I will admit that the first time I read through all of Homestuck, I did a lot of skimming because I did not really get what all these post-apocalyptic shenanigans had to do with what I took to be the “main” storyline. (It was extremely confusing and I had not yet gotten comfortable with the writing style, and frankly, it kind of drags on and on.) I wanted to get back to the kids to see what they were up to and if they were going to survive their predicaments. (Of course, because I skimmed I ended up occasionally missing things that I would have understood if I had bothered to push through the silly antics of poor WV.)
Minutes in the future, we see another post-apocalyptic survivor. This is the Peregrine Mendicant and she is pushing a cart loaded with mailboxes. I could make some obscure jokes related to David Brin’s The Postman but I would a) have to re-read the book and there are some parts of the book that annoy me deeply and b) the jokes would be really obscure.
The next direction is for WV to go outside. (Which seems to be a cruel thing to do as it is kind of desolate and post-apocalyptic out there.) The door shuts behind him, and a panel on the door lights up, and the grill covering the hatch is lowered. WV is now trapped, with a possibly dangerous count down ticking away behind him.
Our attention is directed back to the panel by the narration. The lighted panel is a touch screen and is divided into three sections. The top one is the Sburb icon. The two lower images are a spirograph and a symbol involving interlocking triangles. WV touches the spirograph and a lock symbol flashes; apparently, this room is locked. The floor however shifts a full 360 degrees, though the walls stay put.
WV hits the triangle (described as a triangley fractal) and it appears that this room is not locked. The floor turns 120 degrees, and the door opens. WV enters the room, where he discovers a strange contraption. It’s another control panel with two large screens with a lot of significant information that WV does not understand the purpose of. There is also a METER STICK which WV is directed to attach his trusty knife to it. If WV had brought his trusty knife, he definitely would have done that so he could have a flimsy MEASURING SPEAR, but he had not brought the knife, so he cannot make one.
WV next checks out the other contraption in the room, he does not know what this object is or what it does. There is another triangle symbol on a platform, and there is some kind of laser-type device pointing down toward the platform. He pokes at the contraption with his meter stick, because SCIENCE involves poking things to see what happens. WV is directed to press the triangle symbol, so he goes back to the control panel and hits the big blue button with the triangle symbol; when he hits the button he APPEARIFIES a pumpkin.
WV is directed to devour the pumpkin, which has been carved with a mysterious symbol that is in no way relevant to his present circumstances. However, WV is instead distracted by the Appearifier, and is directed to investigate the green buttons. These buttons have the same images as were on the touch screen panels from earlier. He is directed to hit the right button, which causes the numbers on the screen to change. WV is then directed to fiddle with the dials.
WV appearifies his knife and most of Can Town, then he is given a direction to Deappearify the pumpkin. WV is outraged, because the device is obviously an APPEARIFIER not a DEAPPEARIFIER. He is then instructed to carve a “spook schema” into the pumpkin. Instead, WV carves a hole in the pumpkin and eats the innards. Narration informs us that this is too gross to watch. The next instruction is to move the spirograph switch.
This switch cannot be moved, but there is an indentation for a key. Next, WV is directed to Appearify the firefly out of the amber. He successfully frees the firefly, and names her “Serenity” (though he is not certain the firefly is even a girl, or if fireflies can be girls). He is next directed to Appearify the rotting pumpkin. It turns out that the Appearifier cannot Appearify something if it will cause a temporal paradox! A temporal paradox results in a gelatinous “ghost” of the object appearing then falling into a pile of ooze on the platform. (This information will become important later. Do not skip however exasperated you become by this meandering nonsense!)
After some more fiddling with the controls, he’s directed to Appearify the grate that is locked down over the exit outside the room. This attempt is successful! WV hurries to escape from the mysterious facility with the equally mysterious countdown display. This is a short animated sequence where Serenity the Firefly is snippily exasperated with WV’s epic ability to rush about in a panic. The escape is definitely not successful. (Which is not surprising since this is apparently the rare 5x Cliffhanger Combo.)
The next animation sequence reveals other things that are happening at the same moment, though that “moment” is temporally separated by centuries. (Yes, this is really happening all at once. Homestuck is so meta it hurts sometimes.) We see brief glimpses of the meteor that trashed John’s house, Rose battling with the backup generator as the forest fire approaches the mausoleum and Dave about to strife with his Bro. Rose’s Mom and John’s Dad also get some significant scenes. (John’s Dad is attempting to escape from the imps and Rose’s Mom enables Rose to escape the fire.) We also see indications that there are other facilities, each of them residing at the points where the four kids had been living. WV’s facility apparently resides where Rose’s house used to be. While all of this is going on, the facility WV is in rises up out of the ground and flies to a distant ruin, where it lands.
This marks the end of act two.