This takes place before the last chapter, just in case anyone's confused.
It's dark, wherever you are. The seat of your pants is something convulsing and twitching, damp and disgusting as it slithers around and over you, its tyrian purple tendrils emitting a file fluid across the span of your shoulders. A couple teeth of yours are missing; you know because when you run your tongue across the roof of your mouth, most of what you can feel are gums tinted a sickly yellow color. A faint buzzing erupts in the left side of your head, and your vision clears a bit. You're wearing Feferi's goggles, but you don't ever remember putting them on. They're badly fogged, and you can't see a single thing out of them.
"Hello," purrs a deep falsetto voice, "how's my favorite descendant doing?"
"Am I? Well, that's simple. I'm surprised you forgot, it's such an easy thing to remember, considering the similarities to our positions. A battery for a batterwitch."
Those weren't Feferi's goggles.
The ventilation system is oddly large, large enough for you to walk through with your shoulders rolled back and your head raised high. You assume it has to be this cavernous to be able to distribute the resources necessary for her many breeding experiments. Whatever the reason, it makes breaking in all the more convenient. Of course, the Darkleer and the Handmaid have to crouch a bit, but you and Nepeta are fine. The Darkleer gives a brief nod to your ancestor before taking a left where you and the rest of your party stay straight. Nepeta takes the next right. You and the Handmaid reach the end of the shaft, where your entry is barred. A swift kick to the bolted obstacle eliminates that problem. You descend upon the throne room, where the Darkleer, Nepeta, and Equius, who had been waiting so patiently outside for the duration of the invasion, are battling the Condense tooth and nail, clean fires of rage igniting their fists. The Handmaid manages to surprise the Condense, the metallic clatter heralding your entry is lost on her as she is giving her undiluted attention toward the band of renegades. If you were paying attention to the main fight, you would've given a low whistle at the kick to the face your ancestor just delivered. However, you're not, your thoughts aren't on the Condense, but they do lie in close proximity. The beaten boy, covered in a sallow yellow is where your omnipresent concerns have lied for as long as you had known him. It's not a big surprise to yourself, or to anyone present, for that matter, that you run toward him first.
"…AA?" he asked shakily, mind still not wrapped around the possibility that you're actually there.
You give him a tight squeeze and he sputters with a light smile, "Ow, take it easy."
"Hmm." A primitive noise is all you can manage as you help him to his feet.
The two of you run in the complete other direction. The rest will follow you out, but you two have a job to do that is crucial to your escape
It's taken hours, but you've finally figured out the orb's code. Upon completion, the force field solidifies into iron and the entire structure is turned into a ten-foot-tall elevator that delves into the ground, shaking loose rocks and dirt free of their precarious position. The sound makes you miss the orbs and both of you have to cover your ears to prevent bleeding. Thankfully, it stops soon enough and one wall of the metallic box fizzes out of existence, making an efficient exit. The two of you take hesitant steps out of the elevator, your heels clacking on the smooth flooring. The place you're in looks awfully similar to the ectobiology lab, but instead of various tubes and machines you had no idea how to actually work, there was only one large glass column filled with slime. Through the thick substance, a grey hand is barely visible.
"Hey, what's this?" you inquire as you round the cylindrical glass to the other side. He walks behind you, and when he sees what you're looking at, his expression goes from curious to anguish in 0 to 5.
"No." he says quietly.
"Hey, are you alri—"
"Shut up!" he shouts, then addressing no one in particular, "Who gave the mutant the permission to speak?"
His reaction strikes you as bizarre, but he's been putting up with the same kind of stuff from you, so you suppose you can return the favor.
"You knew her didn't you?"
"She was a Derse dreamer, so I never got the chance to see her after we died. She should've been my first priority when I got here, not some ungrateful kid. Why didn't I go looking for her? What the fuck is wrong with me?" he punched the wall in pure rage and elicited a surprisingly big dent from the block of concrete.
"Hey, listen, we found her now, there must be something we can do to—"
"Get away from me!"
"Look, we found her—"
"She's GONE, okay? She's GONE, her spirit's GONE, I can't feel her anymore, I let her die ju—"
"It'll be okay, ju—"
"IT WILL NEVER BE OKAY." He shouts as he rounds on you and physically sends you spinning with his own two hands.
You land on the ground in an unceremonious heap. You slowly bring your hand to your cheek, where blood pours down from your nose, and where your busted lip broadcasts your heinous blood for all to see. A diluted version of the bright, bright red pools in your vacant, uncomprehending eyes.
You look up at the ancestor, his face contorted from a sad, sympathetic smile to a feral scowl with barred teeth.
You dart out toward the next threshold, running like a bat out of hell.
You are the Signless and you've managed to not only lose your precious Disciple, but also your charge who you thought you were making progress with. Also, he's got all kinds of things wrong with him, so many wounds, and he's on maybe four hour sleep. You're anger has changed to deep melancholy, and you stare at the charred remains of your beautiful, beautiful Disciple before deciding that Karkat is still alive and still needs your help. The poor kid, you probably scared him to death.
You set off down the hallway, looking for your descendent.
You can thank all those Anons on my tumblr for this chapter. Even the one that yelled at me. Also, for those of you who are on tumblr more than FF, if you follow me, I link updates on there and answer questions. Also, someone asked me to do a book review of The Fault in Our Stars, so I will be posting that soon. Vantilene out. (You get bonus points if you ask off anon cause I'm afraid all the anons are the same person and it's drIVING ME INSANE.)