[Panel description: Dirk frowns into the mirror above his sink. He is holding a tube of gel and fixing the spikes in his hair. Three nakkodiles surround him, opening their mouths and dancing.]
[Panel description: Rose sits on top of a dryer. Her hair is mussed, and she is wearing a gold headband. She is also wearing dark purple-gray shorts with darker horrorterror patterns and a lacey purple camisole with Kanaya's Virgo symbol embroidered near the hem in green. She looks over at Dave sprite, who leans on the top of the washing machine resting his chin on his hand.]
DAVE SPRITE: you look terrible.
ROSE: Thank you.
DAVE SPRITE: is that why your god robes are in the dryer.
you’re dressed like one of us lowly mortals for a change.
ROSE: Your self-deprecation would be more moving if you weren't the only one here who's walked off a blade to the torso.
You don't look that great now yourself.
Are those scorch marks?
DAVE SPRITE: I swam in lava.
it was a metaphor.
but also lava.
ROSE: In our eleventh hour, we seem to be diversifying our repertoire of personally symbolic mayhem beyond the standard stabbings.
We should probably hide the arsenic.
DAVE SPRITE: I’d love to swap stories on the latest shits skaias taken on us and their rhetorical significance but didn’t you want me for something?
no wonder daves lying low on the battlefield he doesn’t want more seer homework.
ROSE: To business, then.
I apologize for dragging you away from whatever important tasks you were occupied with.
DAVE SPRITE: getting rained on mostly.
thanks for the land upgrade by the way it sucks significantly less now.
ROSE: You're welcome.
Most of the new growth here is underwater, but I like my moths.
DAVE SPRITE: the place looks like a lunesta commercial.
ROSE: Maybe my consorts are peddling sedatives. They could use some.
As far as I can tell they aren't any less anxious after our three-year vacation.
DAVE SPRITE: you mean the turtles.
they were ok during our trip.
I think you make them nervous.
ROSE: Who, me?
All I've done in this timeline is rip holes in my planet's surface and then douse the place in a hurricane.
It was much worse last time.
DAVE SPRITE: yeah you shredded this place I remember.
is that what you need me for, do I have to soothe your frazzled amphibians.
mine never liked me that much.
ROSE: Don't worry, all I want is your opinion.
Specifically regarding an application of John's new power.
DAVE SPRITE: this should be good.
ROSE: Do you think we could interfere with Lord English's personal timeline?
And, I'll append, get away with it?
DAVE SPRITE: oh is that all.
gee rose are you sure you don’t want to aim any higher.
why start small?
go right ahead and poke the fucking lord of time with a stick why don’t we.
ROSE: Don't get hysterical on me.
DAVE SPRITE: I have done nothing but get hysterical all day.
I don’t care how new and special john’s powers are.
the whole reason I exist is because there are some things you can’t do.
even if he overwrote English’s loop and made it never happen that just means we’d all stop existing.
ROSE: But we do, so that means he must not have done it, right?
DAVE SPRITE: normally but not when johns involved.
he doesn’t have to play by loop rules remember, even if the consequences are bad when he doesn’t.
that’s why it’s so dangerous.
ROSE: What if we didn't break any loops?
DAVE SPRITE: what do you have in mind?
ROSE: Leave the details to me.
What I'm concerned about is him catching on and preemptively intercepting us.
DAVE SPRITE: you’re talking about hiding from time.
ROSE: So I came to the expert.
All I want to know is,
Is it possible?
[Panel description: Hal sprite smiles at the mess he has made on a kitchen counter. Enormous stacks of pink frosted doughnuts cover the nearby surfaces, surrounding a bowl containing some dough and the handle of a spoon. Specks of dough and frosting cover both Hal and the counter.]
[Panel description: Jake hugs an iguana, who tilts its head up and sticks its tongue out happily. A long line of iguanas wait behind it for their turn. The terraced green hills of Jake's land are now covered in yellow sunflowers and blue trees.]
[Panel description: Tavros stands on the deck of a ship against a sunset-colored sky, looking back at Vriska. Vriska approaches him anxiously. She has her hair pulled back in a ponytail and is wearing a tank top version of her thief outfit with cross stitched sides.]
TAVROS: congratulations on the last rescue.
every single dreamer made it out safely.
VRISKA: I can't claim all the credit.
We'd be scorched particles by now if it weren't for those Solluxes pushing the bubble away.
Who knew he could do that?
TAVROS: all of us have hidden depths, even if sometimes it takes longer or even dying to learn about them.
VRISKA: I'll take 88 percent of the credit. (winking face).
It's not easy getting even one Captor to listen to you!
TAVROS: it is impressive that they listened to you in particular.
VRISKA: Saying I was with you smoothed everything over.
Did you know you're legendary out there?
Everyone talks about Tavros Nitram's scrappy band of rebels.
Of course out on the edges where the story gets warped, they don't even know it's you.
