Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 132: Leadership Doubt and Feline Boisterousness

Introduction

< Part 131 | Part 132 | Part 133 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 6 of 12

Pages 7635-7671

Rose represents my reaction to all Homestuck fandom drama from this year.

Holy shit. Holy shit, holy shit, holy shit. I have less than 500 pages left of Homestuck to go through. 500 pages may sound like a lot, but it’s quite a small portion compared to Homestuck’s full page count, which slightly exceeds 8000.

Anyway, we left off at Calliope getting revived by an increasingly saccharine Roxy. Now, a lengthy scrolling panel with denizen sound effects showing Echidna in person (but not her face) takes us to Kanaya and Karkat, having finished their meeting with Echidna. It’s quite a fun and detailed panel giving a good sense of scale for Echidna’s monstrous size, drawn by an external artist.

For Kanaya, the denizen meeting was brief and successful, but Karkat is still befuddled at the purpose of his presence. Kanaya says she and Echidna talked about Karkat but is reluctant to explain what they talked about, which is some withholding that Karkat isn’t too happy about. With Karkat lost on what he stands for or what his purpose is, the two discuss their aspects, and we start to learn new things about them—some directly, some indirectly. This conversation in general features us learning a lot of new things about the Alternian trolls’ session.

KANAYA: So
KANAYA: You Really Dont Have Even The Slightest Sense Of What You Stand For
KANAYA: Some Concept That Speaks To You In Some Way
KANAYA: Or Represents Ideals Important To You

KARKAT: I DUNNO
KARKAT: UHH
KARKAT: BLOOD?
KANAYA: Blood
KARKAT: NO, NOT BLOOD.
KARKAT: I MEAN, NOT REALLY. MAYBE.
KARKAT: HONESTLY I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS OR WHY I SAID IT.
KARKAT: EXCEPT THAT IT’S THE EASY ANSWER, JUST BECAUSE IT’S MY FUCKING ASPECT.

[…]

KARKAT: BUT REALLY, I DON’T HAVE A CLUE WHAT MY ASPECT MEANS.
KARKAT: OR IF IT EVEN HAS ANY SUBSTANTIVE CORRELATION WITH “MY SHIT” PER WHATEVER ECHIDNA WAS GOING ON ABOUT.
KARKAT: HONESTLY THOUGH…
KARKAT: WHEN WE STARTED PLAYING THE GAME, AND LEARNING ABOUT ALL THE ASPECT STUFF AND WHO WAS WHAT
KARKAT: I GOT SO EXCITED WHEN I FOUND OUT ABOUT MINE.
KARKAT: I WAS LIKE, WHAT? BLOOD?? FUCK YEAH!!!
KARKAT: THAT’S ME. THAT’S SO BADASS, AND I’M BADASS, SO YEAH, THAT CHECKS OUT.
KARKAT: AND EVEN THOUGH THE THING ABOUT BEING A BADASS WAS BULLSHIT, IT STILL JUST *FELT* RIGHT.
KARKAT: AND I THINK IT STILL DOES.

Blood is one of the least discussed aspects in Homestuck—in fact, I think this is the only time where it’s even explicitly brought up aside from passing mention of Karkat or Kankri’s titles. Karkat says he still doesn’t know what his aspect means, but it’s easy to deduce from this conversation that it involves leadership and uniting friends. This definition is supported by the memorable scene in which his blood color is revealed: Karkat panics as his mutant red blood slips, but the same Jack Noir who stabbed him reveals that his blood is also red, and so their alliance began. It’s interesting to see the true meaning of a class or aspect discussed implicitly for once, and it should be obvious how far off Karkat was with his original idea of what blood meant.

