Pesterquest: Volume 5, entitled 'Skip to The Trolls', is the fifth installment of Pesterquest, a Homestuck spinoff visual novel. The befriendable characters in the fifth installment are Karkat Vantas and Kanaya Maryam. Volume 5 Route 1 was written by Aysha U. Farah while Volume 5 Route 2 was written by Magdalena Clark. Volume 5 was released on October 16, 2019.
Volume 5 Route 1: People Like Us
After ensuring that the four kids are all fast asleep, you decide to hop on over to Prospit to make more new friends. You spend a few moments happily flying around, until you see a troll with nubby horns asleep in a tower. The boy suddenly vanishes from sight, and you follow him instantly, reappearing in his hive instead. Karkat is not pleased with your presence in his room, and mistakes you for a deformed blueblood.
You teleport someplace else while he's mid-rant, since you're too disoriented to take his verbal lashing at the moment. Out on a nearby hill, you inspect Karkat's bizarre looking home and come to the conclusion that you are neither on Earth or Prospit any more. As the sun begins to rise, Karkat pokes his head out the door and asks whether you have a death wish.
- If you choose to zap right over, Karkat gets startled by the motion and instinctively slashes at you with his sickle. Despite the pain and the blood flowing out of you, you laugh and explain that you were merely hoping to save some time by teleporting. Karkat ignores you, staring at your blood in transfixed horror. You topple over, staring up at the sky and uncertain what happens next. GAME OVER
- If you choose to take your sweet time, Karkat scoffs at your greeting and yanks you under a shadowed overhang of a balcony. Still quite furious, he demands to know what you were doing, watching him in his dream like some sort of creep. He asks whether someone got you to bug him even more, though you quickly reassure him that you came of your own volition and just wanted to be friends. Karkat is understandably skeptical of you and your claims of having magic, but finally agrees to let you take him to another friend's place. Things don't go quite as planned when the two of you seemingly appeared in the void, and Karkat begins angrily blundering around until he hits a light switch. Karkat berates Gamzee's sordid habits and abysmal organizing skills until Gamzee appears to investigate the ruckus. Panicking, Karkat clings to you desperately until you teleport back to the safety of his home. Trying to play it cool, Karkat asks why you brought him back here since things were relatively okay. You inform him that he was freaking out so much he'd clawed your arm open, showing him the blood as proof. Karkat's stunned reaction made you question whether you should just leave, but he pleads that you stay, since Alternia is not safe for mutants like you both. The fact that you're like him makes him less abrasive in demeanor, and he offers to search the symbol on your hoodie after chatting a little. However, due to the fact that neither of you are particularly good with computers, Karkat enlists Sollux to get the job done. While you inspect his hive, Sollux lambastes Karkat over the game Aradia discovered, also telling him that hacking the Imperial Database was not worth the trouble. Karkat explains the entire situation, prompting Sollux to actually complete the task. Right as Karkat was about to ask whether you know the caste name Adalov, he finds you reading the entire chat over his shoulder, pissing him off quite a bit. A strange whirring noise interrupts his rant, and he immediately drags you to the living room where a trapdoor was hidden under a rug. Karkat nervously explains that it was a routine drone inspection, and that the pit was created by his lusus to hide his temperature. Up above, you hear the drone land heavily on the first floor.
- Should you choose to wait it out, the drone discovers the hiding spot and snatches Karkat away. You are flung into the wall, and lose consciousness for a bit. When you finally come to, you find Karkat crouching over you in the fields while his hive burns down in the background. He explains that it was an alarm system designed by his lusus to buy him some time, though he evidently isn't happy with how things have to be. Suddenly furious, Karkat screams that the drones know his voice and symbol, leaving him with nowhere to hide. In an attempt to placate him, you decide to bring him to Sollux's place in the meantime. Sollux messages Karkat, wanting to know why the latter was on the cull lists. Getting infuriated, Karkat goes on a tangent about Terezi's so-called ability to sniff/taste blood colours through a screen until another drone appears. Sollux offers to shelter Karkat, aware of the danger it would pose to him. Karkat does not want to risk his close friend's life in this way, and he argues desperately, with tensions coming to a head as Sollux tells Karkat, quote, “don't make me tell you how much ii hate you.” Crying bitterly, Karkat tosses his phone aside and asks you to get him out of here. You oblige wordlessly, taking him to places you vaguely remember but cannot name. When the sun finally goes down, you and Karkat return to his demolished hive. He then realizes why his blanket didn't work, as it was only meant to cover one warm-blooded mutant. Feeling sorry for him you offer to fix the situation as best as you can. Karkat spurns your offer, wraps the blanket around himself and walks off. GAME OVER...
- Should you choose to flee, you take him to Earth where John and Dave were playing video games in Dave's house. At first you are confused about how John is in Dave's abode, until they explain that Bec sent them over. Then the two teenagers notice Karkat curled up on the carpet, the troll breathing heavily and looking quite out of it. John and Dave banter a bit about whether aliens are actually real, then you notice that Karkat had vanished from your side. Frightened, you search around the apartment for the troll, finally finding him on the roof. Karkat grouchily informs you that nothing now makes sense, since certain things would never come to pass at this point. Dave joins you both on the roof, and they both question why you thought it was so imperative that they become friends. While finding it rather weird, Dave takes it all in stride and asks whether Karkat likes video games. The three of you rejoin John in the living room and start gaming. VICTORY!
