The Initiate Fraysong
(The Grand Highblood)
|Abilities||Night vision, Proficiency with a variety of weapons especially clubs, Chucklevoodoos; sensing of fear, manipulation of fear, and more, higher physical strength and durabilty, Painting, Poetry, Carnival preformance, leadership|
|Known Allies||The Psiioniic, Pruna, Terezi Pyrope, Azula, Sigma Klim, Jane Shepard, Sandy Marko.|
|First Arena||Arena 7 (First arrived at the end of Arena 6 )|
The Initiate, known in his future as The Grand Highblood, is a District 5 tribute in the 75th Hunger Games, brought in from his homeworld of Alternia. His true name, the name he was born with, is Kurloz Makara.
Before The Games Edit
Warning: This character is headcanon central. Although I have canon-based reasons for my ideas and opinions that could be used to back up these thoughts, and I don't believe anything would be out-right contradictory to the source canon, please note that some fans may still disagree and this is/I am not the be all and end all of possible interpretations. This however, is the character that is being played in the Games and is therefore Games canon. You may carry on.
Beforus: Life UnrememberedEdit
Although he can only remember his current life and will never be able to remember anything else, the Initiate had in fact lived a life before his current one. On Beforus, things were very different for him and he himself wound up being a very different person. Beforus, unlike Alternia, was meant to be a planet of peace, and although it had problems of its own, for the most part its people faced little hardship in comparison to their Alternian counterparts.
Kurloz Makara was a strange and verbose child, who talked as if he was both preforming a play (one of his interests) and preaching at the same time, prose as purple as could be, with smatterings of curse words and slang derived from his faith. He had a tendency to assume people were listening, and more-over, that they wanted to listen, and so sometimes unintentionally warded others off.
He had hints of anger deep within, even possesiveness, had a streak of vanity, and was very obviously and desperately seeking a sort of validation. But, at his core he'd been kind hearted, supportive, and generally an all-around good kid, even a calming influence on those close to him. His most important things were his "family" and his friendships.
Intensely invested in his faith, just like in the life to follow, Kurloz immersed himself in the Cult's teachings of miracles, family, balance and beauty in both life and death within nature, trueness of the self, justice served for the guilty and salvation for the deserving. Not to mention, of a pair of unnamed gods deemed The Messiahs, and of a prophesied paradise planet to come on which "a band of capricious Minstrels" (perhaps demi-gods) had been foretold would rise.
His lusus (Lusus Natrae, a creature meant to act as a gaurdian and caretaker for young trolls) would be the same as his life to follow, a seagoat monster with a tendency for absence. He would be deemed fit for "culling" which on Beforus meant an officer would take him away and find a new gaurdian (a troll this time) that would care for and coddle him to likely an overbearing degree. However, Kurloz Makara happened to be the ancestral descendent of Gamzee Makara, who in this life was (in speculation) known as The Grand Highblood, a title which held a very different meaning on this planet, one of a more peaceful nature but still one of absolute faith. Being descended from an important and influential figure, as well as a quite busy one, Kurloz was allowed the gracing of being in a less coddled state of living than others who had fallen under "culling". He lived with the Grand Highblood as his official guardian, members of the church- the "family"- to converse with, and a culling officer to occasionally check in on Kurloz's living situation. He would otherwise be quite independent, taking care of himself without much hardship.
Kurloz found close friendships in the trolls Mituna Captor and Meulin Leijon, the former becoming his moirail (a platonic soulmate meant to calm trolls, see the quadrant explanations linked in the Miscellaneous section.) and the latter his matesprit (fated love, of the less platonic nature. They were deemed "meant to be" by everyone they knew). He developed deep attachments and affections for the both of them, his very best friends, and would spend countless nights and days conversing with them. The three were a part of a bigger circle of twelve, all the rest in a tentative and oft-times strained "friendship". These twelve would later share a much bigger fate.
He grew up well, his biggest outside worry being the increasing prevalence of horrific daymares-- something not unheard of in trolls, as they are often afflicted with daymares, especially with his power of Chucklevoodoo, an ability over fear and day/nightmares, which would add to his already poor sleep. Even with this, it would cause little issue, with his facepaint (and copious eyeliner) covering up the physical, and his friends and loves, Mituna and Meulin to rely on for the emotional aspects.
Then, one day, at 6 sweeps (age 13 in years) he fell asleep next to Meulin and had a daymare worse than any of the others. Its exact details would remain unknown, but through his screams on waking, the horrific roar- hailing the end of the later universe- of one of his gods would be echoed. His dark god's influence would touch on his mind, his own mind turned on him with all the power his voodoo had, and it would change him for what would've been forever. His screams were so loud, his matesprit, Meulin, was deafened permanently. Once fully come-to, forced to bear with the immense guilt of what he'd done and the great revelations that had all at once come to him, he then proceeded to bite out his tongue and stitch his mouth shut. He would be rendered mute for the rest of that lifetime.
Together with Meulin, they would form their own made up sign language so as to still be able to communicate with each other. He would communicate with one other, Mituna, whether through sign, simple body language, or text communication. With those two as exception, he took to complete silence with all trolls. More and more, as time passed, he would become decidedly too creepy to associate with for the other ten trolls in their circle.
Unfortunately for them, also at six sweeps, they would all play a game that would, rather than save the universe as expected, would invoke the end of their world, killing all other trolls. It would take the twelve away to gift them their own personal hero titles and mini-planets where they would complete quests, defeats enemies, and try to create a universe of their own that they would become pseudo-gods of. Kurloz would be deemed the Prince of Rage, meaning "one who destroys rage", "one who destroys through rage", and/or "one who destroys the self through rage", and he would be given The Land Of Tents And Mirth as his planet (one he would later share with Gamzee Makara, Bard of Rage).
This game would go on for another three sweeps (6 years), with terrible event after event marking the way, (one such event including Mituna's accident, where he tried to save the twelve from a fate of doom, then giving himself permanent and severe brain damage, with no other troll there to witness it save Kurloz, who may in fact have been responsible. Another event including Cronus Ampora who'd been destined to defeat a dark power, only to have his faith in magic broken somehow-- possibly by someone in league with that very same power) until eventually it became clear that their session was broken, glitched, and with their peaceful lives before, they were entirely unprepared for what the game had thrown them. There would be no way for them to win.
Through various convoluted events, they would essentially come to make a deal; they could give their species another chance to live, they would be made into a stronger people, a people who could beat the game with ease, but in return, they would erase beforus, the lives of everyone on it, and their own. On top of this, they would switch places with their ancestors, becoming the ancestors themselves as their former ancestors became the descended children destined to play the exact same game. And, although not explicitly stated, each individual troll would find something they'd always dreamed of in their next life-- at great costs unbeknownst to them.
Since his nightmare, Kurloz had become a cold and unfeeling person, many of his emotions cut off from him, though he kept up a facade of smiles and false cheer. His flaws were well there and emphasized, a nature for manipulation running fresh and strong even/especially with those he once truly cared for, and an even more intense worship of the demonic god that had influenced his daymare (with no mention of the other balancing god, one who had on beforus presumably represented the other half, life and creation) had grown in him. By this time, he had long sought the demise of everyone, without exception, so as to better serve his Lord, The Angel of Double Death.
He, along with the other twelve, would accept the bargain presented to them. They would scratch their session, resetting their universe entirely, as Meenah Peixes, another of the twelve (who'd become the empress in the next life) set off a bomb to kill them all. Thanks to this bomb, their stories would diverge into two; they would live new lives on Alternia, while at the same time ghosts of themselves as they were then would continue on in an afterlife of sorts, watching their other selves live new and full lives while they remained frozen in their own times. Their stories would from there continue on two different paths.
Alternia: The Second Chance / The Monkey's PawEdit
With the erasure of Kurloz Makara's previous life, so too was the daymare that damaged him so badly been erased from his psyche. He would start as the kid he'd once been, before the influence of his god had touched him, the second chance delivered as promised. He would be beginning this life deep in the past, swapping place with Gamzee Makara who would then live life in their world's future. The world too, would also be greatly altered, the peaceful Beforus now warped into a new world of bloodshed and cruelty called Alternia, the word "cull" now meaning "kill", and a new green moon, where "demons" lived, next to the pink.
The "demons" living on the green moon would include the time travelling dark god himself, known as the Lord (Lord English, the older Caliborn) and/or the Angel of Double Death, Damara Megido (once Witch of Time from Kurloz's session) who would later be made- through endless gruelling abuse- to become the Handmaid to the Lord and Alternia's Demoness. And finally would come a "Guardian" for the new world, Doc Scratch, who would be set to help see to the fulfilling of the deal made in the life before by making Alternia as brutal and horrific as possible through the securing of certain events throughout time so that everything could go as destined. Certain people would have special attention given to this throughout their lives, including Kurloz Makara who would be used as a deadly pawn for furthering this end. No longer having the effects of his daymare to influence him, Kurloz's growth into an ideal servant would have to be fostered over a much longer period of time, and all without him ever knowing of the way things were made to follow the predestined path.
Kurloz would begin life on Alternia given two things: the hatch name of Kurloz Makara and the sea-goat lusus meant to care for and protect him from the many dangers Alternian life had to offer. He would find, however, just as his past self had and just as his descendant Gamzee Makara would find in the future, sea-goats make for very poor lussi. Highly temperamental creatures who are always gone out to see, Kurloz would have no choice now but to care for himself alone. Because of the semi-aquatic nature of his would-be lusus, Kurloz choose (like every Makara before and to follow) to have his hive (house) built on the shore of the beach, so as to allow a better chance to see the goat. This proved to be an extremely dangerous place to be, angering seadwellers, and the water source and hive giving too much appeal to the passing troll and beast. This all went on top of the regular dangers of being a troll, such as deadly-blinding sunlight, and scours of the undead also in the daylight hours.
Many times he found himself in a fight for his life, all scars left upon him to prove it. Even at his young age, he very quickly was forced to learn the concept of kill or be killed, and from it, he learned to craft an art. Fascinated with the different colors trolls would leave behind, and figuring it would be a good way to ward off other trolls from trying to attack him or thieve his hive, he began to paint the outsides of his hive with the blood colors of his culls. He would use the bones for creating all manner of tools and armor and decoration, not liking to waste. He would come to be quite the artist with his paintings, though he would save his more meaningful and detailed paintings for inside his hive, tucked away in secret places along with whatever other treasures he managed to hoard away.
Like in the life before him, Kurloz would wind up deeply encroached in his faith, the Cult of The Mirthful Messiahs. However, in this life, the practices of this faith would become deeply horrific, and its faithful would be seen as some of the most terrifying and unstable trolls of their kind. The first god would remain the same, but due to Doc Scratch's influence in this world, he would be deemed the second god through implications and myth (though the actual persons these gods were would remain unknown among the trolls save Gamzee Makara, far down the line). Although its messages would not be entirely different as they once were, they were without doubt twisted. No one would have reason or means to realise this.With his newfound faith, Kurloz began painting his face every morning in reflection of that-- differently, it may be noted, from his past life, whose paint was always clean and clear, his now veered toward the messier and more threatening. His vanity was quick to dissipate without a societal need to look "nice", instead, a greater drive to be stronger and seem more fearsome taking its place. He winds up being quite ragged and ill-cared for, in great contrast to his past life. He also lacks the same means of speaking, developing a far more disjointed one that better fit to the Alternian culture (specifically, Alternian Indigo dialect), then later, a speaking quirk of fluctuating tones thanks to overuse of his chucklevoodoo powers-- to ward off predators-- marring his voice (among other things).
