You release Rose again, floating back a few inches and examining her. It suits her, you think. It’s got a dignity and playfulness to it, just like she does.
“I think you look lovely. Come on, let’s get out of this crypt and tell everyone.”
That data set did come with an ‘ending point’ after all.
Your enthusiasm only falters momentarily as you think you have no where to go now. There’s absolutely no way you can go back the meteor now, not after what happened last night.
“I think I’ll still be making adjustments to the color scheme.”
You say with a snort of amusement. Thought it’s only a momentary falter, you catch it. Though the lights of your second sight have dimmed every physical sense seems hyperactive. The pause in levity is glaringly obvious.
“Something the matter?”
Your tone clearly lays out that you are quite aware there is something, and you only phrase it thus as a courtesy.
All is black.
It’s not like any time you’ve died before. There’s no gentle settling into a cushion of memories, no gradual shift from one state of existence to another.
The bed feels even warmer to you, relative to the cool metal of your skin. You float, just above the stone, until you reach the absolute center. There are no indications that your dream self was ever here, and you wonder briefly if your unconventional session had ever provided you one in the first place. You lay slowly back, uncomfortable at first but soon relaxing.
You are ready. You’re ready to stop wallowing in self pity, to stop letting the weight of doom rest entirely on your head. You’re ready to go forward. You’re ready to be alive again, to feel real blood running through your veins, to be able to touch and cuddle those you love without feeling guilty about plucking them from the world or assaulting them with cold metal hands and lips.
” On the count of three then?”
You turn your head to look at her, wait for confirmation from her before slowly counting down out loud.
You rip cords out. You feel the strange sense of release that comes with death and the world goes black.
You watch chains rattle and sway to the whim of some unseen force as you wait for her to be ready, running your finger up and down the length of the thorn in your hand.
You can feel her gaze, look to her, nod, and then again fix your eyes on the chains swaying above.
She begins to count.
You raise your thorn.
Press it to your temple.
As you have done so many times before, you fire a beam of crackling violet light from the pointed tip of your weapon. It pierces through flesh, bone, and gray matter.
You are extinguished in an instant.
She’s already prepared, has a method in mind and presumably the supplies to. You can’t see any fear in her at all. Of course, Rose Lalonde has always been a hard read to you, but you also know she’s strong, and you trust her to be able to do what’s necessary.
“All I have to do is sever a few critical wires with psionics. This body is just a machine, after all.”
You’re honestly not sure how “alive” you are technically, but if the time Jack sliced you in half counted as a real death, then this should as well.
You make your way forward to the slab, brush your finger tips over it before seating yourself on the edge, waiting for her to join you.
You nod. While you would have been capable of doing so, you would vastly prefer not to deliver the final blow to another.
Moving to your own bed you do the same; brush the tips of your fingers over rough stone, tracing the lines of cracks along its edges. You thought it would be cold but this is not the case. There’s warmth emanating from its center; you’re reminded of the heated rocks for reptile enclosures. Perhaps it is the influence of your Aspect. Perhaps it is power resting within the bed.
You cannot See it if that’s so. You See nothing at all here, outside of yourself and Aradia.
This is the day you leave. It’s a few months shy of a year now that Dave plucked you out and into a living universe. If you die here now and ascend, your dream self will still be sacrificed and you will be able to meet Vantas. This is why he could See his way back to this point; following bonds backward.
You seat yourself on your bed, right on the symbol of your Aspect, draw one of your thorns from your strife specibus.
“Ready when you are, then.”
Journey by mirror is so quick and simple, no build up, no adventure. Not that you were looking for any, exactly. But you’ve been anticipating this moment for long enough now that actually arriving is disconcerting.
You snap back to attention at her voice, nod once, and with a turn of your instruments you bring the both of you to the time indicated by the paper. As has been said, you’ve traveled with Rose before.
This will be the easy part, for you. This one will make a half a dozen deaths. Even if whatever mechanics are behind Godtier don’t work, you’ll be safe again in your bubble, coddled by familiarity.
But Rose. She’s never died before, refused to when the universe said she must.
“Do you have a plan? For going about it.”
As your methods of travel are disconcerting to her, so too are hers to you. It feels somewhat like the first drop in a roller coaster; your stomach attempts to remain in one place while the rest of you is moving to another.
It leaves you vaguely dizzy, and for a few beats her question is incomprehensible.
But then it clicks.
“I was going to ask you the same. Needle to the temple seems quick, efficient, and a sure method by which to kill myself.
Will you require assistance?”
You should be more nervous about this, you think. More anxious. You are walking into the arms of death and you are not entirely certain you will even rise from it. The signs all seem to indicate it but there is always that chance you have misinterpreted something crucial.
And yet you are not afraid. It hasn’t even crossed your mind that Aradia might be- she has shown she has no fear of death herself. What’s one more?
But she must wonder about you. She knows you’ve never died.
You simply look to her, calm and collected as ever, and trust she will understand.
Shake your head regretfully.
“I can’t do space. I can only make the journey take a relative instant.”
You will be needing the mirror, it seems.
Out comes the mirror then. You simply place your hands upon the frame to activate it, holding coordinates in mind to direct where it opens. You had done this with Aradia before, fetching Vantas’ skull.
You step through and into the center of your moon, your quest beds almost painfully bright bright amidst the relative darkness of the moon’s center. The only other spots of color are the chains the same shade as the rest of Derse.
Your quest bed is as you expected; an orange slab emblazoned with the symbol of your Aspect. An alter for you to sacrifice yourself on.
