Act 5 Act 2, Part 31 of 32
Doc Scratch Intermission, Part 6 of 6
Pages 4036-4083 (MSPA: 5936-5983)
I can’t believe I’m this close to Act 6, with only two posts to go that likely won’t each take a week to make.
Doc Scratch turns off the fifth wall and then Damara, I mean the Handmaid, I mean the mystery girl who looks like Aradia (I’ll just call her Damara for now), throws a chair at him. It’s always hilarious and satisfying to see people beat up Doc Scratch, even though I don’t really hate him.
As Damara pulls the needles out of her hair, it looks like she is struggling to reach her arms up high enough when she’s rendered in a symbolic manner with a watermelon head and all that.
Then she initiates a guardian strife, calling way back to the early acts. I think this mostly serves to indicate that Doc Scratch is her guardian, as in make it extra obvious.
Damara uses needle magic to try to kill Scratch in an act of hilarious badassery, which quickly turns to horror after he threatens to revoke her breathing privileges:
This guy is so nightmarish of a guardian that he makes Dave’s bro look like a guy who likes to have a bit of fun from time to time.
And now it went from horrifying to, well, even more horrifying. This calls back to Rose doing an empty suicide threat in her fight with Mom, and this being an actual suicide threat makes it seem a lot less silly in retrospect. Doc Scratch takes away her electricity privileges.
I think now would be a good time for another round of reeducation regarding her purpose. A little refresher on the prestigious employment opportunity for which she is being groomed.
Oh hell no. Doc Scratch has just been portrayed as even more of a smug douche than he already was, so it’s only fitting for readers to think “aw hell” when this happens. Also, prestigious my ass. She obviously wants anything but having to work as an eternal slave to Lord English.
This also implies that he regularly lectures Damara on the history of trolls, something she almost certainly hates listening to. I wonder if she is at heart a pacifist, given what Damara was originally like before being somehow tricked into worshipping Lord English and thinking she’ll get exactly what she wants after the Scratch, which, needless to say, is depressing as hell.
If Doc Scratch was really omniscient, he should’ve known this happened.
And given that he didn’t say anything about it and said earlier that the fifth wall is to remain turned off, he probably didn’t know of this.
A long time ago when Aradia snapped her fingers to put Sollux to sleep, I mentioned uncertainty as to whether she used that power again later on. As shown above, someone else does indeed use that power later on, it’s just not Aradia; rather, it’s the mystery girl who looks like Aradia.
Once, in this very universe, you could say, Alternia was home to a peaceful race. Trollkind had never known the corrupting influence in their evolution which led them to perpetual war and violence.
That is to say, they had never known me.
When we learned the ways of troll civilization, it was pretty much always extremely messed-up, and often depressing to think about. Now, it’s revealed that trolls actually aren’t inherently violent, rather they were made that way by Doc Scratch. If you think about it, this means that pretty much every terrible thing we’ve seen trolls do—culling, extreme blood caste racism, lusii forcing people to regularly murder others—is actually Doc Scratch’s handiwork. Let that sink in for a second.
In the Openbound games, it’s revealed that Beforus wasn’t all that great either, with a weird cuddly system of people caring for each other that just about everyone agrees is super lame and boring. Arguably this means that without Doc Scratch’s influence, trolls are ridiculously weaksauce. While some of the Beforan trolls are/were that way, many of them, Meenah in particular, agree that their society was terrible. This brings something else of note to mind: Meenah is a lot more violent and “Alternian-minded” so to speak than the other twelve Beforan trolls. Therefore, by association she would be even more brutal than most trolls as the empress of Alternia, making it an especially violent place. Likewise, Feferi, who sees her world as a lot less brutal than it really is, probably played a big part in making Beforus what it was as the empress.
On the eve of their race’s extinction, the twelve heroes would begin playing a game. They would make an admirable effort, but they would fail. Their civilization had not prepared them for the rigors of this game, and the ultimate reward would fall shy of their grasp.
