Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 108: Blindness Reinstigation Station

Introduction

< Part 107 | Part 108 | Part 109 >

Pages 6397-6446

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 1, Part 4 of 5

This post’s title picture was originally going to be Terezi putting on her newly alchemized blindfold, but I feel a strange sense of obligation to use this one instead, much like I did in the posts featuring the Equius/Aradia and imagined Jade/Jadesprite kissing scenes.

Picking up from where we left off, it’s time for the middle part of the glitched selection screen, which is now the only open option. I find it amusing that the story’s glitches in this case make it more linear rather than less, as the page’s narration points out.

KANAYA: Why Would You Do That!
KANAYA: I Do Not Understand Why You Needed To Impale My Friend To Demonstrate Your Resurrection Abilities!
KANAYA: I Believed You!
KANAYA: It Was Pointless And Cruel And Does Not Advance My Willingness To Cooperate With You At All!
KANAYA: Furthermore It Did Not Prove That You Can Use Said Abilities To Harm Me!
KANAYA: I Believe That Assertion Was Based On A Fallacious Theory About My Constitution!
KANAYA: In Actuality One Could Easily Kill Me With Any Number Of Conventional Methods!
KANAYA: Im Sure You Could Chop My Head Off Or Burn Me Alive Or Crush Me To Death And I Would Die Just Fine!

Kanaya’s rant at Jane for killing Karkat as a demonstration features an amusing expansion upon her standard typing quirk: just as each word starts with exactly one capital letter, each sentence ends with exactly one exclamation point.

KARKAT: (whoa, kanaya)
KARKAT: (could you maybe not give the psycho fork girl any more ideas???)
KANAYA: I Am Not Scared Of You!
KANAYA: None Of Us Are!
KARKAT: (i kind of am)
KANAYA: Karkat Shut Up!
KANAYA: If This Treacherous Despot Serving Turncoat Seeks Compliance From Me Then She Will Have To Pry It From My Mutilated Lifeless Cadaver!
KARKAT: (oh no oh god oh no oh god)

Karkat interjects a few times with his immediately recognizable flavor of utter panic, just like how he was in Murderstuck when his friends started killing each other. His fear of Jane is more extreme than even his reaction to Gamzee when he turned evil, probably because he had thought for sure he was done with watching his friends die horribly.

KANAYA: If You Are So Convinced That Your Recuperative Magic Will Strike Me Down Then Why Dont You Put Your Theory To The Test!
KANAYA: I Doubt You Will Since You Have Made It Clear You Need Our Participation To Achieve Your Goals Which Is A Fact That Your Naive Cohort Foolishly Revealed To Us!
KANAYA: I Dont Think She Is Very Good At Being A Villain And To Be Honest I Have My Doubts About You As Well So I Am Calling Your Bluff!
KANAYA: So If You Continue To Insist That Your Healing Enchantments Have The Power To Slay Me Then I Implore You To Give It Your Best Shot!
KANAYA: Go On Do It!
KANAYA: DO YOUR HUMAN WORST!
JANE: Silence, buster.

When Jane finally talks using actual sentences, everyone renders themselves in a more symbolic manner in preparation for a darkly hilarious interactive flash.

KANAYA: Wait
KANAYA: You Can Talk
KANAYA: Using Actual Sentences
JANE: Obviously.
KANAYA: Then Why Resort Exclusively To Intimidating Robotic Soundbites For
KANAYA: However Long You Were Doing That
JANE: Because when it comes to the affairs of my empire, I am all business.
JANE: You see, Kanaya. I am a businesswoman.
JANE: A very shrewd one at that.
KANAYA: …
KANAYA: Okay
JANE: Watch and learn, rainbow drinker.

THIS INTERACTIVE PAGE WAS PRESERVED ON THE MOVE TO HTML5, YES YES YES YES YES YES YES!!!!!!!! I checked and the other two flashes of this type (one with Jane and Gamzee, and another with John and Roxy) are stuck as YouTube videos which sucks, but at least this one is consumable as originally intended.

You cautiously approach the ruthless businesswoman. She has deployed the CHEST OF MERCHANDISE. You say, you mean the hunger trunk? She acts like she didn’t even hear you.

Jane referring to her own refrigerator as the “chest of merchandise” is a subtle reminder of the Condesce’s sense of humor, as well as her utter disregard for normal things that normal humans do.

You are about to launch into another wordy tirade, but she wants to cut the chitchat and get down to business. She has a proposition for you. What is it, you say.

She wants to know if you would like to buy these motherfuckin potions.

This last line, which we’re apparently supposed to believe is something Jane said, is an extremely blatant callback to the potion selling scene with Gamzee from Act 6 Act 3 that prepares readers for a dump of hilarity even more extreme than before.

Jane’s shop interface to Kanaya has a few differences from Gamzee’s shop interface to Jane. The potions now cost 420 million boondollars instead of just 420, and instead of being yes or no, the options are all yes and a synonym for yes because Kanaya can’t say no to drinking troll blood. Just like last time, I’ll go through a few highlights of all the options:

VIOLET POTION – 420 MILLION BOONDOLLARS

She says this is some d-bags blood. She never met the guy, but she’s heard some unflattering stories. It doesn’t sound that appetizing to you, but at least you wouldn’t feel that guilty about drinking it. Oh, the rationalizations that run through the mind of a thirsty rainbow drinker. Did you really just say that aloud? The businesswoman nods.

