In every iteration of Sburb, a construct for triggering the scratch is provided by the Medium. , a similar construct arises in all sessions as a sort of "panic button", used to hard reset the universe through invoking the scratch.
If the object is activated, the players' universe and incipisphere will start over from some point before their entry with some changes, providing the players with different initial conditions that ideally lead to a better outcome in the game. The means of activation is by literally scratching it in a certain way using an object potent enough to damage it; the Quills of Echidna are the intended tool for this process, though there is one known exception. Once the object is sufficiently scratched, it begins rising into Skaia; once there, it releases a large amount of temporal energy which acts as a "request" to Skaia to change everything at a fundamental level, and gives it the energy to do so. However, – the defense portals it uses in the Reckoning – and so this results in Skaia retroactively changing the destination times of the paradox clones. This typically changes which group of paradox clones serve as the players in the reset session, and accordingly consigns the pre-scratch session to oblivion, causing a hard reset of the original session and a partial reset of the universe it originated from.
The object always appears on the planet of the session's Hero of Time. The scratch construct looks different in each session and derives its design from its home planet's environment. Whether or not all scratch constructs relate to a Time player's control object (Dave's timetables; Aradia's music boxes) is unknown, although it has been the case twice so far.
Beat Mesa[edit | edit source]
The B1 humans' session provided the Beat Mesa on Dave Strider's planet, the Land of Heat and Clockwork.
Shortly after the beginning of his rampage through the B1 session, Jack Noir encountered Bro at the Beat Mesa and engaged him in a short duel, which was brought to an end when Bro plunged his sword into the Mesa; this caused it to crack and release some of the temporal energy stored within, beginning the scratch process. Although Bro and Jack quickly absconded afterward, Jack later and in order to finish their duel.
Later, in accordance with Jade Harley and Karkat Vantas's plan, John Egbert travelled to the Beat Mesa to , equipped with the necessary Quills of Echidna. The scratch was accomplished by fitting the giant Quills into a machine resembling a record player's needle, which then cut a "Z" pattern across the disk of the Beat Mesa; during this process, John defended the Beat Mesa from aggressing underlings. Once the scratch was completed, John was collected and taken out of the session by Jade, along with the four planets and the Battlefield, thus ensuring their survival.
Due to lacking a Time player to justify a new construct, and as the Beat Mesa no longer resides on LOHAC, the post-scratch session has no scratch construct.
Cardinal Movement[edit | edit source]
The A1 trolls' scratch construct, the Cardinal Movement, was housed on the Land of Quartz and Melody's pre-scratch counterpart; it looks very similar to Aradia's music box time machines and the structures in the Land of Quartz and Melody.
In their pre-scratch session, it was activated by Damara Megido on the advice of Aranea Serket and Echidna, using what appear to be the Quills of Echidna; the cylinder of the music box has a scratch scored around it helically, indicating that the process of activation is highly analogous to that of the kids' scratch. In order to ensure that the pre-scratch trolls were not completely obliterated by the scratch, Meenah Peixes killed the team moments before the scratch took effect and wiped their session.
The post-scratch troll session had , however other similar objects are seen behind it. Whether this was a new Cardinal Movement, or if post-scratch sessions are even able to scratch (as the only other known post-scratch session's Hero of Time came from its pre-scratch iteration) is unknown.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- The original image of the Beat Mesa was created and named by Aborted Slunk.
- This could also be a nod to Meṣa, the Hindu counterpart to the Aries constellation, connecting to Aradia and Damara being Time players. However, this seems unintentional.
- The Cardinal Movement is likely named after the Seven Cardinal Movements a fetus makes during labor. There are also four Cardinal astrological signs , those that occur during the four seasonal changes. They were also once called the "moveable" signs. Damara's sign, Aries, a cardinal sign, coincides with Spring, often associated with life and rebirth, so it is fitting that she activated The Scratch.