The way Doc Scratch describes the Beforans’ session in words suggests that like the other humans who played Sburb, they’re people we just won’t focus on. That is later disproven when we actually get to meet the other twelve trolls. There is quite some debate among fans whether the pre-scratch trolls were worth including in the story, but I’ll talk about that later when I get to the walkaround games featuring them.
But their failure was more comprehensive, more systemic, than a result of simple inadequacy so common to young players of this game. Though they could not recognize it for the bad omen it was, this session was not the one in which they had been spawned. Such is the symptom of a subtle glitch affecting certain sessions, an error designed to trigger an unfathomable cascade of misfortune throughout paradox space. This glitch is the calling card of the one I serve. It is the discreet, gentlemanly manner in which he reserves his place in a universe for later visitation.
This is one of those bits which addresses a potential continuity error in the storyline, specifically that the trolls were created in the post-scratch session. I think this one is a really nice way to deal with a possible mistake in the story because it addresses the problem right before it comes up. The solution to this problem, namely that the peculiarity is because of a glitch caused by Lord English, is kind of a handwave but it also nicely ties in with the plot and his story.
The heroes, understanding their defeat was absolute, sought advice from the mother of all monsters. She offered them a choice. The heroes could either accept their defeat along with the extinction of their race, and put no others at risk. Or, she could show them a path to a second chance, to a reality in which the chosen heroes of their race would be strong enough to succeed with ease, and claim the reward. This reset would come at the cost of wiping the failed heroes from existence. They would live new lives from scratch, playing different roles in the reset reality, with no memory of the game they played or the choice they made.
Doc Scratch, quoting the choice Echidna (who he refers to as the mother of all monsters) offered, refers to the heroes of the scratched session not as “they”, rather as “the chosen heroes of their race” which isn’t necessarily the same people. He also doesn’t say that they would succeed with ease and claim the reward, rather that they would be strong enough to do so—just as he said the Tumor has enough power to destroy the Green Sun, rather than that it’s capable of doing that. The first of those lies of omission has the truth revealed further down the wall of paragraphs, while the second we already know to be misleading. Seems like denizens aren’t exempt from the rule that they must mislead people with technically true things either.
The young twenty-four would again be scattered in two groups, twelve modern contemporaries, and twelve ancients. But in addition to losing their memories of everything that had happened before the scratch, there was another catch for the failed heroes. In the new reality, they would not serve as the heroes. They would mature to become the ancestors of the twelve they formerly regarded as theirs, and this twelve would be chosen for glory.
From reading this bit, one can conclude that when the kids’ session is scratched, their guardians will be the ones who play the game. That’s what Doc Scratch didn’t tell Rose when he explained the Scratch. He intentionally left out that detail back then, presumably to trick her into doing stuff that would get her killed because she knows, by which I mean was tricked into thinking, that it doesn’t matter because their session will be wiped out and she will reincarnate as scratched Rose.
These children would be the heroes to achieve victory, and have the reward easily within reach.
Here’s some more careful wording. The trolls we’re familiar with did indeed have the reward easily within reach, but couldn’t claim it before Jack showed up.
Doc Scratch goes on to explain that one of the players-turned-ancestors in the scratched universe did indeed start to remember stuff, transitioning us to the tale of the Sufferer. Although I didn’t read Mindfang’s journal on my second read, I did read Doc Scratch’s ancestor exposition.
But it may also have been due to his mutation that he began to have the visions. Spontaneous, lucid imagery of his world in peace, before its fall.
Why would Doc Scratch say the Sufferer’s visions of a peaceful world may have been due to his mutation if he’s supposed to be omniscient? The only explanation is that he’s not actually omniscient. Also, his visions probably came from his status as a seer.
