Sunday Carapaces, Part 46 (14 reviews, 14 1/2 stories)

April 3-16

The Vault Ch8

Matchsticks looked down at Fin, who was crossing his arms petulantly. The height difference between them was kind of mind-boggling, to be honest. Matchsticks had to be almost as tall as Hearts Boxcars, if not exactly as tall. The only difference between them was Matchsticks was skinny as a rail.

…so, Ace Dick is almost as tall as Boxcars who is as tall as Matchsticks who is an enormous amount taller than Fin and somehow super thin despite having one of the thicker sprites. Every description you give makes me more baffled.

We never touch each other’s hats, Detective Elroy. Never.”

I wasn’t well-versed on this particular little group’s idiosyncratic superstitions, but as far as I knew they held hats as damn near sacred.

If they did, Itchy probably wouldn’t have stuck his hat on Droog just to screw with him.

Clover is really acting ridiculously babyish.

The Vault Ch9

I really, really don’t see how harassing the operator is going to help him out. It’s not like they’re required to listen to him until they connect him to the person he wants, they can just disconnect and be done with him. And that’s if they’re nice, they can also connect him to some random person or perhaps the mayor to explain himself.


“For what? I’m not the one who got the Hell beaten out of him.”

He continued midsentence as if I hadn’t interrupted him in the first place. “That you had to see that.”

Really not seeing why Droog would say this. I get that he’s not happy about getting into a public fight like that in the first place, but why admit it like this?

Also generally the it’s-not-like-that dance is getting irritating. It’s really rare for something like that to be pulled off well, and particularly bad when it’s being done with supposed adults.

“Logically, he’s a jackass.”

I’d expect the fact he’s the enemy to be the point brought up.

The only thing we had left to do was decide whether or not it made me an awful person for not warning Crowbar about his impending death. I knew I couldn’t just let him get killed– but at the same time, I couldn’t let Droog down by warning one of the enemy about something inauspicious.

It pretty obviously makes him an awful person. If you’d shown Crowbar a bit more and firmly established the guy was awful enough that “a jackass” is what immediately comes to people’s mind even when those people are pretty awful themselves, this could work, but as it is, it’s him considering if it’s okay to not warn a person they’ll be brutally murdered on the basis that it’d make his criminal serial killer buddy disappointed at the lack of brutal murder.

…and now even though Droog is okay warning Crowbar he’s arguing against it anyway on the basis he doesn’t want to bother today? Either he’s tricking Droog and it’s somehow working or PS is an unbelievably shitty person.

The Vault Ch10

“The Doctor told me Crowbar’ll be dead tomorrow if nobody does anything about it.”

Kind of odd for him to put it that way. Doc Scratch’s whole thing is inevitability, where he knows if it’ll happen or not. But I suppose he’s not beyond dangling possibilities in the service of getting people to do what he wants.

Back when I’d been in the force, I was on my own more than I cared to admit. I was always the rookie. Always the clumsy one nobody’d bother teaching because I was too dumb to learn it in the first place. Nobody knew my name was James Elroy– they all thought it was ‘James, for fuck’s sake stop breaking things’.

I care increasingly little about his past sob story. He knows there’s going to be a murder and he made up excuses to let it happen. He’s a horrible little shit and whatever the actual reason he was kicked off the force was, it was clearly a good thing it happened.

What is with authors and making their protagonists shitty mobster yesmen while acting like they’re the hero?

The Vault Ch11

It was true what she’d said, how I never paid attention to her because I was always elbow-deep in a case.

I had the impression it was more him being special buddies with Droog.

This is Ellery Queen. Goes by Pickle Inspector.

Queen is really, really a surname to avoid if you’re trying to rename them. But then, it’s increasingly clear here that you’re not particularly concerned about your characters actually being the people you’re listed them as, so it makes sense you wouldn’t much care here.

He muttered something about how resourceful they were, then shoved his hands in his pockets and stared at his shoes. He didn’t want to be here. It wasn’t his turf. He felt outclassed, I was sure, and that put him in a bad way. He definitely didn’t like being out of his element.

Putting aside Droog’s increasingly speedy slide into OOC, why on earth is he there if he thinks this?

She had presence and sway over the Felt despite her gender; it helped that she was almost as tall as Matchsticks, who must have been at least 6’2″. I clocked her around 5’10”, about the Inspector’s height.

She’s taller than Matchsticks. She’s the second tallest in the Intermission cast, beaten out only by Cans.

“You all know I didn’t do it,” he said.

“We’re only following procedure, I’m afraid,” P.I. said.

This is absurd. They’re a bunch of detectives doing this illegally. There is no procedure.

