Dress Rehearsal Rag

dress-rehearsal-rag

The Conquerors began to punish the whole planet for their actions, destroying the eastern swamps and laying waste to the breeding grounds. The boy and girl, now a man and a woman, could no longer stand to see their world destroyed and they came forward, offering their lives to spare their home. Cra does not cry when they execute the man, but he does weep a little when the Storyteller sings the woman’s mourning song. He’s not the only one, and more eyes are wet than dry when the last notes fade.

Just as they are about to execute the woman, the Gods rouse themselves from their cesspit and let loose the Endless Croak. The Conquerors were laid low and they bled out as the sound echoed through the universe, punishing them for their wickedness. Cra looks up at the statues of the Conquerors and their strange ‘hair’ and ‘horns’, and he tries to imagine how they must have bled, every colour of the rainbow pouring from their veins. The story ends with the woman taking the body of the man and seizing hold of a Conquerors ship, sailing away into the darkness of space to search for a way to retrieve him from death. Everyone applauds, including an excited Cra, his grief over the woman’s song quickly forgotten.

On the way home, sitting on his father’s shoulders, Cra makes up his mind, “One day, I’ll travel to another world.”

“You’ll never go anywhere. All the ships are long dead, and no one knows how to fix them,” Cra’s father says. Later, when Cra is a man, he will reflect on these words and conclude that this was the first sign that his father was an awful one, “Dream about something real.”

Some authors consider themselves unlucky enough to have one fandom. Imagine their dread if they knew it was possible to have several fandoms for one work.

To my knowledge, Homestuck is unique in that, due to its 55 or so primary and secondary characters, it has several niche fandoms, the largest of which is for the first Intermission. The Intermission appears in the webcomic with a sudden change in color scheme, a modified drawing style, a completely new cast of characters, and seemingly no connection to the story preceding it. A couple hundred pages later, it ends as suddenly and without explanation as it began. It is only much later in the storyline that the reader is provided with a reason for this madness. But even when the Intermission was finally linked to the main canon, it was too late: with its completely different aesthetics and style, and by being so separate for so long, it had essentially become its own miniature canon and gained its own miniature fandom. Today, Intermission fanfictions are frequently listed under both the Homestuck fandom and the Intermission-fandom. Both in canon and in the niche fandom, the characters in the Intermission rarely interact with the other characters in Homestuck, and when they do, it is with the same excitement as crossovers. Such is the gap between the Intermission and the rest of Homestuck that the characters in the Intermission are more frequently written alongside characters in an entirely different story than alongside their Homestuck counterparts – but we’ll get to that with a later fanfiction.

This particular Homestuck/Intermission fanfiction covers a character that gets approximately 260 words in the over-a-million-word webcomic, 3 or 4 scenes, is dead before the Intermission begins, and dies a couple more times during it. Such is the way Homestuck goes.

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