He remained just as intelligent and crafty as before. He still retained a fondness for literature, art, and culture, something reflective of his past self (who loved the troll version of Hamlet so much, he even owned and happily wore a costume for it) and his future descendant's fondness for the lyrical and musical. He retained his rage in tenfold and so too did he retain a deep and insatiable longing for care and affection, accentuated by the absence of his lusus and any other sort of positive contact at all.
His first and only real genuine positive contact is with The Signless, who at the time was too young to be known by anything other than Kankri Vantas. It had been little more than a simple meeting at first, in a market place (which Kurloz found himself at in search of white pigment, to fix a the picture of his lusus kept in his paintings), but one that left an impression on isolated Kurloz who was curious about this strange troll and his outlandish ideas. They met again a few times, discussing aspects of politic (strange for two young trolls, but they themselves were strange), with Kurloz realising more and more that these things could get a troll culled but also developing the slightest of pale crushes for the heretical troll and his mutant blood, happy to have someone be nice to him and seemingly listen for the first time.
Eventually though, these ideals of Kankri's conflicted too sharp with Kurloz's life and his own beliefs, and that feeling of being listened to morphed to the opposite, feeling his warnings of what the empire might bring down were being ignored and that his ideas had great flaws. Then, when they were to meet once more, hope of friendship was dissolved when Kankri failed to show (due to being on the run). Kurloz took it to mean he was being abandoned on cause of his highbloodedness and his faith, and simply because no troll or creature had reason to be kind. And so Kankri's show of kindness had been seen as nothing more than a means to make a fool of him. Word would spread, little signs of Kankri's newly built "faith" that Kurloz would run into, and the more he found and heard, the more sure he became of its fallacy. He's never quite able in his proper lifetime to shake his own bitterness and hurt wrapped around the troll any more than he can shake his feelings of abandonment and neglect by his lusus.
With Kankri out of his life, leaving him alone once more, and with an extra push of conflict that caused him to want to prove himself to his absentee lusus, Kurloz focused once again on faith. It was around then that he decided at last to start visiting the church for the Cult of the Mirthful Messiahs. He joined the church, and in doing so, he joined the leagues of the Subjugglators, extremely skilled and powerful soldiers in charge of keeping "order" in the empire through Chucklevoodoo fear powers, brute force, and mass cullings. His youth gave him no favor, and that, along with perceived arrogance among other things, bred disliked. His nature is childish and capricious in its most natural state but with a good round of mockery and degradation he began to seek a means of being taken more seriously. It conflicted with him deeply, especially with his feelings that many of the other church goers were not of true faith, nothing more than unrighteous sinners riding on the Messiahs' backs, not truly taking the scripture seriously as he.
Yet he saw potential in the church, and he tried hard to appeal to those in the higher ranks with his skill in culling and battle, and his cognition of scripture. He dreamt of bringing to life his idea of bringing the mirth worshippers to be more powerful, more ruthless, and most of all, the best possible servants of Messiahs he believed them able to be. It's his big dreaming and his desire to be taken more serious that lead him to requesting a title before having truly reached adulthood. He appeals for The Reverent, is mocked, and then given the title The Initiate. Begrudgingly, he accepts this for it is still a title and he had no intent of remaining a mere Initiate, but to one day step over the body of the Grand Highblood that was, and claim the throne and title left behind.
[It is at this point that the Initiate enters The Games.]
He eventually becomes Grand Highblood, just as he hoped, and sure enough, he immediately sets about bringing the subjugglators and the church up to the proper Alternian standard. He rules over Alternia as High Priest, chief enforcing officer to the Empress (Her Imperious Condescension) and her second in command. His reign is brutal and efficient, as it was meant to be, and only continues to be more so with the passing sweeps. His capricious nature is let free.
He met the Signless one last time- leanding to execution, the mutant's death to set to all of Signless-ist faith, before the Highblood sought the cult's total eradication. Of these followers, deemed the closet to the Signless, is The Psiioniic (Mituna Captor) and The Disciple (Meulin Leijon), both people closest to Kurloz in the life prior. The Psiioniic is made to be the Helmsman for the Empress's ship, what essentially amounts to a living battery, and the The Disciple escapes her own execution to live in exile. The faith became Sufferism, spun off The Signless's new title and often thought to have a more harsh view of things than the initial message, living on long after the Signless himself. The Grand Highblood would spend much of his life seeing to it that these messages are completely erased and that the Sufferer ceased to exist entirely. For the most part, he would succeed, with only a few exceptions.
Many sweeps later, his path crossed with The Neophyte Redglare, whom he 'd handpicked to be his partner in trying out a new system; uniting the (teal) legislacerators and (indigo) subjugglators. He considerd her his "wildcard" and developd a closeness with her, unaware then of her being a sufferist in secret. After culling The Orphaner Dualscar, the Grand Highblood sent the Neophyte to bring in another troll for execution, The Marquise Mindfang, a troll with power to control the lowblooded and bend them to her will. Inexplicably, the subjugglators chose to make the audience to this execution be entirely lowblooded. (Implication being, it indeed was meant to be someone's execution.) The Neophyte died, hung on the noose meant for the Marquise as the lowblooded audience turned on the Neophyte, under the Marquise's will.
More sweeps passed and there came a time wherein he helped see to the genocide of the limebloods (something likely wanted by Lord English, who's enemy and sister was fond of that hue and those people) due to their overwhelming psionic ability threatening the empire's balance.
The Grand Highblood then, sweeps more later, ran into the same situation as with Neophyte, with the Summoner. The Summoner had been allowed to rise high in ranks despite his low blood hue, and developed a closeness (of the more antagonistic variety) with the Highblood, and who lated turned on the empire and revealed himself a rebel (and a mutant, of the winged variety). The Summoner staged a massive rebellion, using children to help his side, and very nearly succeeded, only for it to then be crushed, the Summoner and the Marquise dying with it. The Empress decreeed that from then on, no adult would be allowed to live on-planet any longer, forcing the entire species into space faring (which the Grand Highblood failed but pretended to adapt to) save the children who would stay on planet until properly of age, and the jadebloods who would remain in the caverns. This was so as to keep any further rebellion from ever being able to properly organize, while allowing the species to further conquer the galaxy. It worked.
The Grand Highblood continued to rule, along with Her Condescension, conquering planets and fostering the ever expanding empire. In his partnership with her, he developed over the long span of his life, a close but turbulent and ultimately damaging relationship with her. He had passed the point of being able to properly connect with other trolls, too many of those he might have cared for culled on his order, and even less he is willing to trust not to turn on him. This left little other closeness in his life but Her Condescension herself.
As he neared the end of his life, one thousand sweeps later (two thousand years aprox.), his sanity has long since waned, warped, and dried up. He was seen by most, with good reason, as a bogeyman and a monster, but one to be respected and listened to, especially by those he preached to. With exception to the Demoness and Her Condescension, he proved to be the most valuable of pawns among the ancestors for seeing Alternia's brutality foster so that those descended from them would be strong enough to beat the game when it was to be played again at the end of times.
He died at last with the rest of his species (save the twelve descendants and The Empress) in the Vast Glub, a severely painful psionic shockwave that causes the brain to burst and burn up and for trolls to bleed out of every orifice in their head until death. He looked upon both death and the prophesied end of their world, and welcomed it.
His legacy lives on in Gamzee Makara to which he has an ancestral connection ( it is hinted in canon by Gamzee himself that Gamzee has "ancestral" connection via the chucklevoodoo. He also hints that he may have been aware of his ancestry, claiming he was "all up in lifelong denial about [his] calling. AS A DESCENDANT OF THE HIGH MOTHERFUCKIN SUBJUGGLATORS.").
In the GamesEdit
When The Initiate first arrives in the Capitol he manages to impress his judges well enough to earn a score of eleven. But he himself remains far from impressed. He makes his arrival just as the fifth arena is about to reach its end. He starts off showy, abrasive, and over-confident, bursting into the Training Center and immediately insulting and threatening numerous people (albiet unintentionally for some). He runs into the descendant of the Signless,Karkat Vantas, and mistakes him for being the Signless himself, only for Signless himself to appear as well, angering Initiate just by being there (their first real reunion from Initiate's end after a long bout of time and built-up anger). He meets a few others; Cuthbert,Pruna, and the Psiioniic(whom he hadn't yet met in his time). From the Psiioniic he learns of his future title and position as Grand Highblood.
Over the course of the following weeks he begins to develop a sort of alliance with The Psiioniic and Pruna, something like friendship. He takes to painting the wall within the Training Center every day, using a variety of color to create abstract patterns and designs, using paint from the camaflogue area (where on Alternia he would use blood). He meets Terezi Pyrope-- whom he is at first deeply distrustful of-- through this when she comes to observe one of his paintings, and Jane Shepard(Renegade) who he immediately dislikes. He learns more things of his future and those involved in it, including the Neophyte Redlgare who would arrive later, after the Crowning of Albert Wesker.
Before the crowning, he manages to make many fine messes, meeting Jack Atlas, whom he quickly finds himself hating for his ignorance. He also has a brief confrontation over the network with The Signless which Jack attempts to get between. Initiate had been angered that Signless had been revealing things about their species, which he figured could be used against them one way or other, and then became even more mad when his name was used because threat was assumed when in fact it wasn't (although it could easily have been seen such, with the amount of vitriol the Initiate displayed). As Signless assumed he would of course want for nothing else but to kill him over and over again and had only ever wanted such, he decided then that if he was to hurt the Signless, he'd not kill the Signless himself, just to prove the Signless was wrong and knew nothing of him. This would come to a head later.
In less serious form, he publicly threatened Timaeus Nadir, amusing himself that his threats couldn't be clearly parsed from an offer for art. He also proceeded to make mock Eridan Ampora(capitol AU), all in effort to amuse himself.
He took part in an interview which then picked apart his actual response to form fake ones, so he could be accused falsely of cannibalism. He was also mocked with the making of a plush toy in his likeness which was advertised when the false interviews were later aired. Although irritated by these things, he found enough entertainment in seeing everyone else mocked, that he stirred little fuss.
It isn't until the execution of Ariadne that he begins to take things much more seriously. He is marked as a potential rebel by the Capitol, given a cuff link, and he swears then to get back at them. More than that, he swears to crush the Capitol, figuring, if they were to mark him as their enemy, he would be their enemy.
Once the dessert arena, arena 07, begins, the poison that was used to execute Ariadne is injected into at least half the tributes, including Initiate. It is a degenerative poison that strips the parts of the brain that dampens pain signals and the ability to dissociate from the emotional pain in bad memories, before eventually killing the person. Initiate, who'd inflicted and created copious intense nightmares with his power throughout his life to inflict on other trolls, suddenly had no means of blocking it from affectinghimtoo. Before it runs it's course, he runs briefly into The Neophyte, making her swear not to harm the Psiioniic if she sees him, and in exchange must not hurt Terezi, the Neophyte's descendent.