[if you click yes]

You say you’ll take a half dozen bottles. She says sorry, she’s only got one in stock. She says her wholesaler had a very limited supply. Seems like a lot of it was lost before he had a chance to harvest it. You wouldn’t know anything about that, would you, she says while tapping her nose. You quickly change the subject. That’s a really nice tiara she has there. Really… um. It’s just really nice. Her eyes say thanks, but her face says, look, I couldn’t care less that you killed Eridan with a chainsaw.

While Terezi’s murder of Vriska is a pivotal part of her character arc even after the event is undone, and many other troll murders are similarly important parts of their stories, nobody seems to care one bit that Kanaya killed Eridan. Here the story is indirectly acknowledging that killing Eridan off was an obligation immediately forgotten after the fact (though Jane wouldn’t have cared about it either way).

COBALT POTION – 420 MILLION BOONDOLLARS

She says this “potion” was supposed to make you lucky. She wouldn’t know, cause she never drank any. Because she’s not a vampire, she said, just to drive her point home. Mm hmm, you say, glancing around uncomfortably. It doesn’t matter though, she says. She makes her own luck now. You’re tuning out her lecture at this point. You’re just eying that vial of delicious Vriska blood and reaching for your pocketbook.

[if you click yes]

You thank the businesswoman for the transaction and… Karkat is asking what the hell you two are doing over there. Are you BUYING shit from her?? He demands to know what the fuck you could be buying. Is that… are those little jars of BLOOD he asks? PLEASE tell him you are not buying blood from this lunatic, Kanaya. You say what no of course not, and hide it behind your back.

Naturally enough, as soon as something stupid happens Karkat reverts to his standard yelling self, just as he did in that memo following Gamzee’s evil turn and the loss of Kanaya and Feferi when past Gamzee chimed in.

GOLD POTION – 420 MILLION BOONDOLLARS

Two for one deal on this gross mustard blood. She means potion… she pauses, looks at it and shrugs, then says she means blood. Anyway you want some? You know you want some.

[if you click yes]

You say ok, you’ll take two. She says that’ll be 840 million. You say 840? What about the two for one deal? She says the two for one deal applies, but there’s a mandatory 100% gratuity tacked on to the bill. You sigh, and cough up the dough. You cannot outfox Jane Crocker in cunning business practices. She is simply the best there is.

I find it very interesting that even after most of her actions are retconned away, elements of Crockertier Jane’s character resurface in the epilogues. Her sinister side is obvious, but some smaller details like her skills in business manipulation and bending subordinates to her favor are also brought into focus. Many of her epilogue self’s establishing traits are discussed by Dave and Karkat in a conversation that was written by Hussie himself (according to one of the authors who said he wrote the dialogue in the first few scenes of Meat and a few others near the end of either side).

Back to the selection screen, something unexpected happens:

Wow!!!!! Those cool new cartridge features have exploded on to your desktop computer once again! Now we’re talking. This is some serious Web 2.0 shit, right here. Maybe even… Web 3.0, dare you say? No, let’s not get carried away. Hold the phone. Looks like this piece of shit is still broken. Who is surprised by this? The answer is nobody.

At least the third and final option is probably available now. Let’s see what Rose and Terezi are up to.

What? What do you you mean it doesn’t work. Are you sure? Try it again.

You’re kidding. No, that can’t be right.

Only the first option is working? So we have to go through the Dave arc AGAIN?

Sure, what the hell. Looks like we’re reading the Dave arc again. Thanks for nothing, “The Information Age”.

I already know that the reason we’re reading the Dave arc all over again is because of John’s retcon powers messing with the story’s canon. It’s an interesting surprise that the reader is at first led to believe is just because of the glitches.

DAVE: im serious
DAVE: the thing is
DAVE: being a time guy
DAVE: like actually MASTERING time travel
DAVE: im pretty sure what that involves is
DAVE: learning to never use it
DAVE: see its like karate
DAVE: well
DAVE: its more like what they SAY about karate
DAVE: that you learn it so you dont use it
DAVE: but i mean we all know the truth about karate is if you know karate then obviously in reality you use it all the time
DAVE: like doing lethal fuckin crane kicks and sweet karate chops while walking down the street just cause you can
DAVE: its a god damn no brainer…
DAVE: thats what…
DAVE: you do…
DAVE: with…
DAVE: karate. john what the fuck are you doing here

Dave’s ramble about karate and Back to the Future metaphors slows to a crawl until he realizes John has entered the scene, befitting of a scripted story’s sudden interruption by the only person who has broken free from the laws of paradox space. This ramble slows down exactly the same way early in the Meat Epilogue after the seemingly final double-retconned version of this scene is interrupted by a much older John, which suggests that paradox space scripts this scene to have Dave’s karate ramble either proceed as usual or slow down until he says “john what the fuck are you doing here”.

