a subterranean gif

You go downstairs and confront your custodian, which is another term for a frightening beast known as a LUSUS NATURAE. 

OH GOOD! 

Your lusus has looked after you since you were very young in lieu of any biological parents, whom you have never known. No young troll ever knows his or her blood parents, nor could such lineage ever be accurately traced. Adult trolls supply their genetic material to the FILIAL PAILS carried by imperial drones and offered to the monstrous MOTHER GRUB deep underground in the brooding caverns. She then combines all the genetic material into one diabolical incestuous slurry, and lays hundreds of thousands of eggs at once. 

Mechanically speaking, that doesn’t sound too different from how the paradox clones were created.

The eggs hatch into young larval trolls which wriggle about to locate a cozy stalactite from which to spin their cocoons. After they pupate, the young troll with his or her newfound limbs undergoes a series of dangerous trials. If they survive, they are chosen by a member of the diverse and terrifying subterranean monster population native to Alternia. This creature becomes the troll’s lusus, and together they surface and choose a location to build a hive. The building process is facilitated by CARPENTER DROIDS left on the planet to cater to the young. But only for building. They’re on their own otherwise. 

It sounds like custodians come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Karkat’s guardian is a crab-like monster. Gamzee called his guardian a goat, and given his zodiac sign I’m taking him at his word on that. 

The vast majority of adult trolls are off-planet, serving some role in the forces of ongoing imperial conquest, besieging other star systems in the name of Alternian glory. The culture and civilization on the homeworld is maintained almost entirely by the young. 

There’s an Alternian Empire vs Diamond Authority fanfic out there, isn’t there? If there’s not, there should be. The Steven Universe fandom has been wondering why Homeworld is so militaristic for a while now. They must be fighting something besides the Crystal Gems.

Trolls sure are weird!

Sure are!

Keys to the Kingdom

Greg takes Steven and the Gems to Florida to visit Dogcopter World, the Dogcopterest Place on Earth®. While the gang waits in line for the new Star Battlers roller coaster / 4-D experience, Peridot and Lapis sneak off after finding a door to Dogcopter World’s “Fun Tunnels” (or funnels). Steven and the Crystal Gems split up to try to find the pair, unaware that they’re exploring the subterranean utility tunnels… that is, until they’re caught and thrown into theme park jail.

Mike’s Call-outs and Backstories in the Worst Intervention EverTM

I enjoyed the Worst Intervention EverTM - I liked the glimpse into the vaults of caution and resentment civilised Mike gathers, assesses, and locks away that junkie-comedown-Mike is all too willing to toss out of the pram. His “you don’t get to talk to me” at Paige, especially after the incredulous-eyebrows at “and that we love you,” was a particularly satisfying testament to what Aaron said about Mike “putting aside some of the things he may actually feel about it” in early episodes in order to halt her self-destruction. I also liked the revelation of his darker feelings about Briggs, both the cover-ups and the saviour complex, especially in the light of how he does still seek his approval and feel guilt over his role in the FBI’s discovery of these secrets. His pause at the warning look Charlie gives him during the murder-rant, before the unusual invocation of the baby, could suggest that his original impulse was to bring up Juan Badillo. I like that while, presumably checked by Charlie, he doesn’t go there, he does skate on the cusp of exposing Paige’s betrayal - and it’s Briggs, who’d once intended to do that, who stops him. Well, he did promise.

But the outburst that really intrigued me was his seemingly left-field call-out of Jake’s previous alcoholism and family problems. Right before this episode, I’d actually been writing a bit of meta on how I wish Graceland would draw on their presumably-canonical (details have generally corroborated so far, hence) backstories to lend a subtle context to the characters’ sometimes baffling inclinations, and 3.07 delivers both directly with Charlie’s anecdote, and a frustratingly tantalising ‘could it be - please be’ with Mike’s attack on Jakes.

Discussion of Mike’s DJ call-out, his bond with Charlie, and his saviour complex complex vis-à-vis Briggs and Paige in view of his backstory under the cut:

Keep reading

Cassini Takes a Shower

On Wednesday, October 27th (2015), NASA’s Cassini robot will fly through the water geysers bursting from Saturn’s moon Enceladus.

Enceladus, long suspected of housing a global, subterranean ocean, is one of (if not the) prime targets for astrobiology missions.

Now Cassini likely won’t find life: when the probe was made by NASA we didn’t know that a water world existed inside Enceladus’ ice, and certainly didn’t think that the water therein would be squirting into Cassini’s path.

What Cassini will be good for is finding evidence of the environment life needs to survive.

It will be an exciting day tomorrow, and potentially a defining one.

(Image credit: NASA/JPL)