He unites with the Psiioniic, only to have his mind come apart under the poison's (and his powers') affects. The Psiioniic makes a bold attempt to calm him (as part of a pale romantic gesture) and it works; unfortunately, the poison does not stop and the Initiate accidentally crushes the Psiioniic to death due to poison and loss of control over his own strength. He wakes from death in the desert arena. He assumes the Psiioniic to be dead and buries his feelings to focus on survival. He runs into Terezi and doesn't kill her, as part of keeping his end of the promise to the Neophyte. He is convinced by her to join up in alliance, however reluctant he may be. He works with her to thieve from R and Shion.
They temporarily split up and the Initiate kills AndrAIa. This instigates a fight with Punchy and Tim (Robin), that ends with Initiate failing to do any more than injure them, receiving some minor injuries himself but mostly to his pride. He later run into Donatello whom he fights with and then snaps the Initiate's horn off at the base, causing severe and painful injury. He reunites with Terezi, saving her from Dualscar and flee-ing. She attempts to patch some of his injuries and she thanks him for saving her, to which he points out that he was just keeping his word.
The pair meet with the other remaining trolls, including the Neophyte, Signless, and Nepeta. The Neophyte is stunned and furious that the Initiate had known Signless before, when his future self had never mentioned this, not even when his future self had her take part in wiping out the followers of Signlessism/Sufferism faith. The Neophyte yells at the Intiate, the pair arguing, until finally she kisses the Initiate out frutration, which stuns and confuses the Initiate who has no context for the relationship his future self has with her outside of it being one of business. The fight is quelled when Terezi informs him he has gifts sent to him from the Psiioniic, who is still alive after all. The Initiate is deeply relieved.
Later, he kills Lady Oscar, taking her morning star. The Signless is also killed by Terezi to keep him from winning and becoming a target of the Capitol for his rebellious nature. Nepeta dies, and soon enough Terezi does too when Dualscar kills her and the Initiate then kills him. With just the Neophyte and Initiate left, they set off to hunt down the other tributes. They come across Donatello and, temporarily joining forces with Lindsey, they kill him and the Initiate tears off Donatello's shell.
Worn down by the end of the arena and feeling the effects of his many injuries, the Initiate is not prepared for the attack on him by the Reptiroo's (with their fondness for goats) and so, once defeating them, he is brought quite close to death. The Neophyte finds him, barely hanging on, and stabs him in the heart with her sword, ending his time in his first arena.
Back in the capitol, he pledges himself to the Psiioniic in servitude, friendship, or whatever the Psiioniic might wish. He presents the Psiioniic with a necklace of gold, with the skull of a goat having horns much like the Initiate's, proclaiming he is the Psiioniic's. They enter into a Moiraillegiance.
He starts to build up an unsteady alliance with Terezi. It is a relationship of unease and high tensions, but one that was insisted upon, whether the Initiate wanted it or not. He attempts to make the best of that, at least until he thinks he might be left alone.
There is a date auction in which he is bought by and meets Pasha Chekov. From her, he finds out a little more about the capitol, like that it had only just engaged in war 75 years ago, close to just thirty sweeps in Alternian time. He realises the war is a fresh wound still to these people, whether they know it or not, and from there determines that the current "peace" is not at all as steady as capitol would like to believe. He also learns there was once a district thirteen but that it was destroyed.
During the same event, he meets Azula, and forms a whole different sort of alliance, one of a more political nature. He notes her potentially as both a useful pawn and possible ally, from there taking to trying to please her so she may later be easier to manipulate.
Not too long after the event, he meets the Disciple. Initially, the Disciple doesn't recognize this younger, smaller version of the Grand Highblood in her time, and the Initiate of course doesn't know at all who she is. She greets him not with her title but her name, which throws the Initiate. Suspicious of the new troll and wondering where her allegiances lay, especially with how most other trolls seemed to know each other one way or other, the Initiate quizzed her and informed her of his future status. She reacted with fury, and with realising she was on the side of the Signless, he responded in kind. He spoke cruelly on her and on the actions of her past/his future and they avoided killing each other only due to being unwilling to upset the Psiioniic.
The crowning of Maximus comes around shortly after. Claudia, the new district 5 stylist cuts his hair short for the event. Ashamed and furious, both with the idea he's been made to look even more like a child and that this was done at all, he storms off. He attempts to hide himself during the crowning, too embarrassed to be seen, but winds up finding that Terezi, who'd been made to wear a skimpy and revealing outfit and had later been mocked, is too hiding and they will have to share their hiding place. Despite all odds, the pair both (mostly) humbled past instigation and antagonizing, they wind up having a rather deep talk, going over secret intimate issues, and coming out of it much closer than before. (When Claudia finds him again, he decides in his improved mood to forgive her on count she not mess with him again, and there on he got more say with his stylist.)
The Initiate meets the Summoner, a troll from his future, and one whom was responsible for the second greatest rebellion in Alternian history, one which Initiate's future self would crush. Too focused on challenging this young, smaller, Grand Highblood, the Summoner announced himself as a rebel. The Initiate, not having the context of the relationship between his future self and the Summoner, merely thought the Summoner to be foolish for announcing himself, pointing out that there may just be a war going on in panem too.
True to such words, Xenomorphs are unleashed on the capitol, brought in by the same means as the off world tributes. To keep the Xenomorphs from taking over, the tributes are recruited to vanquish them, with the prize being the removal of the arm cuffs (and unknown punishments for those who failed to help). Sigma Klim shares with the tributes what he knows of the species, and with Initiate, that they can indeed feel fear. The Initiate helps give Sigma morale, grateful for the information. He prepares to defeat the Xenomorphs using his power, which would be returned for this task. All the while, he plans on making moves against the capitol in secret.
He fights with Shepard during Sigma's message, who had found out and used his name without his permission, then commanded him around over the network. The first infuriates him with how only those close were supposed to use one's hatchname (and not title) once reaching adulthood, telling him she was either making a jab at his youth, or imagining herself closer than she'd been. With commanding him around he was doubly riled, too soon gaining a distaste for his empress (thanks to what was done to Mituna) to be happy with subservience. He argued with her then later they met in the Training Center to fight together. He finds she was not only irritating and stubborn and strong in character, but she is a well-trained and strong fighter too. The Initiate is decidedly intrigued.
The day rolls around to fight for real and the Initiate talks over things with Terezi and Pruna. He encourages Pruna and warns her he will be using his power, and so he will be able to keep her out of harm (by making the Xenomorphs fear them all).
He talks too with Terezi of his plans against the aliens, the both of them thinking, but not speaking about getting back at the capitol too. Their conversation derails when he finds out that Karkat had been pestering her, "the usual", to which he said "there shouldn't be a usual". He finds out that Karkat had been jealous of he and Terezi, assuming them to matesprits, which they weren't. He also finds out Karkat thought she'd been using the Psiioniic and he as replacements for Sollux and Gamzee, their descendants and friends of Karkat's. Terezi tells him more of what had happened in their game session at home, including that a demon had been after them, the deaths that had occurred, and a bit about the descendants and how they reflected the ancestors (which included himself). In turn, he explains to her the importance of titles in his world and time, and then again, the topic returned to descendants and what he'd do if he met his. The Initiate explains that he doesn't know, that it was still hard to imagine from his perspective, and if nothing else, he'd just talk to him.
Finally, before they head off to fight, the Initiate goes to Sigma with a request: That he protect the Psiioniic. He asks the man to keep it a secret, for the Psiioniic's pride, but that the Initiate would still need this for his peace of mind before he went off. He fears it might be used against him, but he decides to take that risk. Sigma agrees to watch over the Initiate's moirail.
Off into battle, the Initaite, used to fighting war on his own world, attempts to rouse his fellow "troops" with a speech. Then off into the dark they go. The Initiate fights off the Xenomorphs using fear, but he extends his attack in two more ways; first, to bringing fear down onto the capitolites, making them uneasy with their government and in trying to rouse ire; secondly, to control a peacekeeper into delivering him information to use against the capitol. Although his distraction costs him, slipping voodoo to Ian and getting blasted by the flamethrower, burning both arms severly, his missions are a solid success. With the Alien's defeated, Initiate went to be reluctantly healed. During this, he reassures Pruna that Sandy, her girlfriend, would survive despite her injuries, for he could feel her fear still. He was also gifted with a Tribble by Terezi and in return, he gave his last name, "Makara".
Once allowed to leave, the Initiate set out to retrieve the files he'd had lain out for him. Just a paper slipped into a magazine abandoned in the street, the Initiate took every means to keep from being caught in a place with constant surveillance. He takes it back with him to the tribute tower, runs the water for himself in a tub then proceeds to hide the letter as he reads it under his long hair hanging down around his face. He learns that it had been the Rebellion that had been responsible for unleashing the xenomorphs and also, that district thirteen exists. He soaks the message in the water then swallows it, so it cannot be found.
Feeling empowered, and wanting to reach out, he attempts preaching to his fellow tributes before the arena begins. However, it is largely unsuccessful in reaching an audience at that time. Or so it seemed, as Pasha brought around gifts for him, tokens from admirers and fans, including three more tribbles. Not understanding why any person would simply give things away as such, Pasha explained, scaring him with the worry that he might be asked to preform sexual favors for such capitolites, only for her to quell the worry, that he didn't have to, and wouldn't have to even if he accepted the gifts, which he then does, frazzled but grateful. He denies however that because the Capitolites have been watching him in the arenas that they know anything of him.
When the next arena comes, the Initiate goes for the cornucopia that round and although he is successful in gaining supplies, he gets three deep scars scratched into his face, one eye taken out entirely, thanks to the Disciple, whose arm he breaks before she runs off.
He goes into seclusion for nearly three weeks before finding Sigma. Remembering Sigma had kept his word in protecting the Psiioniic, the Initiate decides to help Sigma, carrying the sick and exhausted man out of the rain as a payback. For a brief moment Sigma mistakes the Initiate for his son, and startles them both, but the Initiate doesn't kill him and so the deal is kept. He runs into Azula, having been brought into the arena despite her victor status and talks with her briefly. Then, he finds his moirail, the Psiioniic, has been killed by the Signless.
The Initiate flies into a rage and swears vengeance on the Signless. He takes the Psiioniic's necklace token from him and wraps it around his own, then heads off, commanding the Signless to stay. He refuses to kill the Signless himself as part of "proving him wrong" and instead hunts down Karkat as substitute, thinking that by taking moirail for moirail, it will be far more even. He is intercepted by Terezi who tells Karkat to run. The Initiate demands that Terezi let him by, but she refuses. He threatens her and pleads with her but to no avail. He smacks her aside and runs, shaking her off when she tries to get back up again. He finds Karkat and proceeds to break his legs and remaining arm, then drags him back to the Signless, then commanding Signless to finish the job to prove that his kill of the Psiioniic had truly been merciful and not just a means of hurting the Initiate and the Psiioniic. He swears to hurt Karkat until Signless does as asked, and so the Signless kills Karkat. The Initiate leaves him.
