One of my Act 6 Act 2 posts was originally going to be called “The Worst Part of Homestuck (So Far)” but I then decided to name it “A Friendship Permanently Ruined”.
This post was originally going to be called “The Worst Part of Homestuck (Arguably)” but then I decided on “A Friendship Even More Permanently Ruined”.
As a wise man once said, the circle of stupidity is complete.
Act 6 Act 5 of Homestuck opens with a short flash of Jake English sitting alone and bored on his planet, waiting for the day his cool young grandma and her movie-loving brother finally show up. In this flash, Jake’s sprite is revealed to be a combination of Eridan and Sollux, who flips him the bird. Jake wheezes laughing for… some reason? Then he gets an alert from Dirk and sighs again.
TT: Where you at, man.
TT: Which computer are you using?
TT: I’m not comfortable knowing my words could be hovering over Cage’s clownish, sort of gaunt face.
TT: Could you maybe switch back to naked blue chicks as your exclusive desktop fodder? TIA.
TT: But yeah.
TT: I don’t know if you just want a little solitude.
TT: Or if maybe you finally just got like,
TT: A case of Strider fatigue.
TT: I could understand that.
TT: I mean, not to get all neurotic on you.
TT: I’m just saying I get it, if that’s what’s going on.
TT: But for real, if you gotta sneak away for a few days, that’s cool.
TT: Just might be kind of dope if you at least would let me know which planet you scurried off to.
TT: And by dope I guess I mean considerate?
TT: Really not trying to be a drag here.
TT: Wondering what’s up is all.
TT: Want to meet up soon?
TT: I found a really promising tomb we could raid.
TT: Looks like it runs hella deep.
TT: If I’ve got the specs right, could run as deep as the Lion’s Mouth itself.
TT: But without all the fuckin’ fire to deal with.
TT: Wait, I mean Lion’s Mouth.
TT: Gotta underline that key shit. Always forget.
What is going on with Jake? He’s always viewed Dirk as a cool friend and his whole life he’s been excited to go on tomb raiding adventures just like in his favorite movies. But now he isn’t responding to any of his best bro’s messages.
TT: Figure it should take a couple days to make it to the bottom.
TT: Only a day if we both go limp and just fall the whole way down the stairs.
TT: Ignoring literally every sage warning we’ve ever received about those treacherous plummetation zigzags.
TT: Just tumbling on down in a floppy limbed trance like a couple of puppets in a race arranged by some drunk gamblers.
TT: If you’re into another expedition, head to LOTAK and hit me up. Just don’t forget your mask this time.
TT: The deeper we go, the worse it gets, remember?
TT: Could be some unreal grist down there.
TT: More puzzle shit.
TT: Loads of skeletons.
TT: Pack your guns dog.
It’s so weird seeing Jake not get excited about adventures. I’m not going to try to analyze this romance drama much so I’ll keep things brief. Dirk probably has only the best intentions and wants to take Jake out on trips he knows he enjoys; Jake got bored of exploring intense deadly mazes all the time and now just wants to finally meet the beta kids.
Jake’s lock screen wallpaper is now a selfie with him and Dirk. An image that stings to look at considering Jake is currently in the process of ignoring his bro.
Jake solicits profound wisdom from his friendly guide, a miserable troll amalgam sprite named Erisolsprite. Physically he’s a sprite combination of Eridan’s corpse and Sollux’s half-corpse, but personality-wise he’s just pre-blinding Sollux with even more self-loathing—it’s easy to forget Sollux was constantly irate and ranting about his race’s doom from the trolls’ arc up until his blinding.* It’s an interesting choice for this sprite not to have much of Eridan’s personality, but rather for Sollux’s soul combination with Eridan to make him hate himself even more. Just look at these passages:
* Put more succinctly: it’s easy to forget Sollux.
ERISOLSPRITE: alriight you wwant 2ome redrom coun2el, wwell here you go.
ERISOLSPRITE: iim of the miind2et that wwhen you havve a rock 2oliid piiece of a22 tiied twwo the dock, you dont bloody wwell tug the knot loo2e and 2hovve the fucker off wwiith the heel a your boot.
ERISOLSPRITE: but then another part of me ju2t wwonder2 wwhat the FUCK ii ju2t 2aiid there? liike that wwa2 ju2t 2uch a wweiird 2ociiopathiic thought ii had, ii hone2tly had no iidea howw bad ii could po22iibly feel about my2elf untiil ii BECAME my2elf, iif THAT make2 2en2e.
ERISOLSPRITE: your bro ha2 feeliin2 twwo con2iider, he2 not 2ome 2liice of grub2teak. wwhy are you con2ultiing wwiith me, iim a dii2a2ter. no iim a dii2a2ter that 2hiit iit2 emotiional pant2 wwiith thiick liiquiid CATA2TROPHE, 2o dont evven come near me.
ERISOLSPRITE: revvolvve around? iit2 a biit late for that jake.
ERISOLSPRITE: your flu2hed quadrant ii2 a black hole and wwe are all beiing dragged 2creamiin through iit2 evvent horiizon.
