So it looks like KaiWai is somehow ‘infecting’ other Jellies to make them into copies of herself? Or is that Chou carrying around little pieces of KaiWai?
I assume this crystal life is fleeing the human invasion.
Cat out of bag. Shit, hit fan. etc.
So that side of the revolution is over, and the people involved enslaved. (I’m not sure why they didn’t just jump general whatshisface when he stumbled onto the conspiracy?)
Fucking hell this comic has it in for Lupiko. And everyone, really. But nothing seems capable of going right for Lupiko.
Millian has gone full asshole mode.
More alt-bio. Good shit! I love the Crystal Dodo and the Dodofruit. All of it is great, really. Humans ruin everything yet again.
Explanation for elves, ogres, humans and faeries. A semi-retcon, I think? While the existence of elves and ogres due to Vlax was established, this is afaik the first we’ve heard of faeries.
Also this is a Dr. Alchemist strip… they casually tell kids about the genocide of the Faeries?
More stuff on Faeries, including their genocide. Supposedly they had magical charisma, and were somehow more ‘native’ to Tryslmaistan.
One of the kids, now grown up, is ordered to do some prisoner murdering. I wonder why he’s going to fail? (He obviously will fail to murder Lupiko, because she’s the protagonist. The rest… anyone’s guess.)
So first to die is Wai Wai. I believe what he’s probably implying here is that he’s trans.
But he doesn’t get executed and instead runs to the shore and gets possessed by a huge slime monster. Uh, OK? And then everyone bows to him? And there’s no dialogue or anything? I am confuse
then the giant cylinder of collapsing worldplates is already upon them?
what the actual fuck is going on honestly
it’s all a dream sequence as he’s bleeding out? is that it?
Yeah I think that’s it. But back in relative reality, the jellies are here in giant walking machines. Walking machines made of loads of conical-ish jellies operating in tandem. Why? It’s Chou!
Millian stops General Pho from killing himself. (I’m not sure if Pho is actually a general but he’s basically in that role.)
Wai Wai instructs Texto on the imagery he saw while bleeding out, particularly the mysterious diagram. While having surgery. I guess he’s not going to make it, then.
Chou, now the Rectrix of the new human/slime colony is a rather brutal leader? Apparently the KaiWai infected slimes tend to freak out and start fighting each other over ribbons.
So now it’s clear what happened: JDR you may be trans yourself but your only trans woman character in the entire story is literally cut to pieces???
The modified Jellies are called Kays apparently. They are capable of carrying Slimes inside them.
Naturally there is dissent. The humans affected by the transit through the dissipation plate thingies want the old commander back, and have been trying to provoke the Kays into violence. because obviously the ~disfigured~ people are the evil ones here???
Things are settling into a better order overall I guess? The entire Jelly population, or at least a large portion of it, seems to have been forcibly converted into Kays who are absolutely loyal to Chou, which is rather sinister, but the campaign of war and extermination seems to have largely stopped I guess? :/
Wai Wai lived, but he’s in a crystal wheelchair. He’s working with Thilia on science, having finally thrown off the whole witchcraft/alchemy divide.
cw: transphobia, child murder
Finally, character sheets for Wai-Wai and Thilia. Wai-Wai is confirmed as being a trans guy, and
Finally admitting that their child had a problem, the Ngo’s were faced with a very straight-forward issue: kill their child, or support the true identity of their child; for in Gryrnese society, a person with gender issues is not allowed to live. The Ngo’s chose to execute Weiho, in the desert, after getting a Governmental Release for Child Execution from The Department Of Cultural Affairs.
what the holy fucking shit.
so that’s why the guy stabbed Wai Wai so much. fuck. fuck
more shitty transphobic language later on (”function normally as a male with a woman” jfc) but you know it doesn’t beat learning that this society systematically murders all trans children.
Chou sure knows how to encourage. “One day, it will mean the continuation of all life” indeed!
Info on Retricutriation, the second physical force acting in Tryslmaistan, that causes worldplates to lock into the Sierpinski Gasket.
Yeah where is Uni in all this?
“musta needed to hack up uni to make the Kays or something” funny you should say that Lili…
Chou has a thing for being surrounded by scary cultists, doesn’t she? What’s her plan this time…
Oh look, Millian is with them. He’s really doing the whole heel face turn thing with aplomb, isn’t he?
