CHAPTER 3: INTERLUDE — DREAMYVERSE

Nada: Yaaaaaawn...

Nada: Oh? I'm at home...

Did I finally wake up?

Nada: That was a really exhausting dream...

I wonder what time it even is.

Nada: Oh, I just remembered!

I was looking for Null in my dream, wasn't I?

I should go see him in person now that I'm awake.

For this portion of the comic, you can click on interactive objects on the screen to explore the environment and prompt dialog.

Interactive items will glow when hovered over.

To toggle glow mode and highlight all interactive items in an area, press 'Z' on your keyboard or the onscreen 'Zzz' button.

Okay

I'll clean that up... later...

Alright, whatever, I'll clean this up while I'm thinking of it.

That's me.

That's me.

That backpack has been sitting there unused for awhile.

I guess I should put it away at some point.

That backpack has been sitting there unused for awhile.

I guess I should put it away at some point.

It's 5pm.

Wow, I either slept in wayyyy late or took a midday nap.

In that dream I had, I thought Null might be in the Dream World as well, but if it's this late in the day, they've probably been awake the whole time.

That's probably for the better...

I mean, if it's possible two people can visit the same dream, that would've been a stressful one to go to.

It's almost 11:30pm.

How the heck did it get this late?!

Thank god Mom didn't see me sneaking home...

I just woke up from the longest dream on Earth, I'm not going back to bed any time soon...

I'd change into my day clothes, but I'm already wearing them...

Guess that means I took a nap.

Or, had a very unfortunate full night's rest.

Putting my PJs on is probably a good idea...

Go downstairs to the living room?

Yes

No

Go downstairs to the living room?

Yes

No

Go downstairs to the living room?

Yes

No

Mom: Nada, why don't you talk to me before you bolt right for the door?

...Oof. I didn't see her over there.

Mom: Don't leave without your sister.

...Oof. I guess I gotta go get Ikam.

She's probably in her bedroom.

Go outside Nada's house?

Yes

No

Go outside Nada's house?

Yes

No

That's the bathroom.

No need to go in there.

That's the bathroom.

No need to go in there.

That's my sister's.

It's a tote jam-packed with dolls, doll clothing, and all sorts of miniature furniture.

It used to be mine, but I grew out of it some time ago.

Ikam's probably gonna be too old for it soon, too.

That's my sister's.

It's a tote jam-packed with dolls, doll clothing, and all sorts of miniature furniture.

It used to be mine, but I grew out of it some time ago.

Ikam's probably gonna be too old for it soon, too.

Mom's probably waiting for her program to come on, so I won't start watching something.

She won't admit it, but she loves soap operas and that kinda stuff recently.

I'm sure she's waiting for me to leave the room so she can enjoy it in peace... not that I care.

I don't think turning the TV on at this hour is a great idea...

Those are my mom's.

I wouldn't be caught dead wearing gaudy boots like those, trust me.

I'm more about sneakers.

Those are my mom's.

I wouldn't be caught dead wearing gaudy boots like those, trust me.

I'm more about sneakers.

Go to the dining room?

Yes

No

Go to the dining room?

Yes

No

Go to the dining room?

Yes

No

Go upstairs to Nada's room?

Yes

No

Go upstairs to Nada's room?

Yes

No

Go upstairs to Nada's room?

Yes

No

Mom: I see you're finally awake.

Nada: *yawn* Yeah, I must've fallen asleep on accident.

Mom: Seems that's all you're good for, sleeping through the day...

Nada: I-I didn't mean to fall asleep, it's not my fault I'm tired all the time...

Mom: Oh, Nada, lighten up, I was just teasing!

Was that too mean?!

Mom: I'm kidding, sweetheart!!

You look so cute when you sleep, I wouldn't dare wake you.

Nada: Okaaaaaaay, Mom...

Nada: Anyway, is it okay if I go to Null's house?

Mom: Why you—

Waiting til I lower my guard, huh?

Mom: I suppose it's fine though.

Oh, but why don't you take your little sister with you too?

She's been working hard at school.

Nada: I guess I can ask Ikam to tag along...

Mom: And DON'T play anything inappropriate while you're over there, okay?

I'm serious, you're in big trouble if you play any violent video games or anything of the sort.

Nada: I don't even play that kinda stuff, Mom!

Mom: And you two be home before dark, too, got it?!

Nada: Ugh... Got it.

