Act 5 Act 2, Part 9 of 32
From where we left off, Jade gets out of bed and it does appear that maybe it is indeed a sprite magic bed.
In a callback to Bec’s debut flash. Jade sees a Bec-prototyped imp and strifes it in an interactive page.
The music in this minigame, titled Sunslammer, is one of the best songs in the whole comic. It’s the kind of music that only when you listen to it on loop do you realize how awesome it is. Seriously I’ve listened to that song (and many others from Homestuck) on extended loop. As for the flash itself, it’s a lot of fun seeing a Bec imp teleport Jade around the whole incipisphere—yet another ramification of Bec prototyping himself, in action. It also has the same “review of what’s going on everywhere” feel that walkarounds have: the windy thing on LOWAS, Bec imps thrashing John’s bedroom, Rose no longer in the study room, three instances of Dave seeing Jade, how huge the kids’ houses are, and a bit of a tour of LOFAF.
Becsprite blows up the imp, and I guess this implies that Becsprite is indeed stronger than plain Bec? I’m not sure.
Jade thanks Becsprite, who responds with:
The seizure gifs do a great job at showing how enigmatic Bec is, even as a sprite. If Homestuck was a TV show, then Bec making mysterious noises* wouldn’t have the same effect, and if it was a book, neither would narrative text like “Becsprite responded to Jade with an incomprehensible deafening noise that defies description.” If Homestuck was a graphic novel it might work to put the seizure imagery in Becsprite’s speech bubble, but it might make people think it shows Bec thinking of the green sun, not to mention that it couldn’t be animated to get the full effect unless it’s online (or maybe if it uses lenticular printing, but that still doesn’t get the full effect). Speaking in seizure pictures really brings to light what Hussie is conveying through this spritelog: Bec is a very unearthly being.
* For reference, Let’s Read Homestuck adapts Bec’s “dialogue” by making it a warpy-sounding edit of a dog barking.
As we saw back in Act 3, PM contacts Jade at this point, but before she can say much Becsprite blows up the command station. I take this scene as demonstration how protective Bec is to Jade. He won’t let a stranger’s voice intrude into her mind, leading to another pattern Jade breaks: (18) Jade doesn’t get to have an exile command her. The kid-exile pattern is done pretty out of order regardless: first John, then Jade from PM’s perspective, then Rose, then John again, then Jade from her own perspective, then John some more, and finally Dave.
Related to this, there’s a plot hole about exiles contacting players: PM contacts Jade after she enters the game, but later she contacts John at a point where only he and Rose have entered the game. What’s up with that? A possible explanation that I just came up with is that PM’s command station synchronizes with the incipisphere’s timeline later than WV’s does. Maybe each command station works a little differently or something.
PM does some more stuff and talks with WQ about her new apparent role as a queen. I guess she’s now supposed to be a queen but isn’t really feeling it? Homestuck sort of has a thing of characters rejecting archetypes and stuff like that.
Jade goes to the now-empty grand foyer and goes upstairs to see her atrium in ruins. Then she talks to Dave.
TG: welcome to the medium finally i guess
GG: last time i talked to you i was asking for help and you were just nakking at me
GG: what was up with that bro???
TG: ok i dont know what youre talking about it was probably just some horrorterror chirping at you during one of your nap bubble mindfucks
So Dave never figured out that a crocodile stole his shades while he was asleep?
GG: in the heat of the fray i didnt notice you!
GG: where were you?
TG: three places
TG: i remember seeing you twice before in different locations
TG: but at the moment im standing in the middle of this snowy goddamn field freezing my shit off
TG: just wanted to see if you were cool
GG: yeah im fine, thanks for asking!
GG: what do you mean you remember seeing me?
GG: was i jumping through time or something?
Doesn’t Jade know anything about how her dog’s powers work? She should be familiar with Bec’s teleportation abilities so—wait never mind. Dave claiming to have seen her multiple times must’ve made her think that.
TG: no i was
TG: this is future me
TG: one of the future mes that is
GG: youre from the future?
TG: yeah jade thats what future me means
GG: john told me you have been doing some time traveling
GG: that is…..
GG: really really awesome!