Still in a state of rampage and instability with these events, he runs across Katniss and Peeta and from there, claws at Peeta's throat. He escapes with his life, and later runs into Pruna and Sandy in a brief lift of his psychosis. He's introduced to Sandy and decides he approves her. He leaves and is found much later by Katniss, the remainder of his sanity having dwindled under the strain of time, injury, starvation, and loss. He taunts Katniss into fighting him and is downed by her arrows.
Back in the capitol and in his own head, the Initiate fears that the Psiioniic won't have been brought back, worried they'd go without as a means of punishing the Initiate. He's surprised and overwhelmed to find he was wrong, his moirail is back. He reunites with him and returns the necklace token taken in the arena.
Up on the network, a message goes up from the rebels. He uses the anonymous feature to address both the capitol and the rebellion with the information he has. He makes an offer to both, suggesting that either side could have him on theirs, if only they appealed to him and what he wants. This is both a sincere offer, and a means of covering his tracks so that should he be caught by the capitol, he can plead his case to them. He wants more than anything to keep "his" people safe. He doesn't sacrifice his own joys though, for when the peacekeeper Katurian starts in with poetry, he joins with some of his own.
He finds some respite with Pruna, who shows him the magic of hot chocolate and ice cream, but his days following are marked by the consequences of the arena prior. He gets called out by Karkat, Cuthbert, and Claudia for his actions (talking too with Katurian), but it's Terezi who gives him most pause. He expects her to cut him out of her life if she has not already done so and is surprised and frustrated when he finds her fighting such. He demands to know why she hasn't just left, accusing her of playing games with him, and she tells him the reason she hasn't given up on him was that "he stayed" when all the others had left her following her killing of the Signless. The Intitiate, stunned by the confession and the parallel the words held in his own past, is momentarily speechless. He's asked if he could apologize and he admits that he is unsure. She tells him to find her when figures out.
It takes some time, less time than the Initiate would have wanted, but he runs into Terezi at Timaeus's garden party and he can't help stopping her from running. He is unprepared to speak to her and it shows, but he asks her to stay regardless. He tells her he still isn't sure he regrets most of what he did, but he does regret hurting her. He tells her he knows it's not enough and to not leave him hoping he can repair their friendship, which he finally can admit to himself was a thing, and so if she could just cut him out like that, he could move on. Instead, she tells him a story. She tells him about Vriska Serket, who had been a friend of Terezi's and who used people as tools, and how one time she used another troll as a tool of revenge to hurt another. Terezi asks him to promise that won't happen again and he asks her what to do, confessing he doesn't know how else to live other than how he has; violent and cruel. She tells him it is about talk and he responds that he's still unsure, particularily when it comes to things surrounding the Signless. Terezi proposes a deal; if he doesn't kill any more people she cares about and lets her help handle any issues surrounding the Signless he is lost on in the future, then maybe, although she can't forgive what was done to Karkat, they could maybe still be friends. Not truly wanting to let her go, even as he knows it will be out of his territory, he agrees.
She notes his scars due to a joke and he tells her they are all old, and that the capitol hadn't failed to repair him at all. She comments that it's strange, what with him being a highblood, that he apparently lived so rough. He tells her that he grew up alone and that the beaches were a particularly dangerous place to be, though it hadn't stopped him. They realise that neither of them had any real lusii growing up, her's having never hatched and his having abandoned him. He is reminded, and tells her, that three of the other trolls are gone now, just from the last arena alone, and that one of them is the Neophyte Redglare. Distressed by this news, she shows her anger at the capitol, if just to him. He takes this as que to tell her about what he learned of district thirteen, its existance, and how he believes they aren't not to be trusted but could still be useful allies in defeating the capitol. He did this through a convoluted metaphor, wherein the distrticts were represented by the twelve official blood colors of their kind, and the red mutants.
Terezi is not the only one he decides to recruit during Timaeus's party. He finds Maximus as well, who'd been crowned victor in the crowning prior. He stops the man to ask him of things mentioned during that crowning, of death and how they were "all dead", the morbid topics interesting him. He learns Maximus was gladiator and soldier, which the Initiate takes to be something like being a subjugglator. He decides the man is worthy of trust and although he could not share his information with Maximus like he had Terezi, he keeps the man in mind as an ally against the capitol.
Also against the capitol, Cinna makes a bold announcement about how one should be careful with the "Snow" in the cold weather. The Initiate points out that that was all far too obvious, annoyed that it might draw attention to his own work. However he forgets this momentarily for the discovery of actual snow.
When the crowning of Enjolras rolls around, wherein the tributes are brought into a shared dream, the Initiate fights it initially, thinking he's been caught and is about to be executed. Once in the dream, he is nervous still for a whole new reason, thinking his chucklevoodoo-- his power still held from him by capitol, but the damage done to himself over the years, as well as just being a troll, having him expecting nightmares regardless-- will take over the dream world and plunge them all into something worse in a way even he can't control. He is on edge for most of the crowning. There, he learns of what Sigma's younger self had looked like, he briefly runs into Marius, and Terezi tells him about how the shared dream is much like the afterlife of their world-- or rather, a sort of waiting purgatory, him assuming such and imagining the Carnival to follow. He learns that it was through this dream world they could still converse with some of the dead, in their dreams, and this was how she had met people from beforus, people who had been of the other twelve players in Sgrub like she'd been for the second twelve.
But it isn't until Kankri Vantas of Beforus arrives that the truth comes out about his past life having been a player in the same games. Not only does he realise this and his failure, he learns that the twelve had been "friends", including he and Kankri. He learns too that on Beforus he was mute, he'd deafened Meulin, his then matesprit, in an accident, and Mituna had been his moirail in that life as well. He takes all but the last of this very poorly and only barely resists attacking Kankri.
Now he would be living with Kankri in District fives floor of the tribute tower. Living there too, had been Shepard, whom he'd found more and more aggravating, bugging her back, until finally, when she began a network wide announcement about her refusing to wear dresses any longer, he asked her out on a date, a hate date, as a kismesis. She said yes and so they did, going out and spending an evening of dining and bickering and petty annoyances. Since then, he made it his mission to bother her as much as possible, consistently trapping her door with various pranks and stealing her food.
He is asked to perform a gesture of an entirely different kind when the Christmas season rolls around. Ordered to get a gift for Neffa a Raeyeth as part of an exchange, he goes out hunts down some small birds and rats, taking them for their bones and cleaning them. He presents some of them as a gift to Neffa, thinking even if the gift is rejected, it will be funny, and he will have pleased his Messiahs. To his surprise, the gift isn't rejected at all.
The Initiate himself receives some gifts of his own. From Justin Law (without Initiate knowing who), he gets bottles of gravy soda, which he promptly destroys, and a purple cloak which he tosses onto his pile for sleeping on. From Terezi he receives a ring shaped in the form of many tiny skulls-- him later going out to purchase honeycomb opals, reminiscent of dragon scales, to leave at her door. Then, Cruentus leaves a glass blown repilca of his old bone arm, rainbow marks all over the inidigo, which would then refract in the light.
It seems Cruentus has gone out of her way to get gifts for everyone, including the Psiioniic whom he finds holding a replica of the helm's goggles, a tool of the Psiioniic's enslavement. The Initiate is immediately furious, asking the Psiioniic why he isn't angry and lashing at out-- at the capitol, the empress, and him as well. The Psiioniic asks in the rhetorical what he did to deserve the reminder of his enslavement and torture, and although he knows that it was done because of the Psiioniic's chosing to take part in rebellion on Alternia and that conflicts with the Initiate, he decides that there was no way what was done could've been worth the thousand sweeps that were inflicted upon the Psiioniic. It conflicts with him casting aside what he knew of the empire and its rules, but he decides the Psiioniic is more important. The Psiioniic gives him the goggles when the Initiate suggest they should be smashed. He smashes the goggles and with it, he leaves behind the last of any intent to return home to become who he was fated to be. He keeps this to himself, focusing instead on helping the Psiioniic find a new title, one that doesn't call back to the darker parts of his past-- as the Psiioniic and the Helmsman do-- and instead a title that would allow him to move past that. They eventually decide on Xanthous, meaning simply "yellow".
It becomes ever more clear to the Initiate whose side he will be on and how it clashes with his past position. The rebellion makes a second notice over the network, warning of upcoming district tours and that although the tributes had been dying for the districts, the districts were still largely unhappy. Anonymously the Initiate asks if this is a demand on their part, that dying for the districts isn't enough, or if it is truly a warning, telling them to be patient for the eventual war. The hacker offers reassurance that it is largely the latter. However, the Initiate gets into a fight with Enjolras. The Initiate is infuriated by Enjolras and his perceived lack of care for keeping rebellion on the down-low or that not every person might want to die for the rebellion. He bickers with Enjolras, telling the man they need to think of this as a war, and demanding that Enjolras "admit that they were more valuable for [his] cause dead than alive", finding more distaste with the hypocrisy than the act itself. Enjolras accuses the Initiate of having persisted in inaction and having done nothing to fight the capitol to which the Initiate, still anonymous where Enjolras was not, responds that Enjolras doesn't have a clue who he is or what he plans to do.
The Initiate's sour mood lasts into the district tours they were warned of by the Hacker. The Initiate would travel with his districtmates via train to district five where they would then spend the week. The Inititate takes to sulking at first, but when he notices Kankri doing the same, he calls Kankri out for keeping his back exposed, saying it could get him killed. He argues with Kankri who doesn't understand the point of such habits. He instigates Kankri by asking him if he's really "made of glass" as he was supposedly treated, with Kankri responding that he isn't of course. The Initiate tells him to prove it, show everyone wrong, and also not to call the Initiate by his name (Kurloz). Kankri explains some of the differences of the world he was from and the Initiate reacts poorly again, disbelieving of the idea that there would be a world in which trolls took care of each other and that value isn't just based on survival and skill alone, feeling a little bitter but not acknowledging it as such. Kankri is irritated that the Initiate isn't expending the effort to meet him half way as Kankri is, causing the Initiate to say that "his not having killed Kankri is his half way". Kankri asks him, if the Initiate believes he should die, why he's expending so much effort. The Initiate reluctantly admits that he had promised (Terezi) to try and make things different. He tells Kankri that he isn't that different to what the Signless was and he's trying to work with that, as much as it bothers him. He admits somewhat to having known the Signless before.
The district tours continue on, with him talking with Claudia and Azula of his home world, explaining how different things were and are in various ways. He finally gets the truth from Azula, that she is out for personal glory, and he tells her that he feels a change coming, a miracle, which he knows to be the war and the rebellion but he keeps silent, in want of a better way to win over her favor for his side.
Upon return from the districts, the Psiioniic undergoes surgery to remove all the scars gained from the helm and from his slavery. With the new title and scars removed, the Initiate tells the Psiioniic how proud he is of him, glad to see the Psiioniic happy and that he's moving on from the past that hurt him so. The Psiioniic declares that he intends to get them removed after every arena from now on.
The eighth arena rolls around then, a giant Museum full of masks that would grant the tributes temporary use of their powers, weapons all around, and wax statues of all the tributes then gone. The Initiate is put into pyjamas that strongly resemble his old Subjugglator uniform. He finds himself clubs and he finds the masks. With his Voodoo back to him, and his mood high, he takes advantage of the situation to spread the information he gained way back. He tells and recruits Sandy, Pruna (to whom he also gave his name), Shepard, Sigma, (Elliot,) Marius, and Carlos, wiping the memory of himself only from the latter two. To keep the Capitol without suspicion, he manipulates and inflicts fear on Armin, Kain, Brainy, Justin, and Karkat as an accidental casualty.