Mom: Well, aren't you going to get your sister, Ikam?

I thought you were eager to visit your friend's house.

Nada: Right, I'll go get her...

Mom: Have fun with Null and Mona, you two!

Mom: But not too much fun.

The backyard's out there.

I don't have any reason to go outside, though.

Leeeeet's NOT go out in the backyard in the dark...

It creeps me out at this time of night.

That's our house phone.

It's kinda old-fashioned, but sometimes our grandparents still call us on it.

Other than that, it doesn't get much use.

Last time I got my cellphone confiscated, I had to use it for all my phone calls...

That wasn't fun.

There's no one to call at this hour.

Go to Ikam's room?

Yes

No

Ikam's definitely asleep, let's try not to be too loud...

Go to the living room?

Yes

No

Go to the living room?

Yes

No

Go to the living room?

Yes

No

Ikam's OBSESSED with this game, if Mom let her spend more money on it, she'd probably have more than just a poster.

I've seen her play it a lot, the main character is the princess of an ancient kingdom made entirely of gold.

You run around and restore power to elemental goddesses who live on their own islands, it's pretty cool.

It's a pile of clothes. I have no idea if they're clean or dirty.

Ikam never gets chewed out for having a messy room, but I know I'd never get away with it...

Can you tell Ikam likes plushies?

She REALLY, really likes plushies...

She's easy to shop for on her birthday, at least.

Can you tell Ikam likes plushies?

She REALLY, really likes plushies...

She's easy to shop for on her birthday, at least.

Wait, isn't that MY monkey plush?!

Nada: Hey, did you STEAL my monkey plush when I wasn't looking?!

Ikam: Ummm... I was just borrowing him!!

It's not like you even play with him anymore...

Nada: That doesn't mean you can take him!

That's MY beloved monkey friend!

He doesn't even know you!!

Ikam: Oh, come on...

Pleeeeeease can I borrow him a little longer?

Nada: *sigh* FINE, I guess...

But ONE tear or stain and your life is OVER.

Nada: What's up?

Ikam: I'm finishin' up my homework...

I'm writing an essay about dog breeds!

Nada: Oh, yeah? Learn anything cool?

Ikam: Yeah!

Did you know despite only measuring up to about 10 inches tall, dachshunds were bred to hunt badgers?

Ikam: And they can be trained to hunt alongside falcons for game as large as foxes!

Nada: Whoa, I didn't know that...

Those little wienie dogs, you mean?

Ikam: Yeah!!

Well, I gotta finish writing this up, I can talk after I'm done.

Nada: Sure, sure.

Ikam: I gotta finish this assignment, then I can talk.

Nada: Gotcha. I won't bother ya.

Nada: Hey, Ikam.

Ikam: Heyyyy, what's up!

Nada: I'm going to Null's, Mom said I should bring you with.

Do you wanna come?

Ikam: I just finished my homework, HECK yeah I wanna hang out with Mona!

Yessssss!!

Ikam: Oh, I need to put my stuff away first, though.

I left my homework everywhere...

Nada: I'm gonna leave without youuuuuu~...

Ikam: NO, hold on a sec!!

Nada: Okay, okay, hurry up.

Go to the dining room?

Yes

No

Go down the neighborhood street?

Yes

No

Go down the neighborhood street?

Yes

No

Go inside Nada's house?

Yes

No

Go inside Nada's house?

Yes

No

That sunflower garden has been around longer than I have.

My mom insists on planting them at every house we live in, and they're always so brilliantly golden and huge to me; even as I got taller over the years.

The way my mom tells the story, she was so stricken by my dad's beaming presence, she wanted to profess her love with a flower as bright as him.

She gave him a bouquet of zinnias and confessed her emotions.

He accepted them silently without a word.

My mother thought she'd been turned down, and was heartbroken.

Then, a few days later, he came back with a bouquet of sunflowers, saying that zinnias weren't enough to express her sun-like brilliance...

They got married shortly after, and planted a garden of sunflowers to represent their love.

Now my parents replant them every year to commemorate their marriage.

I think the story is pretty embellished...

But that's how Mom is, she swears up and down it's all fact.

Alright, if shit hits the fan, I can hide in the sunflowers...

They're tall like people, anyways.

I'm going down Bristlecone Boulevard, and down that way's Ponderosa Passage.

I'm going down Bristlecone Boulevard, and down that way's Ponderosa Passage.

