Without giving a second thought to the plan, or even what he was going to do, Karkat leapt out of the tree and took off running down the hill. Terezi was shouting for him to come back and asking him what was he doing? He just told her to stay put and wait for the others to come. He hoped one of them would know to stay by her. This was too dangerous for a blind troll to deal with, hell, it might even be too much for him to deal with, but John was somewhere in the midst of debris and wind and gog fucking damnit Karkat was going to find him.

The outside of the facility was large and maze-like, forcing the troll to backtrack several times before he was on the right path. Right around the corner was the source of all that smoke in the air, swirling around like a tornado. The troll braced himself, trying to get ready for what lay beyond it, and rounded the corner.

He had failed to brace himself enough. A gaping hole in one of the facility walls showed where the debris and smog had come from. The gash began in the second story, revealing the barren room within, and was slowly snaking its way down to the ground, bits of cement and brick continuing to break away in the wind. Bodies lay scattered in the wreckage, unconscious, but still breathing; the few remaining humans who were on their feet unsure of what they should do.

In the center of everything was John. His black hair swirled in the twister he had created and his clothes were billowing. For a fraction of a second he appeared to be wearing his god tier clothes, but Karkat blinked and the blue outfit was gone. He didn't seem to be doing anything but standing while the winds wreaked havoc on their surroundings. Just what had those monsters done to him?

The troll tugged the hood of John's sweatshirt over his horns and approached the cyclone. One of the humans yelled at him to get back, that they had hit him with something called "tranquil eyes-er," but he ignored them. The human's blue eyes were visible as he drew closer, and Karkat noticed they were unfocused, not concentrating on anything, his mouth slightly open.

A sudden gust of wind blew his glasses off the boy's thin face, causing them to vanish somewhere inside the storm, and seemed to knock him off balance. A chunk of cement hit him in the head and John fell to the ground, where he lay there, unmoving. The whirlwind weakened slightly, the tendrils of air spiraling outward, expelling more debris as they went. Their strength weakened and Karkat found he was able to move forward towards the heir, which meant the other humans could as well.

Being stronger and faster than the average human, Karkat reached where John lay before the others got there and held him, hoping that he could shield the boy from whatever these men wanted to do to him.

As Karkat came nearer to the human the winds pushing him backwards grew stronger again, as though they sought to protect their master. Bits of metal, glass, and other painful crap hit him, cutting his face and clothes but he continued walking. Two yards away he had to start running in order to avoid being blown away. A chunk of cement hit him in the forehead and he felt the trickles of blood slide down onto his face. He could see John's face clearly now, his blue eyes were unfocused and he didn't seem aware of what he was doing. The troll put forward a burst of speed and broke through the wind barrier into the eye of the storm.

It was eerily quiet, the roar of the winds outside blending into white noise. He approached John, trying to staunch the flow of blood from his own brow. The human didn't even seem to notice he was there; he was lying on his back, staring at the sky dazedly. Karkat took one step forward, then another, no reaction. John was simply oblivious to everything around him, but the troll noticed the tears streaming down his pink cheeks.

His pumping organ hurt, it hurt to watch the person he cared so much for suffer like this. The troll surged forward, wrapping his arms around John, who passed out from sheer exhaustion. The winds didn't stop howling though, instead they were let loose, as if they had been held back by sheer force of will and now that was gone. All the energy that had been contained exploded with the force of a bomb and destroyed everything they could.

Karkat knelt in the midst of it all, clutching John to him and attempting to shield him from the destruction encircling them. He kept saying the human's name, hoping to shake him out of whatever those freaks had done to him. He was not losing John now. He had made it through that horrible game, through losing his memories and having them painfully returned; he had not only accepted the troll's feelings for him, he had returned them. Things had been going well, and Karkat wasn't going to let everything that had happened go to waste.

John's pumping organ sounded funny, well, funnier than normal. Karkat had heard the thumping noise it usually made when they had fallen asleep together, a slow, dull sound that nonetheless was comforting. Now it was frantic, beating wildly beneath the troll's fingers. He didn't know what to do; he didn't know how humans worked, or how to fix them if they were broken. All he could do was hold on to the human as the world seemed to tear itself apart. His head was hurting from where it had been cut, and he was starting feel the effects of blood loss. His surroundings were twisting around him and his head felt foggy. The last thing he remembered was the winds stopping and several floating figures coming towards him.

Dave was pissed.

He'd wanted to act like the hero and rescue John dramatically and with enough badassery to make a few headlines. That had gone awry when Karkat had dashed onto the scene, forgetting the plan he had only been grudgingly allowed to participate in. When all this shit was dealt with he was going to make Rose give that asshat a talking-to. She'd proved herself over the years to be a pro at giving them, and annoyed everyone she knew at least once when it was their turn to be on the receiving end.

Dave had received more than enough lectures since becoming Rose's friend, and they had only increased in number after learning they were siblings. In fact, he'd gone out of his way to avoid her when she was in certain moods because he knew that regardless of whether he'd done anything or not, he would be in for it.

He'd been remembering how his Knight of Time powers worked, and with hours of practice that left him as weak as a newborn he was gaining more control over them. He could jump back and forth between 24 hours as he pleased, but no farther in either direction, and he made sure to jump back to the present soon after so no other Daves would be left behind to cause trouble or freak innocent bystanders out. He also could stop time for several minutes, and fly like other god-tiers do, but apart from those few things, he was powerless. It wasn't as if he could use a sword against government agents. This wasn't sBurb, and those were humans down there. Stupid humans, it was true, but still, it'd be murder all the same.

Murder. Just like what had happened to Bro.

Dave knew he could never do that to someone, not after all the shit he'd gone through.

Anyway, he and Rose had been in the process of locating John when the tornado appeared, like a beacon or one of those GPS things saying "Here I am! Come and find me!"

The two of them had flown over, dodging debris and gusts of wind that threatened to knock them out of the sky, and when they finally arrived at where John seemed to be they saw that Karkat was already there, having completely ignored the plan they'd so carefully laid out, and Dave started seething.

What did John see in that dick? All Dave thought of the angry troll was that he needed anger-management counseling, had a seriously weird interest in romcoms, and didn't do a single thing to contribute to any universe.

Whatever. He'd just have to remind everyone who the most badass person they knew was, and what he could do. He straightened his shades and landed on the ground like a fucking gymnast. More of those stupid FBI guys were coming into view, drawn, as he had been, by the noise and commotion. John and the asshole were unconscious, lying next to each other in the grass. The troll had a long gash on his forehead that was oozing blood, and John was pale as death. Dave had to get them out of here fast, or those agents would take them both into custody.

So he did the only thing that made sense at that moment.

He stopped time.

What? A new chapter after like, four months? No way!

Yeah, here you go. I've been dealing with a lot of stuff, HSO, family staying for a week without knowing they're not wanted, summer courses, con prep, and friend troubles being the most recent ones.

Oh, and writer's block, that too.

But here is your chapter, all shiny and new. Enjoy.