KANAYA: Thats Nice
KANAYA: I Think It Can Only Be Positive To Feel A Deep Affinity For Ones Aspect
KANAYA: Better Than Being At Odds With It
KANAYA: I Never Felt Like I Had Much To Do With Space
KANAYA: Until Eventually
KANAYA: I Somehow Came To Understand Space Meant More Than Just Space
KANAYA: Like Not Just
KANAYA: Physical Room And Dimension For Stars To Occupy
KANAYA: Its
KANAYA: Deeper Than That
KANAYA: A Field Related To Propagation
KANAYA: The Ones Who Create It
KANAYA: They Are Passing A Torch As It Were

The aspect of space, on the other hand, has a less obvious meaning explicitly discussed. Among all of Homestuck’s aspects, space is the one with the most characters to its name: Jade, Kanaya, Porrim, Calliope, and Calliope. Now, alternate selves of course make such numbering finicky, but if any two versions of a Sburb player count as separate characters, it’s the two versions of Calliope. As such, Kanaya’s discussion on the deeper meaning of space, related to motherhood and creation, allows us to rethink five different characters, not to mention all their alternate selves. It’s an especially fitting new way to think of the Maryams, and maybe even jade bloods in general. This won’t be the last time the space aspect is discussed in Homestuck—there’s also Jade’s conversations with god tier Calliope and Davepetasprite^2, which have received quite a bit of flack for trying to narratively justify her brutal shafting.

KARKAT: YEAH, AT FIRST, I THOUGHT BLOOD JUST MEANT LIKE…
KARKAT: SOMETHING ABOUT BEING A WARRIOR! OR BEING COMPLETELY RUTHLESS TO ANYONE STANDING IN THE WAY OF VICTORY.
KARKAT: BUT AS MORE TIME PASSED
KARKAT: I REALIZED THERE WAS PROBABLY A LOT MORE TO IT.
KARKAT: AND I STILL DON’T UNDERSTAND.
KARKAT: MAYBE I NEVER WILL.
KARKAT: BUT YOU KNOW
KARKAT: EVEN THOUGH I DON’T HAVE THOSE IMMATURE VIEWS ON BEING A BIGSHOT ANYMORE
KARKAT: I STILL WANT TO FIGHT!
KANAYA: You Do
KARKAT: YEAH!
KARKAT: I MEAN NOT ANY OLD TIME LIKE SOME BELLIGERENT ASSHOLE, BUT WHEN EVERYTHING IS ON THE LINE, AND IT REALLY MATTERS.
KARKAT: LIKE NOW.
KARKAT: SO MAYBE I WASN’T TOO FAR OFF ON THAT PART OF MY ASPECT?
KARKAT: MAYBE IT DOES HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH LIKE THE “WARRIOR SPIRIT” SHIT EVEN IF YOUR BODY AND SKILLS CAN’T QUITE BACK THAT UP.
KANAYA: Could Be
KANAYA: It Could Also Be Theres More To Being A Warrior Than Engaging In Physical Combat

KARKAT: HMM

When did Karkat stop understanding what it meant to be a leader?! I still feel like this is a rather contrived way to set up a grandiose heroic resolution for Karkat, which of course isn’t fulfilled until near the end of the Candy Epilogue when Earth C has gone into complete mayhem.

Karkat discusses his lack of fighting prowess compared to even the other non-god tier trolls, as well as his lack of leadership skills, and then discusses something that I was really surprised to see brought up again when this update came out.

KARKAT: I NEVER TOLD ANYONE THIS BUT…
KARKAT: EVEN WHEN I BEAT MY DENIZEN
KARKAT: I’M PRETTY SURE THAT’S ONLY BECAUSE I GOT THE ONE RESERVED FOR THE WEAKEST PLAYERS.
KARKAT: LIKE A SPECIAL ONE.
KARKAT: YOU KNOW HOW THERE’S THAT SUPPOSEDLY RARE ONE THAT ONLY REALLY STRONG PLAYERS GET… IT HAS SOME WEIRD FUCKING NAME.
KARKAT: I’M PRETTY SURE MINE WAS LIKE THAT. BUT JUST THE OPPOSITE.
KARKAT: REALLY, I NEVER SAID *ANYTHING* ABOUT THIS BECAUSE IT WAS SO EMBARRASSING, BUT
KARKAT: WHEN I GOT TO HIM, HE WAS… WEIRDLY SMALL??
KARKAT: LIKE JUST REALLY SMALL.
KARKAT: AND HE MUMBLES HIS CHOICE SHIT WHICH OF COURSE I COMPLETELY IGNORE, AND HE SEEMS TO KNOW I WILL.
KARKAT: I CAN HEAR IT IN HIS VOICE. HE KNOWS I WON’T CARE, HE CAN SENSE MY CONTEMPT, HE CAN SENSE HOW SMALL AND PITIFUL I FEEL, AND BECAUSE HE’S LIKE ALL KNOWING AND SHIT, HE’S *FACTORED THIS IN*.