TG: its ok
Like John, Jade thinks that powers like this are super crazy awesome, while Dave and Rose shrug it off. Three years later the situation is similar: Dave refuses to time travel, while John remarks at one point that screwing with past Terezi in the retcon mission is actually pretty fun.
TG: hey its pretty fucking cold
GG: i knoooooow
GG: it is a really neat place but its freeeeezing 😮
TG: so im gonna go some place warm be back in a while later
— turntechGodhead [TG] ceased pestering gardenGnostic [GG] —
GG: uuugh stupid lousy cool dudes
— turntechGodhead [TG] began pestering gardenGnostic [GG] —
TG: ok im back
TG: an hour later
GG: an hour?
TG: an hour for me
TG: a second for you
TG: i ran around for an hour got my ass some place warm
TG: went back in time
TG: picked up where we left off
GG: i can not believe how cool that is
GG: this is me believing neither that, nor its coolness :O
Homestuck loves exploiting time travel to do cool things. Not just cool things as in changing the past or getting a sneak peek of the future, but things you don’t usually see in time travel stories. When writing this, I thought of all the media I’ve read or watched involving time travel, including a book I read around age 10 called The Comic Book Kid. Typically characters will travel through time to make wrong things go right, more often than not for their own personal gain, but they’ll make a fatal mistake and they’ll have to hop around around the whole time continuum to set it all right. But while Homestuck has done that kind of thing sometimes, I don’t think there are many other works that use time travel for such things as keeping tabs on everyone, immediately resuming conversations where they left off after you take an hour off, or making way more money than you should be able to within a limited timeframe.
TG: i guess im sorta used to it by now i dont think of hours going by the same way anymore
TG: i mean
TG: they are my hours but not everyone elses theyre kind of like private hours all to myself
TG: while everyone else is sort of in slow motion stuck in the thick of the alpha
GG: i dont know if i get that but ok!
That’s a pretty interesting way to think about being the time traveler of the group. Homestuck very often puts an unconventional perspective on common tropes and archetypes.
TG: well yeah
TG: my thing is time yours is space
TG: pretty different things
TG: you GET things about space i dont
TG: or you will
GG: i will?
Dave really seems to like thinking of players’ aspects as indicating which sort of topics they’ll inherently understand. One could argue that Jade already gets some things about space, because she’s stated to be something of a science nerd, even though as I noted last post, her knowledge of science isn’t shown much in action. A commonly noted problem with Homestuck is that characters will be stated to have certain interests that are hardly shown in action. Hussie clearly has recognized this problem and taken steps to amend it: in recent updates, characters have brought up John’s interest and lack of skill in programming, Dave’s interest in paleontology, Rose’s longtime interest in psychology, and various other character interests that hadn’t been brought up in a while.
GG: im so horribly unprepared for this…. i have never even seen snow before, can you believe that!!!
TG: pretty believable since you lived on guam or wherever the fuck
TG: and also inside an active volcano
GG: derp yes dave that is so where i lived
GG: that is as biographically accurate as it gets about me!
In that tangent back in an Act 4 post about the kids being or not being sarcastic where I talked about how it isn’t necessarily accurate to say that the Derse kids are very often sarcastic while the Prospit ones never are, this bit came to mind.
TG: well ive never seen [snow] either now that i think about it
GG: isnt it great?????
TG: lavas better
GG: lava is NOT better than snow 😐
TG: yeah it is lava and skeletal skyscrapers all melting and shit how is that not way cooler than
TG: snow and
TG: more snow
GG: you cant play in lava, its no fun
GG: you can only die in lava
TG: snows a big chilly carpet of nobody gives a shit
TG: like old man winter spread around his nasty mayonnaise and turned the landscape into his personal asshole sandwich
GG: eww dave no
TG: when i look around all i see is the miles of unharnessed snowmen im just too damn cool to build
GG: no this is so lame
GG: i am hearing an insane and stupid guy say stupid idiot things while wearing dumb sunglasses for lame morons!
I love this argument over whether lava or snow is better. It’s one of these moments that makes you remember that these are goddamn 13-year-old kids. By the way, I’m with Jade here.