He would never see the complete picture, or fully understand his previous incarnation’s role in prompting this fall, or know of my hand in it. But the visions showed him all he needed to see. They held the promise of his people’s true potential, beneath the ages of conditioned cruelty. They held the spark of revolution.
The Sufferer’s previous incarnation is of course Kankri. Apparently he had a role in prompting the world’s fall? At first I thought that meant that he did a terrible job at leading the session by doing little more than lectures on nonsense nobody cares about but him, but then I realized it meant the fall of Beforan society.
In time, the visions gave purpose to his travels. He would preach heretical ideas no one else had dared to entertain, let alone risk discussing.
Apparently the Sufferer was the first person on Alternia to even think up such ideas of peace? Doc Scratch must’ve done a real good job keeping trolls corrupted, to the point where only supernatural vision could even come close to changing that.
The way the Sufferer was executed with a device whose shape later became a religious symbol, and pretty much his entire story, is quite a blatant parallel to the story of Jesus Christ. A major theme in Homestuck is myths and religion turning out to be true, with such things as creationism coming true, the zodiac signs symbolizing real creators, and trolls’ fables of Doc Scratch, Lord English, and the Handmaid. In fact, Hussie planned from the start for the comic to turn into an extremely convoluted creation myth. He does not follow any religion*, which I think is part of what makes it fun to come up with his own mythology without it having to be any sort of serious business.
In addition to being a Jesus reference, the Sufferer is also two meme shout-outs in one: Troll Jegus and Pantskat. If you look close enough, you can see him wearing ridiculously tall pants, which Doc Scratch refers to as his Righteous Leggings. He also refers to his shackles as a “flogging jut”; both of these match up exactly with what Karkat said about his sign in that elaborate self-hate rant not long ago ago, meaning that the Sufferer fulfills every detail of what he said back then, even the long pants.
* Neither do I.
When he was finally killed, his anger rung through the cosmos with his last breath. This Vast Expletive was his final sermon, and somewhere encoded in its wavelengths was the truth in his teachings, waiting to reveal itself to any who would inherit his burden.
Some readers speculate that the Vast Expletive was just the Sufferer shouting “CALIBORN” which would obviously make sense tying in with the plot, even though the thing of saying a cherub’s name was never actually once used for some reason.
2021 EDIT: Let’s be real here. Why would the Vast Expletive be anything other than a big, loud “FUCK”? I felt that was obvious at the time but didn’t say so.
From here on out, if I want to comment on the alt text of a banner image, I will caption it with “Alt text:” followed by the alt text. If the caption isn’t preceded with “Alt text:” then it’s just a comment on the image.
This one’s alt text is “BOOYEAH”.
Meanwhile in the banner, parallel storytelling is back in action. This time it’s showing what Hussie is up to, with a new method of narration that’s done in a way that hasn’t been done in Homestuck until now but is quite common in webcomics, especially more conventional ones: the author’s thoughts are in the image’s alt text, something xkcd is known for.
Doc Scratch then explains that the Sufferer’s irons are how the Cancer zodiac symbol came to be. While we already have a very mythological reveal of how the zodiac signs came to be, one could say the fact that the Cancer symbol has a story of its own is double-mythological.
The Sufferer’s following eventually shrank to an obscure cult, one that this picture shows Redglare was part of. I suppose it’s a subtle way of paralleling Karkat’s relationship with Terezi to their ancestors. While some troll relationships are echoed in a much larger scale with their ancestors, this one is echoed in a fairly small magnitude.
The Sufferer preached that after he passed, another Signless would come, heralding the end times for their planet. The Second Signless would continue his work, and lead his people to glory beyond this realm. The followers kept his teachings alive for ages, even as the uproar surrounding the movement subsided.
The prophecy of the Second Signless, obviously enough, parallels Jesus’s supposed second coming. To my knowledge, Jesus’s second coming is portrayed as a supernatural and mythical thing, but Karkat’s existence doesn’t seem all that mythical to me. I would say it would be interesting to see Karkat react to the fact that he was prophesized for many years, but we’ve already seen him deny just about that. I seriously hope the epilogue will address his supposed role in leading the new troll race, because it’s dumb not to follow through with such a big thing.
