2. John Egbert (Homestuck)
3. Rose Lalonde (Homestuck)
4. Cristina Yang (Grey’s Anatomy)
5. Troy Barnes (Community)
6. The Old Spice Man (requires no introduction)
7. Karkat Vantas (Homestuck)
8. Hyacinthe Cohen (Spin State)
9. Benjamin Sisko (Star Trek: Deep Space 9)
10. Abed Nadir (Community)
11. a spankbot (DC Comics (if it is a Superman Spankbot))
12. Amanda Waller (DC Comics)
13. Alice Morgan (Luther)
14. Agatha Heterodyne (Girl Genius)
15. Cassandra Cain (DC Comics)
(Part One is here.)
The Old Spice Man, a spankbot and Agatha Heterodyne go on a picnic - what do they bring to eat?
The Old Spice Man thinks that if Agatha used Old Spice scented robot oil on the clank she is putting together, rather than lady scented robot oil, her clank would smell like a man clank and not like a lady clank.
Agatha is in the throes of a fit of SCIENCE and is not processing his presence in any way that would be useful to him.
Look down, back up, where are you? Your damp underground laboratory is now a sunny meadow, shared with the man your clank could smell like!
...Is that enough? Does he have Agatha’s attention? TOSM probably thinks so but. Not really.
What’s in your hand?
It’s a napkin with two halves of that sandwich you love.
--WHAT HAPPENED TO THE JOINTED 7/18” CUSTOM CHAMBERED OCTOWRENCH I WAS HOLDING--
Look again, the sandwiches are now cake!
Oh no oh no oh no Agatha has sicced the clank on him oh no oh no It is a spanking clank oh nooooo
Rose Lalonde, Karkat Vantas, Amanda Waller and Agatha Heterodyne are stranded on a desert island; how do they rescue themselves?
Okay, the moral of this question is that I obviously need to start rotating my character lists out more thoroughly, but okay. As it happens, Rose, Karkat, and Agatha have already been stranded on the deserted island together a long time ago, so I guess Karkat kicks the seagulls out from the remains of his hiding-from-the-sun emergency skirt fabric tent and huddles inside, while Rose and Agatha set to kicking the distress-call machine until it works again.
And then Amanda Waller is like, Welp! Looks like you kids have things under control here, call me if any supervillains attack! and spends the rest of the question sunbathing on the nicest bit of beach.
Kara Zor-El, Amanda Waller, and Agatha Heterodyne are the among the last survivors of a nuclear war. How do they cope with their new life as scavengers amongst the wreckage of modernity? Do they find love for each other amongst the ruins, or do they complete the grim work of human self-annihilation that began when the bombs fell?
Wow, congrats, you have managed to build *entirely* the wrong cast for the genre. It is like you *want* the world to be saved.
...Is this the same scenario as the zombie apocalypse? (Agatha is sorry about your husband’s tragic infestation with whatever worms we decided, Kara, but would you mind if she poked around inside him just a little? For SCIENCE?)
Assuming there are enough survivors from the nuclear zombie worm war for it to be *worth* rebuilding society, rather than evacuating to a nearby human-friendly biosphere, this crew could get it done and get it done *quickly*. For Agatha, it is simpler. Nuclear zombie apocalypse is just one of those things that might happen; in her canon, she’s sort of in the middle of preventing one. So now the world is broken, and every instinct is clamoring at her to *fix it*. This is an instinct that gets her universe’s breed of mad scientist in all sorts of trouble (never mind the world) but Agatha is more trustworthy in her focus. ...Comparatively. If you don’t mind an extra death ray here or there. (Amanda Waller does not mind.)
For Kara, she tries to lose herself in the rebuilding process, but even with worldwide devastation there’s only so much for a Kryptonian to do. And it’s hard, seeing the nightmare echo reminders of the first planet she lost.
How many worlds can someone lose?
As many as you’ve got, says Waller, offering a quick lesson in the properties of real numbers. Until you can’t pick yourself up again. (And should we ponder if, in this scenario, Waller’s family had been safely ensconced before the worst of armageddon had hit? Her surviving children? Her grandchildren? The myriad of personalities she deems herself ultimately responsible for? It’s possible. It’s possible.)
And in the meantime, you find something that needs doing, and you go do it.
Does it help?