Slowly, Clover began to speak. “I was organizing my charms in my room when Mister Crowbar came to my door and said Miss Snowman wanted me in the Vault. It isn’t unusual for her to send him to get me, so I–” he broke off. “I went with him– Detective Elroy, I didn’t know! I wouldn’t have gone if I knew!”

“That’s okay, Clover, you just tell us what happened.”

“I went down there and I didn’t see Miss Snowman anywhere. Then I– Mister Quarters was there, and Mister Cans. I asked them where Miss Snowman was and they said the only Midnighter there was Clubs Deuce.”

Well that’s a completely different story than we heard previously and illustrates why they’re a bunch of incompetent idiots for not thinking to interview Clover as the first thing they did.

It also means Clover was lying about having no idea who did it and also this was never a locked room as was promised, which is a terrible disappointment. And that Snowman also lied for no reason at all, despite the fact she was volunteering information.

“I didn’t know what was going on, but they told me I’d ceased to be useful and to get out or I’d end up like him.”

Have you just given up on the time powers being a factor? Clover’s luck is a non-issue for this threat, earlier people tried to give an alibi for a time-traveler by the fact they were with the guy at the time, and none of it’s a factor in the murder itself either.

“Did you go?” Droog asked. I was surprised: I didn’t peg him as the type to understand what a witness was feeling. More as a sociopath.

Not what a sociopath is, and even if it was, it’s a valid question that doesn’t require great insight into anyone’s feelings to ask.

The Morningstar was hardly a house, but the kids story checked out on all angles. I felt horrible, having made him talk about it– but justice was justice, and there would be no justice if some people didn’t have to do things that made them uncomfortable.

What about the part where the story has completely changed from Clover swearing he had no idea what happened or who did it to knowing exactly who did it, and also this would mean Snowman’s phone call was also bullshit? Especially since there’s no way to tell that the second story isn’t also a lie. If Clover was actually involved, it’s convenient that now that the detectives are here, suddenly he can blame lots of people for what happened while painting himself as almost as much of a victim.

“Clover mentioned about the that horseshoe I found in the stables– which incriminates Quarters just like he said. Imagine those scumbags roughed him up and he dropped it at the scene. Later Quarters finds it and hides it in the one place a horseshoe wouldn’t look off– the stables, where he conveniently works.”

What? No, he didn’t. None of that makes the slightest bit of sense. Him cleaning his charms elsewhere = Quarters used a horseshoe?

Oh christ so they argue about it being Quarters and resolve it by calling in the next number in line and not the actual person they think did it.

And now Quarters being blamed again despite earlier it seeming Fin had no idea what happened. See, a smart person would find this weird and start wondering if Fin and Clover had talked and gotten their stories to match up.

And apparently Droog is the kind of person who lights cats on fire. Okay then. This is really going downhill fast.

The Vault Ch12

Droog and I said simultaneously, “Don’t call me D.D.” — “Don’t call him D.D.”

Really getting tiresome.

Tell Stitch not to send Snowman in. Just skip straight to Sawbuck.”

Yes, why on earth would anyone bother interviewing the person who gave a conflicting story!

“You know the way Slick looks at Snowman when she’s just said something irritating and he wants so bad to hit her but he just won’t? Because that’s the one thing he won’t do? He’ll threaten her all day long but he won’t ever actually lay a hand on her.”

Arg. Slick explicitly does not attack Snowman because that is suicidal, not because of some idiotic chivalry.

“I’m afraid,” Doc Scratch said, “that I’ll have to ask you to leave the room momentarily. Your presence had been requested outside.”

“It has?”

Doc Scratch held up a single finger just as Stitch poked his head inside the door. “We need you out ‘ere for just a tick, mates– oh, ‘ello, Doc.”

“Now your presence has been requested.”

Then he should have said “will be” rather than “had been”.

t was a bingo: the gun on the paper was the same gun Quarters was holding, no doubt about it. I had him at the scene– both scenes– and I had him holding the murder weapon. I had him connected to the first scene through testimony and evidence– the horseshoe.

God, this has really turned into complete nonsense.

So Quarters pulled his gun and somebody threw Crowbar his crowbar and now they’re fighting!”

How exactly did anyone have time to fetch a melee weapon while someone else had a gun, and how exactly can they still be fighting? It’s a gun. You pull the trigger.

And now Crowbar is taunting the guy about to shoot him for no discernible reason. All this does is render the whole scene with Doc Scratch earlier pointless – why is he wasting time telling people the guy might die if they don’t do anything if Crowbar is actually going to die? It’s not like he didn’t know the outcome.

Wow, this has just gotten terrible. So there is no actual answer to your murder mystery, since the resolution is just that a character murdered for no reason and with no explanation about how he did any of it. Did you write this whole thing with no clue where you were going and just slapped down some nonsense to end it, or did this somehow seem a good idea from the start?