ERISOLSPRITE: ju2t talk twwo jane, and nevver fuckiin look at me agaiin for the re2t of your liife.
ERISOLSPRITE: iim leavviing. hey here2 one for the road.
JAKE: Ah! There she blows. Your favorite finger of all.
JAKE: You sure do love showing that one to people. Its actually become a vaguely comforting gesture.
ERISOLSPRITE: you knoww wwhat youvve done jake.
ERISOLSPRITE: you havve totally RUIINED the act of fliippiin people off.
ERISOLSPRITE: iit wwa2 the one joy ii had left. ii hope youre happy.
Erisolsprite throws choice insults at Jake. He also states some choice facts, not the least of which is that Dirk is a human being with feelings.
Meanwhile on Roxy’s planet, we get a rather cute sight. Jane and Roxy are working hard decorating for Jane’s 16th birthday party, accompanied by some exiled carapacians and cats.
Upon Erisolsprite’s suggestion, Jake pesters Jane.
I’m going to do you a huge favor that you should be grateful for. Just like last time Jane and Jake talked, I’ll skim through the pesterlog and only comment on a few interesting or especially “what the FUCK” bits.
GT: Well what in the name of willy howard tafts great tub choking bottom could i be forgetting then?
GT: This is going to drive me CRAZY! Can you give me a hint?
GG: Yes. It has to do with the day I was born, which was almost exactly sixteen years ago.
GT: Of course! Your birthday!!!
GG: Didn’t you get Roxy’s invitation?
GG: It was my understanding that she gave you and Dirk notice weeks ago.
GT: Yes thats right. Now i remember. The date sure snuck up on us quick didnt it?
GT: Sorry you know how things can slip my mind. The gourd on my shoulders isnt the steel trap it used to be. Nothing like the well oiled puzzlebuster you’ve got up there.
GT: Well damn.
GT: Looks like the egg monster took quite the spirited dump on my face this time.
GG: Jake. I… what?
GT: I feel so dumb. Ill be right over.
Is it just me, or does Jake crank his old man speak WAY up whenever he’s being thick-headed? Or repressive, depending how you prefer to analyze Jake’s character. This pattern I’ve noticed is probably a natural effect of the usual way to write him. Clumsy metaphors are something John and Jake have in common, but only the former is self-aware about it.
GG: Well, if you recall, the party is actually tomorrow.
GG: Like I said, we’re just setting a few things up.
GG: Roxy is putting up some decorations. I baked a cake. You were of course free to join us early too. I just thought since I hadn’t heard from you in quite some time, you had better things to do.
GT: You baked a cake for your own party?
GG: Yes. So?
GT: I dont know something seems amiss about that. Isnt that against tradition or inviting bad luck or something?
GT: But I guess it makes sense since you love baking cakes. Its like a present you give to yourself!
It’s easy to forget how naive Jane can be sometimes. Her misconception about baking cakes would be perfectly endearing under any other context.
Jake talks about how hard grist has been to come by and starts to speculate about the beta kids he so badly wants to meet:
GT: Sometimes i wonder if the heroes had the same problems in their game. Do you think they found an easier way to kill skeletons?
GT: Were they just as shameless as us when it came to splurging our precious grist on swanky new duds?
GT: Did the same enigmatic bard haunt their game? And if so which hilarious dead trolls did he throw into the flashy blobs?
GT: Mr erisol tells me he knows many things about the heroes because he saw them in action when he was alive. But he wont tell me a thing about them! These troll sprites sure do love keeping their secrets dont they? Heheh.
Jake’s speculation is mostly way off, but in a way he’s right on about the enigmatic bard. Gamzee did indeed haunt the beta kids’ game, but in a much more roundabout fashion than with the alpha kids because that’s what bards do. I feel bad for him not getting to know anything about the beta kids’ game. Probably about the same happened after the retcon, since Vriska let Tavros come by only often enough to occasionally console Jake.
Jake then starts to monologue about issues with Dirk, and Jane’s face says all:
GT: Oh which actually reminds me of ANOTHER thing thats been bugging me about dirk.
GT: He can often be almost hilariously self absorbed. Dont even get me started on when he starts going off on these long monologues about his philosophical gobbledygook.
GT: I’m not sure he actually has much of a filter when it comes to what others regard as interesting points of conversation.
GT: Not to rag on the guy too hard but i guess at times i would just like to see a little more self awareness from him is all.
Obligatory “you’re one to talk”. That is all.
And then Jane loses her patience and starts screaming at Jake. Roxy and her best friend Fefetasprite are understandably confused.
GG: YOU MIGHT ACTUALLY BE THE MOST THOUGHTLESS, SELF-CENTERED PERSON I HAVE EVER MET!
GG: I CAN’T BELIEVE I USED TO FEEL…
GT: Used to feel what?
