TRIGGERS: violence, ableism, spiders, murder
Last time on Homestuck: We met troll ableism, Aradia, Vriska, and a mysterious White Text Guy who claims to be manipulating everyone and everything.
Vriska talked a big game with him, but it’s hollow; she knows that this person is never wrong. So instead, she endures meddling from a friend, grimAuxiliatrix (GA). GA asks if Vriska’s lusus has died, since hers just did. She somehow knows a bit more about the consequences of this game and suggests that the bad things that have been happening were inevitable. She says that Karkat’s perception of a curse and Vriska’s perception of her bad luck are inseparable from their perception of events as tailored to their dissatisfaction. That’s… pretty legit.
Then GA suggests that Vriska clean up her room so that she can stop stepping on dice and, okay, GA, you’re the mom-friend. GA believes her role is to look after everyone since they have a lot of dangerous people in their friend group. If she doesn’t look after them, then who will? Vriska asks why GA doesn’t stop her from doing bad things. The answer is because, if she did, Vriska would see her as an enemy. Vriska signs off in a huff and goes to check on her spider lusus.
Nearby, we meet Nepeta’s friend centaursTesticle (CT), who offline goes by Equius Zahhak. He wants to join the Archeradicators but is unfortunately terrible at archery. He can’t stop breaking bows. He enjoys the Fine Arts, more specifically nude musclebeast portraits. Everything makes him angry. He likes to make robots and beat them in cage fights. This dude! His lusus, Aurthour, prepares lusus milk from himself. It’s a centaur with cow udders. What am I even looking at here. Equius tries to drink the milk but accidentally breaks the glass because he’s so strong.
He then has the conversation with Nepeta we’ve already seen before messaging Gamzee. Equius proceeds to insult Gamzee, but Gamzee doesn’t really care because he can’t make everybody happy all the time. Equius tries to order him around, and Gamzee accepts; but then, Equius realizes his blood ranking as an inferior and apologizes. This gets weird fast because he tries to make Gamzee boss him around and make him feel inferior. Our very high friend is a little busy to do that. Gamzee’s already made it to the Medium where he started beating up monsters and making friends with them.
Equius continues to be weird by trying to make Gamzee assert his place, but he’s stymied by his own general dislike of Gamzee. So I guess he’s coming to terms with the fact that maybe enforcing blood racism isn’t a good way to live your life? Yes? No? Oh, he’s going to talk to Vriska; that’s a great sign. Vriska is planning to backstab Aradia with Equius. Joke’s on you; she’s a ghost! Vriska and Equius mutually agree that they both definitely don’t have anything up their sleeves and/or aren’t planning to backstab each other for power based on blood superiority, which is pretty much confirmation that they do and are.
Equius gloats a bit about doublecrossing Vriska, which is normal for bluebloods like they are. He’s built Aradia a robot body and is probably planning to use it to control her. There’s some really gross dynamics here re: class and Aradia. This guy needs to stay far, far away. He punches one of his punching robots for effect, which sets it to explode, which sets off one of Vriska’s doomsday devices, which sets off an avalanche, which kills Vriska’s lusus and his own. Goodnight, large spider and centaur cow.
We flash back to months past with Vriska and Terezi. Vriska contacts Terezi to talk about breaking their truce. Terezi is upset; they’d started the truce to stop the endless cycle of revenge they had going on but mostly to stop Vriska hurting people who didn’t deserve it. Vriska claims that she’s trying to make amends with everybody. Vriska may be responsible for Aradia’s death. She is pretty definitely responsible for Terezi being blind and losing seven of her own eyes. Terezi’s cool about being blind, though, since it gave her a better connection to her dragon lusus.
Terezi and Vriska used to be scourge sisters, vigilantes hunting down bad guys to feed to Vriska’s lusus. It was great except Vriska lied and killed everybody. Wow, who could have seen that coming? Vriska signs off with a prediction that someday Terezi is going to do something terrible and not be able to take it back and will try to earn back people’s trust and Then See How Hard it all is for Vriska. Really.
We then go back to much earlier. Aradia and Terezi are talking about how Tavros is never going to be able to walk again, which kind of implies that this is the incident that triggers Vriska and Terezi’s non-alliance. Aradia has emotions? She’s angry. She’s alive. Both Aradia and Terezi were distracted by a friend of Vriska’s, which is why they weren’t able to help Tavros. Alive!Aradia is encouraged by the voices she’s been hearing for a long time to make Vriska pay, so she makes Vriska confront the ghosts of the trolls she’s killed.
Vriska is very freaked out, but what’s even more freaky is that White Text Guy has managed to contact her through her hallucinations. He encourages her to seek revenge on Aradia. This guy distracted Aradia and Terezi. It’s confirmed that Vriska’s attack on Tavros was a murder attempt. White Text Guy says that she was going to do it whether or not he helped her; he’s just nudging events in order to bring his employer into this universe. White Text Guy is borderline omniscient, except for things he doesn’t need to know. He also claims that he could tell Vriska all his moves and still be able to beat her. What a creep.
Vriska decides that he’s right and that she doesn’t really want to live with all these ghosts wailing at her. So she mindcontrols Aradia’s boyfriend Sollux and gets him to kill her. The last emotion we get to see Aradia have is a dawning realization. It’s heartbreaking.
Elsewhere, we get the disputable pleasure of meeting the White Text Guy. His name is Doc Scratch, and he works for an indestructible demon named Lord English. He looks kind of like one of the chess people in that his head is a blank white circle. He is Alternia’s First Guardian, which is a position made to guard the planet and facilitate its ultimate purpose. Where other characters are told what to do, Scratch remains inscrutable. Apparently one of the troll girls has been getting closer to beating him in a game they play? This is something beyond the limits of his knowledge. Shocking.
Another thing happens that he didn’t expect: Terezi messages him. Scratch twigs fast to whatever it is that she did, though, and refuses to give her his name. He suggests that she call him Mr. Vanilla Milkshake, which is pretty great. Scratch is ambiguous about the state of Aradia’s unlife because he’s that dude who lords his knowledge over other people’s lack. Aradia is the one who was almost beating him in games! I’m guessing that this is why she had to die. I don’t think this is taking place after Aradia died. Or not for Scratch, anyways.
For Terezi, this takes place right after the conversation that spawned this series of flashbacks. Vriska apologizes but doesn’t feel that badly about it and doesn’t seem to know what to apologize for. Terezi threatens her life and logs off. She then tells Doc Scratch that Vriska stole one of his eight balls, and he freaks.
Next time on Homestuck: fallout.