This isn’t the first time Karkat mentioned his denizen: he had mentioned it briefly in the Doc Scratch intermission, claiming his denizen to be an absolute monstrous nightmare. Apparently, he was lying about it this whole time. I’ll discuss this change first from Hussie’s perspective, then from an in-universe perspective.

From Hussie’s perspective: I imagine when writing the A6A6I5 conversations about the beta kids’ Echidna, he probably went back and reread the conversations about Echidna in the Doc Scratch intermission, and stumbled upon Karkat briefly mentioning his denizen, claiming it to be a big ugly monster like any other. I doubt he had thought too hard about Karkat’s denizen back then; he just decided the trolls all killed their denizens (except maybe Tavros) and left it at that. When rereading those conversations he had written years prior, Hussie probably only then decided it would make more sense for Karkat’s denizen to be unusually weak, and thus he decided that Karkat retroactively lied when he described his denizen to Jade. It’s a bit of an unusual retcon, but it gives us quite a bit of new denizen lore for fans to chew on.

From an in-universe perspective: Karkat repressing worries and embarrassing stories is quite typical of him. It’s left open to fans’ interpretation whether Karkat’s denizen truly was a special weak denizen, as well as what his denizen was named. The most common theory from what I know is that Karkat’s denizen is Abraxas, who is also Jake’s denizen and that’s pretty much all we know about him. If Karkat’s denizen really was one reserved for players with low physical prowess, then it’s easy to imagine that killing him was another thing Karkat messed up in his session—another reason for him to beat himself up about his past mistakes.

KARKAT: ON SOME LEVEL, I THINK I UNDERSTOOD ALL THIS, AND IT JUST MADE ME FURIOUS.
KARKAT: SO I KILLED HIM.
KARKAT: AND IT WAS TOO EASY. EVEN FOR ME, IT WAS EASY.
KARKAT: I REMEMBER THINKING “WHAT THE FUCK?” AFTER THE FINAL BLOW.
KARKAT: SO YEAH, I’VE BEEN PRETTY SURE I GOT THE “TRAINING DENIZEN” EVER SINCE. IT WAS JUST A MATTER OF ADMITTING IT TO MYSELF.
KARKAT: ACTUALLY, AS DUMB AS IT SOUNDS…
KARKAT: I THINK I’M *STILL* NOT COMFORTABLE WITH PEOPLE KNOWING THAT FACT. IT STILL FEELS HUMILIATING.
KARKAT: WOULD YOU MIND NOT TELLING ANYONE, KANAYA?
KANAYA: Ill Stay Quiet

You could argue that Karkat had no way of knowing if others’ denizens were bigger than his, since he probably hasn’t seen any other denizen in person besides Echidna just now, and that Karkat really was a good fighter to take his denizen down, but I doubt that personally. Karkat knows that he lacks fighting skills, and he’s currently in a phase where he’s admitting to those insecurities but is unsure what to do about it. In the alpha session, there’s not a lot for Karkat to do, and not much after Earth C is settled either—tragically, it takes circumstances in which the world and its heroes (especially Jane) mutate beyond recognition for Karkat to step up and become heroic.