GG: JAKE, HAS IT EVER OCCURRED TO YOU HOW IT MUST FEEL FOR SOMEONE TO LISTEN TO HER FRIEND GO ON AND ON ABOUT HIS BOYFRIEND PROBLEMS WHEN…
GG: WHEN ALL ALONG SHE…
GG: BUT SHE JUST COULDN’T SAY BECAUSE SHE BLEW IT AND IT WAS TOO LATE TO…
GG: I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHY I’M BOTHERING TO EXPLAIN THIS TO YOU. NEVER MIND.
GT: Now hold the phone.
GT: Jane i think i may finally understand whats been going on here.
GT: In retrospect i cant believe ive been this blind.
GT: Youre right i really can be deplorably thick sometimes.
GT: Looking back i can see how many of our conversations must have been torment for you.
GT: You really should have told me how you felt sooner!
GG: YEAH. I…
GG: I know. 😦
GT: If you told me you had the hots for dirk i would have backed off without another word.
GT: What are friends for!
Jake’s misunderstanding is fucking incredible, I can’t even bring myself to do anything but crack up. It’s just, what is there to even say?????
ROXY: yo uh
ROXY: u ok there
JANE: I WILL BE PEACHY FUCKING KEEN ONCE I STOMP THIS NOVELTY MUSTACHE HEADSET INTO OBLIVION, AND NOT A MOMENT SOONER!
ROXY: janey uh
ROXY: that aint a reasonable thing you said
JANE: AU CONTRAIRE.
JANE: I BELIEVE YOU WILL FIND THAT ONCE THIS PIECE OF SHIT HAS BEEN REDUCED TO SUBATOMIC PARTICLES, WE WILL ALL COME OUT SMELLING LIKE FUCKING ROSES.
ROXY: stoppit 😦
ROXY: ur upsettin fefeta
ROXY: think of fefeta is all im asking
ROXY: poor fefeta 😥
FEFETASPRITE: 3833 < 383
JANE: OH POOR FEFETA MY SWEET PATOOTIE!
JANE: YOU AND I BOTH KNOW FEFETA HAS HAD TO DEAL WITH GARBAGE FROM JERKOFF BOYS BEFORE.
JANE: SO DON’T GIVE ME THIS POOR FEFETA CRAP.
Jane is starting to make negative amounts of sense here. Isn’t the trolls’ romance drama backstory even more reason not to upset dear, sweet, precious Fefeta?
ROXY: lol yeah
ROXY: my girl fefeta knows whats up
ROXY: she been around the d bag block a time or 2
ROXY: em i rite fefeta
FEFETASPRITE: 3833 < 3;3
ROXY: shit yes gimme a paw bump
ROXY: jane u want in on this action
ROXY: come give us a fist fulla sugar
ROXY: complete the 3way for max girl power + solidarity against dumb dudes
ROXY: janey jeez dont leave us hanging here
ROXY: jane that was the piss poorest paw bump ive ever seen
ROXY: that was like a negative bump
ROXY: we are going to have to bump long and hard into the night to dig us outta this fuckin bump hole you dug us into
ROXY: w/ that tragic bump
ROXY: that bump was like
ROXY: makes me want to weep softly and leave a bouquet somewhere
ROXY: someone plays a sad trumpet in the distance
ROXY: look fefeta just sniffled a little at how sad that bump w-
Fefetasprite is kind of like the alpha kids’ Mayor—she doesn’t talk but has one party member constantly proclaim her to be a rich, thoughtful, and pure soul who nobody can ever hate. There’s not really much reason not to make her a voiced character though? Maybe Hussie decided he didn’t enjoy trying to figure out how to write amalgamations of random trolls. It makes sense that after the retcon he took a second shot at making character amalgamation sprites and came up with Jasprosesprite^2 and Davepetasprite^2. I’m not sure how I feel about the squared sprites, other than that I still love everything about Rose’s reaction to her absurd cat sprite self.
ROXY: he was a block head and forgot your birthday didnt he
ROXY: im sorry jane
JANE: Yeah, me too. Can we maybe not rehash the whole terrible conversation though??
ROXY: yeah we dont have to
ROXY: just maybe try not to hold whatever dumb shit he said against him forever?
ROXY: thats just how the guy is
ROXY: its like
ROXY: he doesnt mean to be a douche
ROXY: but its just kind of a byproduct of the whole ridiculous jake english experience
ROXY: like his dunkass shenanigans leave behind a residue that looks like douche and tastes like douche but it aint the real thing?
ROXY: like douche substitute
ROXY: “i cant believe its not douche”
ROXY: im just trying to say not terrible things about him in hopes you dont start hating each other but i guess this isnt what you wanna hear now
Roxy only ever sees the best in her friends, and I do mean all of her friends. It can be a huge benefit or a huge problem depending on the circumstances, and it’s such a pivotal trait of hers that at the end of the Candy Epilogue she’s only just starting to come to terms with distancing herself from Jane.
JANE: ROXY, I GET YOU’RE TRYING TO MAKE ME FEEL BETTER, BUT A LOT OF THINGS YOU’RE SAYING HERE AREN’T REALLY HELPING!
JANE: DO YOU EVEN REALIZE WHAT YOU’RE SAYING HALF THE TIME?
JANE: I THINK I LIKED YOU BETTER WHEN YOU WERE DRINKING!
