Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 136: The Tripling of the Feline Sprites

Introduction

< Part 135 | Part 136 | Part 137 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 10 of 12

Pages 7812-7880

All three feline sprites are of shown in this image. Though one will soon become something different…

With my Homestuck posts, the light at the end of the tunnel is now visible with the naked eye! It’s been visible for quite some time, actually. After releasing this post, I have only four left before I reach the finish line. This metaphorical tunnel hasn’t been unpleasant and dreary as such metaphorical tunnels tend to be, but it’s still the kind of tunnel that you spend big stretches of time thinking would never end. You get so used to being inside the tunnel that the thought of what it’s like outside the tunnel stops crossing your mind… at least until you can make out the light at the end. And then you start feeling amazed and get motivated to quickly get through the little that’s left to reach the other side.

What I’m saying here is, when I’m nearing the end of an ambitious project like I am now, my motivation to finish the project kicks into extra high gear.

Picking up from the short little select screen, Jasprose is ready to prototype Jake’s kernelsprite, but first she takes care of Tavros’s cat allergies using the placebo effect: she feeds him a button from her velvet pillow, purported to be a pill, and he succumbs to the effect. While the placebo effect is a real phenomenon that occurs in real life, Tavros succumbing to the effect so easily says a lot about how much of a pushover he is, setting up the contrast with his pre-retcon self.

I’m just going to assume she got Nepeta’s head out of the tightly locked fridge using some sort of squared sprite powers.

Ready to do the blindingly obvious, Jasprose acts rude and snooty to Jake, then gives a speech about Nepeta’s poor treatment that heavily leans on the fourth wall.

JASPROSESPRITE^2: Mrow, well hello there, beautiful. ;3
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Fret no more sweet princess, for as long as I am here, you will never suffer such indignity again.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: How could anyone let such monstrous injustices happen to one so dear?
JASPROSESPRITE^2: What FILTH would dare to debase you in this manner?!
JASPROSESPRITE^2: To say it was the marginalization of a bright and pure spirit, to say it was MURDER, this would be too flattering to the purrrpetrator.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: What happened to you was nothing less than the desecration of a MASTERPIECE.

Jasprose is on to something when she says that saying Nepeta was murdered is a severe understatement. In Homestuck, murder doesn’t necessarily sever a character from the realm of relevance. A murdered character could well keep having screen time in dream bubbles, prevail as an alternate self, be talked about a lot by other characters, or even just leave behind a sizable impact on the plot. Nepeta got none of those opportunities, and due to presumably her squared sprite knowledge, Jasprose thoroughly knows as much.

JASPROSESPRITE^2: My mystic kittycat senses divine that you have been mistreated for a stretch of your life far preceding your demise.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: I detect that you may have been toyed with and disrespected by none other than the supreme puppeteer of unrepentant horseshit himself.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Any who would dare claim a greater atrocity has been committed in some godforsaken furl of paradox space, say it now and I will hiss and growl and curse your name.

The supreme puppeteer of unrepentant horseshit? That’s some self-deprecation on Hussie’s part if I’ve ever seen any. Jasprose breaks the fourth wall by alluding to the author of Homestuck, and I wouldn’t put it past her to know that the orange guy who sometimes shows up in dream bubbles is that supreme puppeteer. Sprites have interacted with the fourth wall plenty, so it stands to reason squared sprites would do even more of that.

Uh… okay.

Pretty interesting that we’re seeing a kernelsprite as late as A6A6I5.

Jasprose isn’t even looking as she prototypes Nepeta’s head. She’s just so convinced everything will go perfectly, she doesn’t feel a need to watch the head get prototyped.

NEPETASPRITE: :33 < hi!

Yep, Nepeta has just been brought back. Didn’t see that coming, did you? Her simple greeting gives us some time to process that a dead troll has been brought back into the fray, just like when Equius was prototyped into Dirk’s sprite.

TAVROSPRITE: oH,
TAVROSPRITE: oHHHH, nOOO,
TAVROSPRITE: tHIS IS, gREAT, tECHNICALLY, bUT, *sNIFF*,
TAVROSPRITE: oH nNNNOOAAA-CHOO!
TAVROSPRITE: aCHOO!,
TAVROSPRITE: hELP, i NEED,
TAVROSPRITE: aCHOO!,,
TAVROSPRITE: i NEED ANOTHER,
TAVROSPRITE: aCHOO!!!!!!
TAVROSPRITE: i NEED ANOTHER MAGIC PILLOW BUTTON!!!
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < :??

Tavros’s cat allergies were a one-off for the longest time, but now they’re affecting him from every corner. The cat sprites keep on piling up until Tavros becomes allergic to himself, and it all serves to indicate how much of a punching bag he is, which again sets up the contrast with another version of Tavros.

A6A6I5 has been sparse with sound pages so far.

In a silly callback to Meenah calling Aranea, a snippet of the song “Killed by BR8K SPIDER!!!!!!!!” plays as Vriska calls Jake. For some reason, it’s really funny to see such an aggressive song used as a simple ringtone.

VRISKA: Hey. Anyone there?
JAKE: Yes im here.
JAKE: Whos this?

VRISKA: Hi! Is this Joke I’m speaking to?
JAKE: Yes.
VRISKA: Hi Joke, nice to hear from you again.
VRISKA: This is Vriska.
JAKE: Who?
VRISKA: God damn it. Never mind who.
VRISKA: The really attractive and outspoken girl you just saw jump into a window a little while ago. Remem8er?

It’s really funny that Vriska is frustrated that Jake doesn’t remember who she is. She sees herself as the pinnacle of relevance and expects even goobers like him to know her name. She may well also expect goobers like him to find her attractive, which could be why she refers to herself as such.

JAKE: Oh yeah.
JAKE: Haha hello again. What can i do for you?
VRISKA: Glad you asked, 8uddy. You know, for a mostly inconsequential wimp, you’re very polite and have a gr8 attitude!
JAKE: Thanks. I try my best.

Since Jake reminds Vriska of Tavros so much, it surprises her for Jake to act more like John, being all willing to do whatever random troll girls tell him to unless it happens to be for his own good.

Anyway, it’s time for Vriska to reveal what Tavros’s fabled secret mission is. Upon Vriska’s instruction, Jake reaches into his pocket and gets a Crockercorp-branded mouse to summon GCat. He did not know that his god tier hoodie had a pocket, which is characteristically clueless of him.

JAKE: What the hell is this?
JAKE: How did this get in there…
VRISKA: Don’t worry a8out that.
VRISKA: Just throw it on the ground!

JAKE: Alrighty.

Vriska is quick to realize the sort of person Jake is: just like John, he’s willing to follow her instructions and feels no need to question them except in the most arbitrary cases. She knows that he’ll believe her when she tells him not to worry about where the little red mouse came from. Jane had one in her pocket a little after she went god tier, and no one seems to question where hers came from.