TG: whoa jade with the fucking haymaker
TG: i need to go look for my teeth on the canvas as soon as shit stops spinning and there stops being like ten of you
GG: why dont we play in the snow later
GG: as soon as you get some………………………………
TG: time then shades
TG: time/shades lets go
TG: oh my fucking god
GG: time 8)
I love how Dave repeatedly finishes Jade’s dramatic pun but she goes on with it anyway.
TG: no dont bother john
TG: hes on like his fuckin
TG: wind mission or whatever
TG: getting all his ridiculous magic cyclone powers on and realizing his huge blowy destiny
TG: as the chump of shoosh
GG: john has magic cyclone powers?
GG: you guys are all so much better than me, i feel sooooo lame
At this point Dave could’ve said something like, “hey you always knew stuff about the future and i never could figure out for the life of me how in the hell that worked.” But instead he says:
TG: we all start out somewhere
TG: remember how i was scrambling up that tower to get that egg like an idiot
TG: what the hell was i doing
TG: i was like goddamn pooh bear in a tree reaching up his fat fuckin pooh paw for some mother fuckin honey
TG: so even though im awesome now at one point i was plausibly likened to an autistic stuffed animal
TG: and you even knew what to do
TG: you told me how it worked all christopher robinning my ignorant ass about that egg
TG: but i was all like IM A LITTLE BLACK RAIN CLOUD BITCH WATCH ME CLIMB
TG: so maybe youre startin out with more sense than me
Here, Dave is doing what I like best about him: giving sincere encouragement and advice while keeping his usual sense of humor. Dante Basco once did a dub of these lines, and it sounds like Bobby Hill thinking he’s super cool by using a lot of swear words.
TG: in any case egbert lost his computer and game disc
TG: so he cant do anything for you anyways
GG: oh no
GG: did he lose it in a magic cyclone?
TG: probably some shit like thats what happened
I just realized that John lost his Sburb discs when they sank in the oil, meaning that he can’t play Sburb at all on the computer. The character who was looking forward to playing the game the most is the one who got the least amount of time to actually play it on his computer.
TG: but youre not completely screwed
TG: we just have to think outside the box here
Dave’s about to devise something clever. Cleverness is another thing to like about Dave’s character, as I’ve mentioned a few times back, like in the roboslap scene.
Jade deploys the Intellibeam Laserstation in Dave’s room, and we’re about to learn what it does.
GG: what does this thing do?
TG: its mostly pretty stupid and useless
TG: but itll come in handy here
TG: it reads captcha codes
GG: on the back of cards?
GG: we can already read those!
TG: some are too garbled and complicated
TG: the human eye cant decipher them
TG: needs sophisticated scanning technology
TG: and artificial intelligence to figure it out
GG: but isnt the whole point of captchas that only humans can read them?
GG: and not robots???
TG: yeah well
TG: thats why this is so dumb
Here’s Homestuck’s video game satire aspect again. Some video games will have functionalities that are completely illogical. Here, in a comic about a video game, characters talk about how dumb it is that a game with a sophisticated interface has something that goes against logic. What’s even better is that within the comic’s universe, this isn’t just a video game device that does such a thing, perhaps as an expensive way to duplicate rare items; rather, it’s literally a robot that reads captchas in case humans can’t.
TG: im duplicating my server disc
GG: to give it to john?
TG: nah i told you were not bothering john
TG: hes got shit to do
TG: ill just install it
GG: you are already roses server player!
GG: and john is mine!
GG: not to mention im yours!!!
GG: can you really be a server player to your own server player?
TG: dont see why not
TG: we have to get creative here
TG: this games already so far off the rails what else is there to do but improvise
GG: but i guess
GG: i thought that john sort of…..
GG: HAD to be my server? you know?
TG: well he was
TG: he got you in didnt he
TG: but now hes not
TG: been a change of plans
TG: time to roll with it
More Dave cleverness. This bit demonstrates something about the kids I’ve brought up before: the Prospit dreamers have it in their minds that they need to follow the “rules”, but the Derse dreamers don’t. When I play video games I’ll always try to play the way it was meant to be played, but I know plenty of people who don’t.
Jade pattern breaking count: (19) Dave takes over as her server player, breaking the chain of kids connecting in the order they’re introduced.
TG: thisll be the disc i use for your connection
TG: while the original will stay bound to roses connection
GG: so you will be the server for BOTH us ladies???