JOHN: er.
JOHN: i don’t know.
DAVE: john dont get me wrong its cool that you randomly dropped by again but this wasnt really the best time
DAVE: we were kind of in the middle of a thing here
JOHN: whoops. sorry.
JADE: yeah john
JADE: did you really have to pick now of all times to materialize out of nowhere and taunt me?
JOHN: i’m SORRY!!!
JOHN: jeez, it was an accident!
JADE: so what now?
JADE: am i REALLY supposed to tackle you, just to watch you vanish yet again?
JOHN: no, no! please don’t!
JADE: because i dont really feel like it
JADE: do you have any idea how frustrating that becomes after a while?
JOHN: i didn’t mean to come here, really!
JOHN: i still can’t control the jumps!
JOHN: i’m TRYING, but it just…
DAVE: dude are you time traveling
DAVE: please dont tell me youre time traveling
DAVE: you need to leave that shit to the experts
JOHN: no, it’s not time travel!
JOHN: well, not technically.
DAVE: who do you think youre talking to here
DAVE: do you see this bright red gear on my hoodie
DAVE: that means i know stuff about time travel
DAVE: sure looks like youre time traveling to me
JOHN: no, i swear!
JOHN: ok, see, i went on a dream quest with some troll pirates.
DAVE: troll pirates
JOHN: argh, never mind. that’s the long version of the story.
JOHN: ok, so i stuck my hand in this little magic house, and…
DAVE: john youre fucking shit up here
JOHN: what?
DAVE: you being here
DAVE: thats not supposed to happen
DAVE: all this shit were saying now
DAVE: its not supposed to go down like this i can feel it

Dave is stuck in canon just like everyone else, which combined with his inherent knowledge of all things time means he can feel when things aren’t going as they’re supposed to. But since John stuck his arm into the canon-altering juju, he doesn’t feel anything wrong with what’s going on and has a hard time realizing why Dave does.

JOHN: i know!
JOHN: i’m sorry, i would zap away again, but i don’t know how!
DAVE: i dont think it matters now dude the pooch is already screwed
JADE: >:o
DAVE: wow wait that was a terrible figure of speech in this context but you know what i mean
DAVE: yo like i was JUST saying i didnt want to time travel anymore to avoid bullshit like this
JOHN: IT’S NOT TIME TRAVEL THOUGH!
JOHN: i promise!
DAVE: then what is it
JOHN: i dunno!
JOHN: like, some kind of surreal, history altering… reality hopping… magic power.
DAVE: thats time travel genius
JOHN: no way, dude.
JOHN: you have to trust me on this.
DAVE: alright
DAVE: but if it turns out you just created a doomed timeline and were all going to die im gonna be hella mad
JOHN: this isn’t a doomed timeline.
JOHN: i’m telling you, i can change things.
JOHN: stuff that wasn’t supposed to be changed.
JOHN: and i’m not saying bad stuff won’t happen as a result of the things i change…
JOHN: but at least it won’t make a doomed timeline!
JOHN: the new things that happen will just be…
JOHN: the stuff that’s supposed to happen?

Dave and John are on totally different wavelengths when it comes to the nature of time travel. Both of their views are right in a way: while John knows that his powers overwrite the sequence of reality, Dave is right that this specific case doesn’t match in the slightest with any sequence of events relevant to canon.

JOHN: ok, look…
JOHN: maybe we can try to minimize my impact on the current situation.
JOHN: if i fly away, do you think you can do whatever you were going to do in the first place?
JOHN: do you know what you were going to do?
JADE: yes
JADE: i was going to kick the mayor into the lava
DAVE: what??
DAVE: holy shit so uncool
JADE: i was going to make it clear i was serious about killing someone you cared about
JADE: so you would stop being a baby and start using your powers and swordfight with me you dumb jerk :p
DAVE: wow
DAVE: jade i think you might be a little too good at being a villain its kind of worrying
JADE: thank you 🙂
DAVE: so the mayor would be dead if john didnt show up?
JADE: oh yes absolutely
JADE: he would be burnt to a crisp right now i am sure of it
DAVE: god damn jade
DAVE: why would you do that you know eventually id probably start using my powers and reluctantly start embracing my role as a reluctant hero
DAVE: that shit always happens
JADE: no you wouldnt you were just going to argue with me forever!
DAVE: yeah maybe
DAVE: but the point is youre not going to bother killing the mayor anymore are you
JADE: i guess not
JADE: he is a very cute mayor after all
DAVE: see john your fake time travel shit is already paying off
DAVE: you saved the mayor congratulations

Jade is quick to drop the grimbark act when everyone realizes that this scene isn’t anywhere near how events are supposed to play out, which she doesn’t do in the epilogues’ version of this scene because that scene is important to canon events (Caliborn’s Masterpiece and the final showdown against Lord English). You could say that her adherence to the witch’s schemes depends entirely on whether she’s in a scene relevant to canon or not. Oh yeah, the dramatic irony is funny too, can’t forget that.

