Things hadn’t exactly been quiet while I’d been gone.

Oh boy. Let’s see what sort of mess the paranoia and fighting have made.

“Calm down!  If we all just stop fighting, then this doesn’t end in tragedy.”

“I don’t want the world to end,” Bonesaw said.  “It’s fun.”

Relatable.

“It is.  But I expect it won’t end altogether.  There’s always going to be survivors.”

Keep in mind that in order to prey on them, you’re going to need to survive yourself.

“True.”

“And it makes for an interesting picture.  After everything’s gone, there’ll be a new beginning.  Who better to craft the remains into a new world than you and Mannequin?”

Hang on.

Do they not know what happened to Mannequin yet? Or was Lisa right to say she’d believe it when she saw it?

Or is Bonesaw intending to recover Mannequin’s bits and revive him?

“And Amelia?”

“And Amelia, if she so chooses.  We could be like gods in a new world.”

Gods in a new world? Don’t forget you need to die on a bed and get cool magic pajamas first.

“You’re crazy,” Panacea muttered.

“According to studies, clinically depressed individuals have a more accurate grasp of reality than the average person.

I doubt Bonesaw is clinically depressed, but who knows.

Or maybe he’s talking about Amy. Or just going “well why can’t the same apply to insanity”, which would be silly.

We tell ourselves lies and layer falsehoods and self-assurances over one another in order to cope with a world colored by pain and suffering.  We put blinders on.  If we lose that illusion, we crumble into depression or we crack and go mad.  So perhaps I’m crazy, but only because I see things too clearly?”

Mmm.

It’s not a bad excuse.

Honestly most of Brian’s detractors are arguably fans who wish he wasn’t boring and wanted to see more of him. He’s the most mundane of the group (Taylor’s time with him was basically mundane shippyness) and due to being so reserved we have to piece his past together. Just a consequence of being around a show stealing cast tbh.

That makes sense.

There’s something similar going on in the MLP fandom, where Applejack keeps coming last in Mane Six popularity polls, in part because she’s often the straight mare of the group, the reasonable one (though Twilight gets her share of that role too).

And in the Homestuck fandom, I don’t see people saying John Egbert, who starts out as an audience proxy and often ends up as a straight man towards the ridiculousness of other characters, is their favorite human kid very often. (I do like him, though. He’s a relatable dork.)

If Jack or the girl killed Amy, just about everyone in the city would die violently from the miasma’s effects.

Oh yeah, that also works as a reason for why they’d want to find her.

But I couldn’t stop them without letting on that I knew.  Fighting them put me at a clear disadvantage, and-

“Skitter,” Jack spoke.

Did she stand around thinking for too long?

I didn’t waste time turning to face him.  I gripped the hair of the blonde girl beside me and virtually hauled her off her feet as I dragged her around to a position between Jack and myself.  Jack was already swinging his knife.

Oh boy, here we fuckin’ go.

Human shield Bonesaw, go!

“Run!”  Grue shouted.

I was on top of Atlas in an instant, and in the air a second later.

Oh yeah, that ought to help out.

But seriously, guys, try your darndest not to breathe in that mist. Or even let it touch your feetsies.

“How is it spreading so fast!?”  I asked, while the others seated themselves on the two dogs.

“She must have set it up beforehand!”  Tattletale called out.  “Just needed the catalyst!”

I guess?

I didn’t feel the need to question that. It’s Bonesaw. Who the fuck knows what she can make these organisms do.

She checked to make sure Trickster and Sundancer were seated and had Bentley at an all out run a heartbeat later.  Sirius followed just two steps behind, carrying Grue, Imp, Bitch and Ballistic.  Regent joined me in the air, hanging in a less than dignified way from Shatterbird’s embrace.

Hehe. Yeah, dignity is a bit less important than getting away from that mist right now.

I needed only one glance to know they weren’t running fast enough.

Well, shit.

Alec and Taylor getting together to try to fix whatever this mist does to their friends, maybe seeking help from Amy (who might dodge this by way of Victoria flying them both out of reach)? That sounds like a fun premise.

How high does the mist go before it loses potency?

“Sundancer!”  I shouted.  “Cut it off!”