By modern times, the Sufferer’s scripture was little more than ancient superstition all but forgotten. Hardly the anathema of old.
Ancient superstition is what is now thought of many religions from ancient times, like Greek mythology and such. This once again parallels religion.
But the followers had already made their preparations in the shadows, and when the Second Signless finally came he would have a lusus to raise him and a sign to his name.
This is another little reveal moment: it turns out that Karkat got to live a regular life only because people knew he would later come into being. Presumably that’s also how he survived the brooding trials.
The Dolorosa belonged to the rare class assigned strictly to serving the mother grub in the caverns, forbidden from visiting the surface. While on an errand, she found the young Sufferer in his crater and immediately recognized the child as special, as well as in great danger. For an adult troll to raise a child was unthinkable, but she saw no other hope for him. The Dolorosa abandoned her duties in the caverns, and fled to the surface to raise him.
The Dolorosa must have had really strong will to do such a thing, to actually care for a newborn’s life and raise it in a way nobody else did. Maybe it has to do with her aspect (space), which is said to involve motherhood? That seems like a logical explanation, given the numerous parallels between the ancestors’ actions and their descendants’ (and sometimes their own) god tier titles.
Alt text: Oh hell no. He’s talking about ancestors, isn’t he.
Hussie admitted that the stories of the ancestors not covered in Mindfang’s journal were partly intended as fanservice, because readers would obviously like to know the stories of each and every one of the ancestors. I guess it makes sense that his self-insert is annoyed at a guy going on and on about that stuff.
This image shows us that the Sufferer and his closest followers were a band of four consisting of two males and two females, much like the four main characters of the comic.
Surrounding him on his rise to infamy and throughout the rebellion were the most trusted elites among his devoted. The Ψiioniic was a mage of unequaled telekinetic ability, who upon hearing the words of the Sufferer was inspired to free himself from the sort of slavery typical of his mentally gifted class.
Once again, the Psiioniic (not going to paste the Greek letter every time) did a true act of strong will by freeing himself from slavery, which I’m assuming means he ran off. Maybe this was because of parallelism to Karkat’s friendships? I can’t think of any good aspect connections to make, let alone class connections because there’s pretty much no information in the comic as to what a mage does. However, he is referred to as a mage in the bit I quoted above.
But his most devoted of all was his Disciple. She listened to every vision he retold, every lesson he preached, and faithfully recorded his scripture. Her ear was open to him always, and in time, his heart opened to her. To spread his message throughout the world they took to the seas in the vessel of legend known as the First Ship. It was said their love went beyond the four quadrants, transcending the grid entirely. Whatever that nonsense actually means.
This is what I mean by troll relationships being echoed in a much larger scale by ancestors. Nepeta was attracted to Karkat, which was brought up not all that long ago, presumably to make the parallel to their ancestors’ romance easier to realize.
The First Ship is a blatant reference to shipping. It’s another silly thing that’s thrown in for pretty much no reason, which is kind of out of place but also kind of funny.
The Disciple was to be killed along with him. But at the last moment, the E%ecutor inexplicably took pity on her, and allowed her to escape.
And this is what I mean by troll relationships being echoed in a smaller scale. Nepeta’s and Equius’s respective ancestors only had a brief encounter, where the latter spared the former’s life in a surprising act of pity. This is also a small intersection between Doc Scratch’s story on the ancestors and the story told through Mindfang’s journal.
She absconded with the Leggings, which remained the only physical evidence of his holy suffering. She hid in caves for many sweeps, transcribing all of his scripture from memory on the walls in the blood of slain creatures, and lived the rest of her days in monastic savagery. Her dedication would be critical to the persistence of his message.