Who? (Every day since the nuclear zombie worm war, the air has been filled with the stench of boiling flesh. The humans have stopped noticing, but under the yellow sun nothing fades from her attention. The screaming melting faces of humanity, seconds after impact, preserved for her in perfect memory.) Me, or the ruins?
That depends, says Waller. Which one d’you think is more important?
What do The Old Spice Man, Hyacinthe Cohen, and Rose Lalonde wear to a Halloween party? And if they refuse to pick their own outfits, what will Benjamin Sisko make them wear?
Cohen wears Chiara, who is dressed to evoke a caracal. Chiara’s one of Cohen’s favourite interfaces; an aspiring movie star with bronze skin and gold flecked eyes, exquisitely human beauty, a little bit older than Rose’s mom’s age.
Rose’s brain promptly melts out her ears. Her life has not prepared her with the pick-up lines for this situation. (I suppose “gets drunk, cops a feel, falls head-first down a flight of stairs” remains open as a possibility.)
Then I was going to tell you all about Rose’s over-elaborate, passive aggressive princess costume, but I remembered how there has been some character development rumoured in her canon, and Rose is going through an awkward teen phase instead of an awkward pre-teen phase. Rose dresses as a Sexy Wizard. Her navel is bared via shirt length but hidden via beard.
The Old Spice Man wears a cowboy outfit and hands out small bottles of Old Spice Bodywash. That it is Halloween isn’t particularly important, that is just what he is doing today.
And everyone else is dressed, so. Sisko is either a baseball player or an SCA style Totally Average 21st Century Dude Who Is Not Entirely Comfortable With Trusting Cohen About The Super Skinny Jeans And Cohen Advising Him To Check With Space Google Doesn’t Help Since Sisko Knows Cohen Moonlights As Space Google
Why do Rose Lalonde and The Old Spice Man have to impersonate each other?
Extra credit for being researchers in the field of deception analysis, obviously.
Mom Lalonde already made them say the alphabet backwards while jumping on one foot in a straight line and touching their nose with alternating pinkie fingers, and when that proved less of a challenge than it always does for *her*, whipped up couple
And hey, this new trial she thought up even has shitall to do with deception! It is celebratory martini time! Dear expirimential log: Redults are in an today has been prettgy sweet.
Quality mother/daughter bonding activities, plus spending time with a total hottie who could be good husband material maybe (no), just look at how cute he is wearing Rose’s headband and intoning that “So long as your man smells like Old Spice Bodywash for men, you will always know he is a man, and not a lady.” Okay that one’s actually really dumb, even if his voice is as deep timbred and smooth as he keeps assuring you it is. For some reason?
So then she asks him to breathily intone his way through a hundred page list of IUPAC organic compound names as meditation poetry and...
Wow I just made myself sad such a recording doesn’t exist. How?
When Cassandra Cain goes on a roadtrip with Karkat Vantas and John Egbert, how long does it last, and what happens?
Cassandra Cain finds the end of the world in a wardrobe in Newark.
(Is that the Newark near Metropolis, or the one near Gotham? As your narrator, I will confess to you some confusion over her world’s geography, now, before you fall into the habit of trusting me too completely. The curve of the Bay, the nearness of an island, the tilt of the Earth: these things have never helped me distinguish the city from the city. But in Metropolis the buildings stand proud and gleaming, not like in Gotham, where even the towers huddle anxiously into each other’s shadows. The people of Metropolis wake early into a world already humming with the industry of progress; in Gotham they fade with the sunrise, having more likely reached it the long way. There is a corruption unique to Gotham’s soul, a rot that waits underground, hidden from the sterilizing touch of day. But then without the slow convection of decomposition, what new can grow?
(And there is still yet room for New York City.)
Cassandra Cain finds the end of the world in a wardrobe in Newark, and Barbara Gordon sighs deeply when Cass pretends not to get any of her jokes, even when Babs suggests she needs a Witch as a guide.
The Witch in question should have been Jade Harley, but Jade has access to the base universe’s green-hued energy and enough willpower that the Green Lanterns have even stopped *correcting* people when they mistake Jade as one of their own, and she’s off planet with John Stewart on a training exercise which is rapidly snowballing into a sector-wide disaster, in the way sci fi adventure narratives require.