ROXY: jaaane no
ROXY: dont say that
ROXY: i had a problem 😦
FEFETASPRITE: 3833 < 38(
Obligatory “ouch”. That is all.
JANE: THIS GAME IS SO MUCH MORE DEPRESSING THAN I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE! EVERYTHING IS DEAD AND EMPTY AND FULL OF GRAVES AND ALL WE’RE SUPPOSED TO DO IS JUST KEEP WAITING AND WAITING AND WAITING! BUT FOR HOW MUCH LONGER?
Right after a surprisingly nasty remark from Jane, we’re reminded how excited she was to play Sburb at the start of Act 6 and it’s surprisingly crushing.
JANE: AND I STILL DON’T KNOW WHERE MY DAD IS, AND YOU STILL HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO REACH CALLIOPE, AND WHAT IF THEY’RE BOTH…
JANE: AND NOW ON TOP OF ALL THAT, I MAY HAVE PERMANENTLY DESTROYED MY FRIENDSHIP WITH JAKE!
JANE: AND NOW…
JANE: I just want to be alone.
ROXY: jane wait
JANE: I have to go!
ROXY: where are you going!
Jane goes on to remind us of all the other problems that aren’t resolved one bit more than they were when the alpha kids started the game and it’s again surprisingly crushing.
It’s only thematically fitting that Jane shouting “HOME!!!” is accompanied by a humorous callback to the early acts.
ROXY: good lard
ROXY: all my friends are being disasters
ROXY: welp looks like its just us
ROXY: party nite w gcat and fefeta
ROXY: oh dangit
ROXY: hey you know i could have used some support there
ROXY: where was all that profound shippin expertise when we really needed it!
ROXY: usually i can barely shut you up girl
ROXY: maybe you just clammed up at all the drama?
ROXY: hehehe youd have loved that pun
ROXY: the one i just said about the clams
I don’t like that Fefetasprite never says a single word onscreen despite how talkative Roxy claims her to be. Maybe it fits thematically because Roxy is a void player and supposed to be all mysterious? I don’t say that because I actually think it makes any sense, but as an excuse to talk about a criticism I have with Roxy’s character: her being “mysterious” because she’s a void player is an informed attribute at best. Roxy doesn’t ever feel strange and mysterious, not even all that much in the epilogues. I mean sure, narrator Dirk has a much harder time understanding Roxy than any other character, but let’s be real here, the whole mysterious Roxy motif was mostly used as an excuse for the gender transition storyline and didn’t have much of a bearing on the plot.
(Hell, I’d argue that Roxy being supposedly “hard to decipher” made the transition arc feel more forced. Why else do you think so many people draw him with fucking heart-shaped sunglasses???)
With Fefetasprite asleep, GCat teleports Roxy to Derse and she’s knocked out on the floor, watched over by the Condesce.
Jane ollies outie and arrives on her own planet. The cute callback is immediately followed by her running home in a bitter mood…
… which fizzles out and becomes a sad mood.
Then she gets an alert from Caliborn. Not surprisingly, she’s extremely upset to hear from him again. Caliborn brags about how much progress he’s made in the game and his new way of spying on the alpha kids’ game.
uu: MY POWER HAS GROWN CONSIDERABLY SINCE I LAST JEERED YOU.
uu: I HAVE MADE REMARKABLE STRIDES ON MY SACRED JOURNEY TOWARD IMPORTANT ADULTHOOD.
uu: ON THIS BULLSHIT PLANET. WHICH USED TO BE YOUR HOME.
uu: I HAVE FOUND MANY KEYS. AND UNLOCKED MANY HOLES.
uu: AND NOW I CAN SEE MORE. AND LEARN MORE. THAN YOU COULD EVER FUCKING DREAM!
GG: How wonderful for you.
GG: I don’t care how all-seeing and all-powerful you think you are.
GG: If your intent is to waste my time with more of your pitiful bullying, you are out of luck.
GG: Because that is exactly NOT the sort of crap I am in the mood for today.
uu: I THINK I GOT OFF ON THE WRONG FOOT.
uu: HOW ABOUT WE. GNAW THAT ONE OFF AND START OVER?
uu: I WAS TRYING TO PAY YOU A COMPLIMENT.
The bolded text above is one of the best puns in all of Homestuck, if not the best. It’s just so perfect.
uu: MY PEOPLE AREN’T MEANT TO LIKE ANYBODY. GET IT?
uu: I MEAN, NOT THE WAY HUMANS DO. WE DON’T HAVE THE HUMAN EMOTION CALLED “LOVEKHEKLFSDKF”. AND WE SPONTANEOUSLY START MASHING KEYS. WHEN WE ARE FORCED TO EVEN TYPE THE WORD.
uu: ALL OUR RELATIONSHIPS ARE DICTATED BY THE MIRACLE OF HATRED. SO WHEN I USE BAD WORDS TOWARD YOU. THAT’S JUST ME SAYING THINGS TO TRY TO KNOW YOU BETTER.
uu: LIKE. “SOCIALLYUOIPY”.
uu: AS A.
uu: A… “FRIENDJISJFDJISJSDKFLDJSDKLJF”.