Basically, the Disciple carried on the Sufferer’s spirit after his execution. Compared to his other followers this fate isn’t completely terrible.
But the Dolorosa was less fortunate, and was sold into slavery. She spent the rest of her life as property of vicious sea dwellers.
So Nepeta’s ancestor was the only one who actually ran away and got to do stuff she wanted to do? Considering that the Sufferer’s other two major followers accomplished what they did by running off from their jobs, you’d think they’d have the wits to run off again.
As for the Ψiioniic, he was enlisted in a far worse, if more prestigious service.
Oh my fucking god, being forced to work as an eternal slave to an evil queen is not prestigious! This is the second time Doc Scratch refers to such slavery as prestigious, which is complete nonsense. Unless he’s basing it off the fact that he’s completely cool with his role as a servant to Lord English, in which case that’s just kind of dumb.
Alt text: NOT IN MY FUCKING COMIC.
Also, note that he apparently busted through a locked door.
Apparently Hussie really doesn’t like having lectures about troll ancestors in this comic. I wonder if that has to do with the weirdness of having a long-winded interlude on fictional alien historical figures in a comic about four kids playing a video game?
I’m really confused as to what all the purple stuff in the picture above is. Is it supposed to be psychic energy, his physical pain, the Condesce’s life powers, or what?
He was forced to serve as the Helmsman for Her Condescension’s imperial battleship. Psychics of his kind were exploited for interstellar travel, and his abilities made her ship the fastest in the fleet by far. She grew so enamored of her Helmsman and his power, she would use her touch to extend his lifespan to match her own.
The Condesce’s lifespan extending powers match up with Feferi’s role as a life player. Needless to say, it’s the most cruel thing to make someone a slave for life, and proceed to stretch the meaning of “for life”.
Alternian text reads “BATTLESHIP CONDESCENSION”.
The label of the Condesce’s ship, as shown above, is our first definite clue that she is Betty Crocker. I think the previous mentions of Betty Crocker, starting with doomed John mentioning that he found out that she made Fruit Gushers, were meant to build up to such a revelation.
Alt text: Ah-ha! Caught red handed, you bastard. You stop clogging up my story with your troll fanfiction this instaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH
Hussie referring to Doc Scratch’s stories as troll fanfiction brings to light the notion that he was behind all of troll history.
Evil Feferi’s first appearance.
If angered, she could simply express her grievance through communion with her ancient lusus of the deep, and turn its psychic devastation on her multitudes. The class hierarchy played into her hands politically in this respect. Killing off a haphazard swathe of the population, or an entire class, was suitable as a measure of last resort, but mass extermination does not lend itself well to practical governance.
I wonder if that’s how the limebloods were all killed off? By using Gl’bgolyb’s race-killing powers or whatever?
As a self-governing body, the land dwelling portion of her empire was formidable. But her force of sea dwellers was equally formidable, and the two were kept in check not only with the threat of psychic annihilation, but their mutual hatred and distrust.
The rivalry between land and sea dwellers is similar to the whole battle between the black and white chess teams, with how they are eternally stalemated until a player enters the game.
The only threat to her power was unification through uprising, a possibility made remote once she fully decentralized the race from the homeworld. She scattered all but the children throughout the galaxy after the most recent rebellion led by the Summoner. Upon doing so, she became so comfortable with her grip on power, she risked venturing deeper into space than ever before to grow her empire.
“Unification through uprising” is once again a possible parallel to the chess battle; that’s exactly what WV did when the session started going off the rails.
But the more space she put between herself and Gl’bgolyb, the more she risked weakening her bond with the monster. The bond she and her successor shared with it exclusively could sway, and become strengthened with the younger. Perhaps she grew complacent with the threat successors posed, after such a long history of killing them with ease. Heiresses upon reaching maturity were expected to challenge the Condesce for the throne. It was not merely expected of them by their people, but demanded by their shared lusus.