Some other people whose names I can’t remember join in in staging the coup - the guy with the baby I think? So Chou cedes power to Pho… who is shortly revealed to be her puppet ruler.
AU strip: for JDR’s birthday one of her partners got her dad to carve JDR a Taasen set. That’s really sweet. You can see the finished set here.
Time for a montage. Science happens, kids grow up, adults grow old, and after a while, Chou becomes Supreme Rectrix again.
I’m assuming this old lady is Lupiko. It is. She appears to have had another daughter, Faelini. She’s still holding out for Uni to come back.
I miss Uni too…
Faelini is going to colonise another worldplate soon. Unlike the previous 1500-year cycle, they clearly have an ability to expand once they can build on Jelly technology and do actual science…
Holy heavy-handed metaphor dialogue, batman!
I guess we’re coming up to the end of the story. There’s an epilogue page reporting where most of the cast ended up. And to go with it, a rather forlorn ending.
cw suicide, grimdark:
The greatest chef and caterer in the history of the Tryslmaistan cosmos, the creator of the famous and popular Dr. Alchemist cartoons, constant companion to Millian Redcloak, ended his life as mysteriously as he had lived it. At the age of 180, one day after Millian set out for the open desert, never to return, Texto strode to the center of the composting pit of a poor and unsuccessful local farmer, took two remarkable knives from his cloak, and disembowled himself with amazing grace and fluid motion. In all the years since the Ark Landings, Texto had never spoken a single word, and was considered mute, even by the man, Millian, that he had tended with utter devotion. He spoke in amazingly clear, powerful, and sweet tones; the voice of a young, strong man, and simply said “Please accept my donation to your farm. I pray you will find it good.”
what the fuck
But… hold on a minute… we still don’t know how they’re going to survive the huge smashed up worldplate storm growing throughout the cosmos?
But there’s a few strips to go yet.
Finally, the Unicorn
That’s the title of the next, final chapter.
Massive timeskip. Everyone from the main cast is dead except Chou.
‘Broom’-powered (I can’t remember the more ‘scientific’-sounding term) flying craft have been invented - essentially a small version of the Ark ship, with two brooms, presumably for stability. Some people are about to take the first
photo crystograph of “her” - it’s not clear who “her” is, but possibly Chou herself?
Chou it is. And she’s aged a lot. She’s reminiscing about her past with Lupiko.
But soon, Chou is back to business. Another secret project has been in the works at the centre of the worldplate…
In a flashback, Chou is handing out ‘Kaymakers’ - things that turn ordinary Jellese into Kays - to Faelini before she departs to colonise a worldplate. Chou calls them Personality and Identity Subversion Systems. Terrifying.
In the present we’ve got a Journey to the Centre of a Worldplate. They’re actually somewhat loose aggregates, with large systems of crystal-filled caves (wouldn’t these caves be packed with shatterel?)
We see a flashback to the moment that KaiWai agreed to be cut to pieces in order to Kay-ify all the Jellies.
There is a general theme of regret in all of these. Chou rejecting a marriage proposal from Pho for strategic reasons. Chou promising the little Jelly who saw the humans come that she wouldn’t kill any of them. Chou and Lupiko visiting the old Jelly city on the original worldplate, where KaiWai was called a ‘freak’ by the other Jellies.
Following a strpi title, there’s a link to a recording of some song “standing on the shoulders of freaks” by a Henry Phillips which is… really nasty and disablist throughout honestly. It’s here if you want to put yourself through it. :/
Another vision, this time of a future where the crystalgraph that’s being taken is being handled by a child.
If you want Unicorn Jelly recipes, go here! Like, you know, just in case that’s a thing you find yourself in need of.
And finally, the thing at the centre of the plate. Apparently there was indeed a fuckton of Shatterel, but it’s all been chipped out. And what’s left at the centre… is clearly a constructed artefact.
“Humans are not the only ones to fail in this universe.”
So we finally get some… deeply wrong details about the humans who first came to Tryslmaistan. I really like this - inaccurate history, shaped by its tellers, who can’t imagine gravity.
“That would mean the universe had already been destroyed!”
“Perhaps many, many times.” so… confirmed.
The voice acting in this little AU radio play is really charming? Like the whole thing is adorable.