Oh yeah, I suppose if she evaporates the water between the mist and them…

It took her three or four seconds to pull an orb together, no larger than a basketball.  It grew to twice the size as it flew, raking across the street to turn the pooled water into clouds of steam.  I rose higher in the air to avoid being caught by the plumes of hot water.  The steam turned from a clean white to pink and eventually red as the effect reached it.

That’s not good.

Sundancer’s miniature sun had slowed the progression down our flooded street, but it wasn’t enough.  From my perspective, I could see the water on adjacent streets undergoing the same transformation, moving forward until it was adjacent to the others, then extending forward.  It was a matter of time before it reached far enough forward that it passed through the side alleys and cut them off.

Welcome to this “low-intensity chapter”. Please, don’t mind the rapidly reddening water and the teens running for their lives. Your room is number 413, here’s your key, and I hope you enjoy your stay!

She shrugged.

I turned back to the subject at hand, “We can’t guess what she’s come up with because her tinker abilities make her so versatile, and that means we can’t preemptively set up any countermeasures.”

So what do we do?

Tattletale tucked her hair behind her ear.  “Fits in a vial, assuming that vial she was showing off was the real weapon, something to do with water, she said… you guys haven’t been drinking anything except bottled water?”

Yeah, like I mentioned before, at least they can’t just taint the water supply.

Unless they go tainting wherever the PRT is getting their water from. And even that wouldn’t hit the Undertravelers, as they get theirs from a separate source.

There were head shakes and the occasional muttered “No” from the rest of the group.

“I’ve even been making my tea with it,” I said.

I mean, what else would you be using?

“And we know there’s going to be a strategic purpose behind it, beyond causing terror,” Tattletale went on.

Do we?

I suppose it would make sense for it to, but the opposite is actually part of why I said I didn’t think it’d be why they’d just knock out people’s powers. It seems too cheap for Jack to approve of it before they got knocked down a peg or five.

“You’re getting into that headspace again, Tattletale,” Grue said.  “Tunnel vision.”

I suspect she appreciates him pointing this out to her.

“Right.  I’m done now,” Tattletale replied.

“Is it such a problem?” Trickster leaned forward, “If you can give us answers about this thing, that’s good, right?”

Not if the answers are wrong because of the tunnel vision clouding possibilities from her intuition.

honk.

Tattletale shook her head, “If I’m digging deep enough for answers that I’m losing sight of other things, it means I’m probably speculating, and that tends to mean I’m generating false positives, heading down the wrong path to the wrong conclusions.  I told Grue to stop me if I’m doing it, and Skitter’s right when she says we can’t anticipate what Bonesaw’s going to do, so it’s pointless anyways.”

I mean, to be fair, if anyone can anticipate it, it’s probably you.

John’s bathtub shouldn’t be summoned by a Bakuda bomb.

Ahaha, yes! John’s bathtub showing up would totally fit into the chaos, yeah! :p

…maybe that’s why it isn’t there – because it’s so fitting that it actually should be there.

For those lacking the context here: One of my other blogs is called John’s Bathtub Where It Shouldn’t Be, and is centered on me editing John Egbert’s bathtub from Homestuck into images where it doesn’t belong. This ask is formatted like the requests for that blog. (Note: Please do not send me Worm-related asks over there.)

I would make this if I could, even though I’m guessing you didn’t actually mean this as a serious request, but unfortunately I don’t have an image to work with. I couldn’t find a satisfactory image of regular bombs going off to represent Bakuda bombs or to be good for a bathtub edit, and I can’t go searching for fanart of the chaos from the Bakuda bombs because of the risk of spoilers. I’m also wary about using people’s fanart for the edits in the first place. Sorry! :p

“Holy shit!”  Regent said, as he saw the extent of the damage.

Damn, that might be the largest reaction we’ve ever gotten out of Regent to anything.

Amy went white as a sheet.

image

“Heal her!  Just don’t touch the spots where the acid hit her!”

Was I focusing on the wrong side of this? I’m not sure Victoria is here enough to understand what’s happening, but maybe Amy is reluctant to violate Victoria’s consent again, even to save her life.

There’s also the issue of whether she dares to use this opportunity to set right what she did last time.

I’m not going to say “what she did wrong”. Amy did nothing wrong.