Caliborn is laying his trolling, wait I mean “jeering”, a bit thick. He’s making up complete nonsense about his species, which reminds me of how the trolls would often make up nonsense when hassling the beta kids.
Caliborn goes on to brag about how he’s been thinking the “dirtiest” thoughts while spying on the alpha kids. Jane makes an obvious assumption on what Caliborn is talking about:
GG: What? No!
GG: Are you insane?
GG: I don’t care where you are, or whatever the hell it is you “unlocked” to spy on me.
GG: You aren’t allowed to sit there all day leering at my boobs!!!
uu: YOUR WHAT.
GG: My… what?
GG: Wait, what were YOU talking about?
Unlike Dirk, Jane doesn’t know that to cherubs “dirty” means eating cake and holding hands and that they couldn’t care less about human genitalia. It turns out that Caliborn is actually talking about how fat Jane is, a memetic headcanon she aggressively denies.
uu: WAIT! DON’T SHUT ME OUT.
uu: REMEMBER WHAT I SAID. ABOUT OUR DIFFERENT CULTURES OR WHATEVER.
uu: HAVE A FUCKING OPEN MIND, JANE.
uu: I MADE YOU A PRESENT. FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY. WHATEVER THAT ACTUALLY IS.
uu: SEE HOW I’M MAKING AN EFFORT TO UNDERSTAND YOUR CUSTOMS?
uu: MEET ME HALF OF THE GODDAMN WAY.
GG: Oh cripes.
GG: What is it?
uu: A SUBLIME ARTISTIC PORTRAIT.
uu: REMEMBER HOW I SAID MY POWER WAS GROWING WITH EACH DAY.
uu: THIS APPLIES AS WELL TO MY PROWESS AS A DRAFTSMAN.
GG: Oh goodness, no. You poor delusional thing.
GG: I don’t care what progress you think you’ve made. You will never be a good artist, dear.
Here Caliborn encounters a typical hurdle artists must overcome: acquaintances who claim the artist is just a nonsensical egomaniac.
uu: MY ILLUSTRATION IS STUNNING. IT IS NEARLY A PHOTOGRAPHIC REPRESENTATION OF YOUR ODIOUS MILKSHAKE.
uu: NOW PARK THE INDUSTRIAL LOAD OF FREIGHT YOU DECLARE A BOTTOM. AND FEAST YOUR EYES ON MY FUCKING EXCELLENCE!
Luckily, getting past that hurdle is a no-brainer for Caliborn. He knows that one day, his masterful artwork will blow the minds of everyone he has ever known. His latest drawing is impressive in a way:
Caliborn has managed to draw a circle, and his speech about how he achieved such a difficult task is very much worth reading:
uu: I BELIEVE I HAVE CHOSEN THE PERFECT SHAPE FOR YOU.
uu: IT IS DESCRIBED IN CERTAIN CIRCLES KNOWLEDGEABLE OF THE ARTS. AS. “A CIRCLE”.
uu: I AM VERY PLEASED WITH HOW FAITHFULLY IT HAS CAPTURED THE OBSCENE ROTUNDITY. OF YOUR MAGNIFICENT CARRIAGE.
uu: TRULY A SPITTING IMAGE OF THE CROCKER BITCH.
uu: NOW LISTEN CAREFULLY. YOU MAY LEARN SOMETHING.
uu: THE MASTERPIECE AFICIONADO WILL NOTICE. HOW I ACHIEVED THIS HIGHLY ADVANCED AND DIFFICULT SHAPE.
uu: WHAT MOST GIFTED ARTISANS WILL TELL YOU. IS THAT. CIRCLES ARE BASICALLY FUCKING IMPOSSIBLE TO DRAW.
uu: TRUST ME.
uu: IT’S LIKE A PARADOX. A SHAPE WITHOUT ANGLES. WHAT??
uu: SO I FUCKING CHEATED.
uu: I NAVIGATED THE IRRATIONAL PERIMETER BY MAKING A LOT OF EASILY UNDERSTANDABLE, TOTALLY LOGICAL MARKS. FORMING A WHOLE BUNCH OF LITTLE RIGHT ANGLES.
uu: THE CHEATING PART HAPPENS WHEN I DO THIS A LOT. SO IT GOES IN A ROUND DIRECTION.
uu: THIS ONE CAME OUT WELL I THINK. BUT THERE’S ROOM TO IMPROVE.
uu: I HAVE THEORIZED THAT IF I KEEP MAKING BOGUS CIRCLES LIKE THIS.
uu: WHILE DRAWING MORE AND MORE ANGLES. BUT SMALLER. SO SMALL THAT YOU START CAN’T SEEING THEM.
uu: THAT THE ILLUSION OF THE CIRCLE WILL BE COMPLETE! AND PEOPLE WILL BELIEVE IN THE FAKE CIRCLE. LIKE A BUNCH OF SUCKERS.
uu: I BET NOBODY HAS THOUGHT OF THAT CIRCLE STRATEGY. I THINK I’M THE FIRST AT THIS IDEA. AND BEST AT IT ALREADY.
uu: PEOPLE THINK I’M DUMB. ESPECIALLY THE VOICE IN MY HEAD.
uu: AND THEY MAY BE RIGHT ABOUT ME BEING DUMB.
uu: BUT WHEN IT COMES TO THE SPECIAL WAY I DO THINGS. WHICH IS ALWAYS ACTUALLY. THE PERFECT WAY.
uu: I AM.
uu: A GENIUS!
