Chapter

34

VRISKA: Hey, Harry Anderson, guess where I am!

HARRY ANDERSON: what???

HARRY ANDERSON: who is this? i can’t hear you!

Vriska cups her hand around the receiver of her phone and shouts over the artillery barrage.

VRISKA: It’s ME, idiot! The HOT 8A8E you’re lucky enough to h8ve gotten to second 8ase with!

HARRY ANDERSON: oh hi vriska!

HARRY ANDERSON: what’s up?

VRISKA: I Implored You To GUESS WHERE I 8M!

HARRY ANDERSON: uh. hmm. based on the horrible racket in the background, i’m gonna guess... the battle outside the city?

VRISKA: Ha HA! I TOLD you my moms were going to Hook Me The Fuck Up with a sweet milit8ry commission!

VRISKA: I’m officially in the rebellion, Sucker!!!!!!!

HARRY ANDERSON: ugh. i’m watching the battle out my window right now. are you SURE it’s safe for you to be out there, vriska?

HARRY ANDERSON: i’d kind of hate it if you died before we got to third base.

VRISKA: Pfft, yeah, wh8tever. I’m basically Immortal, bitch.

VRISKA: I’m gonna 8reeze through here like a High Money Roller getting sweepstakes at the 8lackj8ck table!

HARRY ANDERSON: you should probably actually gamble once in your life before you try to make gambling metaphors, babe. because that was dire.

VRISKA: Uh, excuse you, but Tavros tot8lly snuck me into Uncle Jake’s poker game last month. It was Immoderately LIT.

HARRY ANDERSON: wait. are you still hate dating tavros?

VRISKA: Uhhhhhhhh... yeah? Why wouldn’t I be??

HARRY ANDERSON: aw man. he’s so pathetic.

VRISKA: Yeah, that’s The Point, Harry Anderson.

HARRY ANDERSON: how do you stand kissing him? he’s so weird. and always mysteriously sticky for some reason.

HARRY ANDERSON: PLEASE tell me you haven’t gone to third base with him.

VRISKA: A girl Does Not kiss and tell, Harry de8rest. ::::)

HARRY ANDERSON: okay well as long as you don’t touch me after feeling up his weird, clammy body.

VRISKA: I’m not going to get a chance to feel either of you up for A While, considering I’m now an Important 8aller in Karkat and Meenah’s 8adass Revolutionary Army.

VRISKA: Oh, I asked if they could squeeze you in. They s8id they were JUST out of openings.

VRISKA: Sorry Dude! Lol.

HARRY ANDERSON: did you just call me to brag?

HARRY ANDERSON: what else is going on out there?

VRISKA: Ugh, who knows.

VRISKA: Oh. your DAD is here.

HARRY ANDERSON: what?!

HARRY ANDERSON: i thought he didn’t want anything to do with the war?

VRISKA: Yeah, well, he S8YS that, but he’s here right now and my mom’s saying a bunch of G8y Shit to him.

VRISKA: They’re hugging and Reminiscing a8out how Old And Sad they are or wh8tever.

HARRY ANDERSON: huh...

VRISKA: What?

HARRY ANDERSON: i really thought that my father might come see me for my birthday this year.

VRISKA: Welp!

VRISKA: Them’s The Br8ks, Kid.

HARRY ANDERSON: man.

HARRY ANDERSON: you can be such a shitty girlfriend sometimes.

VRISKA: May8e I’m inspired to be a Less Than Ideal M8tesprit when I’m in the presence of WEAKNESS? Ever consider that??

HARRY ANDERSON: unbelievable.

VRISKA: Hey I’m just fucking with you! Don’t 8e such a 8a8y a8out it. It’s a tot8l turnoff.

VRISKA: I’m sure your d8d cares a8out you very much. Maybe chill out?

HARRY ANDERSON: yeah whatever.

HARRY ANDERSON: he’s always getting all weepy whenever i talk to him anyway.

HARRY ANDERSON: i don’t think i could have taken another round of him choking back tears while apologizing to me about “what happened with me and your mother, harry.”

HARRY ANDERSON: i mean, god. he’s not even fucking DRUNK when he does this.

HARRY ANDERSON: that might actually be the most embarrassing part.

VRISKA: Yeah, lmao.

VRISKA: Now th8t you mention it, I think he’s actually crying right now?

VRISKA: I think I can overhear...

VRISKA: W8it.

Vriska stops trying to eavesdrop on John’s blubbering for a moment. She’s distracted by another noise. She whips her head around to detect an all-too-familiar sound echoing above the post-bombing silence. It’s a sound that she knows from hard-won experience can mean only one thing.

There’s a clown nearby.

VRISKA: I think I hear...

VRISKA: GAMZEE??

HARRY ANDERSON: gamzee? my auntie jane’s gamzee?

VRISKA: Yes! Who ELSE could I mean?

VRISKA: He’s around here somewhere.

HARRY ANDERSON: so what? i see him every day. he sucks.

VRISKA: So WH8T?! He’s like, Jane’s left hand man!

HARRY ANDERSON: no, he’s “neutral,” remember?

VRISKA: That’s not how Comm8nder Vantas feels.

VRISKA: He says he’s a total 8astard. A Tr8itor To His Kind.

HARRY ANDERSON: yawn.

The dust is beginning to settle around Vriska’s ankles. She scans the tree line and brings all her attention to bear on this curious rhythm of noises coming from nearby, beckoning from the underbrush. She pushes toward it through the thorny shrubbery.

VRISKA: There’s a bounty out for his arrest! D8mn, they’ll probably put him in front of a tribunal if we can get our hands on him!

HARRY ANDERSON: oh, i changed my mind. this sounds good actually.

HARRY ANDERSON: invite me to the execution, please?

VRISKA: If I could c8pture the High Fucking Priest Makara they’d promote me to, like, third in command of the whole joint!!!!!!!!

VRISKA: Fuck YE8H!

HARRY ANDERSON: well.

HARRY ANDERSON: good luck with all that.

HARRY ANDERSON: call me if you wanna hook up after the battle.

VRISKA: N8turally!

John’s wiping away a tear with his sleeve when he catches sight of Vriska, innocently wandering toward the very bush where he’d just abandoned (Vriska) to sort out her confusing exhibition of unexpected and deeply profane lust. Now that the battle has stilled, he can overhear the vile melody of the blasphemous union.

ROSE: There’s that noise again.

ROSE: I knew I wasn’t imagining it.

JOHN: oh no.

JOHN: no, no, no...

JOHN: VRISKA, WAIT, DON’T!!!!!

John runs to intervene, but it’s too late. Vriska pushes aside the last of the fronds separating her from her quarry with a triumphant Ha!

Vriska’s huge, mischievous smile freezes on her face. When her eyes pass the image to her brain, and it finally makes sense of this incomprehensible jumble of gray limbs, blue and purple slop, tangled black hair, and stunned faces, her expression begins to slowly melt. It then drifts quickly, from phase to phase, to one of wonder, then anguish, and finally, abject horror.

JOHN: oh god.

Vriska and (Vriska) both start shrieking at a pitch John’s only ever heard one time before. It was a sound that once accompanied the end of everything. A sound once heard the night he dreamt in anime.

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