GG: you just keep getting smoother, i cant handle all this smoothness
TG: well technically
TG: i will be your server
TG: and past me will stay as roses server
TG: which is to say present me will
TG: the one in the black suit
GG: i guess that makes sense
Dave clearly isn’t afraid to exploit the game mechanics to do things that ordinarily wouldn’t be done. Each of the four main characters has their own way of getting through the game: Dave exploits the quirks of the game, Rose analyzes everything intensively and completely rejects her supposed role, Jade uses tricks to keep things simple, and John just straight out progresses through like any video game.
Dave deploys Jade’s new alchemiter and immediately gives it all the cool upgrades. Jade is commanded to alchemize stuff already, but the narration’s like, haha nope. Part of the narration on that page only made sense to serial readers: it’s kind of saying that Jade’s alchemy binge won’t happen until Christmas.
We then focus on present Dave, and we’re reminded that he woke up when Jade shot an imp and then disappeared.
TT: How was the nap?
TG: and kind of boring
TG: i was in your dream room for a while spying on you
TG: being all creepy and dream duplicitous and shit
TT: It’s ok.
TT: I was being similarly wake duplicitous.
TG: whats with your book collection
TG: dream book collection
TG: all your books are bizarre and terrible
TT: No, my books are great.
TT: I can recommend some good titles for the next time you’re asleep.
TG: but yeah i understand defending your collection i guess if you were in my dream room and talking shit about my awesome dream portraits of dream stiller and dream snoop or whatever wed have to have a fucking talk
This is what I love about Dave and Rose’s interactions. They pretty much always snark about each other’s tastes, and either one can just as well get the one-up.
TT: Did you do anything on the moon besides rifle through my belongings?
TT: Such as remove your shades and turn your gaze Ringward, by any chance?
TG: i did
TT: What did you see?
TG: horrible things
TG: it was like
TG: peering through the dark portal of an eldritch red lobster
TG: and scoping out its all you can eat seafood buffet
TG: when i saw them
TG: their voices became clearer
TT: What were they saying?
TG: i couldnt really focus on anything specific
TG: in totality
TG: im pretty sure it was
TG: a plea for help
TT: That’s good.
TG: no it was disturbing
Often, Rose thinks something is cool but everyone else thinks it’s creepy and disturbing or really boring and strange. I guess that’s sort of the deal with her. She thinks adult Dirk is a cool and interesting guy but all the others think he’s a creep.
Also, Rose and Feferi totally could’ve chatted up about how awesome nightmare squidmonsters are.
TT: You’re going to have to help them.
TT: Even if you don’t like them.
TT: They’re being massacred.
TT: Presently, already, and still to come.
Lord English foreshadowing. At this point, Lord English is still mostly a Chekhov’s gunman since he doesn’t have that much clear significance yet.
TT: It is what it sounds like.
TT: A huge sun out in the literal middle of nowhere, and it is bright green.
TT: It is simply,
TT: The Green Sun.
TG: how big
TG: i need a sense of scale here
TG: is it like the size of our sun
TG: or bigger
TG: or is it only as big as like
TG: planet fucking jupiter
TT: It is nearly twice the mass of our universe.
TG: ok thats pretty fucking big
TG: see how important that contextualization was now i know how fucking impressed i should be
TG: i mean hopy shit thats huge
There’s a recurring pattern with Dave. Things will ironically happen to him, and despite how much he loves irony, he is not amused. In Act 1 Dave joked about how pointless it is to give a sense of scale for meteors, but here he found it legitimately helpful to know how big the Green Sun is. Other examples are the thing of yellow liquid spilling on his turntables, his apple juice haunting him (what he calls Chekhov’s juice), or him crying (because of onions) when he claimed months back that he doesn’t cry.
TG: so whats The Tumor do
TG: i mean the tumor
TG: jesus can we stop with the fancy colored text bullshit
TT: I guess so.
TT: I thought it was more fun that way.
TG: well ok you can keep doing it then
TT: <black>The Tumor</black> is quite a large growth at the center of the battlefield.
TT: [John] won’t be able to remove it without fully realizing his abilities.
TG: ok cool what is it
TT: Can you promise you won’t tell him?
TT: It would probably make him more nervous than he needs to be if he knew.