We're going down Bristlecone Boulevard, and down that way's Ponderosa Passage.

Ikam: You know how to get to Null's house, right?

Nada: Eh?

It's a straight shot down the street, are you joking?

Ikam: I'm kidding!

Ikam: ...You still look half asleep, just making sure you're actually awake.

Nada: D-don't joke like that...

Ikam: I'm not judgin', it's good to sleep in sometimes.

Come on, let's go see Mona and Null already!

Looks like someone left their trash in front of the bins...

Maybe if I had gloves on, I'd throw it away.

I'm not really big on touching trash with my bare hands.

Looks like someone left their trash in front of the bins...

Maybe if I had gloves on, I'd throw it away.

I'm not really big on touching trash with my bare hands.

Looks like someone left their trash in front of the bins...

I found some gloves, so I suppose I could throw it away for them.

There's a slip of paper on the ground...

It looks like a phone number?

I wonder what this is for...

I guess I'll hold onto it for now.

Looks like someone left their trash in front of the bins...

Maybe if I had gloves on, I'd throw it away.

I'm not really big on touching trash with my bare hands.

Ikam: Ya see anything good in there?

Nada: What, from the trash bags?

I'm not touching that.

Ikam: Y'know, I hear there's people out there who make a living by collecting trash, like old antiques and junked electronics.

Ikam: Even if the electronic itself is totally broken, there can be trace amounts of precious metals in them, so companies will buy them to smelt it down.

Nada: Yeah, no thanks, I'd rather not get my hands dirty...

Ikam: I'm just sayin'!

I saw a lady who smelted old phone SIM cards to extract the gold from them, it was a whole chemical process...

Nada: Jeez, we get it, Ikam, you're smart...

Ikam: Chemistry is fun!

I wanna work in a lab some day.

Ikam: Nada, do you think you'd wanna become a scientist?

We could study radioactive isotopes together or something.

Nada: Science is too much bookwork.

Maybe I'll work as the janitor cleaning up radioactive spills in your building, though.

Ikam: If you're serious, you need professional training to clean up radioactive chemicals.

It'd be a very prestigious job, it's not a bad idea.

Nada: Welp.

Never mind.

Go down Nada's street?

Yes

No

Go down Nada's street?

Yes

No

Go down Null's street?

Yes

No

Go down Null's street?

Yes

No

Go down the neighborhood street?

Yes

No

Go down the neighborhood street?

Yes

No

Null: You just got here, don't tell me you're leaving already?

Null: Let's meet up in the backyard, got it?

Null: Let's meet up in the backyard, got it?

You've reached a checkpoint!

If you're ready to advance the story, interact with this item again.

Ikam: Lemme ring the doorbell!

*ding dong*

Null's Mother: Helloooo!

Let me get Null and Mona fo—

Null: HEY! Nada!!

Mona: I WANNA SEE IKAM, MOVE OUT THE WAY—

Null's Mother: ALRIGHT YOU TWO!

THAT'S ENOUGH!

Null's Mother: Nada and Ikam, you can come right on in.

These two are gonna move the hell out of your way now...

Nada: R-right!

Thank you for having us!

Go inside Null's house?

Yes

No

Go inside Null's house?

Yes

No

Go inside Null's house?

Yes

No

Go inside Null's house?

Yes

No

I've gotta get back home, there's no more time to spend at Null's.

Go outside of Null's house?

Yes

No

Null: Huh?

Don't you wanna hang out a bit before we go outside?

You've reached a checkpoint!

If you're ready to advance the story, interact with this item again.

Enter the basement?

Yes

No

That's Null's mother's room.

DEFINITELY don't need to go in there, I don't want to cause any trouble for her...

That's where the good stuff's at!

All sorts of games, consoles, and controllers— even more than we have at my house.

Null: Admiring my SICK game collection?

Although... some of those are yours, not gonna lie.

Null: Admiring my SICK game collection?

Although... some of those are yours, not gonna lie.

Null's Mother: Welcome back, Nada!

You're visiting so much, I'm starting to think I should move you in.

Null: Seriously? That'd be awesome.

Null's Mother: Hmmmmm.

Get those grades up, then we'll see, Null.

Null: Oh, er... Yeah I'll see about it.

Null's Mother: *snnnoooorrrre*

*snooooooooooooze*

Looks like she fell asleep while on her tablet somehow...