This shows us that even the way inheriting the throne works is terrible and messed up. If you forgot that pretty much everything about troll society is terrible and backwards, then this bit of exposition may remind you of that once again.
This image above is a rare sighting of the Condesce’s eyes. The Condesce, of course, appears a lot later on, with her eyes never shown to my knowledge, so I suppose this is early installment weirdness. Or maybe it’s just live demonstrating of the prior mention that trolls’ eyes fill with their blood color as they get older.
If the lapse in her custodial bond was significant enough, it was not just political power she risked. At such a distance, she sacrificed concentration needed to curb its most dreadful psychic shriek of all, the galaxy-wide extinction event called the Vast Glub.
I somehow missed the reveal that the Condesce messing something up is why the Vast Glub happened. I always kind of assumed it was a thing that randomly happened, presumably triggered to activate along with the meteors or something. But now, it looks like the glub happened alongside the planet’s destruction by (un?)happy coincidence.
She ordered all fleets to return to Alternia. But such was her empire’s expansion and interplanetary occupation, few could make it in time to provide any meaningful defense. She instructed her Helmsman to pilot the ship faster than he ever had, and he did so through extreme physical duress. He was able to leap across thousands of light years in a matter of hours. The exertion likely would have killed him, if the Glub didn’t get to him first. Her touch could extend life, but never restore it, to her lament.
The Helmsman (easier to type than his original name)’s fate parallels both of Sollux’s deaths. Both Sollux (the first time) and his ancestor died as a result of the Vast Glub, and if not for the glub, his ancestor would’ve died in a manner similar to Sollux’s second death.
I love Damara’s annoyed face.
She was forced to continue the journey home on auxiliary power. Her ship now travels near the speed of light, a pale shadow of its former velocity.
Apparently trolls could get near light speed with technology, but higher than that only with psychic powers? That should logically be impossible, but so is just about any fictional way to surpass light speed.
It would take her another 612 solar sweeps after the Glub to reach her destination.
I like the thrown-in parallel to the exile arc taking place 413 years in the future. This storyline, which must include the intermission, thereby takes place 612 sweeps in the future which is a lot later, equivalent to the 34th century relative to the time of the kids’ storyline.
Hussie walks in horrified to see what Doc Scratch did to his panels, which may parallel his annoyance at what Scratch is doing with the narrative.
Anyway, the last of the twelve ancestors arrived a bit late. In fact, she would cross through her portal six centuries after the descendants had come and gone. There weren’t many left to look after her, so she ended up in foster care.
Oh come on. I’m sure there’s a lot of people who would’ve done a better job at caring for the poor girl than Doc Scratch. Hell, I’m sure anyone would’ve been a nicer guardian than him. I mean, look at the big city in the background of the picture, below Alternia. Do you really think nobody lives there??
Looks like Scratch stole the meteor after it came so he could “take care” of her. Why does he say shit like “she ended up in foster care”???
I would raise the girl to be groomed for her calling. My lessons would emphasize obedience, mastery of the clockwork majyyks, and being locked in a room.
And yet she isn’t groomed for her calling at all. She obviously hates her guardian’s smug white puppet ass more than anything.
As you must have gathered by now, my employer will enter this universe quite soon. I will then relinquish my custody to him, and she will serve as his Handmaid for an eternity to be specified. As you must have also gathered, she has already done so. Though her most common of blood should have let her expire in just a dozen or two sweeps, his curse kept her very much alive.
And she did not intend to stay that way.
Why couldn’t Doc Scratch do whatever was done to pre-scratch Damara and brainwash her into thinking doing Lord English’s bidding is dignified? I mean come on, there’s obviously a way to do just that.
Why does she now have Lord English eyes?
I guess through clockwork majyyks or whatever the hell.
His curse is one of conditional mortality, with the desired outcome contingent on her service. When I release her, she will take her place at his side, and travel through time to carry out his orders.
