awesome transition from Dirk being contacted by Rose if we're now gonna see John zapping to Rose.
Just like how it was a pretty cool transition between the scene with Dave and Grimbark Jade on LOHAC and then Dave talking with Dirk on Earth C.
So yeah, my bet is that John's gonna zap to Rose and Terezi on LOLAR. The question is if it's when his previous self was there, or later just when Terezi's preparing to leave on clown hunting (which John can assure is not necessary anymore because he's already locked Gamzee up).
And if the transition doesn't happen now and we DO continue with Dirk and Rose, well, then the awesome transition can still happen after the next page and Dirk and Rose have had their dialogue.
Either way, I'm expecting a bunch of Rose dialogue.
The sky is really blue. But it’s a different kind of blue than Earth C’s sky;
Looks like we're back to being John indeed!
A blue sky... well, that could definitel fit LOLAR!
There's not many other places that could fit it, other than daylight Alternia or the Battlefield or something, but it seems highly unlikely to me that John would go visit such a place during this quest.
it’s less, somehow, like someone took a photo of the sky and turned the contrast down a little, just enough to make the clouds blend into the horizon.
Errrr... not sure what to make of this. Possibly making fun of the way LOLAR is rendered in the comic? xD
That is to say, it isn’t the kind of sky promised by a paradise planet. Just an ordinary one. You realize suddenly how much you’ve missed the ordinary, as opposed to the supposedly perfect.
...Huh. I'm actually almost starting to wonder if he's back home on B1???
You’ve been away from home almost as many years as you lived there.
HOLY SHIT HE'S INDEED ON EARTH!
What the HELL is he doing there? What could he possibly need B1 Earth for in this retcon quest? I have no frickin clue what he could do here that would be useful for the fight against Lord English AND wouldn't cause an enormous time paradox for the rest of his adventure.
...Unless he's gonna pick FedoraFreak out of nowhere. xD
...Oh jegus. Whatever he's doing here, he's gonna spot Dad at some point and gonna get really sad, isn't he? I'm already preparing myself for the worst here. D:
A woodpecker raps away incessantly at the tree with the tire swing outside your old bedroom window.
Confirmation that he's indeed right outside his old home!
You couldn’t think of anywhere else to go, so you and your little army are sitting in a circle in your old backyard exactly one week before the meteors hit.
That's... not really the smartest of choices to use as their base camp right now, right? I mean, even assuming the old John and Dad aren't home right now, they could still be spotted by neighbors, right?
Wait a second. plainWonder raises a fair point. Has John already retrieved the rest of the Kids, not just Dave and Jade, at this point?
Because yeah... how could three people make a circle to sit in.
It’s you, Rose, Dave, Jade, and all four of your teenage progenitors, each dressed in god tier garb.
Wow! Okay, plainWonder was right.
That kind of surprises me. I thought we'd see John picking the rest of them from their respective times as well, not just Dave and Jade.
That makes me slightly sad.
But oh well.
This conversation's gonna get really awkward though, right? Assuming John picked the others from around the same timeframe as he picked Dave and Jade, there are still some issues between the B2 Kids themselves, and also between Dave and Dirk of course.
Or have they already talked it out by this point, off-screen?
No trolls. No one who can die from anything less than a heroic sacrifice. At least, this is what you assume to be the reasoning for Rose’s instructions to assemble your party this way.
Ohhh, so it was Rose's idea which people to pick for the party? Makes sense she'd want to keep the other, more vulnerable, people safe.
Still, must be harsh for the Trolls to be left behind to their own devices in the B2 session.
The wind moves through you now, under your skin and right into your bones, skimming their hollows the same way it does the homes of your salamander neighbors, or the open mailbox in front of your childhood house.
Hehehe, reference secured!
The smell of a cake baking wafts from the open window and the sick stench of browning sugar fills the yard.
Wut. So they came to a moment that Dad IS home? That's... kind of weird. What if he notices them in the backyard?
Or did Dad simply leave a cake in the oven while he went out doing the groceries or something?
You hold back your tears with a big, ugly snort. Jake is sort of ruining the mood anyway by bouncing away on your old Green Slime pogo. Doesn’t he realize how dangerous that thing is? Of course not. The fool.
Pfff, I could absolutely see Jake doing that.
Dave fractures the silence by broaching a subject that’s on everyone’s mind but yours, apparently.
How they're gonna fight Lord English?
DAVE: so whats gonna happen to everyone we left in the wrecked time line
PRAISE THE LORD WE'RE AT LEAST NOT IGNORING THAT IS HAPPENING.