That handily leaves us Jade’s brother as Cass’ expert guide, because Babs likes some of the Alternian refugees well enough, but “likes” is not the same as “trusts”, is not the same as “willing to depend on them guarding the back of someone I love”, and there is a portal on the floor of Newark closet, and on the other side is a world-city as impossibly bright and golden as a psychedelic painting of Metropolis.
(And no matter how irredeemable the comics/homestuck crossover fusion mashup we might build, Babs never wanders Prospit, not even in her dreams. Especially never in her dreams. Her error - if I may count it such, because for all Barbara Gordon’s gifts she remains on the inside of the mystery, and has no access to the meta rules of this half-shuffled scratchpad universe - is assuming the same of Cass. That the Prospit would necessarily not know a resonance in the fall of Cass’ footsteps on its paths and offer its open archways to her like the arms of something alive and capable of loving, of welcoming her Home.)
When John Egbert lands in Newark, he has Karkat Vantas in tow. Whether John was purposely or honestly oblivious to Babs’ strong implication that his alien buddies weren’t invited wouldn’t be a hard question to answer, if you are Cassandra Cain, but Karkat’s body language is too loud, distracting. *He* at least seems aware that Babs had not issued John the option of a plus one; in flight Karkat’s shoulders scream to the world that I know my existence is not welcome in this place, but my existence has never been welcome in any place, so what’s the fucking difference?
John sets him down in a puff of breeze and Karkat’s greeting to her is the same as it often is, an angling of his core on the axis of his companion’s: this person cannot be trusted to react appropriately to danger but *I* can and I am *armed* and you will reach me *first*. Many of Karkat’s friends are powerful and/or immortal, in their fashion, but Cass has seen how Batman covers for the god-like beings in *his* life: how many blindspots powerful and immortal heroes might have and never account for. She’s one of the few humans who finds Karkat’s anxiousness prudent instead of humourous and slightly sad.
John is grinning his impatience. His mouth is saying happy greeting words, but all she listens to is him leaning in, foot twitching: I know what you found. It is wondrous. It is mine. I want to share with my funny shouty friend my really good friend. I want to share with all my really good friends. I want to share with *you*. He is not afraid of what this portal speaks of the Earth’s fate. The air shifts around her suit, barometric pressure dropping and scent of ozone like the absence of a sound, the expectation of thunder.
They step onto the portal.
(Do not ask me how they get a road-trip approved vehicle in with them. I assume the answer is prefixed with Bat-. Or perhaps it is a portal on the floor of a very large closet.)
John’s right to not be afraid in the immediate. This rendition of Prospit is waking up. Half its populus is yet undecanted, still developing to life in tubes and jars. When they peek into one of the towers on Prospit’s moon, the player child sleeping there is a tiny figure, barely more than a toddler. No one they recognize.
The game session hasn’t begun yet, and Earth - *this* Earth, dcu comics meme mashup Earth - is defended well enough against a meteor armageddon.
“So were we,” says Karkat, harshly. “It didn’t *matter*.” He’s been more still since they got out of the bat-vehicle and started wandering on foot & by air (John is directing them through the cityscape far more by way of scouting than memory). Cass can actually hear him *talk* over what he’s *saying*.
Prospit exists outside of time, and there is no way to predict when the session will ripen: when rocks fall and everybody dies, or when the worst of the rocks are contained but a pale terror looses its soul-shattering shriek, or when the game’s new threat to civilization is revealed (Nuclear zombie worms, anyone?). It could be tomorrow. It could be 413 years from tomorrow.
But whenever it happens, they will be there to save the world! John insists this, for what else is the point of them being immortal and having magic powers? But John had been impatient to wait *three minutes* before jumping bodily through an unexplained portal, and Cass does not trust how easily he shrugged on the promise of a potential eternity. Karkat is yelling, but his jawline wavers between How can you be this stupid and Don’t make me have this conversation with you and a naked, aching Please. Please, maybe if *you* believe it, maybe it can be a little more possibly true?
Most people are unaware how unguarded they are to her, but Karkat has a sense of it. When he catches the edge of her gaze, he cringes into a defensive stance. She’s making him feel like even more of a freak. Well, how about the reverse?