Karkat then goes on a speech about how he still wants to play a part in the heroic battles to earn his right to inherit the universe. The speech ends as follows:

KARKAT: AND WHO KNOWS, MAYBE A MOMENT WILL PRESENT ITSELF…
KARKAT: WHERE I CAN DO SOMETHING IMPORTANT.
KARKAT: LIKE NUDGE SOMEONE OUT OF THE WAY OF A RANDOM FLAMING FUCKBALL JUST IN TIME.
KARKAT: OR SOME OTHER SMALL THING ACTUALLY WITHIN MY ABILITY.
KARKAT: MAYBE I’LL DIE IN THE PROCESS OF SAVING SOMEONE MORE CRUCIAL TO VICTORY?
KARKAT: IF THAT’S WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A PART OF THIS, SO BE IT.
KARKAT: I’M IN.
KANAYA: Thats Why Youre Our Leader Karkat
KARKAT: I’M NOT YOUR FUCKING LEADER!!!
KANAYA: Statements Like That Are Also Why Youre Our Leader
KARKAT: NO, I DON’T ACCEPT THAT.
KANAYA: You Have To

This is a PERFECT time to bring back the “statements like that are also why you’re our leader” callback, and this time it’s in perhaps the most powerful context yet. When Kanaya says that phrase, this time she means that humility is an integral part of leadership. And humility is, um… to put it politely, it’s not exactly something Vriska is known for. Unlike the rest of the Sburb players, Kanaya believes perhaps through her unmatched motherly instinct that Karkat still holds leaderly attributes deep down.

KARKAT: WHAT
KARKAT: WHY?!
KARKAT: NO I DON’T.
KARKAT: LOOK, WE *JUST* ESTABLISHED THIS BACK ON THE PAD.
KARKAT: I’M NOT A LEADER ANYMORE. END OF STORY.
KANAYA: That Isnt What Echidna Said
KARKAT: ??????
KANAYA: It Was Part Of The Deal
KARKAT: WHAT?
KARKAT: WHAT DEAL.
KANAYA: The Choice She Gave Me
KANAYA: It Was Straightforward Like I Said
KANAYA: Seeing Us Was Mostly A Formality
KANAYA: She Was Perfectly Willing To Release The Frog
KANAYA: But There Was One Small Thing I Had To Agree To First

KARKAT: WHAT??
KANAYA: To Protect You

It’s clear from this exchange that Kanaya truly believes in Karkat’s leadership skills. The brevity of her conversation with Echidna indicates that she easily agreed to protect Karkat as promised; for her, it was not a difficult choice at all.

KARKAT: ………?!
KANAYA: In Addition To Living Up To The Things I Supposedly Stand For As Well
KANAYA: The Resurrection Of Our People
KANAYA: But Once I Did That
KANAYA: She Made It Clear
KANAYA: Theyd Need Guidance
KANAYA: She Didnt Seem Happy With The Idea Of Her Universe Being Stricken With Another Race Of Lost Trolls
KANAYA: Maybe She Feels You Are The Best Chance Wed Have At Preventing That
KARKAT: ARE YOU FUCKING JOKING?
KANAYA: Not At The Moment

Given this conversation, fans were disappointed when the Snapchat credits didn’t show Karkat doing leader things. As I said, it takes until late in the Candy Epilogue for Karkat to fulfill this promise—long after the kids depart from the realm of canon. As with a lot of things in the epilogues, that is an unorthodox way to fulfill a promise.

KARKAT: HAHAHAHAHA!
KARKAT: THESE DENIZENS ARE FULL OF SURPRISES AREN’T THEY.
KARKAT: OK, COOL! WHATEVER YOU SAY ECHIDNA!
KARKAT: IT’S PROBABLY A LOAD OF SHIT, BUT A DEAL’S A DEAL.
KARKAT: AT LEAST “PROTECTING ME” SHOULD BE A PRETTY EASY PROMISE TO LIVE UP TO, RIGHT?
KANAYA: Id Hope So

Kanaya’s last line here again shows how much she genuinely believes in Karkat. As sweet as it is, her sheer belief in him is demonstrated in a bizarre way.

The bizarre way is as follows: Karkat gets excited to play his part in battle, even considering to bring back his favorite old sickle, Homes Smell Ya Later, but Kanaya then demonstrates what she means by protecting him:

There’s something charming about having Kanaya’s sound effects written in her typing quirk.

A callback to Karkat’s death in A6A6I1, with his body post flipped 180 degrees.