He spends some time with the Psiioniic, who finds out about the masks too. He also runs into Kankri, who's discovery of the masks giving powers causes kankri to glimpse the extent of the Initiate's feelings around Signless/Kankri and all the complicated aspects of it, to Initiate's horror. Kankri insists on being the Initiate's friend then, knowing of his past now, even as the Initiate draws back from it, afraid to be betrayed. Thanks to his promise to Terezi, he doesn't kill Kankri. The Initiate is made to accept that Kankri has no intent of leaving him be, at least for a while. The Initiate then tells him to keep his head down, warning him of what can and has been done in the Capitol and how certain things and behaviours are dangerous.
He leaves Kankri then only to run into Sigma once more shortly after. He overhears the broadcast of an intimate conversation between Howard and Sigma. The Initiate hears about Sigma's son and how Sigma wished to be a better father to the lost boy. Only then, the broadcast switches to the conversation between Initiate and Terezi, and the Initiate's abandonment by his lusus. Alarmed by the sharing of this dark secret, especially right after Sigma's broadcast, the Initiate lashes out. He rambles, bleeds himself, and asks Sigma all number of questions, including why Sigma neglected his own child, in attempt to understand better why his own lusus left him and why it was that Sigma had been kind to him while still having done all that, if he thought the Initiate was weak, and also saying he didn't want red blood that all humans have in retribution for things done by his lusus, but his lusus' indigo. Sigma says that none of this is the case, he doesn't think Kyle, his son, or the Initiate to be weak, that he just put his goals before his son, not because he wasn't happy with his son. He then shows that not all humans bleed the same, spilling white blood. The Initiate is stunned, recalling when he was young and had lost part of a painting of his lusus, having to go out and find the one color (white) that couldn't be found in blood to repaint his lusus back on the wall. The Initiate paints the lusus back on the floor and tells Sigma that he and his lusus had wished death on each other, but also that his lusus never had to choose between one or the other, the sea and him, and could've had both". Sigma comforts him in his moment of pain and the Initiate remembers Kankri's words ""No, you do. You just hate yourself for wanting it." and allows the gesture.
The Initiate and Sigma part ways for the arena. He finds Terezi in the hall of wax statues, having found the statue of Vriska Serket. They talk of paths of fate in timelines and how because of them Terezi killed Vriska even though she had been a friend, and she now carries her guilt for that. He tells her she can't search a thousand timelines for the one time everything works out, because might not exist, comparing the dark of his own future. He tells her she can't tear herself apart over it, she can only keep moving forward, trying to comfort her. She tells him she doesn't believe there are any miracles to be found in Capitol to which he disagrees, speaking of people he's met. The Psiioniic's new title (Xanthous) is mentioned and Terezi asks him if he intends to keep his own title, to which he explain that he had always hoped and aimed to become the Grand Highblood, something he could no longer be. She asks what he liked about it all and he explains in great detail until he catches the eye of the wax statue of Caliborn and Calliope, the child form (sharing a body) of the true gods of his faith (and unbeknownst to him, his descendant's adopted children). Having never truly known what they look like, he couldn't give the children this name-- as his gods-- as it was, but having the deep knowledge passed through blood and ancestral workings, and the passing of myth and story through the church, and through dreams and visions, he couldn't shake the feeling that the children were familiar, and the spiral on their cheeks meant something, a knowledge on the tip of his tongue. He shakes it off with unease and Terezi and Initiate promise to meet up again later, once Terezi officially parted ways with Cuthbert and Karkat.
Valentine's day rolls around during their meeting and they are sent food in the form of many heart shaped things. As embarrassing as it is for both of them, Terezi soon enough takes this as que to propose for a quadrant for real; the ashen quadrant, playing auspicitice between he and Signless. Initially, the Initiate turns her down, not wanting to share a quadrant with the Signless for any reason, but Terezi reminds him that she's already been asked by him to help with things related to Signless, and Signless too had asked her to keep tabs on him. He relents, asking first if she's sure she can handle all of it, then finally agreeing when she does. The conversation drifts to the Disciple, his evident distaste made known, and Terezi calls him on it, claiming the Disciple to be her friend and undeserving of his vitriol. He assents to not harming her any longer but that he will not pretend to like her.
Terezi is injured some time later, by Some the grue. Although the Initiate demands Terezi to tell him who did it, she refuses, which has him asking why she wants to protect a person in death game, especially with them both being Alternians. Terezi confesses she hates killing and that it makes her feel terrible, and that she's onlydirectlykilled one person before the arenas (Vriska Serket). The Initiate is confused by this, how she managed to survive as long as she did, and how a person could feel so bad for killing. She asks if he would feel something if it were the Psiioniic or her whom he killed, which he claims as being different. She disagrees but he continues to argue his point, asking her too why he should let himself die just so another stranger may live. She brings up the "what if" of them having been strangers, only for him to point out that the fact they are not is a big enough difference for him. He explains he can't care about people he's killed whom he's never known and that not being aggressive and murderous is weakness on Alternia. She asks if he thinks her weak and he tells her that by Alternian rules, she would be considered such and culled, but that she doesn't have to be an Alternian, even if he believes himself to be nothing but. She tells him she doesn't think they're so different, implying he is better than he believes he is or lets himself be, before she rests in her exhaustion.
The pair split up eventually and Initiate finds his way to the roof, only to be followed by the Disciple. They taunt and insult each other, riling up tempers and digging into old wounds. He keeps from attacking her on his promise to Terezi but he is far from kind. They argue of the actions of his future self, and of who hurt the Psiioniic. He denies her argument that he could've found something good in all of them, still insisting the Psiioniic is different. She points out that even the Psiioniic had believe in their cause of trolls being more than murderers once, noting that he hates himself-- his future self-- for what was done when he'd have painted with the Psiioniic's blood if he hadn't known, and also that he wouldn't want the Psiioniic to die for him now but for the Psiioniic to live on, as so Psiioniic had wanted for the Disciple back then. She tells him that not fighting in the rebellion would've hurt them just as well, and tells him he doesn't have to be the person who hurt them all, even as he tries not to listen in fear of being tricked. She tells him he can be kind and that the spectrum here is made of pigments, not blood. He says then that he did paint with the Psiioniic's blood, but that it had been in an act of kindness by the Psiioniic, him extending the kindness to the Initiate and so he extends his own hand out to her with the Psiioniic in mind. Unfortunately, he had stepped onto the glass which then broke beneath him causing him to fall and be impaled below.
Back in the Capitol, the Initiate has much to reconcile himself with and so takes to distraction, bothering Shepard in her pillow-fort and bringing half eaten chocolates as a caliginous gift, speaking to Katurian the peacekeeper, and then introducing Sigma and Terezi as his friends, only to find out Terezi had killed Sigma rather painfully in the arena prior. The conversation is fumbled greatly by all parties but somehow they manage to end on good terms. The Initiate passes his gratefulness for Sigma having returned to the capitol safely and Terezi and Initiate decide to swap lists of those they know and don't so that this mistake won't be repeated.
The Initiate's reprieve from thinking on the events of the arena doesn't last however, for Terezi arranges for the Disciple and Initiate to meet her for doing art in the Training Center.
Before the Crowning, he has a talk with Enjolras over the network, seeing the man had changed some of his ideas and wanting to make sure these new ones wouldn't be dangerous to the rest of them. They end up discussing religion.
At the Crowning of Mindy he meets Doc Holiday, remembering Terezi in the Crowning of Maximus and how she had tugged uncomfortably at her skimpy clothing, he offers Holiday his suit jacket when he see her doing the same. He talks with Hans, and he meets Kurt Wallander, another peacekeeper, and from him he learns of the Joker, whose suit he wears, and how apparently the man was a legend. He also meets Harley whom mistakes him temporarily for the Joker, smashing him over the head with a bottle, causing him nearly to attack her until her trying to kiss him makes things far too awkward for him. He continues to talk with her and finds he likes her, as she is much like what he'd expect from a follower of his faith, and the two end up causing a raucous by throwing shoes and bottles at people swinging into the crowning (an attraction at the place it was being held, also dancer to swing onto the floor from the air). He talks with Sigma about how he feels out of his element with everything in his life and how Eponine was upset with Sigma. The mini arena is announced suddenly, with Terezi and Pruna being of those whose names were pulled.
Brought on by the people who've been pulled from the past and other worlds, Hans makes suggestion to the network that they all ask questions they'd had and then supply each other with answers. He gets into various discussions over different things, with people such as Courfeyrac, whom he decides he likes, Zoidberg, whom he decides he doesn't, and Albert, whom he is suspicious of.
With the mini arena nearing, Terezi decides it will be better sooner than later to begin sorting out the ashen situation with he and Signless. She offers a gift first, a necklace of three rings in each of their colors all linked together, then she speaks to him and asks him to tell her of what bothers him about the Signless, until eventually he's delving into his past and sharing it with her, revealing that he and the Signless had once been friends in his youth and of all the feelings of betrayal that had built there, the Initiate believing that the Signless had tricked him with his kindness to make a fool of him all along and dismantle the empire. He confesses feeling haunted by the Signless and makes Terezi promise to tell no one that he had once cared for the Signless. Terezi takes that, offers him comfort, and then goes to seek out the Signless in turn (but only after The Initiate gives his true name, Kurloz, for her to know).
The mini arena begins and the Initiate watches to make sure Pruna and Terezi are safe. He watches as Pruna is robbed, and Pruna's girlfriend, Sandy, taunted that she will never grow older and become strong. He watches Terezi work to help another tribute win the arena, finding all the items needed to win the scavenger hunt and then giving them away. Terezi then threw herself into water to drown herself, having been told that those who don't die or win before the time limit will not be brought back. Initiate, perceiving that Terezi had thrown away victory and a chance at safety, is livid. Not to mention, his own fears of drowing and the fact that he had offered Terezi swimming lessons. The whole thing seemed to him a direct slap in the face.
When Terezi returns, he does not greet her kindly. He snaps at her for wasting his time teaching her to swim, and more so, for pulling him close to her and getting him attached when she so clearly wanted to throw her life away. He is cruel as he shouts an upset Terezi, still shaken from the horror of drowning. He calls her trying to get everyone else out of arena before herself as she tells him it's not safe even out of the arenas. The fight begins to die out and the Initiate turns to go only for Terezi to stop him and snap at him for ordering her around like it's his right. The Initiate blows up, revealing that it's all because of her he's trying to change and wants to, is working with the Signless, and resisted killing anyone for a whole arena. He screams at her to leave him alone.
With Sandy however, he took it upon himself to start training her, angered by what had been said of her and Pruna. The two talked about their lives and pasts and hopes. They trained many days after and began to grow close.