TG: ok i wont say anything
“Hey, let’s pointlessly hide information from John again, even though we both thought it was stupid when Jade did that about her future sight.” In all seriousness, at least Rose has good reason not to tell John.
TT: Plus, I have other sources.
TT: One in particular has been quite illuminating.
TT: I’ve been referring to him as an informant, when people ask.
TT: Which isn’t often.
TG: what you mean a troll
TT: It’s a man who exists in another universe.
TT: He wants to die.
TG: sounds like a really credible dude sign me up for trusting everything he says
TT: Only as credible as the omniscient tend to be.
TG: oh so he knows everything
TT: Yeah, I think that’s what omniscient means.
TT: But maybe I’ll ask him about that, since he’s the omniscient one.
TG: even if he is omniscient which he probably isnt what if hes just lying
TT: He says he doesn’t lie.
TT: For some reason, I believe him about that.
TT: He’s a convincing fellow.
IRONY AGAIN. Rose explicitly hates being a pawn—that’s kind of a thing about her—but ends up used as one anyway. This parallels her with Vriska, her fellow light player.
TG: so when do i do my thing
TG: make this map
TG: which i guess is just like
TG: a solid black piece of paper
TG: this is going to be fucking stupid isnt it
TT: If there’s one thing you have more than any of us, it’s time.
TT: So, whenever you like.
TT: As long as conventionally speaking, it’s quite soon.
TG: dog it as long as possible
TG: then travel back to about now and go to sleep
How does Dave’s dream self work with time travel? Do all alpha instances of Dave asleep any given point control his dream self? That actually would work pretty well.
I left out lots of parts of this conversation, so for reference, Rose plans on navigating the Furthest Ring to plant the Tumor bomb in the Green Sun and she needs Dave to make a map.
TT: And if you have trouble going to sleep, maybe you can ask your patron troll to trick the telepathic one into putting you to sleep again.
TT: Each of us seems to have a troll infatuated with helping us. Haven’t you noticed?
Here’s another notable trait in Rose: her tendency to recognize and expect patterns. I should’ve mentioned it in the post with her conversation with Jade where she asks if she, too, has subconscious writing on her walls knowing that John has such writing. This is also the origin of the term “patron troll”, a term that’s also used by fans for the troll corresponding with someone’s zodiac sign.
TT: What about the psychopath who’s currently helping you?
TG: oh yeah terezi
TG: no shes cool
TT: Isn’t that camaraderie blossoming into some sort of interspecies whatever?
TG: its blossoming into an interspecies partnership in incredibly shitty cartooning
This is once again reminiscent of Karkat constantly denying a relationship with Terezi. But unlike Karkat, Dave freely admits to chatting with her and thinking she’s cool; he doesn’t deny it as strongly, and yet, he doesn’t imply it as strongly either.
TG: what do you mean get her to trick someone into putting me asleep again
TG: when did that happen
TT: Just now.
TG: who did that
TT: That would be John’s patron troll.
TG: fuckin trolls
TG: too many of them who can even keep track of this shit
TG: which ones yours
TG: is it the absurd juggalo one that would be hilarious
TT: There’s a juggalo one?
TG: yeah see what i mean
If you think about it, most of the trolls would make for hilarious patron trolls. That’s sort of the thing with the trolls: each has this weird funny thing about them.
Rose goes on to talk to Kanaya.
GA: Since The Gap Between Your Present Moment And The Implementation Of Your Mystifying Self Destruction Continues To Narrow
GA: This Will Be The Last Conversation In Which I Attempt To Talk You Out Of It Nicely
TT: I explained this.
TT: The intent isn’t true self sacrifice.
GA: First Of All Youre Underestimating The Gravity Of A Dream Death
GA: Its A Pretty Serious Thing Okay
GA: And Dream Selves Are Important To A Person In Ways That Arent Always Obvious
GA: I Think Youre Being Frivolous But Thats Not Really The Sentiment Reinforcing The Exoskeleton Of My Argument
This whole debate about Rose’s mission brings to light something she and Kanaya have in common: they are more sensible and knowledgeable than most in many aspects (avoiding nonsense for instance), but at the same time spectacularly naive. Both of them have a good array of moments like this: for Rose, blindly following the orders of space gods and omniscient creeps; for Kanaya, thinking it’s a good idea to just hatch the matriorb in the meteor amidst hiding from Jack and early in Murderstuck, or knocking out Karkat when he specifically says all he wants is to make some kind of contribution. This might be thought of as a way the two complement each other.