The Vault Ch13

“Can she tie a knot in a cherry stem?” Droog look at me like I’d just said something sacrilegious, or possibly insulted his mother. “Well, can she?”

“Yeah,” he said. “But I taught her.”

This is just embarrassing.

“Hey,” I said. “Did you know Doc Scratch and Death planned all that? Everything that just happened in there?”

That makes even less sense than the story’s resolution.

“Hey, Droog.”

“Jesus, what do you want now?”

“What do you think about Helen?”

“I told you. She don’t deserve you.”

“You really think that?”

He looked me up and down, then said, “Yeah.”

And here I thought we’d at least make it out of the fic without this. But no.

In a way, I was glad Droog hadn’t said any more about Helen. I felt absolved of any duty towards her, in a way. Like she was outside my sphere of being. I didn’t need her, honestly.

Why did you include her in the first place if she exists only so you can say she isn’t good enough and shove her out of the picture? God knows it can’t have been any misguided belief that you needed to stick to canon when these are OCs wandering around in the flesh-suits of the murdered cast, so why did you put her in at all?

I was really not expecting that to turn to complete shit. At least Snowman made it out relatively untouched, even if she did get depowered. Still, if people want to write their stupid detective fic, why the fuck do they insist on writing in about a gang with magic powers and then spending the whole fic desperately backtracking from those ever fucking mattering.

And on top of everything else it completely dropped the ball on the PS/DD thing, which sucked in all the wrong ways from chapter two onward.

Interrogation (DD (PS))

Dear god am I tired of this pairing.

A Vigil For Sleeping Beauty (WQ (Jane, Jake, Jack Noir))

She wishes that she could stare up at the clouds and see their lives and futures, but that is a blessing reserved for the dreamers.

No, Prospitians know the future and the beta session’s WQ planned a lot around it.

She knew about the agents, the plots. She couldn’t tell how, but she knew that the Black Queen was responsible, and her agents.

How could she have missed Derse getting taken over by an alien queen?

I like how you write this pairing, it makes a lot of sense as you lay it out.

This one’s tagged with consent issues, presumably because WQ touches Jane’s face while she’s asleep. Oh fandom. So well meaning and yet so stupid.

Compromise (Rose (UU, OCs))

Rose Lalonde, Roxy Lalonde, (as a baby), Tavros Nitram, (as a human), Doc Scratch, (also as a human), Eridan Ampora, (kindasorta), Calmasis

Ao3 tags don’t work like tumblr tags. Their purpose is to be searchable. If the fact Roxy is a baby or Tavros is a human is something you want searchable, that all needs to go in one tag. Unlike tumblr, all tags are kept in the system and actual humans are employed to try to make sense of them. Those people end up staring at (as a baby) as a stand-alone tag in the character section.

“i have told yoU that i do not follow yoUr oppressive binary, and yoU woUld do well to remember it if yoU wish Us to remain on even the most vagUely cordial terms. i have given perfectly sUitable pronoUns, and will give no groUnd in this matter.”
Ce then smiled in a way that less displayed amusement than bared ciir teeth. “Unless, of coUrse, yoU just find them too difficUlt for yoUr famed intellect to parse? do my grammatical constrUcts so perplex the defeater of the thoUsand sphinxes of baron tUring? i can try to come Up with some less elaboUrate ones, if yoU like.”

As someone who’s fond of the whole idea, yes, they are extremely difficult to handle in casual conversation in a way they aren’t in writing because they’re a grammar construct and not just a new word, especially when there’s already an existing pronoun for people whose gender we’re not sure of that people default to first. And that’s before getting into that the one you’re using would sound like a slurred “she” in actual speech. Or the inherent issue with using an alien to complain about the human binary being oppressive.

Eridan does not use fish puns. Feferi does.

Which reminds me! Since I just got a suitably FFN response for another review I left, would it make sense to do response collection posts for Ao3 stuff as well?

YOU ARE MINE (Jake (Jane, Roxy, Condesce, Dirk))

I can’t tell if this is actually a worse than usual entry into the Jake/Dirk halls or if I’m just tired of it.

Skurb (OCs)

Another sburb fic that just is a bunch of pesterlogs going nowhere.

Comedown (Die (Droog, Crowbar))

I don’t know what’s better about this, the way Droog makes it all about controlling Die or that Die’s so fucked up himself.

Know Your Enemy (John (Other people))

People need to stop using Scratch to fill in for any adult in charge of anything ever.

And fuck I’m deep in Petstuck territory now. Someday I will try to articulate why the entire thing is just one giant, terrible disaster. For now, I’m just going to be assuming such things are irrelevant to this enterprise.