In a short time later, the Tributes are all greeted with a surprise: the bringing of their families. The Initiate meets Kurloz, his alternate beforan self, and Gamzee, his descendant. Outside awaiting him is the lusus that neglected him. Hurt and furious, the Initiate nevertheless resigns himself to caring for the immobilized seagoat for the rest of the week and then some (greeting those like Homura's friend Madoka, and Sigma's wife, Diana). During this time, he is greeted by Sigma. The Initiate introduces the three, as well as his lusus. Sigma later confronts the lusus alone, informing the old goat that he intends to be Initiate's guardian from then on, pointing out that for all the seagoat's methods made Initiate strong enough to survive Alternia, it had left Initiate broken. Sigma went on to tell the goat how despite all things, the Initiate still loved the goat. The family event went on, including a false family arena, made up so that the families wouldn't know the true arenas were ones of death.
Within this span of time, he is confronted by the Disciple, asking that he talk to Terezi but not get mad at her. Unsure that he is able to do so, he tells the Disciple he will not promise. He does however apologize to the Disciple for his treatment of her before, and thanking her for giving him a chance. He runs into Shepard, whom he fights with, Jane being angry that Initiate should be so controlling of Terezi, and Initiate still wanting her safe.
When Terezi later comes to him, he manages to calmly say that he doesn't need Terezi to change anything, but that if she's going to continue letting herself fall wayside, he wishes that their friendship not continue. Terezi tries to convince him otherwise, even pointing out that it's hypocritical of him to be so harsh on her when she knows he's strong enough to win the arenas and has chosen not to (which will surely set the Capitol off). He reacts with pointing out he could easily just work for the capitol or carry on being a monster by himself, as Terezi says that it's letting them win, letting fear win, and only making the work easier by burning bridges himself. At last he admits to being too weak and scared to lose anyone. She convinces him to trust her and trust others, fight through the fear that makes him. He proceeds to offer her an apology for being so unkind to her before, and she goes to get him his moirail.
He later apologizes to shepard, however awkwardly whilst being her kismesis, and the two kiss. She walks away almost immediately after.
On the final day, the Initiate is greeted by the seagoat suddenly offering an affectionate bump, one last gesture of the goats showing care, Initiate, taken aback, allows it all to happen. A mere minute later, the peacekeepers come, incapacitating him and proceeding to take Gamzee, Kurloz and the seagoat away. Rocked by having had this good taken away from him, the Initiate goes to Sigma in despair. More than ever, he fears losing those he has. In but a few hours, the 10th arena begins, one of a desolate town filled with zombie-like beasts, the whole arena resembling Silent Hill.
Taking Terezi's words to heart, fearing the loss of his friends, he decides to go all out during the arena, beginning on a murderspree. He runs into Dave Strider (who, only having just arrived, was not yet on Terezi's Don't Kill list), intending to kill, only for Dave to flee into the fog. He finds the body of the Helmsman and hangs onto his goat necklace token for safekeeping. He kills shion and Ian C, taking their corpses apart as bait for beasts. Eponine finds him with Ian's head, and seeing her friend so mutilate, reacts with fear, disgust, betrayal, and sorrow. With Terezi's earlier words with him, of guilt towards killing, and seeing eponine so distraught, he falters for a moment, but ultimately decides he has no choice but to be the monster capitol wishes to see if he is to keep his dear ones. He culls cuthbert in mercy, from which he never comes back. He runs into Sandy, showing her how to keep herself from despair, he ran into Vriska, with whom he formed a tentative cahoots, and he found Sigma as powers were returned, and through voodoo, they both shared the darkness of their histories and wishes to change, whilst Sigma decided then he would pretend to be on Capitol's side so that their downfall could be brought. The Initiate agreed that Sigma could hurt him, if it would "prove" this allegiance and help Sigma. With Sigma's help, to further solidify this image, they joined up in killing Justin Law, a death which the Initiate revelled in, amused by how in the past arena, Justin had gone out of his way to serve him as liaison to a god of fear.
But this joy would be quite to end, when the Capitol would unleash the zombified members of their families upon the Tributes. The Initiate would find his descendant, blank eyed and unresponsive, but otherwise alive. Distraught by this discovery, knowing that the Capitol had done something to Gamzee, the Initiate decided then that more than just giving a show, he had to win the arena and force the Capitol to save Gamzee as their victor. He murdered Elsa, and brutally slaughtered Kain, torturing him when taunted and underestimated, tearing him apart in his rage and winding up furious with himself for being the sort of monster Terezi and the Helmsman hadn't wanted.
He kept up trying to hunt down the other tributes, though he came to pause over meeting Kevin (of Nightvale). The man had been greviously injured, and while a chip controlled Kevin's thoughts and emotions, the Initiate could feel the fear Kevin held, and that Kevin wished to be free. Although he thought to save Kevin, ultimately he did not, when Kevin injury would surely make him lose and be reset, and the Initiate's own need to save Gamzee. He chose not to grant false hope, and instead try to help Kevin to safety in futile attempt to appease his guilt.
He went back to Gamzee, who he had been keeping locked away in the depths of the abandoned amusement park, stealing fruit from the orchard and bringing it back to crush up and attempt to feed the non-responsive troll-- advice he later passed to Homura, who was caring for Madoka. On one of his trips here, he found the Disciple, chased up a tree by a zombie who had bit off her lower leg. After hesitation, he killed the beast and then went to help her down, bringing her back to his hideaway and attempting to cauterize her leg with mere candles, for it to naturally fail. He mercy killed her instead, snapping her neck and dragging the corpse away from Gamzee, so as not to have beasts attracted.
He made one more kill, taking down Orc, a boy made of rock, and breaking his leg and ribs in the process, sacrificing it in order to claim his cull. It was then impossible to stay in his hideaway. He took Gamzee and went to find some safety closer to the orchard, where food would be readily available. By this time, however, Signless had been driven into a rage due to the effects of in-arena food. The furious Signless confronted the Initiate, and the two fought furious, if only verbally. Through this, the Initiate found out the truth, that Signless had never meant to abandon him, and likewise Signless came to understand how the Initiate had taken it as betrayal. It was then that the Initiate revealed he had long held pale feeling for the Signless, but that he wished no more to long for the other troll, only to forget him. The Signless was stopped when the Initiate headbutted him to unconciousness, the Initiate taking Terezi's ashen teachings to heart as best as he could. He went on to find Sigma, who was hanging on to a bit of family of his own, Diana. They went to seek refuge together only for both Diana and Gamzee become properly zombified and attempt to kill them. Sigma fell to Diana and Diana and Gamzee were both killed by Initiate. He took off all their heads and lined them in a row, before which he prayed, then butted foreheads gently with Gamzee's before making to move on.
The Initiate ran into Alpha Rose and was blinded by her, then found by Terezi. He stayed with Terezi for the rest of the arena, as slowly, he too began to rot and become a zombie-beast. His hair fell out, he felt an endless hunger, and all in all became worse, unable to do anything in his blindness but rely on his power of fear. He went slowly mad, though he tried to enjoy the company of Terezi and help Homura kill her degenerated Madoka, so Homura wouldn't have to. The Initiate was eventually found by Mordin, who electrocuted him to death and dissected his corpse.
Unlike himself, the Helmsman was not revived after the tenth arena. The Initiate snapped. It was only thanks to Eddie's intervention and giving him morphling that the Initiate didn't try to kill everyone in the tower. He cared not even of the disaster Eponine had left of his room, her revenge for killing Ian. Both high and miserable, the Initiate attempted to reconcile with others he knew (the Disciple being one, trying to console the loss with her, the Signless being another), but ultimately he decided to take advantage of the sudden illness in capitol and flee to Stephen's offered safehouse, escaping memory more than illness. There, he revealed his true face to Sigma in a moment of intimacy, wherein the two came to acknowledge each other as "father" and "son". He also fought with Shepard, who gave important rebellion intel and beat him with a lamp for trying to kiss her, and he gained a sort of friendship with Stephen when caught swinging from the chandelier.
He eventually returned to Terezi, collapsing in her arms and breaking down. He spilled his regrets for the arena, stating how for all he tried to save his moirail and Gamzee by being a monster, it amounted to nothing but pain and guilt. Weary and worn, the Initiate reacted to the bombing of District three (the Capitol's retaliation for the rebellious tributes of the district) and the on-screen death of several avoxes with none more than half-hearted "I told you so"s (said upon Lonestar's private tribute network) and quick quelling of those ready to fight back (Dennet, who protested the Avoxing and was told to quiet. Courfeyrac, who thought to do something rebellious against the Capitol and was assured to wait, listening much to Initiate's surpise), warning them it would only bring more death. Cecil, who had unveiled District Three's demise, was avoxed for it, and when seen in the Capitol, the Initiate attempted to engage with Cecil the only way Cecil could-- trying to clean. The Initiate revealed his past self had once been mute and the two gained silent understanding.
The tenth arena's win wound up going to Kevin afterall, much to everyone's dismay-- others, due to their hatred, and Initiate for his guilt. People reacted with hostility to Kevin's actions, only the Initiate knowing they were not Kevin's actions at all, but the result of a chip. Only the Initiate's morphling supply (dwindling with the presumed death of Eddie) kept him above it all.
But he was sure to sink when reaped for a mini arena upon a sinking ship. Now, the Initiate would face one of his worst fears, a fear he'd fought and trained, mentally and physically, to keep from consuming him; drowning. Some, such as Sigma, tried to help him, but for the most part, as the Initiate desperately sought escape from this fate, he sought to redeem himself from the last arena and help those in this one. He attempted to bring Dennet to safety, only for Dennet to sacrifice himself for him, jumping in the way of a rat trying for his throat. He went to find Albert and Cecil (who had been put in the arena as well, despite being born a capitolite), and went to assist them when part of the ship caved on them. Though he was able to drag Cecil through the broken metal, part of it tore at Cecil's side and he died in the Initiate's arms. Albert, meanwhile, remained trapped under the rubble and drowned along with Jet, his husband, who had shown up and told Initiate to go.
He then ran into Eponine and both reacted with hostility. They were found by Sigma and Sabriel, whom stopped the Initiate from killing her, Sigma caring for Eponine just as much as him, and urging Eponine onward. Instead, Eponine locked them into a room, trapping them there as the ship sunk. For the first time, the Initiate showed true fear of his coming death and frantically tried to escape, seeking to smash the door or find some other way out, until overcome both with despair and the rising water. The Initiate, with underdeveloped fins, but no gills to his name, then drowned. He woke to Terezi seeking to comfort him, and to her he expressed further regret for his anger when it had been she who drowned.
Time passed, until finally the Initiate decided that some joy was in order. A Carnival in fact. He threw as grand a celebration as he could all by himself, preforming rites, ritual, speaking scripture and sermon. He wowed people with performance, drew people in with rythym and dance (even the likes of his ashmates, Signless and Terezi), and was blessed with a miracle in the form of his other self, the Beforan Kurloz Makara, returning to him. The two boys held fast to one another, and fussed, scoffed, and went all to enjoy mirth of their own.