Cass leaves them to their pointless not-argument and climbs up a spiraling tower. She settles in to watch the sky, and the dark of her cape seems strange around her, in this place with so few shadows. Robin would be better camouflaged. She unhooks her mask, and finds that the air is sweet with exotic spices that her filters had been removing. They aren’t familiar, but *almost*... one sigh is the garnish beside a bowl of pho hastily slurped down in Bangalore, is the accidental crunch of seeds from a stolen papaya in Nairobi, is the sad bleached mound of ginger served with a deep fried sushi roll in Amsterdam. She takes a new breath, and the memories slip away, are replaced.
There’s a creak of unworn hinges. One of the planet’s polished ivory people steps onto the roof. When she sees Cass, her bearing lifts in pleasure at the meeting. You are welcome in my kingdom, she says.
Cass smiles and tilts her head to the skyline: Does this world belong to you?
I belong to it. Her head is uncovered, but she holds her neck as though accustomed to supporting the weight of a heavy accessory. I am Prospit’s Queen, for as long as it requires one. She sits beside Cass, crossing her ankles underneath her, and raises her hand towards the moon and its towers. Do you understand what this place is?
Cass shrugs. Enough
Above them, scenes from someone else’s story swirl through the clouds. The girl in the tower, a decade older, face shining in triumph as she takes down monsters with a large, motorized slingshot covered in purple ribbon. The same girl, sitting on a rectangular slab with a stylized glyph of a heart. She is looking into the distance, unaware of the woman standing behind her with a sword, the locked tension in the woman’s spine: A mother will do whatever is best for her children. The steadiness of the woman’s elbows: Even this.
But it is your story as well, says the Queen, and Cass blinks in surprise. It’s been so long since she’s had a fluent *conversation*. She’s unpractised in keeping her thoughts still inside her.
What do you mean? Cass asks, very carefully, allowing no recollection of her own parents to leak into the questioning curve of her shoulder. The woman in the cloud has not struck. It’s been seven seconds. Ten. The ends of her cornrows sway in a breeze Cass doesn’t feel.
A new cloud interrupts the prophesy - a high angle view of Cass on the rooftop, carefully removing her mask. She’s joined by a white carapaced figure in a pastel dress.
The players - and the Queen’s inflection is awe, duty, pride, mourning. “Players” is not a big enough word, but Cassandra Cain has never needed *words* to find understanding - and your world, and everyone on your world. Every world in your universe. Those who set your universe into motion, and those who set *their* universe into motion.
All of existence is part of the same great chain.
Yes. Cass removes one gauntlet and takes the White Queen’s shelled fingers in her hand. Their texture is unexpectedly silk-like on her palm, like holding pebbles of glass smoothed by the sea. I’ve always known.
if John Egbert and Abed Nadir met years ago and had a one-night stand resulting in a baby, of Rose Lalonde, Troy Barnes, and Karkat Vantas, which would it be, and was John Egbert keeping the baby from Abed Nadir or was Abed Nadir keeping the baby from John Egbert, and what will Hy Cohen, John Egbert's long-time lover, think of all this?
Cosmological Applications of Game Theory
aka the one where the cast of Community plays Sburb and Abed is in charge of the baby cloning. (He needs a Homestuck player title, then. Okay, non-Homestuck fans, ignore this ENTIRE MEME maybe, but... Abed Nadir: Rogue of Mind? Light? Of Derse, anyway.) (Troy is unfortunately rather canonically Heir of Breath so welp to that I say.)
And Abed gets a helpful walkthrough from his internet buddy ectoBiologist who is currently playing a parallel session of Sburb, and already got to that part.
After some debate in Back to The Future tropes about whether one could win the game better by taking the opportunity to “improve” the available genesets (final consensus: don’t doooo it! Temporal paradoxes are baaaad.) and... the baby is
okay, so that’s tha--
and what will Hy Cohen, John Egbert's long-time lover, think of all this?
uuuummmm. But that doesn’t... Does that work? Cohen won’t give any fucks about who is whose test tube clone baby, and it’s not like it is difficult to get a passing grade by the “will Cohen sleep with you” metric, but to stick them in a relationship...
I guess we will have to see who John turns into, given a few years. There are some grown up Johns I’ve seen that would probably interest Cohen. And maybe some of them would even be willing to be charmed in return?
Technical difficulties on the *very* last line of the meme apparently, give me a minute to kick this until it works.
...to be continued.
Crossposted from Dreamwidth, where there are comments.