JADE: sorry john
JADE: whatever dave and i were going to argue about
JADE: i think the moment has passed
JADE: the whole thing is kind of ruined to be honest
JOHN: DAMN IT!
DAVE: ok all yall settle down im getting a text
DAVE: …
DAVE: i cant fucking read this

And so, this scene ends with Dave getting the same message from Dirk as last time but without responding, presumably because he’s accepted that this timeline is distorted beyond usefulness. Which is just as well, because John’s future self later retcons this scene back to how it was before in the form of an accidental stable retcon loop.

Before I continue, I think this wrong-timeline interlude (which took place entirely within two pages) is worth reflecting on. At the start of the epilogues, Rose discusses the three pillars of canon—truth, relevance, and essentiality—and I think this page was a rare example of a scene within Homestuck with zero truth and relevance value, but perhaps a nonzero amount of essentiality (because it demonstrates to readers the dangers of retcon powers), which heavily contrasts against the various other divergences of this scene. If you’re confused about what I mean by these three pillars, I buy into an idea I’ve seen proposed by some fans that clarifies two of those terms’ meanings: relevance refers to how much an event is an important piece of the continuity of Homestuck, whereas essentiality refers to how important an event is to the reader’s appreciation and understanding of the comic. Under this ideology, the mystery of who flipped the frog switch is a perfect example of something that is relevant but not the least bit essential; I think the prospect of John getting together with Roxy is just as good an example of the opposite, essential (especially if you like John) but not the least bit relevant. Truth in Homestuck media is usually undeniable within the comic itself, which makes debatably true scenes like this very interesting to think about.

I should say that it might seem odd that I’m going on a tangent about canon if you’ve ever seen me express my annoyance at how much recent Homestuck media is saturated with rambles about canon and the narrative without any substance underneath. Though I definitely don’t enjoy the strong amounts of meta in Homestuck^2 and (to a lesser extent) Pesterquest, I do like the epilogues’ exploration of the topic of canon. I feel that characters discussing canon was something new and interesting when the epilogues came out, but after that point it became overbloated nonsense that decreases the recent media’s enjoyability as a continuation or spin-off of Homestuck.

At long last, the character selection screen allows you to pick Rose and Terezi. The narration foreshadows that these shenanigans won’t be over just yet though:

If this thing breaks one more time, I’m going to repost all the leprechaun romance stuff here instead.

This is a good way to both warn readers that this selection screen will break yet again and get readers excited for what is incontestably the most enthralling part of Homestuck’s lore. I’m starting to realize that the reason Hussie did this selection screen with one non-glitchy option at a time was probably so that he could keep the glitches in effect without having to draw glitchy panels.

While Terezi starts thinking strategy and goes to Rose’s alchemiter, Rose monologues about her utter confusion over the alpha session’s current state.

ROSE: What exactly are we supposed to be doing here?
ROSE: Why did she group the two seers together?

ROSE: Was there a point to that?
ROSE: What is her goal with these divide and conquer tactics?

Rose’s sequence of questions starting with W (which as we all know is her favorite letter of the alphabet) demonstrates that she still thinks everything needs to have an order and purpose; she can’t tell that the Condesce probably decided that the best way to deal with these hungover potential power players was to group them together so that neither has much of a chance at catching up with the situation.

ROSE: Everything is so unclear.
ROSE: Threads leading to the most fortuitous outcomes have gotten so badly tangled.
ROSE: I can’t tell if it’s the hangover, or if something else is happening.
ROSE: Something out there…
ROSE: Unaccounted for.

Rose currently has just the slightest suspicion of greater forces at play in the story’s narrative. Not just glitches, she’s seen those plenty—rather, John’s new ability to bend the narrative into shapes thought impossible. This monologue feels like it might be meant to foreshadow the retcon arc, just like a lot of other scenes in A6A6I1 (and this act’s general atmosphere of things not going the way they’re supposed to).

ROSE: Why can’t I see it?
ROSE: Why have I become so blind again?
ROSE: No offense, Terezi.
TEREZI: 4R3 YOU T4LK1NG TO M3?
ROSE: NO, I’M TALKING TO MYSELF!
TEREZI: WHY?
ROSE: STOP MAKING ME YELL! I STILL HAVE A HEADACHE, AND SO DO YOU!
TEREZI: 4LR1GHT, SORRY!

It’s easy to forget how endearing Rose can be. She says “No offense, Terezi.” without meaning to address it to her in a way that makes it clear she’s picked up Dave’s habits of talking to himself. Terezi needs to man up (I wish there was a gender-neutral term for “man up”) and realize that talking to yourself is just a normal of a thing to do as talking to others, if not more so. Basically the entire case of Homestuck grew up antisocial and distant from the outside world; is it even remotely surprising that so many characters enjoy talking to themselves? I think it’s surprising that Homestuck has so many characters who don’t talk to themselves.

ROSE: Why am I talking to myself?
ROSE: I think I’ve spent too much time around Dave.
ROSE: I’ve also probably spent too much time sharing his genes.
ROSE: Why must our family tree be plagued by so many shameless soliloquists?
ROSE: I wonder if our young parents are like this?
ROSE: I wonder if I will ever find out?
ROSE: And what should I do in the meantime?
ROSE: Should I…
ROSE: Should I really work on completing my personal planetary quest?
ROSE: That whole thing where I learn to “play the rain?”