Circles are really fucking hard to draw, Caliborn is right. He found a different way to draw circles from how most people go about it and ended up with a passing approximation of a circle. He even admits that he still has a ways to go before he masters the art of drawing circles, showing that he’s truly dedicated to becoming the best artist he can possibly be. It’s kind of hilarious that his big step forward in becoming an artist was inspired by Jane’s supposed obesity of all things, which makes sense in a way—many artists find themselves inspired by the weirdest things. I know I do (though probably not to Caliborn’s extent).
uu: SETTLE DOWN AND LISTEN TO BOY REASON. DO NOT MAKE ME DEMONSTRATE THE VERACITY OF MY FACTS. YET AGAIN.
uu: THAT SACCHARINE TRAMP IS SUCH A GONER. SHE’S NEVER COMING BACK.
uu: JUST LIKE YOUR DAPPER HUMAN GUARDIAN.
GG: WHAT?? WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT MY FATHER!
GG: WHERE IS HE?
uu: HE’S FUCKING DEAD IS WHERE.
GG: YOU’RE LYING AGAIN!!!
GG: TELL ME WHAT YOU KNOW!
uu: GOD. I’M TRYING TO.
uu: MY FACTS ARE HAVING DIFFICULTY PENETRATING YOUR HYSTERICAL ATTITUDE. LISTEN TO ME VERY CLOSE.
uu: HE WAS CAPTURED BY AN AGENT SOON AFTER YOU BEGAN YOUR QUEST. HE WAS THEN PUT IN JAIL ON DERSE.
GG: So he’s on Derse, then?
uu: BITCH, YOU AREN’T PAYING ATTENTION. DO YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE PRISON SYSTEM ON DERSE?
uu: IT ISN’T LIKE THE SOFT TIME YOU DO ON PROSPIT. I BET YOU NEVER SPENT ANY TIME IN THE JOKE THEY CALL A SLAMMER THERE. LET ALONE ON DERSE.
GG: And I suppose you have??
uu: I WAS NOT VERY WELL BEHAVED. I DID MORE THAN MY SHARE OF TIME. CHAINED TO THE WALL OF A CELL.
uu: HEE HEE! LIKE I WASN’T SO USED TO THAT. I WAS LIKE. DO YOUR WORST.
uu: AND THEN THEY DID. DERSITES DO NOT TREAT THEIR PRISONERS GOOD. TO SAY THE LEAST!
uu: I WAS ONLY ABLE TO SURVIVE THE BRUTALITY. DUE TO MY EXCEPTIONAL CONSTITUTION. AND EVEN TO SOME EXTENT. MY ABILITY TO ENJOY ANGUISH.
uu: BUT YOUR PATHETIC, FRAIL HUMAN “DAD” IS A DIFFERENT STORY. THERE IS NO DOUBT AT ALL. THAT HE IS DEAD BY NOW!
Caliborn tells Jane his sister is dead, then talks about how brutally Jane’s father has been treated in Derse’s prison. I think it’s supposed to be a red herring where Caliborn projects alien values onto Jane? Caliborn doesn’t lie, but he loves omitting details. Both of the cherubs have extremely alien values, really. Why else would Calliope be so insistent on letting Gamzee have a “redemption arc”?
Rest in peace, the Astairetop. The only fatherly laptop that wasn’t horribly affected by real-life circumstances.
Jane absconds and sadjumps her way home. I find “sadjump” to be a very sad word for far more reasons than merely its first three letters.
After this whole dump of horrible romance drama, it’s time once more to see what the Dignitary is up to. He reads the daily newspaper about Jack Noir’s imprisonment.
No surprise here. The archagent is dominating the headlines, yet again. Already approaching day 154 of this debacle. It’s a big day for your kingdom. Hard to believe it’s here already. Time sure flies when you’re being smooth and well dressed.
Soon enough we’ll see firsthand what DD means by “well dressed”, and boy is it a fun throwback.
The article covers the usual tedious politics surrounding the negotiation of his release. After weeks of posturing and grandstanding, Prospit’s terms have been bargained down to a polite apology, signed by the Condesce herself. Or those were the terms you were last aware of. You check to see if there have been any further developments. Yeah, just as you thought. She refused those terms. Prospit then countered with a new offer. The apology no longer has to be polite.
No way she cottons to that proposal either. It’s quite obvious to you what’s going on here. The white queen was never really taking this negotiation seriously. She has been submitting frivolous proposals which she knows perfectly well the Condesce will refuse on principle, daring her in front of the whole kingdom to swallow just an ounce of pride to get her agent back. This makes her look petty in the tabloids if she refuses, which was always inevitable. Because as everyone knows, a queen is a vain creature. Even alien sea queens.