Presumably, Lord English forced her to do all this stuff through simply being fearsome. In this case, one might be tempted to say he is less of an ass than Doc Scratch is, because the Handmaid actually follows the stuff he makes her do.
While I am his weapon of subtlety and precision, the Handmaid is strictly an apparatus of terror and suffering. We have both paved the road to his arrival, I in my way and she in hers.
Apparently part of what Lord English instructed the Handmaid to do was to ensure his arrival? I thought Doc Scratch would’ve had that covered but English seems like the kind of guy who’d want to be extra sure his evil ways are around.
Her recurrance in history would earn her the reputation of a demoness, more feared than even her master, a man though dreadful rarely makes himself seen. She stirred up class warfare and intensified bigotry in whatever era she haunted. She made sure the descendents would enter a world which prepared them well for the game, and took measures to see that they would play as they did.
There’s the mythological motifs again. Once again, a longtime troll superstition is in fact real. It’s really impressive that Lord English’s maid is more feared than the man himself. You could say that he is so fearsome that he can make his servant even more fearsome than he is.
Here’s a thought I had not long ago about Lord English as a villain that relates to the Handmaid’s story. It’s a common subject of debate how good of a villain Lord English is; as has been remarked in the comic when Dave complained about having to fight English, he doesn’t seem to do anything that directly hurts our heroes. However, many villains under his command—Doc Scratch, the Condesce, and Gamzee to name a few—have directly hurt our heroes, stuff that would most certainly not have happened if not for English. In fact, just about every major villain except for Bec Noir is in some way affiliated with Lord English. That’s why I like to think of Lord English as a boss villain in a very literal sense: he is the boss of many of the comic’s antagonists.
The two last trolls alive, blood of rust and royalty, will make each other pay for the crimes against their race. Their payment will be mutually dealt in the currency of punishment and reward at once. The Condesce will be rewarded with the power and immortality her new service entails, and punished by the grueling slavery for which it is synonymous. And you, young lady, are to be punished by death at the hands of your replacement. And so too will this be your reward.
Basically, the Condesce inherited Lord English’s curse from the Handmaid after killing her. When she finally meets her fate, does nobody else inherit the curse? I have trouble flat-out saying the Condesce died because it doesn’t really make sense that she’d get killed just like that, without any dire consequences.
Alt text: “Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. My heartbeat falls in rhythm with the clock as I draw close to my prey. I leave nothing to chance, for you see it is the most dangerous prey of all, a four foot tall asshole in suspenders who won’t shut up. Wait for it, Hussie. Wait for it…”
I wonder if the alt text in this image is meant to parody Doc Scratch’s pompous and poetic way of speaking. Also, Hussie says Doc Scratch is four feet tall, meaning that he is the only character with a canonical height. It’s weird to think about how Scratch is essentially an adult character but much shorter than the average thirteen-year-old in real life.
The banner image here is just a crudely-drawn version of the main image shown above, which I think is pretty hilarious. I remember seeing the banner image in my first read, and I found it pretty funny how it directly remarks how much Doc Scratch is blabbering, which I could relate to since I didn’t actually read through any of the stuff he said the first time around.
And so, my dear, that is the inspiring tale of your people, and why you should feel rather privileged to be in the position for which I have groomed you meticulously. Are you not grateful? Yes, surely you are, and it warms the soft fluffy material in my chest to know this. What is it? What are you looking at over there?
Ah, of course. The clock. I can see you have a good eye for a fine timepiece. Your exemplary taste is certainly owed to a quality upbringing.
Doc Scratch is just completely blind to Hussie’s existence, isn’t he. Earlier he said he won’t acknowledge Hussie’s self-indulgent nonsense, and we’re about to see what that costs him.