Rose’s quest to play the rain didn’t stop being a thing or anything. Nor is it possible for it to stop being a thing or anything, because it was never really a thing or anything in the first place. Yet her boredom invites her, just for a moment, to consider revisiting that quest…

ROSE: I guess I should feel exhilarated to have the chance again after all these years.
ROSE: Of course I should.
ROSE: But then,
ROSE: Why does it sound like such a drag?
ROSE: I haven’t played the violin in a long time.
ROSE: I wonder if I even remember how.
ROSE: Honestly I can’t recall ever feeling less motivated to satisfy a looming obligation.
ROSE: I think my quest was fundamentally bound to the nature of this land, which was customized to the profile, needs, and potential for growth of a thirteen year-old girl.
ROSE: But I’m not that person anymore.

… before she remembers that Sburb intentionally presented the rain quest as a straightforward, girly task that Rose would blatantly ignore while falsely convinced that she’s a rebel. What would truly be rebellious is if Rose actually sat down and completed her quest.

ROSE: What if I
ROSE: What if I just
ROSE: Didn’t bother doing it?
ROSE: Like, ever?
ROSE: Would anyone notice my dereliction?
ROSE: Would the powers that be strike me down where I loaf?
ROSE: What if I just said fuck it?
ROSE: What then, silly pink tortoise shells? Hmmmm??

Rose then goes back into monologuing a series of questions that quickly get semi-poetic in the same vein as her old flowery wizard stories. Now that I think of it, why is “flowery” a word used to describe excessive use of advanced vocabulary? Flowers don’t seem that complicated to me, or at least not what usually comes to my mind when I think of flowers. There are certainly types of flowers with complex formations that may be analogized to advanced vocabulary, but if I had to associate a garden filled with colorful flowers, which is probably the most logical interpretation of appending the suffix “-y” to “flower”, with a writing style, I’d probably think of… oh, I don’t know. Liberal use of descriptive adjectives? Actually, that’s definitely it. Extreme use of descriptive adjectives makes a lot more sense as a definition of “flowery” than extreme use of advanced vocabulary. Yeah, that’s right. The dictionary definition of “flowery” is changing to my new proposed version right now, and within a generation or two everyone will be confused by the old meaning of that word just like when you read early 20th century stories with the word “gay”.

ROSE:
[blank line]

Oh, Jesus Christ. Right as I was about to go back to talking about things that aren’t pointless, I realized a way to continue my rant about the word “flowery”, against all odds connecting it to Homestuck in the process. Rose’s name is the name of a flower, which kind of makes me feel weird about criticizing the definition of “flowery”. Why couldn’t the second beta kid have been named after a gem or something else that matches with the idea of advanced vocabulary? I mean, other than that you’d probably want to rename Jade after renaming Rose to the name of a gem. (Not a crystal gem, please don’t look at me like that. And please don’t look at me like that for saying “please don’t look at me like that”.)

ROSE: I guess I should stop procrastinating and have This Conversation with Kanaya.

I guess I should stop procrastinating and—dammit, Rose said it for me.

tentacleTherapist [TT] began pestering grimAuxiliatrix [GA]
TT: So.
TT: Have you made any progress in determining what our malefactors want from you and Karkat?
GA: Yes
TT: Well?
GA: Oh
GA: She Wants Us To Speak With Echidna
TT: And?
TT: …
TT: Are you still there?
GA: Yes
TT: Speak to her about what?
GA: About Releasing The New Frog
TT: I see.
TT: At least it would seem you have a project.
TT: Terezi and I have received no such instruction.
TT: Hello?
GA: Hi
GA: Yeah
TT: Kanaya, do you want to talk about my problem?

This Conversation isn’t going as Rose hoped, at all. At first she and Kanaya read like a couple that recently broke up…

GA: What Problem
TT: The one pertaining to my substance abuse.
GA: Oh
GA: Right
GA: Okay
TT: Are you busy?
TT: You seem preoccupied.
GA: No
GA: Well
GA: Yes Sort Of
TT: What are you doing?
GA: Im Um
GA: Just Buying Some Things
TT: You’re buying things?
TT: What things?
GA: Just Some
GA: Provisions
TT: Like what?
TT: And from whom?
GA: A Local Vendor
TT: Are you in a consort village?
TT: Don’t those shops only sell jars of bugs and such?
TT: You’re not buying jars of bugs, are you?
GA: No
GA: Definitely Not Jars Of
GA: Bugs
GA: No
TT: Kanaya, I’m confused.
TT: Could you be a little more descriptive?
GA: I Really Should Go
GA: Lets Talk About My Problem Later
TT: Your problem?
TT: Don’t you mean my problem?
GA: Yes
GA: Definitely
GA: Bye
grimAuxiliatrix [GA] ceased trolling tentacleTherapist [TT]

… until Kanaya reveals to the reader that she cares more about the taste of her dead friends’ blood than her girlfriend, which would hurt hard to read if Rose had any clue what she was talking about. So much for an attempt at reconciliation between everyone’s favorite lesbians. The token ship going off the rails is yet another indication that things aren’t going as planned for our heroes.