The Initiate failed to realise this was a warning. That very night, Terezi was arrested and taken away on suspicion for the murder of Penny, the Peacekeeper who had cruelly tortured many of the tributes and lorded over them. Terezi was among many other tributes taken, including Sandy, Courfeyrac, Mindy, and Rose. After having only just lost the Helmsman, the Initiate fled to the door of the Disciple and the Signless, frantically telling them he didn't know what else to do or where to go but that if he couldn't get some kind of help he might snap again. To get him settled without crossing pale, the Signless slapped him and the three talked. In short time, another Lonestar post opened up, allowing the Initiate to inform the two that he was going to break Terezi out or die trying, telling them he "he'd not be able to watch her be executed and would just be killed then, so he might as well try to free her". He invited the two to stay or come along, and they chose the latter.
The two dressed up as humans, (the two pretending to be capitolites, and Initiate pretending to have been bid on in a pale date and carefully disguising his putting makeup on them as pale carresses.) going about collecting things in their disguise, whilst Initiate worked out his plans and stole what he could. In the night, they found their way to the prison, dodging the motion seeking guns outside the building, working their way inside, and knocking out peacekeepers all the while. Initiate, in all his rage, nearly kills one of the peacekeepers, only to be brought down by Signless who paps and shooshes him, for real this time. They find Terezi, having been tortured for a week and given a Capitol brand upon her face, looking worse for wear, but still manage to escape without too much more trouble. They sneak into Stephen's house and pick up supplies Stephen had pre-arranged to be there for them (with him later being caught for it), then flee into the woods.
They stay there for a week, trying to keep on the move so as to remain uncaught despite the trackers in their blood. Reunions are had, as well as some fights, some reveals of the truth (Disciple telling the Initiate about the execution of the Signless), and reconciliation. The four of them, though stressed and terrified, ultimately find themselves some peace in the wilderness, as opposed to the constant barrage of the City's lights, sounds, and surveillance. But they fail to outrun the trackers in them and are caught. While Terezi, the Signless, and the Disciple are dragged one way (to later be thrown back in the prison cell, separated from one another by forcefield, the Initiate is taken elsewhere entirely.
Cuffed, gagged, and blindfold, the Initiate is brought into a bright windowless medical room. There, the Initiate is put under repetitive torture, heavy drugs, and brainwashing. His hair is made short, his vocal cords are cut, and his tongue is removed entirely. For his attempted killing of a peacekeeper and breaking out Terezi Pyrope, he is made an Avox. He is conditioned to be attentive, quick to obey,eager to please any citizen (and serve Tributes and Mentors and all other "above" him). Fear of failing to obey any order, no matter how extreme, is impounded hard, along with fear of communicating directly, in any form, and, of course, harming any Tribute, Mentor, Capitolite, Peacekeeper or otherwise is absolutely forbidden. The Capitol wants Avoxes to behave as interchangeable, genderless drones with no thoughts or opinions or confidences of their own. They are non-persons, meant to exist only in the background as nameless slaves, and that is what the Initiate is made into.
However, his Avoxing, while thorough as could have been, was rushed. He is a proper Avox when they throw him into the arena, but over the course of it all, his conditioning wears down faster than it would have otherwise. Not fast enough to avoid certain consequences, however.
Cast into the the Mall arena as an avox, The Initiate has next to no chance of winning, or being anything more than a quick kill of another tribute. Carlos (the Scientist), Homura, and Sigma all stumble upon him, horrified by his new state of blankness, unable to help but by giving him order to stay safe. On this first order, he fails, when found by Eridan Ampora (a troll Tribute this time). He is made to kneel, is kicked about, and then made to lie still whilst Eridan cut off the under-developed fins on his ears with a skate blade. His ordered to clean himself up and is found by his other self, Kurloz, who takes it as a shameful disgrace, while still trying to see the Initiate better, only to find out the Initiate is now just as tongueless. Kurloz notes the irony of this "crude Alternian wriggler" being given a clean cut, while he himself was mangled, inelegant and done in an emotional fit. Kurloz takes it all as a greater insult than Capitol ought to have dared, and from there Initiate's beforan alternate orders him to take part in lessons of miming (signing/sign language).
They stay within the cafeteria during their time of rest, learning to sign in the "closing" hours, and the Initiate going off to do his duties as an avox during the waking periods. For a few weeks this goes on, with him running into Mindy, Sandy, Pruna, Clara, Homura, Albert, Dave, Roland, Clementine, Kankri, Diana, Sollux, Joel and more. He winds up supported by other Avoxes like Starkiller, and Cecil-- Justin, also an avox, is made to work with Initiate on Cecil's determination that they should get along.
The arena featured biographies of every Tribute, the Initiate's being painfully true. His past as the Grand Highblood is revealed to Sollux and Albert, the former of which the Initiate had tried to help before going off to rescue Terezi. They react with alarm but ultimately don't turn him away for this, though Sollux tells him off for serving him as an Avox, while Albert gives him a chance to listen to music as how they played together in Initiate's Carnival Service. With Roland, he instead finds the book of his very gods, Calliope and Caliborn. He reads much of it, gaining small glimpses and details into the truth, only for it to be chewed up by a mall sweeper. Roland goes to save it, and for that the Initiate is grateful, but the book remains irreparable. He learns also of his past life, whose books amount to a number of dry encyclopedias, leaving the Initiate to skip much of it and only gather small points there too.
At last, he reunites with a Terezi who thinks he is dead. She thinks at first he might be a hallucination, only to discover he is alive, but an avox. Terezi is horrified, but asks him to stay by her side. He does so, and for him, she paints his face back on. He takes her back to Kurloz where he teaches her signing, and a burned up Signless, and Kankri have joined some days back, staying together on their vast pile of straws.
They are split up again however, much to his dismay, especially as thought and will and feeling (beyond fears) come back to him. Black Tom sets up a trap in the cafeteria, making it so that during the dinner hours, when the Cafeteria was most populace and Avoxes would come in to serve the Tributes food, explosions would go off, killing or maiming all those within range. The Initiate manages to avoid any grievous injury and is helped away by Thor, but he doesn't again find Kankri, Signless, or his other self.
He finds an injured Sigma, shrapnel caught all in his prosthetics and his body. The Initiate, by Sigma's instructions, carefully takes to removing the shrapnel and disinfecting the wounds, offering what support a mute slave can. He keeps searching for Terezi, only to be shot accidentally by belle. He takes a bullet to his leg and falls on down from the top of the stairs. Belle, apologetic for what was done, tries to bandage his leg and help him as best she can. She leaves for a time, returning just as Eridan appears and tries to shoot them down. Belle takes a bullet for Initiate, and the Initiate tries to carry her away from the scene, as Eridan becomes distracted by Harley Quinn driving a car through the hall. Belle dies and the Initiate washes off her blood, saddened that he cannot paint with it in believing that she deserved to be honored with beauty, not washed away. He is reunited with Terezi, finding her with Carlos the Scientist, whom he thanks for looking after her.
The Initiate, between the knowing of his future (thanks to his biography), his avox conditioning, and all that's happened since he came to Panem, finds himself divided. His warring Alternian and Avox conditionings combat each other, and in their wake, he finds some of the child he used to be, albeit, still being fractured and new and unfamiliar. He reflects on this with Sandy, who has changed herself by this point, if perhaps for the darker.
Eventually, it comes down to the final few tributes. Charlie attempts to kill the Initiate, only to be stopped by Terezi. Terezi orders him to run and so the Initiate flees on command into the sports store, only for Initiate instead to grab a bow and arrow. Wishing to save Terezi, the Initiate fires an arrow into Charlie's neck, killing her. Immediately the Initiate's conditioning crashes on him, bearing him down with suffocating terror of disobedience, and retribution for what he's done. From then on, the act of killing becomes beyond him.
Through all this, Initiate had carried his biography. It is only until the end that Terezi takes the time to read it. It is through this she learns that the Neophyte (as per Games canon) had been his matesprit in his future as Grand Highblood, and that Grand Highblood had found out her allegiance to the Signless Sufferer and arranged to the lowblood masses for Mindfang to mincontrol into killing the Neophyte. Terezi, horrified and betrayed, runs for the third floor, unknowing of the poisonous dust floating in the air. The Initiate finds her as she is already growing weak. Mutely, he pleads with her to come as she fight him off, until she's driven to command him away. For a moment, he obeys, but his will has returned enough now, especially knowing it was Terezi he got himself avoxed to save (and believing that it was worth it), that he returns to her side. She asks him why he won't go, and he signs one word to her; "Stay". At last, she reaches for him, allowing him to carry her away. It's not enough though and she dies in his arms shortly after.
Her body is carried with him for the rest of the arena, until he stumbles upon a drunken Thor and Carlos who convince the Initiate to give Terezi a viking funeral on a flaming canoe in a melted ice rink. He then wanders off, waiting for death and receiving it in thanks to an explosion in the arcade.
With the Arena's end, the Initiate found not only had his tongue and voice been restored, taking the time to enjoy this fact by sharing a soda with Azula and getting a kiss from his Kismesis, Shepard, he found too that the Disciple had never returned, and Karkat neither. He gathers Terezi and the Signless together, if with some protest on Terezi's part, to talk. The Initiate, already knowing the loss of his moirail, and Signless understanding a bit too, he tries to bring them all to a level of understanding and being better able to move on from the loss. The three go to paint the Disciple's room, before it's entirely changed in her replacing.
In expression of gratitude to all those who had shown him kindness and compassion during the arena, the Initiate began making up pieces of jewelry. Small bone bits of rats and birds, strung together and dotted with the color of the rainbow were to be found on the doors of everyone who fell under this deeming, and with many of those people, he found new reconciliation. He asked to start anew with Kankri Vantas, giving his last name (which Kankri, of course, already knew) to use instead of a title. He listened to Albert play and talked of inherent natures of their species, the Initiate reflecting that even with the Games, humans weren't bad, while Albert insisted Trolls could be just the same. He talked with Clara, Mindy, Belle, Roland, Homura, even Justin (with whom some blackrom flirting had occured). He reconciled with Sollux, telling the full truth of his future self, their destinies and the like, and it ended on friendly terms. He spoke also with Kevin, finally admitting that he knew what the chip was doing to him, that he had the chance to save Kevin and didn't, offering apology all the while. Kevin, touched that the Initiate even cared at all, accepted this, learning in small ways to work around the control of the chip to tell Initiate how he was hopeful for the future and being free, as the Initiate promised he would do his best to give that.
He met new Tributes and helped them along, all of them unknowing of the cruelty of his past self; Korra, Sam, Nill, Anakin. Nill and Sam he grew particularly close to. The Initiate asked Nill, a mute, if she might teach him sign language, sharing his title in spoken words, but his hatchname in signing, wanting to preserve Kurloz's memory and be further prepared for if the worst should happen in the future. With Sam, he shared some secrets of his past and his time in Capitol, receiving pancakes, kindness, and an unexpected hug in exchange.
Lonestar gives yet another chance for the gathering of allies and information, at which point the Initiate takes it upon himself to collect a vast number of names, new and old, to discuss avenues of rebellion and information that they are all to know. He calls on Captain America, Sam, and Natasha, Signless, Terezi, Dave, Rose, Dirk, Sollux (and at Sollux's request, attempts to create a line with Feferi, for all his distrust of her). He connects to Dennet, Clara, Azula, Sandy, Pruna, Jet, Albert, Carlos, and all the more as they continued to connect on with one another, passing knowledge and known blindspots within the city where they could make to meet.
