We get the second recap which lists everything that had gone on before. Since the purpose of this entire re-read recap is to go over what has already happened, there is absolutely nothing to report about it! I do however advise reading it when you get to it yourself. Next up is Act 5!
Act 5 takes place on a strange alien world with a pink moon and a green moon. This world is called Alternia, and somewhere there is a young troll and it is his “wriggling day.” Today he will begin a game, and Things Will Happen. Welcome to Hivebent, please keep your extremities inside the vehicle the entire time and do not attempt to feed the trolls. We hope you enjoy your stay.
We are basically beginning the same sequence of events that began Homestuck. Only we have twelve players. The first player is an angry looking troll with short nubby horns with a Cancer symbol in gray on his chest. We know him as carcinoGeneticist and his name is Karkat Vantas. We go through the introduction cycle for several other trolls that gives us an idea of each of these characters and the extremely crapsack society they come from. Trolls are warlike, kind of horrible and have a color coded caste system based on their highly variable blood color. They have no problems with casually killing people and basically, they are weird vaguely insect themed trolls whose media and entertainment is strangely Earthlike except for excruciatingly long movie and book titles. Karkat is a big fan of rom coms and Troll Will Smith.
We get the usual hijinks and we discover that Karkat’s favored weapon is the sickle and he has an “encryption modus” which he can’t use very well because he kind of stinks at codes. Despite this, he appears to be trying to learn programming, specifically a language called ~Ath. He lives in a large dwelling he designed when he was a child, which should explain why it looks the way it does. He lives with his “custodian,” and he gets an abbreviated version of the long monolog that John got. (It is abbreviated largely because he thinks prose-poems are stupid.)
Karkat goes on line, where he discovers he is being trolled by someone with the Capricorn symbol. The other troll’s handle is terminallyCapricious or TC. He types with alternating lower and uppercase caps. Karkat and TC appear to be friends, though Karkat is extremely antagonistic to the Capricorn troll. (The Capricorn troll does not seem to mind very much, and appears to be a stoner.) The Capricorn talks a lot about miracles, drinks Faygo a lot, and practices a religion that Karkat is extremely hostile toward!
TC however is oblivious to this.
We are next introduced to the Capricorn, whose face is painted like a clown. His name is Gamzee Makara. He belongs to a religion which involves clowns and an aversion to science. This cult is somewhat frowned upon, but Gamzee does not care.
Gamzee goes through the now familiar process of captchaloging various items. His modus is a “miracle modus.” We are told he does not understand how it works, and he does not want to. Next, he is directed to try riding his one-wheeled device. He is not very good at it, because the unicycle does not fit is proportions and he apparently does not know how to raise or lower the seat. Next, he is directed to try the sopor slime pie cooling on a counter. Sopor slime is actually a bedding material! It is a drug that helps trolls to sleep! (Trolls have hellacious daymares and the only way they can get any sleep is by being drugged. Also, they are nocturnal so daymares instead of nightmares.) You are not supposed to eat the stuff because it does strange things to your brain. Gamzee however does not know this because his custodian is an absentee parent.
Gamzee heads outside, armed with a juggling club. Gamzee’s home is large, with a single tower. At the top of the tower is something that looks like either a tree or a giant greenish umbrella. Gamzee’s neighbors, who are “seadwellers,” are hostile, and as a result he cannot stay outside for very long.
Gamzee is trolled by gallowsCalibrator! She invites him to play a game with her, though she thinks he says weird things. Gamzee is delighted, but then Gamzee always seems to be delighted. They talk, and Gamzee indicates that he is looking for his custodian. He says something along the lines of “you know how family is,” and GC indicates that she does not in fact know how family is. Gamzee immediately apologizes, and GC rags on him about it. It is clear that GC’s parent is not around. Gamzee indicates that he would like to also invite Karkat, but GC is reluctant to invite him, saying that Karkat is whiny and not very fun to play with.
Then we switch back to Karkat, who is attempting to work on one of his projects. We learn that ATH~ code has “loops” with routines that execute based on something’s lifespan. His current project has a main loop that is tied to the lifespan of the universe. It is also tied to his lifespan. He is attempting to create a program that will execute on his death. (Or something like that.) He has a friend who is much better than he is at coding in ATH~. He opens one of his friend’s files. It contains a code that when executed, will cause the user’s computer to blow up, and also curses him plus anyone he knows or will know.
The narrative informs us that Karkat is going to run this code in a fit of stupidity.
Next, Karkat is trolled by his hacker friend, twinArmageddons. TA says that he’s set Karkat up to play a game with some people. TA also tells Karkat not to flip his shit. Karkat states that his shit remains unflipped. (The gif seems to indicate otherwise however.) They also spend some time making fun of Gamzee’s religion! TA explains that the game was something he and his friend AA had found and worked on together. Karkat is slightly creeped out by AA and also by TA’s psychic abilities.
We learn that this game is going to have a Red team and a Blue team. TA is apparently leader of the Blue Team while GC is the leader of the Red team. Karkat does not think that GC should be the leader because she is blind, and objects to this loudly. As the conversation winds down, Karkat asks if they are still friends. TA thinks this is funny, because Karkat asks this every time after they argue.
Meanwhile, from down stairs we hear a loud grumbling noise. Someone is getting crabby down there!