Terezi still seems to be using her good old scratch-and-sniff modus.

Meanwhile in the panels, Terezi shows us that her mind is finally as sharp as her horns again. She takes full advantage of alchemy’s high thingoranythingness (which is a word I just made up now) attribute to restore the old maximal value of her smellitute (also a word I made up just now) attribute.

HELL YES.

ROSE: TEREZI, WHERE ARE YOU GOING?
TEREZI: CLOWN HUNT1NG

And with a callback to Kanaya in Act 6 Intermission 1, Terezi is ready to go kick some ass and finally subject Gamzee to the justice he deserves. Though Gamzee in this timeline ends up being sawed in half by the OG clown hunter, pre-retcon Terezi’s impact on the happy ending of Homestuck is not to be forgotten.

When the selection screen glitches out yet again and forces us to go through Dave and Jade’s section a third time, Hussie fulfills his promise and gives us the full version of Aranea’s exposition on leprechaun romance, with a disappointing but unsurprising twist:

You may already know that the only legible snippets of the paragraph on leprechaun reproduction are taken straight from Dave’s conversation with Rose about puppet ass from all the way back in Act 2. Maybe Caliborn’s ever-changing names for his green minions (gnomes, frog men, puppet people…) were meant to foreshadow the workings of leprechaun sex the whole time. Hell, maybe the entire description of leprechaun sex was willed into existence by him, just like his assertion that his minions are all male.

John and John are kind of awkwardly almost touching each other.

Anyway, the third iteration of Dave and Jade’s portion of the selection screen shows the double-retconned version from John’s perspective, or rather, Johns’ perspective. This time around, before John can interrupt Dave and Jade’s argument and throw its script off the rails, a different version of John comes in and stops him.

The two Johns stare each other down until the story shows what all of us are no doubt thinking right now:

Can you imagine if the Homestuck books edited this scene to have the MSPA reader reading a book instead? God, that would be so cool.

It still keeps happening. (narration)

Since there aren’t any characters presently watching the confrontation between two versions of John, the story brings out the seldom-seen MSPA reader to imagine them kissing, just like Karkat did with Jade and Jadesprite (which itself calls back to Equius and Aradia kissing) a long time ago. This completes the trilogy of the Great Robosmooch of 2010, the Great Imaginary Doggysmooch of 2011, and the Great Imaginary Imaginary Egbertsmooch of 2013 (the latter two of which are phrases I made up). We now have three sudden kissing scenes with decreasing degrees of canonicity, increasingly negligible amounts of truth, relevance, and essentiality, and all three possible two-way combinations of male and female.

You come to the sobering realization that things will never stop from keep happening constantly.

And you can’t take it anymore.

And yet, the MSPA reader proceeds anyway after their stupefied existential crisis. Why don’t we see what the two Johns have to say to each other?

JOHN: stop fooling around and go find roxy, you dumb goof!

Future John makes it abundantly clear through the tone of his words that meeting Roxy was arguably the best thing to ever happen to him. I’ve always found interesting the implication that John’s feelings for Roxy originated from a stable time loop—if that’s the case, then it’s a rare example of a time loop willed by John, rather than Lord English or any of his subordinates. I’d talk more about John’s romance arc here, but I think it’s better if I dump out all my thoughts on that in my next post which I’ve specifically dedicated entirely to John and Roxy’s first conversation (and the few pages after that of A6A6I1). That post is going to be an absolute doozy, I’m warning you right now.

JOHN: who’s roxy?
JOHN: OW!

Meeting Roxy has imbibed future John with a fresh new sense of purpose and drive for keeping the girl of his dreams safe, which present John doesn’t have as you can tell by his confusion followed by shouting “OW!”

And so, present John is sent back into a scene near the start of A6A6I1 that we couldn’t read because the dialoglog glitched out. John retcons the glitches away so we can finally read Jane and Jake’s conversation. Basically, the scene progression is confusing (John and John) -> terrifying (Jane and Jake) -> heartwarming (John and Roxy), which is an effective way to pace the last few scenes of A6A6I1.

JANE: It is just you and I now, Jake.
JANE: Alone at last.
JAKE: (Gulp!)

fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck FUCK.

Can I just say, I genuinely don’t like one bit how brutally Crockertier Jane reverts all she said in her post-trickster conversation with Dirk about how she’s finally starting to get over Jake. It wouldn’t be such a big issue if Jane and Jake talked to each other even once in the comic after Jane went back to normal, and Jane has strong feelings for Jake all over again in the epilogues for reasons that probably do make sense considering they stopped seeing each other often. GOD, I feel bad for Jane fans (which do exist, please don’t think they don’t).

JAKE: Jane can you please tell me what in the sam hill is going on?
JAKE: Havent you kept me pinched in the hoosegow long enough?!
JANE: The what.
JAKE: What happened to my grandma! She seemed so nice then all of the sudden WHAMMO shes a gruesome monster!
JAKE: And whats with the thing she zapped on your head that flipped your cuckoo fruitcake switch! Is that what made you lose your marbles jane?
JAKE: And whyd you have to plant such a spanking haymaker on the old breadbasket? That really hurt! It still hurts!!
JAKE: And why oh WHY must my bottom rock these snug custard undies while you get to look like such a doggone BAD ASS?
JAKE: Am i at least permitted to put on a respectable pair of fucking shorts???
JANE: Absolutely not.