The cat has been summoned! And he’s playing with the mouse, completely distracted from doing anything serious. Upon Vriska’s instruction, Jake asks Tavros to grab GCat, and he concedes, leading to this:

Jasprose is delighted at Nepeta’s presence. Nepeta is worried about Tavros’s allergies, and Jake is staring blankly as ever.

Yep, that’s right. Gcatavrosprite is now a thing. Tavros has once more been subject to a severely incompatible sprite combination, especially considering that he says the following text four times:

All three first guardians featured in Homestuck—Becquerel, Doc Scratch, and GCat—have now used the crazy flashy first guardian text effect. Bec did it when he was prototyped into Jadesprite, and GCat is doing it now prototyped into Tavrosprite.

But before Gcatavrosprite can wreak any havoc or cause a disastrous explosion or anything, Vriska puts him to sleep. Turns out that was Tavros’s special mission: getting GCat prototyped into his sprite and then put to sleep, so that pesky little cat is neutralized. As I said a few posts ago, the disappointing reveal of the mission serves as leadup to pre-retcon Tavros’s grand heroic character arc resolution.

This panel has a pretty strange mix of art styles.

VRISKA: You still there?
JAKE: Yeah.
JAKE: What happened??

VRISKA: I had to neutralize another wildcard threat in that session.
VRISKA: Who the fuck knows WHAT that first guardian cat would have done during your 8attle.
VRISKA: Or for that matter, to what extent it’s still in the service of the Condesce.
VRISKA: Cats are pretty mysterious, after all.

The story has never made GCat’s motives very clear, especially not his affiliation with the Condesce. I’d imagine that Hussie at this point was also unclear on the cat’s motives, and instead of deciding for himself what those motives are (because, you know, he’s the author of Homestuck), he instead chose to roll with that lack of clarity. It’s quite genre savvy of Vriska to remark about how mysterious cats tend to be—it’s not like the cat had any vital role to play. The session has three beings with first guardian powers anyway, so Vriska decides it’s best to play it safe and neutralize GCat.

VRISKA: I needed to take it out of the picture.
VRISKA: The 8est way to do that was sweep it up into the 8ody of a person who’s much more managea8le, and mentally suggesti8le.
VRISKA: Tavros can ride out this whole 8attle while sleeping peacefully now, which frankly, is 8etter for him, and a LOT 8etter for all of you now that you don’t have to worry a8out another 8rainless omnipotent critter scurrying around, wreaking havoc.
VRISKA: You just have to make sure he doesn’t wake up until the action is over!
VRISKA: Same rules apply to him that apply to Jade.

For Vriska, using Tavros to neutralize the GCat is killing… er, I mean neutralizing two birds with one stone. She thinks very little of Tavros and thus made his purpose in the battle as pathetic as can be: sleeping so that a wildcard threat that everyone forgets about is out of the picture.

JAKE: So…
JAKE: Hes like that permanently now right?

VRISKA: Yep!
VRISKA: That’s how prototyping works. I made sure he was never dou8le-prototyped over the course of the session for this exact reason.
VRISKA: Sometimes it takes a little patience and long range planning to make sure all the loose ends are tied up.
JAKE: But.
JAKE: Doesnt this mean hes now allergic to himself?

VRISKA: Is he??
VRISKA: I dunno, man.
VRISKA: I never really knew how 8ad his allergies were?

Throughout A6A6I5, Vriska’s knowledge of events in the story is about the same as the reader’s: she’s working with what she knows (i.e. what readers know) and devising plans from there. She never knew much about Tavros’s cat allergy, and readers likewise aren’t even likely to remember the allergy existed before A6A6I5, since the allergy was only mentioned once offhand.

VRISKA: You know what, whatever. When this is all over, I guess he’ll have to deal with a little sneezing now and then, 8ut he’ll ALSO have a 8unch of totally sick godlike powers.
VRISKA: So that’s pretty cool, right??
VRISKA: Look kid, you’re a little new to the extended scene of everything going on here, 8ut there’s kind of 8een a long history of people under-appreci8ting how much shit I do for this guy that looks kinda 8ad 8ut is actually in his 8est interest.
VRISKA: He’ll wake up, acclim8 to his new existence, and when the time comes I’m sure he’ll 8e thanking me l8ter.
JAKE: I see.
JAKE: Hmm yeah when you put it that way…
JAKE: I guess youre right.
JAKE: Maybe old tavvys actually pretty lucky to have a friend like you.

VRISKA: There you go!
VRISKA: See Joke? You’re a lot smarter than people give you credit for.

Jake’s perception of Vriska is humorously similar to John’s initial perception of her. Both don’t have it in them to see Vriska as monstrous no matter how many morally questionable actions they learn about, though John can perceive Vriska negatively if he’s in one of his more cynical moods.

An elegant transition if I say so myself.

VRISKA: Anyway I can’t stand around all day yacking a8out this.
VRISKA: All in all this was a really minor chore to take care of.
VRISKA: I’ve got MUCH 8igger fish to fry out here in the ring.
VRISKA: Give my 8est to everyone there, and good luck with the fight!!!!!!!!

Vriska is very confident in herself right now. She’s set up everything that needs to happen with the final battle, which she’s convinced herself is a trivial blip compared to the quest to kill Lord English. It makes sense she’d take care of Tavros’s mission via phone after leaving for the Furthest Ring; anyone besides Jake would question whether it’s a good idea or get into a pointless argument with her.

This scenery is familiar, isn’t it? It’s probably easier to recognize as a scene where dream bubble memories took place than what it’s originally memories of: the Land of Maps and Treasure, Vriska’s planet from the Alternian session. It’s quite a symbolic place for this Lord English debriefing to occur on, since it parallels the place where pre-retcon Vriska gave John her initial Lord English debriefing, with Tavros at her side. The parallelism is off the charts.

Anyway, the debriefing begins after a little exchange reminding us of Meenah’s love of money.

VRISKA: At this point I think we could use a de8riefing. Would you care to do the honors?
MEENAH: wat
VRISKA: Regarding the mission you were previously involved with, which I can only presume gradually fizzled out.
VRISKA: Securing this weapon, searching for a lost cheru8, and raising an army to defeat Lord English?
MEENAH: ooh right
MEENAH: man
MEENAH: T)(AT old thing
MEENAH: yeah i can debrief
MEENAH: i aint much a storyteller tho
MEENAH: much to the lament of my former bestie

VRISKA: That’s fine!
VRISKA: I don’t need you to dazzle me here.
VRISKA: I just want the fucking scoop.

Meenah’s mention of Aranea (not even by name) reminds us that Aranea wasn’t just killed after Game Over: she was permanently banished from the world of narrative relevance, which is far worse than mere death. It’s a lot like how Jasprose said Nepeta has long suffered narrative irrelevance, but in Aranea’s case, her irrelevance is well-deserved: a fitting punishment for her uncontrolled hubris.