Burnt Umber Sierra (PI (PS, DD))

To counter the plotless fluff, have some plotless gore?

The French Maid (PI (DD))

DJ-Stride and Gingersnap Mafia (Karkat and Dave moonlight as OCs) (PS (HD, PI, AD))

You are this story’s anti-hero.

An anti-hero is still a nominally heroic character, not the opposite of a hero, you know.

Any slight on you and your teams’ part

I think you dropped a word after “slight” and it’s “team’s” unless there’s more than one team involved.

“THAT,” She’s grinding her teeth, trying to keep calm. “Is not what I’m getting at.

Dialogue, even interrupted dialogue, doesn’t end in a comma unless the narration is describing how it’s said. You need dashes on one side or the other of the quotation marks instead, depending on if you mean for there to be a pause here or if the teeth-grinding is happening during the whole sentence. Also, the second half of it shouldn’t be capitalized because it’s not a new sentence.

And I’m not sure what the point of this is. You introduce an issue, have another character point out a secondary issue, then…PS has a temper tantrum leading to him killing random people for a bit, then he calms down, then the story ends, issues completely unresolved.

Then again, if the author does know what an antihero is and just believes that someone who goes on temper tantrums of smashing people’s brains out is still one, that would explain a lot about the PS fandom.

Mercy (Bec Noir (PM))

A drabble is a term for a writing exercise of exactly 100 words, not anything short.

And what’re you going to do about it, sweetheart? You’re a mail-lady, doll. You aren’t a knight. You aren’t a fighter.

It seems weird he’d be trying to dissuade her with this when she killed one of his people who were fighters last they met, and he did try to send her off to murder a king and queen. Going after the fact she’s from the doomed-to-fail side or she’s a minor piece who shouldn’t be acting on her own seems more viable.

Her voice acid

Is acid, I think.

The kiss he steals is fierce and forceful, full of teeth and blood and snarling. But he swallows down the blood and fights back against her hate and takes it all the same.

Perfect description for the two.

Super Birthday Machines (Eggs (Clover, MOC))

This seems nonsensical, without any connection to the characters or setting.

The World is Headed For Hell (The kids, the trolls, Doc Scratch)

The grey-signed youth spun as a teal and red clad female youth

This is really bad writing. Use their names.

Also given Terezi’s feelings on Gamzee I find it hard to believe she’d come running to Karkat to fix things instead of using Gamzee’s return to dangerousness as justification for murdering him and getting rid of the problem.

“Gamzee?” The grey signed troll asked the indigo.

If there’s a speech verb like “asked”, this is all one sentence and so it’s written as “Gamzee?” the grey signed troll asked the indigo. because, since “the” isn’t starting a new sentence, it’s not capitalized.

“You’re world will be gone soon.”

“Your” is the possessive. “You’re” is short for “you are”.



The boy in red behidn the grey boy stepped foreword.

You need to proofread and probably also find someone as a beta reader.

“I am not abhored to killing Gamzee if I have to. He would understand.” The white troll stated.

“The white troll” was already fine with killing Gamzee before now and I’m not clear why she’s talking at all instead of chainsawing. Also, it would be “I would not abhor”.

And then he just kills them all easily because, even though five of them are god tier and therefore unkillable in a non-heroic death, two of them also can go back in time, and one of them has first guardian powers just like his. It also renders it a mystery why he even bothered standing around to chat first.

PS (PI, AD, Felt, MC))
WQ (Jane, Jake, Jack Noir)
Rose (UU, OCs)
Jake (Jane, Roxy, Condesce, Dirk)
Die (Droog, Crowbar)
John (Other people
Bec Noir (PM)
Eggs (Clover, MOC)
The kids, the trolls, Doc Scratch

Two of fourteen.

Page 565


  1. Ember says:
    “You know the way Slick looks at Snowman when she’s just said
    something irritating and he wants so bad to hit her but he just won’t?
    Because that’s the one thing he won’t do? He’ll threaten her all day
    long but he won’t ever actually lay a hand on her.”

    There are several reasons I should be mad at this, but instead I just can’t stop laughing.

    “Which reminds me! Since I just got a suitably FFN response for
    another review I left, would it make sense to do response collection
    posts for Ao3 stuff as well?”

    Yes! A+ idea!

    Wow you sure covered a lot of ground today!

    1. Farla says:
      In their defense, they were maybe just trying to mirror how in canon Slick can’t hurt her. Of course, if they wanted that they could’ve just, you know, not depowered her in the first place so they wouldn’t have needed a new explanation.

      It’d be kind of funny if for some reason Slick literally couldn’t and everyone was all wow you are so great for not hitting a woman and meanwhile Slick’s dialing up all the doctors in the city for one who can do brain surgery to get the chip out.


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