And you thought the kingdoms were locked in a stalemate BEFORE new management took over.
Kind of interesting that when both the Black Queen and Jack are replaced, the stalemate between Prospit and Derse is preserved. It makes sense that after the Condesce took over Derse’s rule, Jack Noir had to be imprisoned because we know from experience that the Black Queen is the only thing keeping him from wrecking shit wherever he goes.
And here we see what DD means by “well dressed”. With his new outfit he looks identical to his Midnight Crew counterpart, Diamonds Droog. That’s some pretty great circumstantial simultaneity—it only makes sense that Dad and the Midnight Crew would tie together at some point, given that both of their designs had some roots in Problem Sleuth.
The press has run the story so far into the ground, you can barely bring yourself to keep up with it anymore. Sensationalism at its finest.
Not that you’re really itching to see Noir get his old job back. Talk about a high strung boss. The time in the clink should do him good. Like a forced vacation, with accommodations nearly on par with a five star hotel on Derse. Frankly, things run much smoother around here without him blowing a gasket every other day.
Though you will say you could really use his expertise as a pencil pusher. You never knew anyone who could file paperwork quite like Noir. Sure he complained bitterly about his desk job, but in truth he was always a reluctant savant of bureaucratic procedure and red tape. Now you’re getting buried in all these damn tax forms and parking tickets. Maybe you should have them shuttled to his jail cell on Prospit so he can catch up? You have a feeling the Prospitian authorities would be willing to oblige. Actually, that’s such a good idea, you can’t believe you didn’t think of it sooner. You’ll have to get the Droll on that pronto.
Though the Dignitary has been a cooperative archagent, we see through the huge piles of papers and narration that things don’t go too great when carapacians don’t play their game’s assigned roles. It’s a good reminder that Prospitians and Dersites are ultimately game constructs. DD’s programmed personality is also the only reason he isn’t flipping out about performing a job Jack is much better at. He’s just a little annoyed because it’s been five months without that guy.
You step over to your cubicle of FENESTRATED WALLS, which you had replaced since the Prince trashed the old ones. You ordered the Droll to sneak off to one of their worlds and whip up some fresh ones, with a few alchemical upgrades while he was at it. The Droll isn’t really the sharpest tool in the shed, but he’s certainly the most versatile. Also the most eager to please. If you have to watch his happy umbrella dance one more time, you swear to God…
Turns out the green fenestrated walls were alchemized by the Droll. As with Gamzee and the Skaianet hub, the Droll probably looted Roxy’s house one day and maybe stole some of the kids’ grist. Probably quite a lot of grist, knowing how big these walls are.
And it’s a good thing you taught them a lesson when you did. Because the next day, the Condesce had new orders for all agents. Engaging the Nobles was thereafter strictly forbidden. No more sabotage, assassination attempts, any of that good stuff. Not until the heiress’ wriggling day. Then all bets are off. Who’s the heiress and what’s a wriggling day, you asked. The heiress is the Maid. Ok you said. And her wriggling day? That’s just her birthday, but phrased in alien. Like the anniversary of the day she was spawned, with cake and all that jazz. Come on, use your brain. Alright, got it, you said.
Anyway, that’s tomorrow.
Everything seems so peaceful and quiet right now, and I’m sure the Condesce intended it that way. It took me a moment to remember she has an INSANE plan up her sleeve to catch the beta and alpha kids off-guard and take full control of two of them.
Your guess is the orders came down from her boss, who from what you’ve gathered, is even more of a headcase than your presently incarcerated superior.
Notice that Jack Noir and Lord English are mentioned in the same sentence. Very sneaky foreshadowing of what will soon become of the alpha kids’ Jack.
Note that the prisoner in this panel has the exact same body proportions as the Wayward Vagabond. If we are to assume that this is the alpha kids’ copy of WV, then this means we know something about all the B1 exiles’ alpha session counterparts except for PM. And yes, this includes AR.
You take a stroll through the Derse penitentiary. This is where the gen pop is housed. For inmates life is usually unpleasant and short down here. But the moment you laid eyes on the human prisoner, you knew you could never in good conscience lock him up in the dungeons and gulags with the common thieves, tax cheats and parking fee delinquents. That would be a crime worse than those committed by all the inmates combined.
No, a man of such distinction and strong fashion sense needed special accommodations. A cell reserved for Very Important Prisoners.
Caliborn told us earlier that Dad Crocker was a Very Important Prisoner and that meant he was being horribly tortured in his jail cell. But it turns out the exact opposite is true:
The prisoner appears to be doing well. You ask if you can get him anything. Coffee? A newspaper? Additional smoking apparatus? He indicates that since he lost his wallet, he’s been running low on pipe tobacco. You say you’ll see to it at once.
Dad Crocker is every bit as fatherly as he was last time we saw him, I love it so much. And to think his special treatment was all because of his fashion sense, that’s so goddamn funny.