MEENAH: thats why youre the top serk 38)
MEENAH: …
MEENAH: ………
MEENAH: hey
VRISKA: What?
MEENAH: can i ask a kinda personal question
MEENAH: i mean not even that personal but whatev
VRISKA: Sure…?
MEENAH: how old are you
VRISKA: Uh,
VRISKA: Almost seven and a half sweeps.
VRISKA: Getting close to eight!!!!!!!!
VRISKA: I pro8a8ly sound like a fucking nerd, 8ut I’ve 8een excited a8out reaching that milestone pretty much my whole life.

MEENAH: 7.5 huh
MEENAH: i guess thats a lil more respectable
VRISKA: More respecta8le than what?
MEENAH: nofin

I feel like Hussie put this bit of dialogue in to make it clear that Meenah and (Vriska) both forgot about their age difference when entering their relationship, and now Meenah, the older of the two by quite a lot, severely regrets this. She still holds a lot of respect for the general concept of Vriska, and she’s open to the possibility of being with a version of Vriska whose brain is closer in maturity to hers.

Meenah’s recap of the plan to kill Lord English is mostly stuff we already knew, but there are a few interesting bits:

MEENAH: i stuck around though cause i didnt give a flying glub
MEENAH: aranea bailed though
MEENAH: she caught wind of that magic ring and i guess it got to her
MEENAH: the delusions of grandeur about being alive again and doing relevant shit
MEENAH: so she ollied out and stole it and made the most embarrassing mess of things i ever heard of anyone doin ever
MEENAH: she totally failed in whatever she was trying to do
MEENAH: got the ring ganked from her then died again
MEENAH: i never saw or heard from her ever since and tbh i dont really want to

Meenah’s statement that Aranea made the most embarrassing mess she’s ever heard of implies that nothing in the Beforus session—all the miserable failures to accomplish anything other than deliberately screwing everyone over like Damara did—embarrassed Meenah anywhere near as much as Aranea’s delusions of supreme relevance. While Meenah always thought of most of her Beforan friends as a bunch of wimps, she really thought at least Aranea was better than this. And she thought wrong. This whole time, Aranea was deep down a more extreme Vriska, just like most other Beforan trolls with their dancestors, though considering Mindfang’s journal, is that really much of a surprise?

MEENAH: and that “lost cherub” part of the plan
MEENAH: afaik that was a bogus red distraction fish and she probably dont matter at all
MEENAH: guess thats everything

Through dramatic irony, Meenah indirectly reminds us that the lost cherub has been found after all, just not by anyone in the pirate crew. We’ve met god tier Calliope in person, and she knows pretty damn well what she’s doing.

VRISKA: An army of ghosts throwing everything they’ve got at him sounds like a gr8 strategy.
VRISKA: Like, a sort of 8uffer, giving us a little space to get ready to deploy the weapon when he seems vulnera8le.

MEENAH: yeah that makes sense
VRISKA: Do you think we pick that up where we left off?
MEENAH: man
MEENAH: dunno
MEENAH: that was one of the things that made us wonder if it was even worth bothering anymore
MEENAH: it was mostly this whole mind control stunt
MEENAH: apparently aranea was towing most of the load there???
MEENAH: then she peaced the hell out and got owned

In retrospect, Aranea doing the heavy lifting with the ghost army led up to her villainous turn quite naturally. She’s always been a powerful psychic, but for a long time she saw no reason to use those powers. That all changed when she started learning more about Lord English and her Serket self-importance truly awoke.

Vriska and Meenah are left to figure out how to reassemble the ghost army without Aranea around. Without mind control powers, how could a ghost army possibly be assembled?

These two panels are both very pretty.

MEENAH: so
MEENAH: do you even
MEENAH: know what that weapon does yet or…

VRISKA: Not specifically.
VRISKA: We only know that it’s some sort of juju that will activ8 when it gets near him.
VRISKA: We won’t have to do anything at that point, theoretically. The weapon should just take over.
VRISKA: All we have to go on is a 8unch of vague stories we heard along the way through dream 8u88les.
VRISKA: Some presume it’s something o8vious like sort of charm that releases an extremely powerful attack.
VRISKA: Other sources allude to a more specific consequence.
VRISKA: That the weapon actually contains the souls of some incredi8ly powerful warriors of legend who came close to 8eating him once, so he trapped them inside the charm and 8anished it into the void.
VRISKA: And if that’s the case, then… I guess the weapon just releases them so they can finish the jo8?
VRISKA: Guess we’ll find out!
VRISKA: Should 8e exciting.
VRISKA: Still, it’s way too risky to try springing it on him without cre8ting a major distraction first.
VRISKA: Really, the ghost army idea sounded like the perfect approach. No wonder that was the original plan.
VRISKA: Who’s idea was that, anyway?
MEENAH: yours
VRISKA: Yeah, I figured as much.

Through saying “yours”, Meenah reminds us that alive Vriska is much like how ghost Vriska used to be, having the exact same ideas and motives for defeating Lord English. It’s quite a chilling reminder since we’ve now seen how much a version of Vriska could change, and what happens when her role as the main Vriska is usurped.

VRISKA: There’s GOT to 8e another way to get that off the ground again.
VRISKA: I guess we don’t have my ancestor’s advanced a8ilities anymore, 8ut at least we have mine to work with, right?
MEENAH: if you say so
VRISKA: So 8etween my mind control powers, and your…
VRISKA: Your, um…
VRISKA: What was it you do again?
MEENAH: i make fuckin m$ney bitch
VRISKA: …
VRISKA: I see.
VRISKA: Sorry for dou8ting you, Meenah. That’s, um…
VRISKA: I’m sure that’ll come in real handy.
MEENAH: i saw you roll them eyes serk
MEENAH: you aint a ghost you cant get away with that shit

Ah yes, Meenah’s comical obsession with money. I recall feeling that A6A6I5 laid that obsession quite a bit thick, and I remember once comparing the obsession to Mr. Krabs. I suppose I’ll see for myself if it’s laid as thick as I remember.

Vriska then notices something surprising in the distance:

What more efficient way to showcase a diverse crowd of troll ghosts than reusing assets from Ministrife?

Yep, that’s right. An army of troll ghosts has been assembled, led by none other than Tavros Nitram. Although at a glance, this looks just like the crowd from Ministrife, if you look closely, you’ll notice that not all Beforan and Alternian trolls are there. There are no copies of Damara in the crowd due to her affiliation with Lord English, and the same goes for Gamzee and Kurloz. Vriska and Aranea’s absence is more interesting: both absences show that the ghost army wasn’t assembled using any psychic powers, for one. Vriska’s absence also shows that Tavros assembled the army without even a single ghost copy of her bossing him around. Aranea’s absence is symbolic of her banishment from relevance: while a massive army of ghosts gets to participate in the grand triumphant fight against Lord English, Aranea is excluded from the group, as are all her alternate selves, which as I said before is the punishment for her hubris.

Tavros is living up to the Summoner’s legacy at long last, building a massive rebellious army.

VRISKA: TAVROS????????