All that said, it is relieving to hear from Jake for the first and only time in A6A6I1. His old man speak isn’t even that bad here (which is what he tends to fall into when he’s most oblivious or nervous); you can easily infer pretty much everything he’s referring to here by context. Jake’s brutal treatment throughout Act 6 Act 6 makes me look forward to analyzing his lilypad conversation with John, which is one of few times he isn’t treated poorly.

On the next page, Jake’s nervousness (and with it, his antiquated language) gets more extreme until Jane shuts him up and explains to him what his purpose will be in the Condesce’s plan for world domination.

Just a heads up: I will be discussing some of the sexual content in the Homestuck Epilogues after this point. If you aren’t comfortable with reading about that content, I recommend you skip to the end of this post. Otherwise, proceed at your own risk.

JANE: Listen carefully, prisoner.
JANE: I stand to inherit a new empire very soon.
JANE: When Earth has reached its final destination, it will be repopulated with a fresh brood of loyal subjects over whom I will rule absolutely.
JANE: But I will not rule alone, Jake. Oh, no. I will need a husband to rule by my side.
JANE: That is where you come in.
JAKE: *Whimper…*
JANE: You and I will be wed, and we will rule my empire together with an iron oven mitt.
JANE: However, the mitt will be worn by me, and me alone. You will have no executive authority whatsoever, because you are too stupid.
JANE: You will always do exactly what I say, when I say it. You will be obedient, cheerful, mostly silent, and scantily clad. Is that understood?
JAKE: *Sob!*

It’s absolutely terrifying how much of these words come true in the Candy Epilogue. Jane effectively rules over Earth without anyone helping her except for a certain loyal clown. Jake fades into the background for most of the story, barely having a single say in his life as Jane’s husband, let alone the leadership of Crockercorp. He obeys her commands and acts pleasant around her, despite his discomfort with this entire living situation.

JANE: You will also provide me with children so my imperial legacy will continue, and the Crocker brand will live on in infamy.
JANE: You will sire as many children as I ask for, and they will all be perfect, obedient little heirs and heiresses.
JANE: You do remember our recent agreement to have “a zillion babies,” don’t you, Jake? I do hope you were not planning to renege on this vow.
JAKE: *Sob sob sob…*
JANE: Our children will rule the empire when we are gone, which of course will be never, because we will be eternally young and beautiful and immortal and in love, for ever and ever.

As disappointing as it may be that Jane turned into such a monster in the epilogues, it’s rather interesting to see the parts of her vision that didn’t come true, like the idea to regularly give birth to new children for the rest of eternity. They only end up having one kid named Tavros who Jane doesn’t care one bit about but Jake loves more than anything else (admirably more than his pre-scratch self with most of his dubiously canon children). Though Jane doesn’t talk much about the idea of having more than one child in the epilogues, there are uncomfortable indications that she tried and failed many times to make more children with Jake.

JANE: We will travel the galaxy conquering planets and expanding my empire. No alien world will pose any resistance to our forces.
JANE: Especially not once I figure out how to unlock all that incredible “Page of Hope potential” hidden away in your pathetic, hunky body.
JAKE: *SOB!!!*

Conquering planets with the help of Jake’s hidden superpowers is another part of Jane’s vision that didn’t come true, perhaps because it didn’t occur to any of the epilogues’ authors. Or perhaps because Jane was constantly under the delusion that she wasn’t basically the Condesce 2.0, which means that obviously she knows better than trying to conquer other planets or oppress humans or change her company’s logo to a fork.

JAKE: Please no jane dont do this! I dont want to get married or sire children or rule an empire! Im scared and sad and afraid and i dont want to do this adventure anymore and i just want to go home!
JAKE: Please let me go back to earth jane! Just like it used to be! I just want to go back to my pumpkin patch in the jungle when things were simpler and all i had to worry about was being tackled by a feisty robot. I want to go back to when i didnt ruin all my friendships and when you didnt hate me and when you didnt go crazy and tell me to be your weird royal husband slave!
JAKE: WAAAAAAAAAAH!!!
JAKE: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HOO HOO HOO HOO HOO!
JAKE: *Hoooornk!*
DIRK: Ew, dude.
DIRK: Don’t blow your nose on your cape.

After Jake protests in the form of a blubbery rant, Dirk (or as we see on the next page, Brain Ghost Dirk) comes back at a rather humorous time and gives Jake his trademark snarky but honest criticism of Jake’s personality.

JAKE: (Brain ghost dirk!)
JAKE: (*Sob…*)
JAKE: (Youve got to do something!)
DIRK: Sorry, man. I’d like to help you out.
DIRK: But I’m not real.
JAKE: (Dag nabbit!)
JAKE: (*Sniffle…*)
JAKE: (Are you sure theres nothing you can do?)
DIRK: I’m only as real as your ability to believe in me.
JAKE: (But i do believe in you.)
JAKE: (I believe in everybody!)
DIRK: Yeah right.
DIRK: You’ve never really believed in anyone your whole life, and you know it.
DIRK: Everything’s always about you. Don’t you remember? You already had this epiphany, dingus.
DIRK: I could only become truly real if you ever managed to harness those bomb as shit hope powers she mentioned.
DIRK: Then again, if you actually did that, you wouldn’t even need my help.
JAKE: (But i cant!)
JAKE: (And i dont want to be a pawn in her lecherous baby making pastry empire.)