Yep, just like that, Kanaya knocked Karkat out to keep him as safe as possible until the time comes to open the door and enter Universe C. This is really fucking embarrassing to admit, but when this update came out, I remember being confused as to why Kanaya knocked him out. I guess I didn’t read the conversation carefully enough or something? Or maybe it was just 16-year-old me being thick-headed. In any case, Kanaya knocking Karkat out is a demonstration of her motherly instincts, and how much she simultaneously believes and doesn’t believe in Karkat, if that makes sense. She believes in his leadership skills, but not in his fighting skills.

More of those Kanaya-style sound effects.

KANAYA: Pleasant Dreams Friend
KANAYA: If You Can Hear Me In Your Dreams
KANAYA: Ha Ha You Probably Cant

And here’s another random weird callback that exists. This time, it’s a callback to John patting Vriska after knocking her out, and these last two lines feel pretty weird said by Kanaya instead of John. I’m not sure if I’ll even point out every random callback in A6A6I5 from here on out, because there’s so many.

And so, Kanaya prods on, ready for, uh… someone to come over and fly her over to the frog platform and rejoin the Condesce team? Whatever, she’s ready to continue her adventure either way.

FUCK YES! It’s time to analyze Jasprosesprite^2’s first lengthy conversation, which I remember being a complete laugh riot because of how insanely verbose AND talkative she is. And because Jasprose in general is just… a really fun character. It’s pretty cool that A6A6I5 gives us two last additions to Homestuck’s cast, both of whom are squared sprites.

JASPROSESPRITE^2: They’re back!!! :3!! !
JASPROSESPRITE^2: At last an end to this dreadful lull in our recent social patterns!
ROSE: What lull?
ROSE: You’ve been talking nonstop since you were created.

What a perfect character establishing moment this is for Jasprosesprite^2, as well as Rose’s relationship with her. I should give special mention to the usage of the word “lull”, which strikes me as a very Rose word despite being only four letters long.

I can tell Hussie had way too much fun writing this scene.

I LOVE THE WAY ROSE IS SHOVING HER FACE INTO A VELVET PILLOW. SO MUCH THAT I NEED TO TYPE IN ALL CAPS TO EXPRESS HOW MUCH I LOVE IT. A6A6I5 has its ups and downs, but Rose’s aggravated and stupefied reactions to Jasprosesprite^2 are without a doubt among the ups—perhaps the biggest ups of all.

JASPROSESPRITE^2: You see Roxy? We all knew you could find her.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Especially me!
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Not to boast but my faith in your ability to retrieve the cherub wasn’t just some saccharine friendly nonsense, like it was for pretty much everyone else here.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: It was established in what is now a highly focused understanding of my aspect as well as these radically magnified feline instincts!! :3!

God bless Jasprose for admitting when something is just saccharine friendly nonsense. And god bless Hussie for having at least some of that nonsense be offscreen. God bless Jasprose even further for providing Roxy encouragement based on real knowledge, not just sugary fluff.

JASPROSESPRITE^2: Yes good point, it’s true that feline instincts in no empirical way contribute to one’s prognosticative acuity, fair enough!
JASPROSESPRITE^2: But they really make it FEEL like my intuition has more credibility than it really deserves.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: And to the cat portion of my being, that is GOOD ENOUGH! Holy shit am I legitimately pleased with myself right now.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: *Trills.*
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Is this her Roxy? :3 Of course this is her.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Hello you beautiful creature.
CALLIOPE: :O

Jaspersprite and Rose’s personalities combine in a beautifully unprecedented way: extreme self-satisfaction on both ends that leads to nonstop hilarity.

What’s even going through Calliope’s mind right now? I bet she’s just plain flabbergasted.

JASPROSESPRITE^2: Gasp. ROXY! She’s a treasure.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: This skull! Absolutely exquisite.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: So smooth to the touch and full of luster! So macabre, so… sublimely EXSANGUINOUS! :3

The Jaspers half of Jasprose takes great delight in her enormously increased vocabulary, and it’s amazingly funny. She very enthusiastically utters the word “exsanguinous”, which is an esoteric word even for Rose.