I mean, Karkat, Kanaya, Terezi, Casey, Dad, Nannasprite, Jaspersprite, Davesprite, Arquiusprite, Erisolsprite, WV and PM are left to deal with Aranea, Gamzee in case he should escape from the fridge, The Condesce, B2 Jack, Spades Slick and The Felt, Bec Noir...
Maybe John's intention is to return them all to the moment he picked them from as soon as they're done fighting Lord English, but I have a hard time actually seeing that happening in that way.
JOHN: i don’t know actually. i’ve been to that time line four times now and it always pretty much goes to shit.
Doesn't really have to be, right? Perhaps John could prepare his friends to effectively take on the dangers of that timeline once they return? They could do it similarly to how they defeated everyone in the post-retcon timeline.
ROSE: This has been bothering me as well. Is Kanaya going to be ok?
ROSE: And by Kanaya, I guess I mean... everyone?
Errr... yeah this is gonna get awkward if John explains how Kanaya would get vaporized by a Condesce laser in that timeline.
DAVE: yeah what about karkat
DAVE: and terezi
DAVE: and the MAYOR??
NEVER FORGET THE MAYOR!
JADE: oh my god!!!!!
JADE: actually dave, i hate to say it but...
JADE: i think john might have actually saved the mayor by bringing us all here?
Oh! She probably means how she was going to threaten WV in that timeline, haha.
And oh man, just look at this. Dialog of all the 4 B1 Kids together, for the very first time EVER! This warms my heart.
JADE: i was gonna kick him right into the lava!
DAVE: that is fucked up on so many levels i dont even know where to begin
DAVE: its like an escher staircase of cartoon villainy
Ahaha, hasn't Dave accused Grimbark Jade of being a cartoonish villain before? I think he has. xD
DAVE: i got nothing
DAVE: its so
JADE: grimbark? :B woof woof
DAVE: jesus no jade its stone cold evil
DAVE: i cant believe you just said that shit and then woofed at me
DAVE: i cant
DAVE: i cant even look at you right now
WV really does mean a lot to Dave.
Which brings me back to the point of how many issues there are between everyone here.
JOHN: uh, everyone, can we...
Everyone turns to look at you immediately, like you’re an authority. Which you kind of are.
Well, and the other Kids HAVE always looked up to John as their leader, in a way. So that helps too.
You are struck with the sudden and uncomfortable realization that you are the only adult in the yard. You’ve never felt like an adult until this moment.
Yeah, it's actually kind of fucked up and awkward how he's now facing the teenager versions of the friends he grew up with.
To be honest, I wonder if it's not going to make him miss the versions he left behind on Earth C, the ones who grew up alongside him.
ighteen came and went and nothing really changed except that you’re pretty certain you could grow a bitchin’ mustache now if you wanted. And you might even have one by now, if you didn’t feel a sense of duty to uphold the sacred Egbert family tradition of shaving at least once per day, even if it isn’t really necessary.
Ahahaha, reference secured to Davesprite's note to John where he pretended to be Dad!
You owe at least that much to the memory of your departed father.
JOHN: the truth is, i have no idea what happens to these time lines and all the people living in them, when i just... zap out of them, to use my retcon powers to change stuff?
Yeah, that's something I've been wondering for a long time as well! It's kind of implied that they stop existing, except they "live on" in the people who either left by zapping out of it with John or who went to the Furthest Ring.
The exception being Earth C, which is already out of canon and thus might not be affected by this either, just like the Furthest Ring?
And I guess the timelines can also be "restored" in a sense because John's perfectly capable of revisiting them, like he did now?
JOHN: the thing is, we can’t really think about it.
JOHN: it’s tough, but if we’re all acting like heroes here, and trying to do the right thing, then we have to put it all behind us.
JOHN: it’s a sacrifice we’re making.
JOHN: i mean, we’re risking our lives by fighting a powerful monster, sure.
It's not like you gave them much of a choice in this, John. You basically forced them to come with you and forced the other Johns to fuck off. :/
JOHN: but the sacrifice i’m talking about... is saying goodbye to the life we thought we belonged to, and all the people in it.
JOHN: probably forever.
Yeah, looks like he realizes he's never going back to Earth C either.
It’s all you can think to do to punctuate your speech of lukewarm inspirational value. Judging from the confused looks from the others, all of them may share your assessment of your own oratorical skills, except for one person. She’s perked up at your spiel, regarding you with alert and admiring eyes.
Oooohhhh! Well, we all know who THAT is!
We know she's capable of making such a sacrifice, when she left the pre-retcon timeline to go with John. Okay, true, almost everyone in her original timeline had died so it's not like she had much to stay behind for, but still. She did it.
ROXY: john uh
ROXY: i know we just met and all but
ROXY: that was a fine ass speech and idk if i speak for the rest of my peeps here but im fuckin psyched
ROXY: lets do this shit
She *wonks* at you.