GA: Your Hubris Is Really Astonishing
GA: Easily Twice The Mass Of A Universe I Think
GA: That It Hasnt Collapsed Upon Itself Into A Tiny Lavender Singularity Is The Most Striking Marvel Paradox Space Has Coughed Up Yet
TT: Maybe it did?
TT: Maybe that’s what went wrong.
TT: We figured it out!
GA: No Please Stop
GA: Humor Wont Deflect My Really Big And Important Tirade Okay
GA: You Are Investing Too Much Confidence In Evil Gods Who Oppose Skaia And Your True Purpose And
GA: I Cant Abide That
GA: As Difficult As This Is For Me To Confess
GA: I Think Your Plan Is Very Dangerous
GA: And So Are You
FORESHADOWING FORESHADOWING FORESHADOWING. Also, like their last conversation we saw, this is demonstrating their status as (sorry) inversions of each other. Kanaya calls the Horrorterrors “evil gods who oppose Skaia”, but it seems pretty wrong to think that. They aren’t any more or less evil than Skaia is, and they certainly don’t oppose it.
GA: Im Afraid I Am Going To Have To Devote All My Efforts To Stopping You
It’s weird reading this when you consider that eventually those two are pretty much the only romantic relationship in Homestuck that became sturdy and stayed that way.
TT: I’m sorry to hear that, Kanaya.
TT: What did you have in mind for this new and exciting adversarial phase of our relationship?
GA: Im So Glad You Asked
GA: You See
GA: I Have Been Training A Powerful Wizard
GA: Yes Your Shout Pole Is Like A Tower Broadcasting Your Fear Across The Ring And You Are Right To Be Afraid
GA: I Have Commissioned None Other Than The Legendary Prince Of Hope And I Am Teaching Him The Ways Of White Sorcery
GA: I Have Observed Your Methods And You Will Come To The Most Unwelcome Realization That All Of Your Guile And Cunning Has Finally Backfired
GA: This Noble Magician Of Pure Light Will Serve As The Counterpoint To Your Arcane Debauchery
GA: He Will Hunt You Down And Goodness And Hope Will Prevail
GA: Maybe At This Point I Should Clarify This Is All A Big Joke
The joke here is largely self-parody on both ends, something that Hussie is fond of doing. Rose did this kind of thing in her conversation with John where she was all like “What are jokes? What is happy?” It’s also making fun of Eridan, the trolls’ pretentious toolbag.
GA: I Mean To Say
GA: The Gesture Of Hostility In This Case Was The Joke
GA: I Did In Fact “Train” This Character
GA: I Made Him A Wand To Shut Him Up
TT: Wait, you did? Really?
GA: He Wouldnt Stop Harassing Me For Your “Secrets”
TT: That’s incredible. Well done.
Yeah it is pretty funny … at least until the wand turns out to be a serious murder weapon Eridan uses in a fit of rage to injure Sollux, kill Feferi, and temporarily kill Kanaya herself. This brings Kanaya’s naive side to light, and makes her subsequent murder of Eridan even more of a relief.
GA: Hes The One With The Royalty Complex And Speaks With All The Extra Vees And Doubleyous
TT: Oh, I knew exactly who you were talking about from the start.
TT: I must say, this little project pleases me.
TT: Do keep me apprised of all further developments.
GA: Okay I Will
As I just said, the wand later bites Kanaya in the ass. I’m imagining her and Rose, after meeting in person, discussing this wand incident, and probably regret it to an extent.
TT: At least until my looming grimdarkdeath steals me away.
GA: Yeah That
GA: Is Still Something That I Dont Really Want To Joke About
GA: I Hope That Came Across As A Sincere Statement
This exchange ends with a reminder of the ominous future blackout. I’ve seen readers deduce early on that the elder gods will possess Rose, which isn’t that hard to guess.
Another 50 pages, so I’ll stop here. See you next time as I say a fuck ton of stuff about Vriska, and about Tavros.