Vriska isn’t believing her eyes right now. She saw so little in Tavros and had just used him for the most undignified mission imaginable, but here is another version of Tavros having achieved the most dignified mission imaginable: assembling an enormous ghost army. Remember when she told Jake and Tavrosprite that their supposed “page potential” is impossible for people like them to reach? She’s proven wrong, and the revelation slams her right in the face.

TAVROS: yES, tHAT’S ME,
TAVROS: hI AGAIN FINALLY, uHHHH,
TAVROS: aLIVE VRISKA?
TAVROS: tHAT SEEMS LIKE A DIFFERENT TWIST OF EVENTS, i DIDN’T EXPECT, aND DON’T UNDERSTAND, bUT,
TAVROS: iT DOESN’T CHANGE MUCH ABOUT MY CURRENT MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENT,
VRISKA: What accomplishment?!
VRISKA: What are you doing with all these ghosts?
VRISKA: Is this…
VRISKA: Is this a GHOST ARMY?!?!?!?!

TAVROS: iT IS INDEED,
VRISKA: And I’m to 8elieve YOU’RE responsi8le for this?
TAVROS: yOU CAN BELIEVE WHATEVER YOU LIKE,
TAVROS: bELIEVING, aS ALWAYS, iS HALF THE BATTLE, wHEN IT COMES TO MAKING THINGS MARGINALLY LESS FAKE,
TAVROS: bUT THE FACT, tHAT i PERSONALLY BUILT THIS ARMY, mYSELF, iS GOING TO BE A *FACT*,
TAVROS: wHETHER YOU DECIDE TO BELIEVE IN IT, oR NOT!
TAVROS: }:D

Think about the contrast between pre-retcon Tavros and pre-retcon Vriska. After the pirate crew broke apart, Vriska gradually became a completely different person. She became (Vriska), had her role as the main Vriska usurped by post-retcon Vriska, and ended up tragically deserted. Tavros, on the other hand? He’s still the main Tavros, whereas his post-retcon self became Gcatavrosprite, and now the main Tavros is the one doing cool, important things, and realizing his page potential. A very interesting set of contrasts, I must say.

VRISKA: Oh, 8ullshit.
VRISKA: You must have had help or something. Or used some kind of trick.
VRISKA: Tell me the truth, Nitram. How’d this get done? Who was pulling the strings??

TAVROS: sTRINGS, ?
VRISKA: Who is influencing the minds of all these ghosts????????
TAVROS: mE!
TAVROS: wELL, nOT pRESENTLY,
TAVROS: bUT i DID BEFORE, aND NOW HERE THEY ARE, fOLLOWING ME,
VRISKA: You?!
VRISKA: You must 8e joking.
VRISKA: You don’t have those kinds of powers!
VRISKA: I mean, unless… ghosts are sort of like a kind of animal?
VRISKA: Meenah, is that how it works? Are ghosts actually fucking animals?!

MEENAH: no
TAVROS: vRISKA, tRUST ME,
TAVROS: tHERE IS NO COMMUNION INVOLVED, oR, eSCAPADES OF THE MIND,
TAVROS: oNLY ESCAPADES OF THE HEART!
VRISKA: What sort of hideous fuckwitted 8aloney drivel are you spouting out your prattle socket this time?
TAVROS: wHAT i MEAN IS,
TAVROS: i *CONVINCED* THEM ALL TO JOIN ME, vRISKA,
TAVROS: uSING WORDS,
TAVROS: aND SMILES,
TAVROS: aND FRIENDSHIP, }:D

Earlier in A6A6I5, Tavrosprite had given some friendly words of encouragement to Jake, and Vriska waved them off as a bunch of nonsense. She simply cannot process the idea that this guy of all people could use such words to accomplish anything, even when his accomplishments are right before her eyes.

Look at Vriska’s face here. She’s having such a comedic mental breakdown.

VRISKA: You actually did something useful for once.
TAVROS: }:D!!!
VRISKA: I don’t know how I’m even supposed to process or handle this inform8tion…
VRISKA: It’s… it’s completely messed up, is what it is.
VRISKA: My entire world view is shattering around me…
VRISKA: It can’t 8e true.
VRISKA: It can’t!
VRISKA: Some8ody slap me. I need to wake up from this horseshit.
TAVROS: aLRIGHT, bUT,
VRISKA: DON’T TOUCH ME!
VRISKA: Meenah, is this real??
VRISKA: Tell me I’m not going insane. Please confirm for me that Tavros has for once in his preposterous life or death or whatever has at least momentarily stopped 8eing a totally useless sack of shit.
MEENAH: its fucked up but true
VRISKA: God……..
VRISKA: DAAAAAAAAMN it.
VRISKA: Fuck this. I can’t accept this reality.
VRISKA: Nope. No way. Won’t do it.
VRISKA: No…
VRISKA: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no…
TAVROS: oH, bUT MAYBE MORE LIKE,
TAVROS: yES,,,
TAVROS: yES, yES, yES, yES, yES!!!

VRISKA: XXXX|

Vriska’s disbelief in Tavros accomplishing something useful is full-on played for laughs, providing an amusing contrast against the heavy, emotional character conflicts we saw earlier in A6A6I5. Her inability to process and accept the truth says a great deal about her perception of Tavros. When she got Jake to use Tavros to neutralize GCat, it was clear that she saw Tavros as useless, but only now do we know that she so strongly felt that way that her entire worldview shatters when she’s proven wrong.

TAVROS: aWWWWWWWWW, yEAH!, bITCHEZ!
TAVROS: oR FAILING THAT, sOMETHING LESS DISCOURTEOUS TO WOMEN, tO CALL YOU BOTH!
TAVROS: i BET YOU NEVER SAW IT COMING, fROM YOUR ONCE DEAR AND LOYAL SWABBY,
TAVROS: tHAT YOUR POOPMASTER WOULD COME THROUGH! tHAT HE TOO, wOULD ENJOY, a SUCCESSFUL AND GRATIFYING ARC OF PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT!
TAVROS: oOOOOH, iT FEELS SO GOOD, tO DO A CONCLUSIVE THING, tHAT ABSOLUTELY AND BEYOND ALL QUESTION, rETROACTIVELY VINDICATES ME AS A PERSON AND ERASES ALL OF MY FLAWS!!!
TAVROS: hOW’S THAT *FEEEEL*, yOU CHARISMATIC AND CUNNING UNPLEASANT LADY??
TAVROS: yOU LIKE THAT, yOU WINNER?
TAVROS: dO YOU LIKE, hOW FIGURATIVELY SPEAKING i JUST SIPHONED THE URINE, oUT OF THE IDEA THAT YOU’RE ALL THAT, aND i’M ALL SHAT! eHEHEHE,
TAVROS: dO YOU LIKE GETTING OWNED???
TAVROS: bECAUSE THAT’S MAYBE WHAT YOU’RE CURRENTLY GETTING NOW! OWWWWWNED,,,,,!
TAVROS: sO, mIGHT i INVITE YOU, tO SUCK IT!