While this is a maximum security suite that is virtually impossible to escape from, you’ve made it clear to all personnel that anyone who harms a hair on this man’s head will have to answer to you. They are all very fortunate that his head doesn’t seem to have any.
God DAMN he is good at shaving. You are not afraid to admit your envy when it comes to his prowess with a straight edge, not even to speak of his natural ability to grow whiskers in the first place. The lucky stiff.
I wonder if Jack and his quartet of Derse agents are all predisposed to enjoy dressing like businessmen? The Dignitary most certainly is, Jack definitely doesn’t enjoy dressing like a clown, the Droll will go along with anything, and the Brute is the loyal, dependable muscle backup. Maybe for every universe Lord English has infected, there’s a Midnight Crew and Felt to go along with it, just like the numerous iterations of himself Doc Scratch has mentioned. I’m sure Caliborn’s crew of leprechauns can be mass-cloned through time travel or something. I wonder if there were any other Spades Slicks out there who got the chance to face someone possessed by Lord English head-on?
Enough bizarre Midnight Crew speculation. It’s time for a humorous throwback to the occasional Serious Business chatlogs we saw on Dad Egbert’s PDA.
Unlike Dad Egbert’s friends, the Dersite Serious Business users aren’t very intelligent. They enact a parody of the hat and pipe talk from the early acts. A user named HATLIKER asks for help because he sat on his hat and ruined it. Other users suggest that he flip his hat upside-down and sit on it again. Dad responds, talking the same way he does in his fatherly notes to John and Jane:
pipefan413: @HATLIKER. THESE MEN ARE LEADING YOU ASTRAY. SITTING ON THE HAT AGAIN WILL ONLY CAUSE IT FURTHER DAMAGE.
NoNeed4PantsThx: @pipefan413, this will be the case even if the rumpled hat is inverted?
pipefan413: @NoNeed4PantsThx. YES. THIS WILL BE THE CASE REGARDLESS OF THE HAT’S ORIENTATION.
FineryFiend: greatly respect @pipefan413’s knowledge of finery. i endorse his warning.
ChuffedAboutDuds: @FineryFiend me too.
1dapperblackshell: @FineryFiend so do i
Other Dersites bring up the idea of everyone sitting on their hats to make HATLIKER feel less out of place. DD prohibits this all and behaves as his usual stern self:
The Dignitary: @HATLIKER: Incinerate the damaged hat immediately.
The Dignitary: @HATLIKER: Do not ever wear such a thing in public.
ChuffedAboutDuds: BURN THE HAT!
NoNeed4PantsThx: BURN THE HAT!!!
WANT_MORE_SOCKS: BURN IT!
1dapperblackshell: BURN THE RUMPLED HAT!
HATLIKER: I AM BURNING THE HAT!
WANT_MORE_SOCKS: SITTING ON THE HAT WAS TERRIBLE!
NoNeed4PantsThx: BURN ALL RUMPLED HATS!
ChuffedAboutDuds: THEY AREN’T DAPPER AT ALL!!!!!
1dapperblackshell: BURN THE MISTAKE WITH FIRE!
Such is the nature of background characters in Homestuck and Problem Sleuth. In both comics, whenever large groups of background characters appear they are never anything more than drones who follow the wills and instructions of whichever voiced character is around. Problem Sleuth (the character) has a natural talent for leadership and uses it a lot on NPCs, and many characters in Homestuck are predisposed to achieve similar feats. A good example is WV, who single-handedly led a rebellion uniting Prospitian and Dersite soldiers against the black king. I don’t even remember what incited him to do that, actually. The time loops and bunny delivery stuff in the exiles’ backstory has always been one of the most confusing parts of Homestuck to me.
I love how while Dad has his usual gray PDA and the Dignitary has a walkie-talkie typical of Dersites, the Condesce makes full use of her Pisces troll motif and uses a shellphone.
)(IC: yo i cant deal w this prissy hat chat no more
)(IC: public works my ass what a waste of royal gold
ChuffedAboutDuds changes status to BOWING.
WANT_MORE_SOCKS changes status to BOWING.
NoNeed4PantsThx changes status to BOWING.
FineryFiend changes status to BOWING.
HATLIKER changes status to BOWING.
1dapperblackshell changes status to BOWING.
)(IC: this is what i get for lettin all proper dudes run shit instead of nasty clowns
The Dignitary changes status to DOFFING HAT.
)(IC: @The Dignitary i want ma ring back motha fuck
And here we hear the Condesce speak for the first time. It’s surprising but at the same time logical that she talks exactly like Meenah but a bit more bossy.
I’m ending this post here. I finished a few days ahead of schedule, which is good because Act 6 Act 5 so far has been a bit exhausting to go through. Not all of it, but most certainly the romance drama stuff. The reason I made this post so quickly is because I rushed through the romance drama parts so as not to drag myself.
See you Friday or so as I do a rewritten early acts post as a palate cleanser. And see you next time after that as we read Detective Pony’s lesser-known sibling.
>> Part 94: Wizardfic Nostalgification Station