Null's Mother: *snnnoooorrrre*

*snooooooooooooze*

Looks like she fell asleep while on her tablet somehow...

It's a nice-looking LCD TV.

Null's Mother: Nada, sweetheart, I was watching that, if you don't mind.

Null: We're going to my room, no one's taking your TV, mom.

Null's Mother: Oh, yeah, says the television hog.

Null: Yeah, I have my own TV downstairs!

So you don't even have to worry!

Null's Mother: Well, maybe I SHOULD let Nada watch TV with me then.

Null's Mother: Come on, Nada, do you want to put something on?

Nada: ...Huh?

Nada: D-don't involve me in this, I'm an innocent bystander!!

Null's Mother: BAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

You're so funny, Nada.

Glad to have you and Mona over again.

Null's Mother: This is my TV.

Now outta here.

It's a collection of Null's and his extended family's photos.

There's one with Null, Mona, and their mom wearing formal wear at what must be a wedding...

I don't think I've ever seen Null in a suit and tie, I wonder why he never wears it?

Null: Ugh, do me a favour and don't look at those awful family photos any longer...

Nada: What? Why?

Did something bad happen?

Null: No, nothing like that!

I just look goofy as hell in 'em. C'mon now.

It's a collection of jewelry-making tools left out by Null's mother.

That's what she does for a living, after all— it seems there's needle-nosed pliers almost everywhere in their house.

Null: My mom's real good at makin' a mess, huh?

She left all her jewelry makin' stuff at the dinner table.

Go back upstairs?

Yes

No

Go to Null's room?

Yes

No

Go to Mona's room?

Yes

No

Watch out, this looks like the ruins of a pillow fight.

Yep, that looks like the remnants of a once-epic blanket fort.

Nada: Hey, when's the last time you played that thing?

Null: Eh?

Just the other day, actually.

Nada: HUH?!

You're telling me you've been playing without me? That's just not right, man!

Null: Well, I, uh...

It's just that, it's...

Null: Whatever! You wanna play together so bad?!

No one said I'm any good, but if you wanna jam with me, that's on you!

Nada: Oh, you're on!

We're gonna rock out and play either the world's best or the world's worst tunes together!!

Null: If you don't forget it, that is.

Nada: Oh YEAH?!

Well maybe I'll write it down this time, just in case...

Go back to the basement?

Yes

No

Nada: Are you still stuck on that boss fight in Grail of Blood?

Null: Yeah, it's ridiculously hard!

I don't know how you're supposed to dodge the boss's attacks in such a small window of time when there's meteors falling all around you at random.

Nada: Maybe I'll try my hand at it and see if she doesn't whoop my ass this time...

Null: I'd pay you a million dollars if you beat Meducifer.

I'm sick of fighting her!!

Nada: Man, you need to clean your room.

Null: Hey, hey, don't just go rummaging through my things—

Nada: What even are these papers here?

Do you not put your homework in your backpack?

Null: You're kidding, right?

You think I'm doing my homework?

Nada: Null, c'mon, seriously?!

Null: These papers are where I'm writing lyrics!

I don't have time for schoolwork.

Nada: *sigh*...

Nada: Sooo, I see you've got your backpack out...

I take it you, um, wanted to work on homework, maybe, or, uh, something... y'know.

Null: Oh... Yeah, that.

Yeah, I have a test coming up.

Nada: Right... W-well... That's all.

Good talk.

Null: Listen, um, if you wanna talk about school or whatever, we can chat in the backyard later.

Null: Just lemme know when you're ready, I've been meaning to talk at you anyways.

No biggie though.

Null: Let's meet up in the backyard when you're ready, I've been meaning to talk at you about school n' stuff recently.

Null: But uh.

No pressure!...

Go back to the basement?

Yes

No

Null: Hey, wasn't Mom looking for this broom earlier?

Mona: Uhhh, "broom"?

You mean "strength test"?

Ikam: Hee hee hee!

Null: ...What?

Mona: If you wanna test your strength, you gotta see how many hits you can take!

Mona: Ikam's record is 30, and mine is 31!!!

Null: WHAT?!

What are you doing to this thing?!?

Nada: Are you guys serious?!

You're gonna get in so much trouble...

Ikam: Aw, come on Nada, it's just a broom!

Null: That's it, there's only one way to end this.

Null: MOOOOOOOOM—

Mona: NO! NO! YOU'RE RUINING OUR STRENGTH TESTS!