Tavros calls back to Vriska’s aggressive mental breakdown back in Act 6 Intermission 5, except in a much more triumphant context. It’s fun to see him use Vriska’s same words with slightly more faltering phrasing to express extreme victory instead of frustration.

And then we get the climax of the humor:

I remember laughing WAY too hard when this update came out.

And this scene is just as hilarious six years later.

Tavros does a series of triumphant dances, and each dance has a different name. “The Tavros Gets to Have a Successful Character Arc Shuffle” is a notable name because it playfully pokes at the concept of resolving character arcs, which A6A6I5 has done a hell of a lot of (both resolving arcs and poking fun at them). As mean as the comic has been to Tavros, this scene’s poking at character arcs simply adds a touch of humor to a genuinely triumphant moment.

Vriska has been repeatedly saying Tavros’s name, but he won’t listen.

Tavros’s air guitar has some precedent because he played guitar in the Interfishin.

Yes, I included every image from Tavros’s series of dances. What are you going to do about it?

With Vriska accepting the truth and telling Tavros to never dance again, Meenah asks if she can be the army’s leader, which she strongly desires due to her fuchsia blood instincts. Tavros easily agrees to fork it over, and I don’t see that as him backpedaling on his newfound character development. He was the one who assembled the army, and leading it for fighting purposes is a separate matter. And besides, he’s nice enough to let Meenah have her moment of glory.

MEENAH: just name your price
MEENAH: i got a LOT of gold you know
MEENAH: do i look fuckin poor to you???
MEENAH: tell me i look poor i GLUBBING DAR-E YOU
TAVROS: nO, i BELIEVE YOU!
TAVROS: i THINK YOU ARE PROBABLY VERY WEALTHY?

MEENAH: then tell me how much gold i need to unload to make this shit happen
TAVROS: bUT,
TAVROS: i DON’T WANT GOLD!
TAVROS: fIRSTLY, i REALLY DOUBT IT EVEN HAS MUCH INTRINSIC VALUE, iN THIS CONTEXT,
TAVROS: bECAUSE WE AREN’T EVEN,,, oN A PLANET, wHEREBY SUCH ORES ARE SCARCE, wE ARE JUST IN AN ABSTRACT FIELD, oF FLEETING ILLUSIONS, aND,
TAVROS: tHERE’S SURELY NO MARKET OF EXCHANGE ANYWHERE HERE, tHAT WOULD HELP DICTATE THE FLUCTUATING PRICE, oF SUCH A COMMODITY,
TAVROS: oR EVEN ANY MONETARY BASIS OF COMPARISON FOR THAT PRICE, iF IT ACTUALLY EXISTED,

MEENAH: W)(Y T)(-E S)(IT IS -EV-ERYBODY A FUCKIN -ECONOMIST ALL OF A S)(ITTING SUDD-EN
MEENAH: *grumble grumble*
MEENAH: pedantic motherfucks dont know gold = riches, P-ERIOD

Meenah’s interest in money isn’t exaggerated in A6A6I5 as much as I remember it being, if at all. This conversation is totally in character for Meenah: she’s always been one to cut to the chase rather than concerning herself with minor details, and that includes the economic value of gold. The Condesce is that way too.

Meenah’s taking full advantage of the unique shape and position of Tavros’s horns.

MEENAH: yea good
MEENAH: excellent work swabby in chief
MEENAH: i hereby promote yall from poopmaster to pooplord
TAVROS: wOW!!!!!!!!!!
MEENAH: you earned it

This promotion is quite a long-distance callback if I’ve ever seen one. The title of “pooplord” has been bestowed upon heroes of breath since the very beginning of Homestuck, when John was named Zoosmell Pooplord as a joke; now the title is given to Tavros to complete a circle of stupidity. And if you like completing circles of stupidity, you’ll LOVE my final Homestuck post, which I am excitingly close to.

Meenah gives a speech to the ghost army about taking on Lord English, and I won’t quote the whole thing, only the ending:

MEENAH: so i ask of you
MEENAH: as humbly as i can while taking into consideration im the best one here by proximately 20K leagues or so
MEENAH: whos with me?
MEENAH: the answer is
MEENAH: all of you
MEENAH: you all are
MEENAH: because i command it
MEENAH: but it school i know you can do it
MEENAH: because i believe in every last one a you
MEENAH: and also
MEENAH: you have to
MEENAH: because if you dont
MEENAH: ill feed you to lord kingfish myshellf

As you can see, Meenah has quite a knack for commandeering leadership. One can only imagine how many dramatic speeches the Condesce has made, since she’s, you know, Meenah’s alternate self and all.

That’s a “<33333333” in the top right corner.

To end the scene, Vriska comically swoons over Meenah’s aggressive leadership, even displaying some red feelings, and gives a callback to a scene earlier in A6A6I5:

VRISKA: Why is everything always so wonderful?

With this line, we can say goodbye to any Vriska dialogue. It’s the last line Vriska says in Homestuck, and it’s weird to process that from here on out, my Homestuck post series won’t have any gigantic essays about Vriska anymore… oh, who am I kidding. It probably still will. Just not very many essays, since I only have four posts left after this.

This scene may be the end of Vriska having dialogue, but it’s not the end of her being controversial, even disregarding external media—there’s still Act 7, where she seemingly achieves her grand heroic moment without a hitch. As such, I’m going to move right along and not write a grandiose final reflection on her character yet.

Now back to Jake and the trio of feline sprites. I remember noticing the 10/6 on Jake’s hat and thinking something special related to Homestuck would occur on October 6, but nope, it’s just an Alice in Wonderland reference.

JAKE: So i take it i am to stand in for the mad hatter in this charade?
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Yes.
JAKE: Except… wasnt the mad hatter supposed to be like… in charge of the tea party or something?
JAKE: I really dont know what im supposed to be doing here.

JASPROSESPRITE^2: Nothing! Just sit there quietly please.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: No offense, but you are only a prop actor in this fanciful scenario, which is serving as the stage for my date with this lovely lady.

Jasprose knows that this scene isn’t a very accurate Alice in Wonderland reference, and she doesn’t care. She just put together a scenario that gets a lot of details wrong, presumably because she finds the Cheshire Cat relatable but doesn’t remember a whole lot else about Alice in Wonderland. Like, uhhhhhh, there’s a guy wearing a hat or something? The Mad Hatter, right? Yeah, let’s just throw him in while I go on my date with my one true love. Jake’s confusion about the inaccuracies in this scene is very amusing, and I can’t decide if John would react the same way to an inaccurate reenactment of a work of media that he’s familiar with, or if he would throw a tantrum about it. Probably depends on his mood.

NEPETASPRITE: :33 < wait…
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < this is a date?
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Oh! Yes.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: I’m sorry I didn’t mention sooner, Nepeta.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Is that ok?
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < um
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < i guess so!
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < im still a bit confuzzled about what is actually happening though
JASPROSESPRITE^2: There will be plenty of time for explanations!
JASPROSESPRITE^2: For now, I invite you to relax and enjoy our party on this peaceful and desolate hilly planet, while that mild mannered boy across the fridge sips his tea quietly.
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < ok but…
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < im manely just wondering, where is everyone?
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < like… equius? karkat? are they ok?

