This Story Is Full of Scorpions: Seriously, Dude, Don't Read It
This Story Is Full of Scorpions: Seriously, Dude, Don't Read It is a story written by shukyou and illustrated by sairobi. It ran in Issue 38 and can be found at s2b2.livejournal.com/219463.html and shousetsubangbang.com/mirror/this-story-is-full-of-scorpions-seriously-dude-dont-read-it/.
Three friends make a harrowing cross-campus trip so they can ANTS ANTS ANTS ANTS ANTS ANTS ANTS ANTS ANTS ANTS ANTS
According to Multiverse Theory, you, in an infinite number of universes, right now, are fucking Rick Santorum. All it takes for there to be a divergence is a decision, no matter how small: the second you make a choice, you go one way, and a universe where you make the other choice goes the other way. Another choice, another split. Every decision you make, from where to go to college to when to scratch your balls, is happening at that very same moment in an infinite number of other universes, and some of you are making one choice, and some of you are making another.
Or maybe the choice got made before you even got there. Maybe your great-great-great grandmother had a pickle for lunch one August Thursday, and that set off the chain of events that led to you, where you are, right now, reading this. Maybe if she'd had an apple instead, you wouldn't be sitting here at all. Instead, you — or someone enough like you that it might as well be you — would be knees-up in some sturdy Pennsylvania Dutch four-poster bed, taking it like whatever you take it like from a former senator and presidential candidate in a sweater-vest. There's even an infinite number of universes where he's removed the sweater-vest.
There is, of course, an infinite number of universes out there where this is not happening. But mathematically speaking, infinity and infinity are the same — that is, you can't have more of the infinity where a thing is happening than you can of the infinity where that thing isn't happening. So if you could step through the thin membrane separating these universes into that next universe over's version of you, odds are fifty-fifty that you'd find yourself on the receiving end of Rick Santorum's glorious Republican penis.
Think about that next time you're having trouble sleeping.
From isweedan.livejournal.com: "in which Mike dates a lovecraftian lady and there is super fascinating accidental slippage through parallel universes."
From pinboard.in: "In which Mike is dating a prof who happens to be cthulhuan, and he and Jason and Ty keep cycling through different universes' versions of them"
From pinboard.in: "sequel to mike dies at the end. mike sleeps with his teacher who is an elder god, and become stuck between dimensions. he calls his 2 frinds with sixth sense, jason and ty, for help, and together they make it across campus- in 20 differnet universes- to find her so she can put it right."
From fail-fandomanon.dreamwidth.org/: "It's a multiverse fic where the alternate realities keep colliding at random and chaos ensues as they try to make it stop."
This story is a direct sequel to Mike Dies at the End and, like its predecessor, owes its title to a Dave Wong book -- in this case This Book Is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It.
This Story is Full of Scorpions has been featured on GoodReads.
This story is the thematic second part to Mike Dies at the End. You can absolutely understand and appreciate it on its own, but I'm not even going to try and pretend Mike, Ty, and Jason aren't the same dudes from my original gay version of John Dies at the End. (Usually, when I do a gay version of a real thing, I'm horrified at the idea of the original creator's seeing it; with this, I have the sneaking sense Dave Wong would be amused.) It isn't nearly as close of a parallel, in no small part because This Book Is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It isn't due out for another month or so, which means, of course, that I haven't read it. In the absence of having read it, then, I have come to improvise.
'Mike Dies at the End' is a story that has been far more well-received than I ever expected it to be -- it's gotten some touchingly wonderful reviews, and I was even asked to include it in a print anthology full of other lovely stories! And unlike a lot of my other stories, it's not necessarily self-contained, so after teasing that I'd do it for years, I finally took this opportunity to sit down and write the follow-up.
Except here's the thing: when it comes to s2b2, I hate sequels. Okay, 'hate' is way too strong of a word for it, but without exception, the stories that chronicle the further adventures of characters are never as good as the first stories those characters appear in. This is not to say they're necessarily bad, but the fact that all SSBB stories have to be self-contained means that there's not a lot of room for continuity, and trying to make a sequel without necessarily making it a sequel can be clumsy work; also, the editor-chosen themes suggest directions the story might not have taken organically, and sometimes that really shows. I've seen fantastic success when authors do separate stories within the same universe, but the direct 'and here's what they did next' stories, to me, never quite have the sparkle the originals do.
So of course, I had to go write one. And sure enough, it definitely doesn't have the sparkle of the first -- which is not to say it's a bad story, because I quite like how it turned out! (It's even better considering the stressful conditions under which I wrote it.) But it's not MDatE, and if it were its own different universe with different characters, that'd be fine, because nobody would think of comparing it to MDatE. But because it's the same boys, from the get-go, I've given myself a name to live up to.
But it's a fantastic universe, and I had a good time, so I'm happy.
Mad props go to sairobi for coming back to do art again! I know she's super-busy being a professional artsy superhero and all, so when I asked her at first, I figured it was more a case of the right of first refusal, where I'd give her the heads-up before going to bother someone else. But son of a gun if she didn't say yes, and more than that, followed through with amazingness. I basically can't stop looking at it, it's so great; every time I look, I see something new and amazing, like Katie's beautiful, beautiful tentacles.
I also should own up to homages, because there were a few idiots last time who flipped out about my 'plagiarism' of JDatE without understanding the difference between plagiarism and parody. But here we go: Dave Wong, you are my unicorn that fucks gorillas. The whole multiverse concept is taken from Cave Johnson's dialogue from the Portal 2 DLC, and so is the one chunk of dialogue I just shamelessly pilfered. Chariots chariots! Cthaeghya/Katie obviously comes from Lovecraft, though my mental image of her was less Giant Evil Squiddy Thing and more Mamiwata, who is infinitely more kissable. beeblebabe is, as usual, responsible for much of the concept behind this, though she didn't have to Mike-ify the dialogue quite as spectacularly as she had to in the last story. And basically anything else you think is an homage probably is, unless it isn't. I'm not proud, but I am kind of itchy. Must be the ANTS ANTS ANTS ANTS ANTS ANTS ANTS