JASPROSESPRITE^2: Quite the fetching artifact to keep propped on such a smartly dressed pair of shoulders.
ROSE: Could you maybe stop pawing at her?
ROSE: It’s creepy.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: The suit! Spectacular. Tailored yourself I gather?
JASPROSESPRITE^2: You have no idea what a burning desire I have to get hair on it but don’t worry I won’t!
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Oh my god her eyes. Perfect glass! Like a priceless doll’s.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Tis a special friend you pulled from the dead Roxy.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Thank you for sharing this gift with us.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: *Mrr… chirp!*
ROXY: :O

The sensation of petting Calliope is not what Jasprose expected, but she takes delight in it no less. Jaspersprite’s petting instincts are yet another thing amplified in squared sprite form, and she gives a verbose description of what it’s like feeling Calliope’s skull.

No commentary needed. Just appreciate this panel for what it is.

JASPROSESPRITE^2: You there! John’s hot mom.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: It wasn’t a Freudian slip that time I said it deliberately. :3
ROSE: Kill.
ROSE: Me.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: We phantasmal kittyfolk don’t have much use for disguising the thoughts we think to be true in our minds nor do we bother to veil attraction to that which we find sexually appealing! Meow.
JANE: :O
JASPROSESPRITE^2: These IDEAS I’m having mmrrr they’re so *interesting*. Wherever this frame of reference has been all my life color me glad I’m dead!!! ;3

In a scene from last post, Rose did a brief “John’s hot mom” slip, which didn’t seem to mean much at the time. But now, Jasprose saying “John’s hot mom” makes it clear that Rose secretly finds Jane just as attractive as Dave does—perhaps even more. Jasprose being horny for Jane is… well, let’s just say it’s quite a sight.

JASPROSESPRITE^2: John’s hot mom did you know you killed me?
JASPROSESPRITE^2: No not the girl the cat I mean. You were twice culpable in a way.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: The murder weapon was in your custody and bequeathed to you roundaboutedly by you yourself as an aged ghostly grannywoman.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: The plummet of that gut-crushing tome was the last thing I ever witnessed.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Of course the old woman herself was murdered by the accursed thing too so one could hardly blame her for pulling a few strings here and there that it might find another victim.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: When a bedeviled joke opus is taken with certain individuals it can be difficult to wrest them away from its favor.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Mrow look at me boring you all with elementary tome trivia everyone knows already. What is this the kitten corner?
JASPROSESPRITE^2: The fact is John’s hot mom one time you and your cornball book made a pussy pancake out of me.
JOHN: :O

Honestly, I can’t complain about Jasprose stating trivia everyone knows in unique prose-like ways, making new connections along the way. It feels like Hussie wrote this scene specifically to get a good, strong feel for Jasprose’s way of talking, and it’s wonderful.

JASPROSESPRITE^2: I suppose Roxy had a hand in it too technically though it seems mom had it in her blood to do well intended harm to that poor critter I used to be.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: It’s ok though because she makes up for it with the BEST funerals!!! Purrr they are a treat, each of my halves received one!
JASPROSESPRITE^2: I remember you so clearly in that desert as the life drained away and I muddled through the shabby last words of a raffish amateur.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: I clearly remember in spite of what a hackneyed showing that was I still had the presence of mind to be overwhelmed by the sense for how much you cared and that gives me such a warm emotion right now it makes me want to poof up a little with friendliness!

Jasprose’s existence tainted the tragedy of Rose’s death in A6A6I4 already, but here she’s dampening the impact even more. She makes Rose’s last words come off as stereotypical and bland in retrospect while describing it in the same unique prose-like way she describes everything.

JASPROSESPRITE^2: But these aren’t the only memories of death I have.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Or the only memories of life I had for you see I’ve had many.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Squaring these sprites, it’s a marvelous thing. It opens you up! The selves become curiously multidimensional; concentrated!!
JASPROSESPRITE^2: I recall the lives of many Roses lost. And many Jaspers! Maybe even more than nine. ;3
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Not that any of them matter now they each chased their own laser pointers to their respective futilities and now I am all that’s left of them, mrrrr.