Considering her enormous stretch of complete irrelevance since about midway through Act 5 Act 2, it makes sense on a narrative level for Nepeta to pick up where she left off so long ago regarding her concerns. Equius and Karkat are the only two trolls she seemed to know very well, being her moirail and crush respectively; all the others were mere acquaintances who she enjoyed shipping to cope with her loneliness. It doesn’t seem like she made any new friends in dream bubbles either; it’s unclear how much time this version of Nepeta spent in dream bubbles, if at all.

JASPROSESPRITE^2: They’re fine!
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Well, Karkat is fine. Alive and well, in this session.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Equius is also fine, in the same sense that you and I are both fine! :3
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Everyone else enjoys various states of being fine while alive, and fine while dead.
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < oh
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < hrrm well
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < SOME of that sounds like good mews at least?

JASPROSESPRITE^2: It’s all good news! I mean mews. :3 Especially that we are both here now, on this date together.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Again, assuming you are ok with that. No pressure!

Cat puns are natural for Nepeta, but Jasprose has to correct herself to use such puns anywhere near as much—they don’t come naturally for her, and she lays those puns extremely thick to show her adoration of Nepeta.

NEPETASPRITE: :33 < i will say its a very nice looking tea party you have here
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < but ummmmm
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < ive never actually…
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < b33n on a date

JASPROSESPRITE^2: There’s a first time for everything, right?
JASPROSESPRITE^2: I remember my first date. I was so nervous! “Life hack.” It helps if you are very very drunk.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Not that I am prescribing this as a remedy for you! It’s ok to be nervous.

Nepeta is just slammed in the face with Jasprose going on a date with her, huh? She’s nervous about it, and more than that extremely confused, but she’s too polite to tell anyone (even herself) how ridiculous this flashy cat sprite is being.

JASPROSESPRITE^2: Besides, I sincerely doubt you are partial to the drink. I have a feeling catnip’s your poison, eh? Eh?? Ehhh??? ;3
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < ive never tried either
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < sorry :\

This passage reminds me of how Meulin implied offhand that she and Kurloz smoke catnip together, which is an interesting contrast against Nepeta and shows how much the Beforan trolls exaggerate their Alternian counterparts. While Nepeta adores cats, she doesn’t eat catnip or do a lot of other ridiculous cat things like her dancestor does. She’s cat themed, but not to the absurdly exaggerated extent that Meulin is.

NEPETASPRITE: :33 < anyway its not that im nervous about a furst date necessarily!
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < i just… dont know who you are or anything about you
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < you look like one of the human kids but… different. you s33m to be part kittycat now?

JASPROSESPRITE^2: Yes Nepeta I am part kittycat now! :3 :3
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Events conspired to make me equal parts not dead, half kittycat, and two sprites!
JASPROSESPRITE^2: But the other side of that pet tag is the fact that I am suddenly half human as well.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: You see Nepeta I used to be a dead cat too but now I’m an alive cat who’s part girl!
JASPROSESPRITE^2: In fact, we spoke once. While I was still just a cat. Don’t you remember?
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < uhhh
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < wait a minute
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < yes…
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < yes i think i do remember that!
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < that was fun! :DD

It takes a moment for Nepeta to remember her conversations with Jaspersprite, which makes a lot of sense when you think about it. While she spent sweeps being moirails with Equius and being head over heels for Karkat, she spent less than a day talking with Jaspersprite. And since she’s not like John, whose memory is extremely biased towards events that happened onscreen, her conversations with Jaspersprite aren’t a very large part of her memories.

JASPROSESPRITE^2: Chirp! :3 :3 :3 :3 :3
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < so youre the same cat then!
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < the human girl… rose was it? she and her lusus got prototyped together?
JASPROSESPRITE^2: That is exactly what happened, fortunately for us both, as well as everybody else.
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < thats very sw33t! what a nice way for you two to stay close forever
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < combining souls with my lusus sounds like it would have b33n a wonderful way to preserve her memory
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < plus share all her strength and wisdom and such!
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < i am guessing that oppurrtunity is long gone though :cc
JASPROSESPRITE^2: It probably is. But really, I don’t think you need to change!
JASPROSESPRITE^2: You are so charming and pretty exactly as you are.
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < wow…
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < thank you :oo

Jasprose was very swift to decide Nepeta was the absolute perfect love interest for her, and it sort of makes sense why. The Rose half of her loved Kanaya very, very much, far more than she let on to anyone. Now that she’s not the main Rose, she can’t be with Kanaya anymore, but she still had those feelings of love inside her, so she decided to transfer those feelings to a fresh new love interest. Aided perhaps by her cat half’s simplistic way of thinking, she transferred those feelings right to Nepeta and developed this insane extremely perfect image of her.

JAKE: Hey…
JAKE: Whatever happened to janes bunny friend… what was his name?
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Huh?
JAKE: Little sebastian i think?
JAKE: Whered he scamper off to?
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Jake, what are you talking about.
JAKE: He would be PERFECT for this tea party!
JAKE: Like the white rabbit and all.

I love how Jake knows a lot more about Alice in Wonderland than Jasprose does and is interested in putting on a reenactment of that story with fitting characters. Lil’ Sebastian has been compared in-story to the White Rabbit before, and since Jake is one of the comic’s resident media savants, I can easily imagine him spending this whole date spacing out and thinking about Alice in Wonderland. It’s pretty cool that he remembered Lil’ Seb existed, and this is the first time since Act 6 Act 3 that an alpha kid has brought up the robot bunny; shows that Jake’s memory of events may be sharper than people give credit. His attempts at analogizing characters to those in Alice in Wonderland reminds me of how John has analogized himself and his friends to the cast of Con Air—it’s something those two have in common.

JAKE: And im like the mad hatter for some damned reason.
JAKE: And youre supposed to be like the cheshire cat or such?
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Yes, Jake. That was the idea.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Thank you for explaining a thing to us.
JAKE: I havent the foggiest fucking idea who sleeping tavros is supposed to be.
JAKE: Or for that matter who the honking guy in the fridge represents.
JAKE: Was there a man under the table who honked sometimes in alice and wonderland?
GAMZEE: HONK
JAKE: I really dont remember.
JAKE: So i guess that leaves the friendly cat troll as alice?
JAKE: Nepeta right? You must be the alice of the group.
JAKE: That would make sense! Since you just got here and appear to be very confused about this situation.
JAKE: By my estimation that makes you a dead ringer for the alice of this tea party!
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Jake, just drink your tea.

Jake is endearingly overthinking how much this scene is meant to correspond with Alice in Wonderland. While he’s befuddled at the roles of Gcatavrosprite and Gamzee, he happily figures out that Nepeta corresponds to Alice, but Jasprose doesn’t care. Rose was never as interested in real-world media as John and Dave were, and now that she’s a snooty cat, she actively refuses to care about making accurate media references, which has led both John and Jake to try to correct her. John with Ghostbusters, Jake with Alice in Wonderland.