But the one beside it is different beyond color and corresponding Aspect.
It is round where yours is rectangular.
It is Aradia’s, and not Dave’s.
You had suspected as much but it still weighs stone heavy in your stomach.
“We’re at the wrong point, temporally speaking. You’ll need to move us from here.”
You nod briskly, tearing your gaze from the cat to give the paper a quick look-over. You’ve never been one to question a source more knowledgeable than you.
And it does make a sort of sense, in the slightly twisted way that paradox space often does. The bed is still intended for a Dersite hero of time, and you are here while he is… not. If you’re going to the human session, though, there’s no doubt that your own dream self is long dead and gone, not even worth asking after.
You have no qualms, no reason to stall any longer. The soulbot was made to be a permanent solution, but stuck in the living world without the option of sinking into a memory of living flesh it begins to grate on you.
You offer the paper back, the image of it safely stored away in your databanks.
“Shall we, then?”
Paradox space is essentially the sum of a number of self fulfilling paradoxical clusterfucks. You’ve long since accepted this fact.
“I’m quite ready if you are.”
The paper is tucked away into your sylladex. Just in case.
“I think you’re capable of transporting us both to point in time and space we need to be, but I am not a time player ans I cannot be certain.”
Which is basically you asking if she needs the mirror.
You’re nearly there. You can just see the Tavros’ hive in the distance when you stop to check Tumblr and get Rose’s message.
You freeze for a moment. It’s finally time. It doesn’t even matter that you’ll have to backtrack hours to Eridan’s to use his transportalizer, after several weeks of waiting for things to fall into place it’s time to act.
You do a quick sylladex check; sure enough, the few items you own are tucked away in it, your time travel music boxes circling under your fingers and your alchemized pair of Dave’s iShades perched on your face.
A flash of light and you’ve materialized at the given coordinates, where Rose is likely pressing send on your message.
Her appearance does not startle you- but it does Dexter and he briefly assumes the form of a cotton ball. Then he trots away as though he had quite intended to do that and he was simply tired of everything and everyone in the room.
You love cats.
You press send and turn to face her, paper in hand. You pass it over.
“Vantas located a path- or at least the beginning and ending coordinates- through the Ring to a point at which my dream and waking self both yet live. I’ve come to the conclusion that the loss of my dream self did not come about because I left the session- but because we go back now and obtain tier.
Furthermore I think the bed within Derse was never intended for Dave. It was for you.”
It is all theory, but it is sound.
The first thing you do upon returning home is to write out the series of numbers Vantas had recited, making sense of the calculations and thus coordinates as quickly as you could.
Which, despite your mediocre talent with mathematics, you managed quite quickly indeed.
Then you send Aradia the coordinates to your place of residence, and you wait.
thank y0u r0se
and y0u kn0w im always willing t0 help y0u with anything y0u need t00
i wanted t0 talk ab0ut g0dtier because r0se is asking ab0ut it and i havent really pr0perly expressed this even when i first th0ught 0f it as a p0ssible g0al
I truly, truly hope you stand by this. And I will help in any way I can.
w0uld it be wr0ng 0f me t0 assume y0ull be talking t0 thras0nic dave ab0ut it whenever he gets 0n again
y0ud think this w0uld be a simple thing id kn0w ab0ut alternates but when asked my kn0wledge falls sadly sh0rt
well if y0u make a c0nnecti0n with 0ne tr0ll it 0nly makes sense t0 branch 0ut int0 their s0cial circle fr0m there
i w0uldnt call y0u a failure until y0u start f0rgetting the human w0rds f0r things
Indeed so. There was also the Dave who pulled me from my timeline, but he’s since dropped out of contact. It’s a shame. I do miss playing with him. He certainly knew how to drop the proverbial bass.
Humans have differing terminology? I simply can’t wrap my pan around the notion.
i 0nly really kn0w 0ne 0ther versi0n 0f y0u and as as i kn0w shes n0t g0dtier
I’m not sure I know many Daves or Johns who have made Tier. Beyond that I doubt they’ve given it much thought. At least not yet.
Jade might have interesting input but again, I don’t speak to iterations of her much either.
Honestly I don’t speak with many humans in general. Clearly my life is in shambles, as I am obviously rejected by my own species.
tumblr is the ultimate 0ne sided kismesissitude
we cant d0 a thing back t0 it and yet we never leave
well i can direct y0u t0 karkat wh0 did ascend 0utside 0f the game but was still kind 0f f0rced int0 it by circumstances
and i believe this karkat als0 ascended 0utside 0f the game
with the help 0f y0ur alternate if im recalling c0rrectly
th0ugh hes n0t 0ften 0nline
im n0t really sure 0n humans since i tend n0t t0 ask
Given that most trolls already expect a lengthier life than those of my species, I should like the opinions of humans most. Iterations of myself would be especially helpful but I scarcely interact with any.
But thank you, I’ll certainly ask those you’ve pointed out.
i did resp0nd but its n0t sh0wing up n0w
maybe the questi0n functi0n isnt w0rking?
anyway what i said was i c0uld menti0n a c0uple 0f pe0ple wh0 are th0ugh i d0nt kn0w h0w useful that w0uld be f0r whatever it is y0ure gathering inf0rmati0n ab0ut specifically
Tumblr I do despise you at times. I may even label our relationship as abusive.
You build me up so high; and then strike me down, again and again.
I am attempting to discern whether or not others regret their ascension. Or if the opportunity had been presented outside of the pressures of the game, would they have chosen it still?