On one hand this is the hilarious classical Roxy and I feel like laughing, on the other hand I feel sad when I consider how different her older self felt when John left to go after Lord English.
You weren’t prepared to get passively hit on by the Definitely Not Legal version of a girl you used to have a crush on at the age she was when you first met her, only a few hours after you watched the Actually Legal version of her engage in passionate hand-holding with her possibly aromantic skeleton alien monster girlfriend.
Pfff, sounds about right.
I just realized how funny it actually is that Roxy's hitting on someone who is much older than she is, because that's basically what she also did with Dad. xD
You start to sweat, and again the unwelcome odor of undercooked meat emanating from your body makes itself known to your nose.
Hehe, I wonder how this is going to be in the Candy path. Is there also something from that going to remain on him, to remind him of the choice he made?
You review each of your abilities, strengths, and weaknesses, and then cobble together a reasonably sound approach to besieging a young and bratty version of Lord English by way of surprise attack.
Yup, that attack's gonna be a total surprise for sure. Caliborn DEFINITELY won't see it coming, and he definitely won't know anything about the way you're going to fight.
Aside from that, it appears the consensus is that the melee will likely devolve into an absolute free-for-all
Yup! That's basically indeed what it turned out to be.
You overhear someone making mention of... a huge, gay hope bubble? That can’t be right, but you didn’t catch who said it. A flamboyant pink spell?
Pfff, I love how they're using the same words that Caliborn used to describe the attacks.
...Huh, plainWonder does have a good point. Normally these versions of them shouldn't even know about those powers Jake and Dirk have, yet. They'd normally only develop those after Aranea attacked them, so what's the deal with that?
Unless, because John only overheard parts of what they said, perhaps they were just speculating about what kind of God Tier powers they really had.
At the precise moment you believe the meeting has outlasted its usefulness, Jake does you the favor of effectively pounding the gavel for adjournment by rocking back a bit too far on your lawn pogo and launching himself over the top of the ride on the next bounce. He face-plants right into the dirt.
He warned you, bro! He told you about the pogo ride! It keeps happening!
Dirk goes to help your yard clean the Jake off its dirt.
What the fuck did I just read? xD
Jade follows, to help out. It seems she wants to chat with Jake, considering it’s the first time they’ve met, from her perspective. Some eruptions of chatter can be heard from other members of the group.
D'awww. Yeah, they needed some time amongst themselves to talk a bit. They could definitely all use that right now.
You decide to give the teens some space to work through their shit before you take off to save the universe.
Oh boy, what's he gonna do in the meantime? Look through the window at Dad? Is he... gonna leave Dad a poignant note to thank him for everything? God that would hurt me in the feels. D:
The sad thing about all this is also that Rose, Dave and Jade have actually "lost" their own version of John. Sure, they're catching up with each other now and have seen this adult John and somewhat talked to him, but this can definitely not be the same thing to them.
The John they looked forward to talk to again, he's gone.
You can see straight into your dad’s study from here. You go still. Feet rooted to the ground, heart hammering in your ribs. Your dad’s sitting right there, smoking his pipe and operating his professional-looking, boring, gray PDA.
Oh man, here we go...
There's so much John would want to say to him, but he can't. And that's so sad. It's been 10 years since he last saw him, and lost him forever.
He’s got the kitchen timer set up on his desk, and you can hear the notes of his favorite fatherly jazz album filtering out through the window, which is open only an inch.
Yup, looks like he's indeed baking a cake, and waiting until the timer runs out.
The sun is hitting the glass in such a way that you can’t see his face.
Oh no, that makes it even more sad, that John can't even look at him properly.
...Good thing there isn't a joke here that John's only capable of seeing his nose or something. xD
> This is probably the last time you’ll ever have the chance to talk to him...
The urge is overwhelming. But you can’t, and not just because your feet won’t move and your throat is closing up. It’s just that... it would be a really bad idea to bother him. It would totally freak him out, to have an adult version of his son show up out of the blue and knock on his window like a creep. He probably wouldn’t even recognize you.
No matter how harsh it is... it's probably for the best.
You return to the backyard. Your teen friends have split off into genetically segmented groups: Roxy and Rose sitting in the grass, Jade and your shared ecto-parents laughing together by the Green Slime pogo, and the Striders leaning against the farthest fence, with a tense foot and a half of space between them. It’s heartwarming.
It reminds me of how everyone was doing their own thing on the lilypad platform in separate groups.
I kind of wish we got to see the individual conversations, but I understand that the Epilogue doesn't want to spend too much time on that.