Jake is probably thinking about who in this scene could possibly correspond to the Mock Turtle.

Skipping a bit…

JASPROSESPRITE^2: Is something wrong?
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < no i just
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < sorry
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < ive never really had anybody like me before!
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < im not sure how to handle it
JASPROSESPRITE^2: I find this very hard to believe.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Nobody? Are you sure??
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < pretty sure!
JASPROSESPRITE^2: What a reprehensible injustice. Had your colleagues no taste???
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < heh
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < well ok i guess eridan hit on me a few times
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < but his advances always struck me as cr33py and insincere

It’s remarkable in a tragic way that out of all the trolls’ romantic entanglements, Nepeta was never the subject of any red feelings, unless you count Eridan hitting on her out of desperation during the troll session. This says a lot about both Eridan’s desperation and Nepeta’s isolation from the rest of the group. Nepeta was never the type to be desperate for any romance at all: she felt that she and Karkat were a perfect match and didn’t want to settle for anything less.

JASPROSESPRITE^2: A pox on the name of this charlatan. I hiss on his grave.
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < hes dead?
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Yes.
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < gosh
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < i mean… he could be kind of a jerk sometimes but that is still a shame :((

JASPROSESPRITE^2: No it isn’t. It’s fine. Please! Continue!

Man, I can really see it. Nepeta spending an indeterminate eternity in dream bubbles without finding out that Eridan, as in the real alpha timeline Eridan, was dead. She’s left out of all the action and adventures so much, even before she died, which means that there’s tons of important story information that she never knew. Even before the trolls’ story started, she was left out of all the action, since Equius prohibited her from participating in FLARPing and the cycle of revenge it brought. It was to her benefit, of course, but she still has a long history of being left out. Jasprose took it upon herself to redeem Nepeta being left out, and it worked but not in the way she had hoped.

NEPETASPRITE: :33 < huh?
JASPROSESPRITE^2: You were saying? About being liked!
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < oh right
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < um i am just
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < still somewhat confused?
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < im not sure why you like me
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < not that im not flattered!
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < but you dont really know much about me
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < or…
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < do you?

JASPROSESPRITE^2: No, not really.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: I just know that you are very pretty, and from my limited interaction with you as a cat, that you are personable and kind.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: I don’t need to know much else about you to like you. I am a catgirl of simple tastes. :3

The simplistic tastes of Jasprose’s cat side are an interesting way for Hussie to contrast animal sexuality against human sexuality, which Jasprose and Davepeta end up discussing in great depth. Between this and pretty much the entirety of John, Dave, and Karkat’s select screen conversation, it’s clear that around 2015 is when Hussie started having a lot more trains of thought on gender identity and sexuality and all that jazz. Like “what does it REALLY mean to be a man” and “how do you know for sure if you’re gay or straight or something else” or the especially confusing topic of being transgender—topics that I’ve had far more trains of thought on than I’d like to admit, and which Hussie examines much more intensively in Psycholonials. The squared sprites’ discussion on the simplistic ways of animal sexuality is especially interesting, and I’m looking forward to analyzing it next post.

NEPETASPRITE: :33 < haha
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < ok
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < i guess i cant argue with that!
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < for what its worth you s33m very nice and pretty as well

JASPROSESPRITE^2: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
JASPROSESPRITE^2: (Jake, did you hear that?!)
JASPROSESPRITE^2: (She likes me too! This is almost too good to be true.)

Almost too good to be true, you say? More like absolutely too good to be true, as we see when Davepetasprite^2 happens. Jasprose’s statement that this is only almost too good to be true shows how firmly she believes she and Nepeta are destined to be in love forever.

JAKE: I think you should both kiss!
JASPROSESPRITE^2: JAKE!!!
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Please, mind your manners.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: I mean, not that that isn’t an EXCELLENT idea.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: But all things in due time. There is a PROCESS to this courtship business.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Much how one doesn’t just LIE DOWN for a nap. The bedding must be ritualistically kneaded and massaged before lowering oneself in a circular fashion for a prime snoozing position.
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < :oo
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < oh my goodness what a beautsnifful analogy :’33

Jasprose’s analogies are beautsnifful—erm, beautiful indeed. I love the way she blends Jaspers’ feline instincts with Rose’s advanced vocabulary; it’s super seamless. That’s how it often tends to be with character combination sprites: they start by alternating between the two personalities, but then the traits start to blend.

JASPROSESPRITE^2: Besides, she has only been prototyped once.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: I believe unprototyped or once-prototyped kernels can weather brief or incidental contact, the same way you can investigate the flame of a candle without burning your nose as long as you are quick enough.

This is another fun and poetic analogy, one that feels distinctly Jasprose. As I discussed earlier in A6A6I5, this line is a helpful clarification about sprite prototyping and basically answers the ages-old question of why John wasn’t prototyped when he high-fived his kernelsprite.

JASPROSESPRITE^2: But the sort of contact we are talking about here would be ANYTHING but incidental. ;3 ;3 ;3

Of course, the clarification leads to another ridiculous flirty line towards Nepeta, but it’s still a nice clarification with a fun analogy.

Skipping a bit more…

JASPROSESPRITE^2: Was there someone you had feelings for you couldn’t talk to about?
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < ummmm
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < yeah

JASPROSESPRITE^2: Who?
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < ummmmmmmm
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < i dunno im embarrassed to say!

JASPROSESPRITE^2: You can tell me Nepeta! Please tell me your secret will be safe, I promise!
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < well
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < ok
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < as long as you can really k33p a sneakret!

JASPROSESPRITE^2: My muzzle is sealed.
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < it was karkat
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < but i never told him and im pretty sure he never found out how i felt!

JASPROSESPRITE^2: Karkat eh?
JASPROSESPRITE^2: I’ll let you in on a little sneakret too. You dodged a vigorous spritzing with a spray bottle there.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: He wouldn’t be any good for you. Oh no no.
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < why?
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Too many anger issues. Always with the shouting and whatnot. He’s way too volatile!
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < but… i liked that about him!

Ah, Nepeta’s longtime crush on Karkat. Talk about a massive romantic tragedy! She saw only the best in Karkat and did all she could to convince herself they were meant to be together. She believed that underneath all his rude words—he even called her autistic as an insult once*—there was a kind and compassionate person willing to share her heart. And her Jasprose is waving off Nepeta’s glorified image of Karkat while herself having an even more glorified image of Nepeta, someone she barely knows at all. If that isn’t hypocritical, then nothing is.

* Now that I know quite a bit about autism, I can safely say that Nepeta does indeed show many signs of autism.

JASPROSESPRITE^2: Oh, but that isn’t even all there is to it!
JASPROSESPRITE^2: On our journey he was so obsessive and controlling toward his desired matesprit. I do not believe that is any way to treat a lady!