Going really hard with the exposition here. Prior to humans coming to Tryslmaistan and wrecking the place, a species of three-legged bug people arrived.
And the humans arrived through… a multiversal weather event.
Now, a scene we’ve seen something of in flash-forward/vision: the death of Lupiko. Chou, remembering this from the first vision when her crystals entered KaiWai’s body, goes off to attend to something…
I’m not sure I have any words to say about the last few scenes. It’s… religion and spirituality and I don’t really know how to address it.
In the epilogue, we see how humanity survives.
People are diving into the Stormfall, and even settling within it on the falling debris? And there are ark ships and smaller craft tasked with going in there and rescuing them. Their aim is to get people out before the storm walls meet.
…get them out to where?
Some of the ‘Stormies’ have artifacts from Myrmil.
These rescuers and ark ships are actually on the hollow ‘inside’ of the stormfall? The worldplates to be crunched are on the far side. Are these ‘rescuers actually from Myrmil itself? Have Chou’s people managed to cross through somehow?
This particular lot have a Myrmil device marked ‘Nakimono Industries Trato-Yauronic De-’ if I’m reading it right.
The ark-rescuer is indeed from New Gryrnu. It carries a population comparable to the original population of the Gryrnu worldplate. The shields that Wai Wai invented are used to protect the top surface…
There is a population of Stormies called ‘hookfoot’. They appear to not have feet, but also to float in the air… then again they are literally in freefall, so.
I guess air resistance is at play so maybe they’re not in freefall? But then the large chunk of rock will experience a stronger downward force than the small humans… but that doesn’t matter at terminal velocity.
The Hookfoot people cut off their feet because they believe humans “deserve damnation in the storm”. Dimgrark.
This particular Hookfoot group has figured out how to keep Vlax in the Stormfall. That’s a big deal.
A hookfoot person says “Nanu nanu klaatu barata! Qonos batleth pon-far! Tencton darmok jafa kree!” which is… well I can see a bunch of sci-fi references in there, no doubt there are more…
- Klaatu barata - the first part of the famous phrase “Klaatu barada nikto” from The Day the Earth Stood Still, which was never translated but was important in that it was the words that had to be said to stop the robot Gort’s rampage.
- Bat’leth - a rather impractical weapon wielded by the Klingons from Star Trek.
- Pon Farr - also Star Trek; that thing where the Vulcans have to have sex very urgently or else die. A favourite of Trek fic authors.
- Darmok - a Star Trek episode with a cool linguistic twist.
I don’t know the other words but I bet they’re also sci-fi refs given the density there.
In the next strip, “weena morlock” - Morlocks are the underground-dwellers from The Time Machine by HG Wells, idk about Weena.
Our rescue guy is a kazemahou (I believe this came up before as ‘wind magic’) who ‘only make families by adoption’.
And we get the flash-forward scene that Chou saw. The kid in question looking at the crystalgraph is the Hookfoot kid rescued from the asteroid. There are special bots for Hookfoot kids adopted on this ship…
The kid’s mother is a humanoid Jellese woman. Some Jellese people are inserting skeletons in order to walk like humans.
So there’s a huge fleet of Ark ships, named mostly after various protags. The flagship is called ‘unicorn’. And today they’re going to cross the Stormfall.
There are ‘enhanced’ people like Chou operating on the ship. They speak like her, too - same font and formal phrasing. They’re operating computers named after Chou, too, and they can interface with them.
UNICRON drones are back! And they’re pretty scary from the sounds of things. The fleet has powerful weapons of its own, though.
Another Zero Wing reference. I guess JDR was quite taken with All Your Base then?
So yeah, catastrophe narrowly avoided.
Cut to 150,000 years later. The next species to cross over into Tryslmaistan by cosmic weather arrives. They are, honestly, really cool.
And on page 666 the comic ends, with the new people being welcomed by gigantic manufactured worldplates with huge crystals at the centre. If I have the letter substitutions right, it says WELCOME SUUMI PAIVAA.
That’s it, the end of the comic. The story of how a magic jelly, a load of child murders, and a little benign mind-control dictatorship caused everyone to bumble their way into universal peace?
Since this comic is actually finished, I should probably do a sum-up post on like, how well it addressed its themes etc. etc.