It’s the selfishness of your own perspective, of wanting the memories you had of the reunion between all these people to be the most notable and legitimate manifestation of this event. To see the moment echo, or play out all over again, to overhear the heartfelt confessions repeat themselves
Yeah, it makes sense things would go differently this time. They're talking in an entirely different context now.
Though I wouldn't be surprised if the conversation between Rose and Roxy is somewhat like the one they had on the lilypad platform, and the conversation between Dave and Dirk is somewhat like the one they had on LOTAK.
Though, of course, not exactly the same.
You wonder. Do you see these teen versions of your friends as “real”? Are you treating them, at Rose’s behest, as simple puppets? Doing your part to insist they fill friend-shaped recesses in an essential plan to stabilize all else that can be considered important, a distinction no longer applying to them? Do you care at all about whatever fate it may be that you are sentencing these children to? Are you becoming as complicit in the fatalistic evils of Paradox Space as Lord English himself? Are you becoming a monster, John Egbert?
Dang... that's some hella deep thoughts John's having.
To be honest, perhaps these thoughts were also subconsciously affecting him on Earth C as well. He kept himself so separated from the others, perhaps somewhat feeling like they weren't "his" friends anymore.
That's the ultimate price he paid for sticking his hand into the Plot Hole. While it would allow him to save the lives of the friends he lost, he never truly got them back.
There's no real way to possibly fix that anymore. I think the closest thing he has is return to Earth C and reconnect with his friends who have grown with him for the past 7 years (which is exactly what we'll probably see in the Candy path).
Maybe this is all leading into something about the Ultimate Self? That John will realize that, despite being different versions and having different experiences, by their very nature these are still HIS friends?
You can’t bear to watch them bond any further than this. Nor can you tolerate another moment of your self-incriminating reverie. You wait one more minute before breaking it up, but not a second longer.
Kind of reminds me how Vriska interrupted the meetup on the lilypad platform to talk about the strategy.
JOHN: uh, hey kids...
ROSE: Please, Adult John, don’t do that.
I love how Rose responded in a passive-agressive way by calling him Adult John in return. xD
JOHN: no, if you want to be technical. i can zap us in wherever, whenever. we have all the time in the universe if we want it.
ROSE: But if we don’t leave now, you’re afraid we never will?
That reminds me a bit of how, back on the meteor at the start of the 3-year journey, they "had" to leave at that moment to go towards the B2 session.
After all these years, in the reverse direction, she still has your number.
JOHN: i guess it’s true that people don’t really change. they just grow up?
N'aww. Perhaps Rose's behaviour is what will allow John to open up to them again and consider them his friends again?
Rose gives Roxy a strange look, appearing to silently acknowledge an entire conversation that has been taking place, using a great volume of words that aren’t being spoken.
...Say what now? xD
Is it just about the meaning of what John just said, or...? I'm not sure I really follow.
ROSE: I guess.
D'aww, same thing in reverse direction. Despite John being so much older than the one she knew, she still sees her childhood friend in him.
JOHN: okay everyone... i’ve never zapped this many people before so let’s all just...
JOHN: uh, hold hands, maybe? in a circle, i mean. that should work.
To be honest, John, you've already zapped an entire planet with all its inhabitants before. This shouldn't be too hard.
Only Jade says yes enthusiastically. Everyone else takes a deep breath and looks around at each other. Hands are taken, some tentatively, some firmly.
I imagine that John, Jade and Roxy are probably the ones who are most firmly while the others are more tentatively.
The last thing you hear before zapping away is your dad’s kitchen timer going off in his study.
That was the end of the page... dang, this was the saddest page so far. Quite a few heartbreaking moments in there.
On the other hand, also one of the coolest because DANG WE JUST GOT DIALOG WITH ALL KIDS TOGETHER.
What's next? I mean, we're probably going back to Dirk and Rose's dialogue on Earth C, but I mean, what's next for John and his teen friends?
I assume they'll be zapping to Caliborn now for the confrontation from the Masterpiece.
The question is, are we going to read about the confrontation, or not? I'm not sure...
My main argument for skipping over it is that Arquiusprite was not listed as a character in the character tags.
My main argument for not skipping over is is that Caliborn was listed as a character in the character tags.
The first could be explained if Arquiusprite doesn't have any dialogue, similar to how WV and Dad have appeared without any dialog and weren't mentioned in the character tags (though Gamzee also didn't have any dialog but WAS tagged, though he could still appear in the Candy path maybe).
The second could be explained if Caliborn features as a character in the Candy path, taunting John through snapchats or whatever.
Eh, we'll see what happens!
My bet right now is that we ARE going to skip over it, until perhaps the final part of the confrontation, shortly before the B1 Kids are sucked up. That could give a moment for some Caliborn dialog as well.