John was instructed to alchemize in a 1980s time lapse montage. John agrees that this would be a great way to show that a lot was getting done in a short period of time, but he cannot be bothered with doing something like that. We also learn that Rose has moved the Alchemiter back down to the deck (where it can be used more conveniently, considering how spread out all the other equipment is.)
The first thing John does is recombine the pogo ride with the hammer. He does something slightly different this time and ends up with a hammerhead pogo ride. In the next alchemizing attempt, he combines his ghost shirt with his suit. This creates the Green Slime Ghost Suit, which has a little ghost emblem and a bright green tie. He is not quite satisfied with the suit upgrade, so he combines the ghost suit with his copy of Wise Guy. This creates the Wise Guy Slime Suit, which is teal with a bright green tie and ghost emblem. This particular suit has lots of hidden gimmicks!
Next, he alchemizes his glasses with the PDA, which creates the Serious Business Goggles, which are convenient and makes him feel like a Spy Kid. Next, he combines the sledgehammer, the Sassacre book and the telescope. This creates the Telescopic Sassacrusher which is huge and impossible for John to lift. He next combines blue ectoplasm with gushers. This creates Hellacious Blue Phlegm Aneurysms (with ghostly healing properties!) Next he combines the fake arm, the blue ectoplasm and the PDA. This creates the Remote Ghost Gauntlet, which is able to lift the Telescopic Sassacrusher! He next combines the ghost gauntlet with the bathroom mirror. This creates the Left Handed Remote Ghost Gauntlet! Then he combines a straight razor with and umbrella. This creates a device called Barber’s Best Friend. He also creates a Barbasol Bomb, a Cosbytop computer, a fedora with four pieces of candy corn inside and the Wrinklefucker which is what happens when you combine the Pogo Hammer with an iron.
At the end of all this alchemizing, John is extremely pleased with himself.
Next up is an [S] command with Dave who is still in a strife with his Bro. This is the final round, and Dave loses. His sword is broken, Cal’s leg was chopped off, and there is now a slice in Dave’s shirt, right over the record emblem. Bro tosses down the game disks, hops onto a flying skate board and zooms away. Dave uses his PDA to pester John with the message that Bro has just kicked his ass.
There is another [S] command, where Jade is pestering John. During this animation, we see that a lot of things are happening at once while objectively taking place days, months or even years and centuries apart. There is also a pesterlog where Jade asks John if he’s gotten the present yet. John says that he has not. She also reports that there was a meteor crash, but Bec will not let her near it. John ends with saying that he needs to get a hold of Dave, who will hopefully be able to help Rose.
The next page contains another pesterlog where we get some conversation about Jade’s apparent ability to report things that haven’t happened yet. (She is apparently getting visions of the future and the past from Skaia, which seems to occur during eclipses.) She says there is a great deal she can’t explain to John because he is not “awake” yet. This is of course very confusing to John, who does not understand what she means, and Jade either won’t or can’t explain. (Jade’s general mysteriousness about aspects of the game and her apparent foreknowledge of it led some people (like me) to believe that Jade might be in the future.)
Jade is next given the direction to update colorful reminders. We learn that Jade sometimes has a hard time distinguishing the real world from her visions, and this is one of the reasons she uses her reminder system. We also learn that Bec is a very, very old dog, and he apparently shares his birthday with John. Jade has also learned from her dreams that she will need to go to the ruins, which up until now, Bec has always prevented her from doing. She grabs her harpoon gun and shoots one of the ruin towers, then zip lines down to the temple. (And we now know how the harpoon with the cable ended up lodged in the ruined tower.)
Next, Rose is directed to finish building. We see that she has stacked houses upon houses until they have reached nearly to the gate. On every level of this massive stack are imps and ogres.
The next direction is for Dave to mourn the loss of Cal. Dave would pour out a libation, but he has not apple juice. He’s next directed to get a new sword. Unfortunately, he can’t do this because his bladekind specibus is now ½ bladekind. Dave captchalogues the beta version of the game, or at least he tries to; it turns out that there is no room. (He crammed it full of things he thought he might be able to weaponize later, but he decides that this would take up too much time, which he is not made of.)
The next command is for Dave to set his modus to Scrabble values. So he dumps everything out of his sylladex and resets the modus. Now that he has room, he puts the beta into his sylladex. Next, he pesters Rose, leaving her a message that he has the game and will be installing it. We flash back to Rose, whose room is filled with flickering firelight. We also see that Dave is pestering her at that moment.
Rose is directed to captchalogue and send John the code for his present. This is not yet possible, as the gift is not yet completed. We learn that Rose believes she is in some kind of competition with John to create the most facetious sentimental gesture possible. We then journey months into the past where we see the letter that started off this little competition!
Next, Rose is contacted by someone from her Trollslum! This person goes by the handle grimAuxiliatrix or GA. She is apparently delivering some kind of warning to Rose. A warning similar to the one issued Jade by carcinoGeneticist. GA is apparently frustrated because “humans” don’t understand time. She is also apparently part of a group of people who have been harassing Rose, John, Jade and possibly Dave for years now. Oddly enough, GA also attempts to extend the hand of friendship, making the statement that at another point in time Rose made the offer of friendship. Rose states that she will go along with this roleplaying game that she believes GA is playing.
(For those who haven’t figured it out yet, GA and her friends claim to exist in a point outside Rose, Dave, Jade and John’s timeline. Therefore, they can view their timeline, without being from the future or past of Rose, Dave, Jade or John’s timeline. All four kids are understandably dubious about these claims!)
The scene then shifts from Rose, to Dave.