krixwell-liveblogs: TROLL CALL! A bit of context for my non-Homestuck readers: As a promo and way of maintaining hype for Hiveswap: Act 2, What Pumpkin spent a while publishing weekly “troll call” posts presenting new characters in cards like the one I made for Armmaster above. In them, there was a running gag that characters would […]

End of Interlude 11d

Oh, Colin.

That was another fun ride! We got to meet Mannequin, who has an interesting backstory and a kind of whimsical body that… actually doesn’t have anything to do with the main focus of his tinker power. It seems like, in theory, almost any tinker might be able to do something like what he did, if they were mad enough to do it.

Honestly more interesting than Mannequin himself, though, was Vriska, our POV character for the day. We didn’t really learn much new about him, really, though we got reinforcement of the idea that he isn’t all about his reputation. He does try to help people. Maybe the focus on reputation came second, after some time as a bigshot hero?

On top of an awesome but insanely stupid display of his reckless, wrathful side against an enemy who claimed they were alike, we also got some delicious development for the Dragonmaster ship. I’m a little disappointed that we didn’t get to see Vriska’s reaction to Dragon revealing her true nature, but I recognize that ending the chapter like that is good writing. For now, I’ll trust Vriska to be good enough that it went over better than Dragon had feared.

So yeah! That was fun. See you next time!

…potential romantic relationship with a character associated with drAGONS MISTER COLIN SERKET YOU COME BACK HERE RIGHT NOW AND EXPLAIN YOURSELF–

He was about to apologize when Dragon said, “Those prosthetics I gave you?  They were part of a bigger project.  Something I’d intended to use for myself.”

She was trying to make herself a body. A human-like body.

And she’s taking this opportunity to tell the truth about what she is, isn’t she?

I’m sorry, Dragon. I underestimated you.

She was a cripple?  He’d known she had survived Leviathan’s attack on Newfoundland, was it such a surprise that she’d gotten hurt then?

I suppose this is a quite reasonable first guess at what she’s talking about.

It would explain her aversion to showing her face.  One of the things she’d given him was a facial prosthetic.


“I’m sorry,” he said, “I didn’t know.”

“No, it’s not that,” she paused.  “There’s something you need to know about me.”

This is a big moment in their relationship and I hope we’re not about to cut it off before Armmaster’s reaction.

*scrolls down to see chapter navigation*

“Shit.  He probably could,” Colin conceded.


He stared at the photo for several long seconds, then turned away.

Hoping to inject some levity into the grim conversation, he smiled and asked her, “What was this I heard when I was passing out?  ‘I need you’?”

Hehe, nice.

The silence stretched on for so long that he knew he’d made some faux pas.

But then there’s Dragon’s hangups regarding her virtuality and romance. She can’t bring herself to elaborate because she knows where it would lead and she doesn’t trust her emotions to be real and she doesn’t think Armmaster could truly love her if he found out what she is.

…yeah. No wonder the attempt at levity didn’t land.

He just wasn’t sure what.  Stupid.  This was the kind of thing that had cost him his position, started the dominoes falling in such a way that they’d led him to being prisoner in that room, led to him being an easy target for Mannequin, to him being here, in this bed.

Hm, yeah, I suppose it was in part the informality that caused it. Mostly Colin overreacting to his demotion by attempting to go out, or prove himself, in a moment of true glory, but in part the informality that caused the demotion.

Never knowing what to say, or how to say it, or who to say it to.

To be fair, that’s very relatable.

“Could be meant for you guys.”

I highly doubt that.

“Or it could be for you.”

“He left me for dead. He couldn’t really expect I’d survive.”

Keep in mind the man is mad, and that he initially stopped you from attacking by way of a blade that you almost ran into, even before he intended to hurt you. He may not be fully aware of or able to restrain his attack damage.

Dragon didn’t reply.  He thought of Mannequin.  Despite the silence, despite the uncanny behavior and the dramatic self mutilation, Mannequin was a brilliant man.  A man who could have looked at the resources that were available in the building, who could have figured out Colin was in touch with Dragon, done just enough damage to push him to the brink of death.

Hm. I mean, he’s pretty much done that to himself already. He’s probably got a very good grasp of anatomy.

“He tried.”

“No, Colin.  Look.”

The laptop screen on the table beside him lit up, and a browser page opened.  An image loaded.

An image of Mannequin holding back? Or maybe of what happens to those he doesn’t hold back on? The weaponry he didn’t use?

A photo.  Mannequin had left a message.  3 keys, again, on the edge of the desk.  BR8.


CUL8R, Mannequin.

The eight, Colin supposed, was meant to stand in for a second B.  ‘BRB’, an acronym used by countless denizens of the internet and innumerable cell phone texters.

This narration is so… Colin’s generation. But at the same time, I see why it’s necessary – depending on the audiences this story reaches, not everyone is going to know what BRB means.

Be Right Back.

Yeah, that.

“The parts won’t last.  All of this is prototype stuff.  Some of it I revised and invented while you were in surgery.  They’re temporary, but I can make better.  I’m afraid you’re going to need to go under the knife a few times.  More than a few.”

That seems reasonable enough. Better that than dead, right?

“That’s fine.  Thank you for all this.”

There was a pause.

“You’re a fucking idiot, Colin.  That was the stupidest fucking thing I’ve ever seen.”

Hah! Let him hear it!

He really fucked up back there.

And hell, depending how much direct connection Dragon had with the armbands, how much she could sense through them, this might be competing with going up against Leviathan solo for “stupidest fucking thing [Dragon’s] ever seen”.

He laughed.  His breath caught with the pain each laugh produced, but he couldn’t help it.

Heh… but seriously.

“Yeah, I hope that hurt.”

“Wanted to provoke him.  See if I couldn’t find an opening.”

Sure, pass it off as mere tactics.

“I repeat: Stupidest fucking thing I’ve ever seen.”

I mean, it’s not that it’s not genuinely a valid tactic to provoke someone to make them let their guard down, but it was a stupid as fuck tactic in that particular situation, and I’m skeptical of tactics being the main concern in the first place.

“Was going to kill me anyways.”

“Was he?  He could have killed you there.  He didn’t.”

That is true. He could’ve done a lot of disturbing things to Colin even if all he had was the knife.