While his time as a rebel still calls for seriousness, especially when, by means of elimination he becomes a sort of leader, his time without it is spent in a state almost like a return to childishness. He's lighter and happier and more open with his emotions. He begins on a journey of figuring out this new self he's become.
Of course, for every bright spot, like celebrating birthdays with Pruna and Sandy, coming to be friendly with Punchy, rapping with him, and later enjoying a session of gaming with he, Gary, and Dave, of finally coming to grounds with his ashmates (talking of the past and where things went wong) and being able to move on from those old hurts-- of all this was still left some darkness, like Sandy's reveal that she had killed Penny, and her breakdowns following, or like his confrontation with Venus, erupting over something so silly as a yogurt war, but being fuelled by deep hurts each wished to vent without truly doing so, and the curfew, which forced tributes to be disallowed from leaving their floors or seeing their loved ones until set times, and finally having Alex Murphy come down on him for his language and suggesting his Avox wasn't a "sufficient lesson", then further suggesting speech therapy.
Clara's Crowning is much the same, spotted with highlights and lows. While set off initially by the bright starkness of the room, reminding him off his avoxing and putting him at unease, he was quickly appeased by the discovery of Capitol's bringing of Faygo, his long missed and sought after "wicked elixir". He weeped openly and shared drinks and joys with Ringabel, Jet, Sollux, Azula, Bucky Barnes, Clementine, Barb, Signless, Nill, and even Charlie was befriend, apologized to, and forgiven. Shepard and Rose both were unable to affect his mood. Only when Signless spotted Kankri dressed in The Shackles, the same ones that Signless was to wear on his execution, did things go sour.
Incited into rage was the Signless, and the Initiate, fearing that the peacekeepers might come down him, went to pap and shoosh the Signless himself, a incredibly pale-romantic gesture of calming. The Signless was calmed just as hoped, but in place of that, the Initiate realised he had done something terrible, cheating Terezi, his ashmate, by not having broken up ash before this. Out of guilt, he worked himself up until outside seemed the only escape. Terezi met him there, and while he tried to enjoy a simple dance for a time, he quickly spilled his wrong doing and asked for forgiveness. She gave it, stating that it would perhaps be soon that they end the ashen relationship. Without thought, the Initiate protested letting her go, even though his true feelings for her by now were far from grey, but something much more red.
This break up did not come before the reaping for the children's arena. Gathered all together, the names of everyone at the age of eighteen and under were called to participate in the coming mini arena. For all his height of seven feet, his old behaviour, and his adult title had down well to convince many of the other tributes of his maturity, the capitol saw through it all, and for being only seventeen in body (eighteen in mind), he was deemed still a child and swept in with those who were to compete this round. They were made to stay in a daycare center until the arena the next morning. There, they were briefed on the arena, and it became clear that Sandy Marko had for some reason gained a target upon her back. The Initiate worried how he would keep Sandy safe when Capitol so clearly wanted her dead. Especially when he would no longer be able to kill. He talked with Pruna, trying to plan, and Eponine, who sought him out to apologize and ask for a truce, which after all he had learned, he decided to offer. With Terezi came talk of much the same worries of Sandy, but a hope; they could both win this time. Not only that, but they would have all that night to be by each other's side. The Initiate revealed to her that he remembered at last who used to be, that before all had happened, he'd been "good like her" when he was young. The night held promise.
And the children's arcade-race arena, also. Sandy was threatened by Loki and while Initiate worried that his bluff might not save her, he was ultimately able to fend Loki off. He made through the rest of the arena with ease and came across Terezi just short of the finish line. Injured via stab wound by Felicity, the Initiate picked her up and carried her to the finish line, the both of them crossing the finish line together. It was too good to be true. Because the Initiate had failed to kill or injury any tribute, he did not have the needed points to pass over the line. A tube came up around him, closing him in from Terezi. Just as he shouted for her to look, green acid came down upon him, melting down his flesh and bones to naught before the eyes of all those there and those forced to watch back in the Capitol.
Initiate's revival in Capitol is marked by visiting Terezi in the hospital (Terezi, who had managed to survive afterall), thanking Punchy for pulling her to safety, as well as congratulating his victory that arena (and later talking of how they were both Avoxes), and being called into enforced speech therapy, in thanks of Alex Murphy, and his new escort, a human Porrim Maryam. It was a therapy that was doomed to fail, for all it brought the kindness and sympathy of Sigma, Jet, Albert, Sam, Dave, Nill, Homura, and Linden. These discussions became all manner of talks and actions, different with each person, but all far from speech. Progressions of existence, politic and power, doing more to save Kevin, his past and future, games, jokes, and joys. Over these, his kismesis, Shepard, broke up with him, shocked to find out he had been so young, pointing out their difference as a species, and that for all her talk and action, she did not truly hated him as he wanted. But all the same, he found a tentative and unsure moirail in the Signless, his old friend, and also went on to at last kiss Terezi Pyrope, just after offering her a poem, and she kisses back-- only to stop him and tell him they were still ashen. Embarrassed with himself, he makes to go, only to be stopped from that too. Terezi confesses she shares his feelings and agrees to be his matesprit, just as soon as they end ash and he's properly talked with Signless, wherin their Moiraillegiance is settled and Initiate expressed gratitude to at last have his friend back, even if all is still fragile. They later go on one last day as ashmates, which ends a double date, with the Initiate holding the hands of his two new quadrants.
In true fashion of the cyclicling pattern, it was then that two lost trolls made their return. The first was Karkat. Riled to anger by Karkat's atitude, atop what he had remember of the previous Karkat, the Initiate was openly hostile, and when met with Karkat shooing him off, the Initiate took it as an attempt to command and lashed out with violence, hauling Karkat by the collar and punching the wall beside. He told Karkat to enjoy the games and was caught then by Nill, who sought to intervene. Brought away from Karkat, the guilt immediately crashes down, and the Initiate curses himself for having done "better" until this moment, and he apologizes to Nill for getting involved in that, swearing he'll do better. This all transcends into Nill finding out of Initiate's world, namely that it was "doomed" and by the future of many of those he knew, he was already dead. Nill bursts into tears, and Initiate is alarmed, but quick to reassure and comfort her.His problems with Karkat carry through Nill once more, when Nill questions his cult thanks to Karkat, and the Initiate goes on the defensive. However, this too is worked through.
Terezi too learns of Initiate's wrong-doing. He tries to explain that he was merely caught off guard, apologizing to her too and swearing that next time will be different. She urges him to see that this is a second chance, to let go of what this Karkat doesn't remember, and not hold him to the mistakes of the past (just as he himself tried to move on from his own). He agreed to this, though urged that she not let herself be walked on (again) by neither Karkat nor himself.
But the final ghost was still to come. Just a short time before the arena, the Psiioniic returns, this time, not only without memory of having been there, but no memory of having been the Helmsman. It's a devistating blow to the Initiate, when he goes to greet in tearful embrace, only for the Psiioniic to scream and reacting with hostility, saying he'd not follow orders while all the same showing fear. The Initiate, desperate and heartbroken, attempts to plead with the Psiioniic, wiping the paint off half his face in the middle of the lobby, just to prove his allegiance. The Initiate is asked to tell the Psiioniic of the Helmsman, and he does, all without mention that they were in moiraillegiance, or that he was the Grand Highblood to be. The Psiioniic threatens the Initiate that if any harm befalls he or the Signless, the Psiioniic, while not wanting to cull, will cull the Initiate.
Brought to despair by this, the Initiate seeks to inform Signless, Terezi, and Sigma of these happenings, assuring them that these inevitable-- for the Initiate had already harmed and would harm-- actions are in the Psiioniic's right, and that he ought not be stopped. They are sympathetic to this plight, until his confession, at which point Terezi and Signless both react with anger that he would throw his life away. He is reprimanded thoroughly and Sigma tries to make Initiate see that this doomed future is not his only option. Terezi shatters this, however, revealing the nature of timelines on their world and how trying to change them would doom the timeline and actively kill all those in it. Learning that his fate, even with all the changing he's done, is inescapable, the Initiate despairs ever more, for himself, his past self, his descendant, and all those around him. Run ragged, he promises he will not return to this fate, not even to save those who might be left behind. She attempts to cheer him by helping him clean up his paint.
The twelfth arena begins early for Initiate. He's awoken earlier than the other tributes so a group of peacekeepers, bring instant alarm, but not fast enough for him to react before being knocked out. Taking place in a fake imagining of space, all the tributes had to wear helmets (lest they wish to burn up or freeze in the fake the capitol created atmosphere). Initiate horns, being long as they were, had to be removed, and so when the Initiate awoke at the Cornucopia, got inside the spaceport, and removed his helmet, he would find both horns to be sawed off at the base, patches sewed on where they'd been to prevent infection and bloodloss.
However, it wasn't quite enough, especially not when combined with post surgery wooziness, drugs, the effects of space, the return of his powers which he channelled often through his horns, and the natural horror of such a large loss. He is found by Nill, a telepath, drowning in the fear of the arena. They start off a terrible sort of psychic feedback loop, but eventually he manages control, and Nill goes on to help him to safety and to call Terezi and Signless to him.
With Terezi's seer powers, and Initiate's ability to read off fear, they both know he is going to die. Still, they carry on together where they can, and carry on alone when split apart. Through Xenomorphs, watching the stars, and mafunctions in gravity. He speaks with Sam, Jet, Albert, Shepard, Dandy, and Charles who seeks to talk of the rebellion. He even shares what he knows of the rebellion to Karkat, the two managing almost amicable terms for the first time.
The Initiate is saved by Jet, when frequencies, much like that of the Vast Glub, nearly cause him to burn up from the inside and bleed out, but his time runs out nevertheless, as not long later, he is split in half by the sudden closing of an airlock, killing him instantly.
- Descriptions of all abilities can be found here.
- Proficiency with a wide variety of weapons thanks to subjugglator training and natural (canonical) inclinations. Prefers and is best with clubs. Can use spears, knives, arrows, slingshots, swords, etc.
- Carnival performance abilities
- Night vision, from living nocturnally.
- Increased endurance (including pain endurance) and physical strength.
- Long lifespan
- leadership skills from his time in the subjugglators
- Subjugglator logs
- The beliefs and practices of the Cult Of The Mirthful Messiahs (also RP tips).
- Understanding of quadrants for the canonblind.
- GHB's bio fic.
- Appearance can be found here  or more clearly shown here (nsfw images included)
- His vocal habits/fluctuations explained: 
- Paints a wall in the Training Center almost every day. He used to allow it to be cleaned off by Avoxes. He cleans it all himself now and paints atop a sheet.
- Trills and clicks and growls and does all those nonsensical non-word little buggy noises a lot more than the average troll. It's supposed to be grown out of. Initiate failed to. You should probably be embarrassed for him.
- Sleeps poorly. This is due to both being a troll-- the entire species having terrible nightmares without the use of a thing called "sopor" which they sleep in-- and what damage his powers of fear have wrought on his own mind.
- Do not under any circumstances mention or introduce him to ICP. ICP would be deemed blasphemy and would be believed by him to be an extremely insulting mockery of his faith and beliefs. It can induce serious faith crisis that then might induce an out-of-arena murderspree.