You're just the Salvager, some shadowy figure roaming the bubbles with his host of lost children, gathering up the survivors of English's latest wreck.
It's almost like being an ancestor, with the fancy name and everything.
I guess we've been around long enough.
TAVROS: that was never my reason for doing any of this.
I just thought it was the right thing to do.
to stand up and try, even if paradox space wanted us to be irrelevant.
and to save anyone who could be saved.
even if it's only buying time.
VRISKA: Yeah, yeah, you're a regular hero.
Complete with adoring crowds following you around.
Where is everyone?
TAVROS: I’m not sure about everyone.
they come and go after all.
nepeta, feferi, and sollux are working on a project together.
they haven't told me exactly what yet, but it sounds exciting.
and aradia said someone was arriving soon who she wanted to talk to.
so she's waiting for them.
VRISKA: Wonder who bit the dust.
Do you think it was someone we knew?
TAVROS: it could be anyone from any time.
you know there's a lag, sometimes.
VRISKA: This place is so weird.
Some of the people I've run into just died from their perspective, even if they were from Beforus.
That's probably the only reason they hadn't heard how awesome we were before.
TAVROS: it sounds like our reputation around the ring is pretty notorious.
except um, less sinister than you might be used to.
VRISKA: Heh. Yeah...
Actually, could I talk to you about that?
TAVROS: about your reputation? or being sinister?
VRISKA: Both, maybe?
About some of the stuff I did, back when I was alive.
And some of the stuff I did after we died.
Looking back on it, some of it was...
John put the idea in my head, and when he does that it's hard to get it out!
He can be so pushy.
He said I should clear the air with people.
But I know you wanted to set up those "boundaries" when I got onboard.
So if you want to call it good, that's ok too!!!!
In fact, maybe that's for the best.
I'll be on my way, not taking up any more of your time.
Good talk, boss. Later!
TAVROS: ... no, you're right.
that might be a good idea.
especially since none of us know how much time we have left.
[Panel description: Kanaya stands in Jade's greenhouse. Beyond the glass, LOFAF's greenery spreads out. Kanaya is wearing a red sleeveless dress with elbow length red gloves. She holds up a black shirt with streaks of green, yellow, orange, and red dripping down from the collar. Jade approaches with a platter of orange slices. She is wearing a dark green evening gown with a lighter glittering green outer layer and dark green evening gloves. The alchemiter rises behind them.]
JADE: I brought snacks!
KANAYA: Oh really.
What are these?
have you never seen one?
KANAYA: Our diet for the last few sweeps was low on produce of all kinds.
everyone seemed content to subsist mostly on packaged rations.
JADE: that sounds like them. (scowling face).
no one ever wanted to eat their vegetables.
KANAYA: In our defense we did not have much in the way of alchemy ingredients.
or grist really although Dave had his grist torrent running.
we were quick to turn to piracy under the circumstances.
it appears we would in fact download a grub loaf.
JADE: so that’s where it all went.
I guess I cannot blame you, you didn’t have underlings to resupply yourselves.
and I am not sure how you would alchemize an orange...
but these are good, you’ll see.
KANAYA: How do you eat them?
JADE: I used to bite into the whole thing but apparently that’s not how you do it. (sticks tongue out).
at least I was harshly reprimanded for doing so.
the inside parts are for eating.
or you can suck out the juice and pretend you’re a vampire!
or not pretend in your case lol.
KANAYA: Those fantasies became a lot less engaging when I was faced with the reality.
thank you for the refreshments.
JADE: just to make sure I have everything you told me down right...
we need one of the queen’s rings for echidna to release the frog?
KANAYA: That’s right.
It will then travel to the battlefield and hatch within it.
JADE: the poor little planet. (sad face).
it seems wasteful since we just fixed it.
KANAYA: Skaia must see it as another needful sacrifice.
of course the tadpole must be nurtured by the grist released from our denizens’ hoards.
JADE: Jake and Jane got back to me, their denizens are on board!
KANAYA: I have heard from all but Roxy.
apparently nix is stalling.
JADE: maybe Roxy hasn’t finished her quest yet???
it’s hard to tell, not everyone’s is as dramatic as roses.
KANAYA: She does have a flair for theatrics.
a trait I am learning appears to be hereditary.
I hope she’s alright.
JADE: I’m sure we’d have heard if she wasn’t.
she can take care of herself, or at least she used to be able to.
I guess you’d know better than me these days...
KANAYA: She tends to be almost frighteningly competent if not under the sway of some mind altering substance.
which I believe is not the case at this moment.
JADE: I heard about what happened during your trip. (sad face).
we will all have to watch out for her now to make sure she gets better.
KANAYA: Plans are in motion in that regard.
JADE: oh! that reminds me.
I said we might make an outfit for her since she was missing out.
KANAYA: I do have sketches for some projects I never finished.
JADE: perfect! let’s look at them