Why would squared sprites have memories of their components’ alternate selves? The answer: why wouldn’t squared sprites have memories of their components’ alternate selves? We’re approaching the comic’s discussion on ultimate selves, which are a somewhat contentious topic among Homestuck’s fandom because they come off to some as a last-ditch justification for retconning so much of the comic’s cast. I do wish that specific alternate selves were brought up a bit more often in these discussions. What about the version of Rose from Davesprite’s timeline? Or post-scratch Rose? Or Rose from one of the non-Game Over variants of the pre-retcon timeline?

I think that’s my main problem with ultimate selves—specific alternate selves aren’t brought up much. One of my biggest problems with Ultimate Dirk in the epilogues was that he didn’t discuss any specific alternate version of himself, just claimed to be ascending to an ultimate self form. Amusingly enough, in the very first update of Homestuck^2, Dirk actually redeemed this issue somewhat by bringing up his auto-responder. Now don’t get me wrong, Homestuck^2 is a wet fart and a half. It’s just that it at least started on a slightly promising note.

Jasprose then quickly tells Jane about her healing roles, getting that out of the way with some more aroused words like “cookietits”. This leads to “:O” emotes from everyone on the platform except Rose, who gives disapproving words and asks Jasprose to leave. She does just that.

Why wouldn’t squared sprites be able to magically summon fenestrated walls?
That’s what you should be asking yourself.

Jasprose uses fenestrated planes to check in on the other Sburb players, perhaps intending to keep the reader up to speed. Regular sprites already can do wacky meta shenanigans, so it stands to reason that squared sprites can do even more of that.

First off, Jasprose visits Kanaya and redeems the fact that the Rose half of her never told Kanaya she loved her, by doing the following:

Gotta love that flashing, multicolored sound effect.

I love Kanaya’s confused expression. Need I say more?

OK, there is one more thing to say: I think this scene isn’t a callback to anything for once, but I’m not 100% sure.

Next up is the Striders, who are at a complete loss for words both to each other and to Jasprose. All we hear from both of them is a mere “…”, both in the panel above and in text. This serves as setup for the difficult and therapeutic reunion that they’re about to experience; not much else to say.

And finally, Jasprose visits Jake and Tavrosprite, chilling out on LOMAX with no one else around. Looks like Jake has gone back to being uneasy and willfully secluding himself, even after successfully opening up to John. The last unprototyped kernel is there too, which Jasprose doesn’t hesitate to acknowledge. Since she was created after Vriska left the scene, she has no way of knowing about the backup resurrection plan, so it’s already easy to guess that she has a different idea for what to do with it.

JASPROSESPRITE^2: So it just occurred to me!!!
ROSE: Noooo. 😦

I love how Rose immediately goes back into shoving her face into a pillow the moment Jasprose reappears. Please stop and appreciate that.

JASPROSESPRITE^2: I saw the spare green sprite and it is like the little blinking light on those Ghostbuster traps reminding us all it is an empty vessel in need of a lost soul!
JOHN: what??
JOHN: wait, no, time out!
JOHN: ridiculous cat-rose, i have stood by silently agog at your shenanigans, but i can’t let that flagrant piece of misinformation go by unchallenged!

JASPROSESPRITE^2: Mrrr?
JOHN: that’s not how the ghost traps work.
JOHN: the light blinks AFTER they catch a ghost!

JASPROSESPRITE^2: Oh.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Mrrrreally?
JOHN: yes.
JOHN: i just wanted to clear that up, before you carry on with more of your silly nonsense.
JOHN: anyway, please continue.

JASPROSESPRITE^2: Thanks professor nerd I’m feeling a lot more knowledgeable about a fake thing now!

Oh my god, I had COMPLETELY forgotten about this funny little exchange where John corrects Jasprose on Ghostbusters knowledge. It makes sense that Jasprose misunderstands how Ghostbuster traps work—pre-retcon Jaspersprite took part in the Ghostbusters MMORPG game on John’s 14th birthday, and like almost everyone on the ship, he didn’t understand how the game worked at all. As for John, due to some strange, esoteric phenomenon called “character development”, I imagine he’s taking a slight sense of humor in correcting Jasprose on the workings of Ghostbuster traps. I like how Jasprose snarks at him for correcting her on something fictional, which is something that neither of her components would do.