Volume 5 Route 2: I Have Plenty Of Friends
You spend a few seconds wondering why you feel the need to make more friends, but decide to visit Prospit regardless. Overhead, the clouds show certain things that you don't quite get: meteors striking a dark world, a land filled with sugar and silly teapots, and an alien girl chasing after frogs. Focusing on the image of the troll girl, you zap to wherever she lives. You reappear in a closet and startle Kanaya, though she calms down upon hearing that Karkat's your friend. She offers to let you stay until the sun goes down, and gives you a large hooded robe to shield you from the scorching sun. You notice that Kanaya's chat client is flashing insistently, though the flustered troll quickly makes the projection disappear from view. Curious, you want to see who she's messaging.
- If you choose not to do so, you try to make small talk with her. Bored with the topic, Kanaya apologetically tells you that she was in the middle of something and would like some personal time. While you sit in her room in silence, she goes about perfecting a dress over and over again until the sun goes down. Slightly tired from the exertion, Kanaya ushers you outside with nice but firm goodbye. POLITE GOODBYE! SHOO. SHOO.
- If you choose to spy on her communications, you excuse yourself to the bathroom and zap back a few minutes earlier. While Kanaya was busy dealing with your past self in the closet, you read her exchange with Vriska in regards to a certain dress. You return to the present and ask whether Kanaya is close with Vriska, prompting the Jadeblood to blush. Kanaya tells you that she does know Vriska well, and you offer to help her figure out her situation with Vriska, even though you don't know much about the latter to begin with.
- Should you choose to help Kanaya with AG, she doesn't seem entirely convinced of your abilities as Vriska was known to be difficult. You advise her to come clean with her feelings, but Kanaya unhappily expains the current dynamic between her and Vriska, where nothing ever seems genuine or real. More prodding on your part irritates Kanaya, and she pointedly inquires why you're so interested in her quadrant situation. Feeling sheepish, you tell her that you'd like to know her better as a friend. That doesn't tide over well, as Kanaya coldly informs you that she has plenty of friends—some of which she doesn't even like to begin with—and quite frankly thinks your unsolicited and unwanted advice to be utter tosh. She then proceeds to ignore you and tend to her many projects, leaving you to sit in silence while she worked. After a few moments, she gets back to her computer and begins pestering Vriska. You watch as Kanaya confronts Vriska about their relationship, the cerulean abruptly agreeing to be Kanaya's matesprit. Delighted, Kanaya hurriedly tells you that she needs to head out, warning you to not steal her belongings in her absence. Before you can offer to take her to wherever she needs to be, she disappears down the stairs. A little bummed out, you comfort yourself that you did something nice for her and jump ahead in time so you can see Kanaya again. It was a full week later before a very upset Kanaya returns, and she directs her ire at you for suggesting that she date Vriska in the first place. Quietly seething with rage, Kanaya berates herself for believing Vriska's demeanor would change once they were together; instead it had turned into Vriska using Kanaya as a servant and a tool to get back with their other friends. Kanaya tries to message Vriska again, but when the cerulean feigns ignorance over the matter, Kanaya bursts into tears. Upset and angry, Kanaya blames you for encouraging her and wants you to leave right away. Wrought with guilt, you nod sadly and take your leave. YOU DIDN'T HELP!
- Should you choose to back off, Kanaya is initially suspicious of your true motives. She tells you that she's in the middle of something, and you agree to do your own thing until the sun goes down. Rifling through her bookshelf, you find Rose's Sburb Beta Walkthrough and consider the contents for a moment. You also notice that there are a lot of books about troll vampires, and come to the conclusion that Kanaya would like to date an attractive troll vampire. Acting casual, you ask her whether there are any undead creatures on Alternia. Kanaya tells you about the horde of zombies that shuffle past her hive every now and then, giving you the idea of netting one just for her. While you were busy selecting the best looking one, Kanaya rushes to your side and fights off the horde. She manages to save you from impending doom, but a zombie seizes her in its grasp. Springing into action, you grab onto Kanaya's leg and teleport back into her hive, sans the zombie. You watch in morbid fascination as Kanaya samples the zombie's blood, though she spits it out almost immediately. Embarrassed, Kanaya hopes that you would forget what you saw. You bashfully explain the real reason why you went straight into a horde of the undead, and Kanaya decides that you're actually alright as a person. When you drop Rose's chumhandle, however, Kanaya gets flustered before unsuccessfully denying ever knowing of that handle. You decide to keep Kanaya's fantasy a secret, because that's what friends do. BONDED for LIFE!
- When the MSPA Reader sees the symbol on Karkat's shirt, they go 'Nice', referencing the 69 meme.
- The poster in Gamzee's broom closet reads: Be sure to drink your Ovalti-- (the bottom right corner is torn).
- Karkat's silhouette in his second bad ending is reminiscent of The Signless'.
- When hiding from the sun in Kanaya's closet, the MSPA Reader mentions something about vampires burning in the sun, but they quickly dismiss it as something irrelevant to Kanaya's story. As it were, Kanaya is a Rainbow Drinker, the troll equivalent of a vampire.
- The MSPA Reader associates the word moirail with the smell of popcorn in a dark room, which is a reference to how they became moirails with Polypa in Hiveswap Friendsim: Volume 5.
- When sympathizing with Kanaya over her failed relationship with Vriska, the MSPA Reader says 'Relationships are hard. Relationships are hard and nobody understands.'
- In Kanaya's first bad ending, the ending illustration is a reference to .
- After Kanaya takes a sample of the zombie's blood, she splutters with a .