Since regular Dirk is busy flying through the middle of nowhere, Brain Ghost Dirk foreshadows his own potential useful role in the present situation by revealing that he can become truly real if Jake unlocks the full potential of his hope powers. This might invite attentive readers to connect the dots and try to figure out who could possibly help Jake unlock those powers. Those that know a lot about the classpect system might remember what Aranea had said about her god tier title, but most readers will probably have no idea how Jake could reach the full potential of his hope powers.

JANE: Jake.
JAKE: (*Blubber…*)
DIRK: Will you stop crying?
DIRK: It’s reflecting poorly on both of us.
JAKE: (Sorry.)
JAKE: (*Sniff.*)
DIRK: Hey.
DIRK: Did you shave your legs?
JAKE: (No i think the magic god tier fire burned it all off…)
DIRK: God damn.
DIRK: They’re so smooth.
DIRK: A car could swerve outta control on those gams.
JAKE: (I know. Its really weird.)
JAKE: (Speaking of legs…)
DIRK: Yeah. The little poofy asshole pants. I know.
JAKE: (Is that really what youre wearing now?)
DIRK: Yeah.
JAKE: (Sweet!)
DIRK: No.

Jake’s conversation with Brain Ghost Dirk quickly enters comedic territory when they discuss their god tier outfits and Jake’s newly shaven legs. These two are both stuck with some of the more absurd god tier outfits, devised once Hussie used up all his good ideas on how to make cool-looking outfits. John’s later words to Jake about his outfit put a much more positive light on his yellow underpants; as I said before, I’m looking forward to covering that scene.

JANE: JAKE.
JANE: To whom are you talking?
JAKE: Brain ghost dirk.
JANE: Brain… Ghost Dirk?
JAKE: Yes.
JANE: You are lying.
JAKE: No im not!
JANE: Brain Ghost Dirk sounds almost as fake as he is completely made up.
JAKE: But…
JAKE: *Snivel.*
JAKE: *WEEEEEEEEEEP!*
JANE: Oh, for goodness’ sake.
JANE: Pull yourself together, Jake.
JANE: Your behavior is repugnant, and has no place in my empire.
JANE: What kind of man are you?
JANE: What kind of suitor to an heiress weeps uncontrollably when his imaginary friend’s existence is called into question?
DIRK: She has a point there.
JAKE: *Wahhh!*
DIRK: Dude, would you quit bawling already?
DIRK: Stand up like a man, and punch her in the face or something.
JAKE: But i dont WANNA be a man and i dont WANNA punch her in the face!
JAKE: *WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!* 

Brain Ghost Dirk gives Jake an honest suggestion on how to counteract Jane, but unfortunately he’s too much of a coward to pull it off. I can only imagine the satisfying hilarity of Jake giving Jane a punch in the face while she stares blankly in confusion, much like when he beat up Meenah in a misguided attempt to do the cool movie thing where you go back in time and kill Hitler.

ANE: Punch WHOM in the face, now?
JAKE: Nobody! *HOOOOOOORNK!*
JANE: Just sickening.
JANE: To think I wasted my youth pining over a vile maggot like you.
JANE: Jake, you should not be misled when I imply that I love you, or when I command you to marry me and sire my children.
JANE: In truth I detest you, and if not for certain assets you possess, I would be sorely tempted to fork you full of holes right now and feed your remains to my daughter.
JANE: .
JANE: .
JANE: .
JANE: But I won’t.

From the Condesce’s perspective, it’s just as well that Jake isn’t exiled to the edge of the session like Dirk was, because if that was the case then the two of them would be busy having a deep and hearty long-distance feelings jam and perhaps together figure out what’s going on in the session.

JANE: You’re lucky you’re so hot.

And so, Jane ends this horrifying scene with a disclaimer, perhaps directed at readers who think she is suddenly in love with Jake again. She tells Jake that she still finds him physically attractive, which I guess makes sense but is still a painful step backwards that is never made up for.


[checks plans for Homestuck post series]

[gasps audibly]

Is this really it? IS THIS REALLY IT??? Is this really the last scene before John and Roxy’s first conversation, which for the longest time felt like a scene I wouldn’t get to until a long enough time from then that I didn’t have to worry about it? Yes, it is indeed. I almost can’t believe it, oh my god. My Homestuck post series, the very same project that I started four and a half years ago and since then went through numerous pauses and burnouts, has finally reached this point in the comic that I’ve been waiting to cover for so long, especially now that the epilogues have been released.

See you next time as I finally dump out as many words as I possibly can about one of my favorite scenes in all of Homestuck. You better be ready.

>> Part 109: The Part I’ve Been Waiting to Get to for Over Four Years

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