Perhaps you wish to know the history of the clock, and how I came to possess it? Yes, I can see the sparkle of curiosity in your eye. It’s a marvelous tale, one almost as long as it is verbosely told. Where do I even begin…
The deal with Doc Scratch’s clock probably is a really interesting plot point, because it would probably give insight as to how god tier judging works. But the story never really elaborates on it, thanks to Hussie interrupting his storytelling. I guess this is a pseudo-plot point in that it’s never actually made relevant? Maybe that’s for the best since revealing stuff about that clock may answer the question of the judging of Vriska’s death and it’s kind of the point to leave it ambiguous.
“got to church!”
STORY TIME’S OVER WIND BAG WHOOPS OH SHIT GET THIS FUCKIN’ CLOCK OUTTA MY WAY. I AM A ONE MAN STAMPEDE AND I’VE GOT A BROOM AND THAT PEAL OF SPLINTERING WOOD YOU HEAR IS THE LAST GASP OF A PRICELESS ANTIQUE DISINTEGRATING BENEATH THE OUTRAGEOUS FURY OF MY AUTHORIAL HOOVES.
When the author makes his clumsy surprise entrance, the narration returns to his hands. I’m just going to assume that’s self-indulgent author nonsense, the same way Doc Scratch is lifeless when Hussie is around.
As Hussie has a one-sided fight against Doc Scratch, little Damara runs away in glee, giving us an adorable hope spot. It’s brief, but it’s a satisfying moment of hope regardless.
Alt text: GIRL.
As Damara triumphantly jumps out of the building, the Condesce’s battleship is shown flashing with Lord English’s pool ball colors. Is this supposed to indicate that Lord English is speeding up the ship, that her future self is on it as well, or what?
Also, Lord English takes over the alt text; this page and the next few are the first and last time we hear him (not Caliborn) speak.
YOU THERE. GIRL.
(1) How is Damara even able to jump this far? Is she just that enthusiastic about thinking she’s free from Doc Scratch at last?
(2) Why is Lord English calling back to WV’s first words (BOY. YOU THERE. BOY.)? Maybe it’s to mirror how WV was introduced as a mysterious desert wanderer, and how Lord English is also at this point mysterious.
I guess he is just a limp lifeless puppet when I am around. Like a reverse Calvin and Hobbes kind of thing. That is…
That is a little disturbing.
The reverse Calvin and Hobbes thing was of course a choice made by the author, but it’s quite a strange one. It doesn’t really make sense and is kind of weird; maybe it’s done because it would be either more or less self-indulgent for Hussie and Doc Scratch to have an actual broom battle or something?
GIRL, QUIT ALL THIS SCURRYING AROUND.
This line once again echoes something WV said. I like how although WV and Lord English are as different as can be, in both cases “quit all this scurrying around” makes perfect sense in the context given.
What the hell? Looks like he’s had the disc repaired for a while already, but didn’t tell us. Motherfucker just loves the sound of his own voice.
At this point, readers probably forgot about the disc entirely, making this a final jab at Doc Scratch and how much of a douchebag he is before he leaves the story.
DO YOU BELIEVE YOU CAN ESCAPE ME BEFORE I ARRIVE?
HOW DO YOU EXPECT TO OUTRUN ME
As Doc Scratch essentially leaves the story, Lord English proves his might by being already here; this time, he says it, not someone else, making his appearance even more terrifying. It’s no less terrifying that we only get a vague teaser of what he looks like, with rainbow pool ball eyes and green skin.
To save us from the horror of reading smug white walls of paragraphs, Hussie snaps the website back to normal, but accidentally changes it to a Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff theme, then unsnops it back to normal. While the beginning of the Doc Scratch intermission is Scratch setting the stage in a gentlemanly manner, the end is Hussie barging in and doing a clumsy job bringing it back to normal. I think this may serve to contrast a mean-spirited but infallible narrator against a good-spirited but sloppy narrator; the latter refers to Hussie the character, not the author.
See you next time as I FINALLY finish Act 5 so I can go on to the part I’ve been waiting for months to cover. As I’ve mentioned before, next post will also include Intermission 2.