Any way to treat a lady, you say? Something tells me (and by “something” I mean the passage quoted above) that the Rose half of Jasprose hasn’t totally gotten over heteronormative human mindsets of the supposed fundamental differences between women and men. Rose has always taken more of a shining to ladies than men after all.

JASPROSESPRITE^2: On the contrary Nepeta. You deserve someone who will RESPECT and ADORE you.
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < well… yes
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < i always hoped to find someone like that some day
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < i dunno maybe youre right but in spite of whatever problems he might have i always felt like i saw something in him that made me think he could be that purrson!

JASPROSESPRITE^2: Nope. Sorry to be the meower of bad news. He is just not cut out for you!
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Besides, he is involved with someone else now in that quadrant. He has moved on. And so have you!

Here’s the most explicit the comic gets about confirming Davekat. I know this is going to sound stupid, but part of me still feels Jasprose may have been a little presumptuous with this statement; jumping to conclusions about two boys who get ridiculously queasy about what sort of relationship they have. Then again, with her alternate self memories, Jasprose may well have memories of post-retcon Rose (unless the memories don’t extend to alive selves?), and that version of Rose could easily parse Dave and Karkat’s relationship. But the point of this passage in the context of this conversation is clear: forcing her crush on Karkat out of Nepeta’s head so she and Jasprose can be together and love each other for eternity.

JASPROSESPRITE^2: You are now a sprite. Neither of us have the same connection to the living we once had.
JASPROSESPRITE^2: In quite a real sense, it is fair to say that all we have now…
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Is each other. :3
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < er…
DAVESPRITE: hey whats up

With Jasprose’s hammy flirty words at their peak, now’s a perfect time for Davesprite to abruptly enter the scene and kill the moment.

“I KNEW IT!” I remember thinking as pre-retcon Davesprite reappeared.
For quite a while before this update came out, I had a burning suspicion he would resurface.

JASPROSESPRITE^2: Davesprite?!
DAVESPRITE: yeah
DAVESPRITE: looks like everybody forgot about me as fucking usual
DAVESPRITE: so here i am

Davesprite’s return to the spotlight starts with a reminder of his flavor of alternate self inferiority. He saved John’s life and worked hard on getting Dave’s whole Welsh sword quest thing done, and he gets no respect for either, especially not from John. Instead, he’s left on the sidelines and treated as a shitty bootleg Dave, and he’s bitterly resigned to the fact that everyone forgets about him.

JASPROSESPRITE^2: Where…
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Where did you come from?
JASPROSESPRITE^2: I thought you died.
DAVESPRITE: uh no?
DAVESPRITE: not to my knowledge at least
DAVESPRITE: i was just chillin on johns planet when some shit happened

I find it hilarious that despite her wacky squared sprite memories and powers, as well as the fact that she’s a combination of two pre-retcon characters, Jasprose turned a blind eye to the possibility of pre-retcon Davesprite also surviving. Shows that she isn’t immune to the common narrative pattern of forgetting about Davesprite. She heard Davesprite was dead and was all like, yeah that sounds about right, no need to question it.

DAVESPRITE: so what kind of ludicrous nonsense do you have going here in the land of stonehenges and a big purple X
DAVESPRITE: is that
DAVESPRITE: is that egbert lookin dude supposed to be the fucking mad hatter
JAKE: Yeah!!!
DAVESPRITE: ok

The Land of Stonehenges and a Big Purple X. I love this fake name for Jake’s planet, and that it’s the second fake name for the planet; the first one was the Land of Hills and Stone Henges, coined by John in an endearing attempt to guess the planet’s name.

DAVESPRITE: whats with the fridge
DAVESPRITE: please dont tell me somebodys locked in that fridge
GAMZEE: HONK

It’s easy to forget that locking someone in a fridge is a pretty messed up thing to do, even if it’s for the benefit of everyone involved in the scene. Dave similarly found it messed up to lock Gamzee inside, reminding us that he and Davesprite are still the same person. Jasprose goes on to clarify that she’s on a date with Nepeta (not Jake) and introduces Nepeta, leading to a fateful handshake.

I totally forgot about Nepeta’s fingerless gloves. That’s some good attention to detail.

DAVESPRITE: hey nepeta nice to meet you
DAVESPRITE: dont worry ill get out of your hair soon and let you get back to your tea date with rose
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < hi dave
NEPETASPRITE: :33 < its nice to m33t you too!

DAVESPRITE: damn straight we are meeting the shit out of each other right now
DAVESPRITE: hey put er there…
JASPROSESPRITE^2: Dave, no, don’t…

Showing a slight trace of a smile, Davesprite is endearingly eager to meet Nepeta, and perhaps on an unconscious level, to combine souls with her. Can you blame him for this eagerness? He can probably sense on a meta level that much like him, Nepeta has a history of being forgotten about and thrown under the bus, and he internally craves an existence as a cool upgraded form. Maybe Nepeta desires such an existence as well.

It’s happening alright.

Jasprose said that once-prototyped sprites can weather brief or incidental contact; this is not such a contact. Davesprite and Nepeta are committed to this handshake, and it leads this to happen:

Nepeta’s Wolverine claws didn’t stop being a thing or anything.

Look at Jake in the background. He’s sipping his tea quietly, exactly as Jasprose instructed. He isn’t even comically spitting out his tea in surprise at the creation of another squared sprite.

DAVEPETASPRITE^2: B33 < claw claw meowtherfuckers!!!

A squared sprite x2 combo, a callback x2 combo, a “shafted character no longer being shafted” x2 combo… really, what more could you ask for? Davepetasprite^2 is officially a thing now, and I’ll analyze them in much more detail next post. For now, just appreciate this new character design shown above.

JASPROSESPRITE^2: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Visually, this scene calls back to drunk Rose (the same Rose who would later become Jasprose) making the same expression when she realized she forgot about her date with Kanaya. Jasprose got carried away with the idea of Nepeta as a love interest, and her haste backfired HARD. The callback is fitting because it shows that Rose never makes such comically extreme reactions unless she’s under the influence of alcohol or her simple-minded cat.


I’m ending this post here. Returning to the tunnel metaphor from the start of this post, the light at the end is in plain sight now, and it’s on the verge of no longer feeling distant. I have only four posts left—a number so small that you can see four objects in a row and immediately tell it’s four without needing to count them. But that doesn’t mean the remaining posts will be short—the fourth last one, covering all that’s left of pre-Omegapause Homestuck, will be quite a doozy. Another Dave/Dirk conversation, Jasprose and Davepeta’s feeling jam, Davepeta and Arquiusprite’s hug bump, Terezi’s monologue to Vriska, Terezi: Remem8er… the post could well take me a week or more to make. But after that, the last three posts should be a smooth and steady ride to the finish line as the light at the end becomes bigger and bigger until I exit the tunnel in a grand, triumphant moment.

See you next time as I wrap up pre-Omegapause Homestuck once and for all.

EDIT: Well, almost all of pre-Omegapause Homestuck.

>> Part 137: You’re Welcome for Me Existing

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