JASPROSESPRITE^2: Now about that sprite.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Which one of you here was concerned with the resurrection of fallen friends?
JASPROSESPRITE^2: *Sniff.*
JASPROSESPRITE^2: *Sniff, sniff.*
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Was it you?? It was you wasn’t it. :3
TEREZI: >:?
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Regardless you’re the only one left on this lilypad with any vested interest in whatever deceased member of that particular legume exhibit gets to rejoin us.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: And if my tally is correct, that’s four torsos, but only one kernel!
ROSE: Vriska said that kernel was supposed to be for our potential resurrection purposes.
ROSE: And so was yours.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Vriska? Who’s this now? Hmm no, can’t says the name clinks a water bowl.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: In fact it sounds very suspiciously like the name of someone who probably scampered off leaving exactly this kind of moral dilemma to the those of us who stayed put!

Despite Jasprose’s augmented sprite knowledge, she doesn’t give a shit about Vriska at all. And it makes sense for her not to care—pre-retcon Rose never knew Vriska personally, and neither did Jaspersprite. Jasprose wasn’t even created until Vriska left the scene, so it makes sense that she would flagrantly stomp all over Vriska’s backup resurrection plans.

JASPROSESPRITE^2: So who is it going to be, hm? :3
JASPROSESPRITE^2: A princely young wizard who wrought science through a wand?
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Or a fishy young princess who never spoke once to Lalonde?
JASPROSESPRITE^2: What about “other guy”, the one thought half-dead only?
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Or the girl who likes ships! Cause they made her less lonely. ;3

Jasprose continues her Cheshire Cat shtick by speaking in rhymes, describing each of the four trolls whose corpses are in the fridge. Her descriptions of Eridan and Feferi are interesting because while Feferi really was a princess, Eridan was merely “princely”. Wait, hold on. Now that I think of it, when Eridan learned his god tier title, he probably tried to get together with Feferi for real by saying that she’s a princess and he’s a prince, and thus they belong together. How didn’t that occur to me before? That seems so obvious, Eridan thinking that a prince and princess belong together.

I like how Jasprose’s description of Sollux reuses the phrase “other guy” from Caliborn’s Homosuck trolls; as I said back in that part, “other guy” is an apt description of his character. As for Nepeta, Jasprose’s statement that liking ships made her less lonely is an interesting reinterpretation of this long-forgotten character. I’m reminded of how Nepeta’s interest in shipping wasn’t even mentioned in her introduction page, but rather happened after Equius and Aradia’s infamous smooching scene as a throwaway gag. And then, when it stopped being a throwaway gag, it started to become clear that shipping her friends was Nepeta’s way of dealing with her loneliness and especially her crush on Karkat. Reinterpreting Nepeta’s character is about to kick into high gear when Jasprose does something surprising that no one would have guessed: bringing back Nepeta.

JASPROSESPRITE^2: Meowsers what a mystery!!!

Yeah. It’s a real mystery alright. I can’t decide whether or not Jasprose knows how obvious it is which troll she’s going to bring back.

Take a wild guess what this scene is a reference to.

JASPROSESPRITE^2: But seriously that’s all from me tonight folks, I’ve sincerely adored hogging all of your attention and you’ve been wonderful.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: *Trills into the night.*

I’ve adored having Jasprose hog this post’s attention too. Parts of A6A6I5 have been a slog to get through, and Jasprose’s presence has lightened it up a lot.

TEREZI: Y34H, SH3’S JUST GONN4 BR1NG N3P3T4 B4CK 1SN’T SH3

Yep, it’s that obvious. It makes sense that Terezi is the one who brings that up, since she’s the master of logical reasoning and deduction. It’s also worth noting that this is the first time Jasprosesprite^2 is referred to with any pronouns. There was initially some confusion among fans for what to refer to Jasprose as, and the pronouns are clarified first through this line from Terezi, then in a more extensive discussion on gender identity with Davepetasprite^2.

I have eight Homestuck posts left now—you know, the funny number associated with Vriska. My eighth last Homestuck post, which so happens to be my next Homestuck post, will go through the first eight sections of the fake character select screen that follows.

>> Part 133: Tenuous Illusions of Free Will

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