Null: GWAH—

Yep, they're attacking one another.

Mona: Heheh... Look at this!

I'm gonna put a mascot on her head.

Ikam: Oh! Give her a cowboy hat!

Mona: Yeah, but then it removes the mascot head!

Ikam: Urrrrghhhh...

GIMME THE COMPUTER!!

Mona: NO WAY!!

You're gonna make her look normal!

I'm trying to make her look super frickin' messed up!!!

They're playing some kind of 3D dressup game.

Actually, the graphics are pretty impressive...

Mona: DON'T TOUCH MY DOLLS!!!

Null: Whoa, take it easy, me and Nada were just looking at them.

Mona: You're looking at a rare 1st edition Sparkling Treasures® Rivet™, they don't even make them in this mold anymore!

Null: Mona's kinda obsessed with dolls, if you couldn't tell...

Nada: Right, you wanted to talk about school, didn't you?

Null: Ah, yeah!

Although... Not particularly school, I just wanted a chance to talk to you in general.

Nada: Oh, yeah?

Null: I dunno...

Life's just not easy, y'know?

I wish things made more sense.

Nada: Yeah...

I feel that...

Null: Like, I don't even know what I'm gonna do after school.

What am I good at, do you think?

Nada: Uhhh, are you asking me?

Null: Yeah, what do you think I'm good at?

Gotta think of a career or something to aim for.

Nada: Oh, well, you're pretty strong.

Maybe you could be a martial artist, or run your own gym...

Null: Run a gym?

That's laaaaame.

Null: Like, doing yoga with a bunch of old people?

No thanks.

Nada: That's not what I said!

Null: Ehhhh.

Well, what about you, Nada? What are you planning on doing?

Maybe I'll just go into the same field as you.

Nada: Oh, uh...

Nada: Ummmm...

Nada: Maybe you could help me think of something...?

Null: Okay, okay.

Null: Well, you're good with kids...

Running your own daycare...?

No, I could never work at a place like that!

Nada: Yeah, I'm gonna have to pass on that.

Null: WAIT!

I've got it!

Null: I'll be a boxer!

And you can be my PR manager and splash cold water on me if I get knocked out!

Null: How's that?!

Fame AND fortune!

Nada: Isn't that kinda dangerous?

How do you even get into a boxing job?

Null: I dunno, I'll figure it out somehow.

Null: Ughhhh, school sucks.

They're not training me to be a boxer or anything I care about at all.

Nada: Yeah...

Nada: Um, I know you wanted to talk about school a bit...

I just wanted to offer help studying for that test if you still needed it.

Nada: As long as it's not for world history, science, any kind of math, or anything based on reading, um, I should be able to help!

Nada: ...Uhh, what subject is it, anyways?

Null: It's... uhhhhh... world history.

Nada: Oof...

Null: It's fine, Nada... I don't think you need to help me study for the test.

Or... any upcoming tests, for that matter.

Nada: W-what?

Null: Uhh... Nada, I'm gonna drop out of school.

Nada: Eh?!

I thought... I mean, you've put so much work into this last year, though...

Nada: ...I mean, I know I can’t talk you out of it, though.

I made the same choice, I know how it is.

Nada: I just hope you're really sure this is what you wanna do...

If there's anything else I can do to try to help—

Null: Nah, that won't be necessary.

I've thought this over. School sucks ass, I'm done with it.

Null: Heh, I'm excited to just ditch it already!

It feels so liberating to think of myself as a free man!

Nada: ...You're right, yeah.

What are you gonna do afterwards, then?

Null: I dunno. That's why I was asking you about jobs n' stuff.

We gotta do something together and live large!

Nada: Umm... I haven't come up with any ideas for jobs yet.

I was hoping they'd give you ideas at school...

Null: Well, I was hopin' you'd get ideas cuz you're OUT of school...

Null: Ehhhhh.

Welp, enough about that.

Let's figure out our futures when it's not so dark out.

Nada: Oh no, I totally told my mom I'd be home before dark...

Null: Huh?!

Then the hell are you doing here?!

You gotta get going, pal!!

Leave

I made it home safely...

I'm SO glad Mom didn't hear me sneaking home.

But that's not really surprising, I'm well-trained in the arts of sneaking home at night.

Even though I woke up so late, I'm already tired again...

Might as well head back to bed.

I forgot to bring up that weird, long dream I had to Null...

About the Dream World, and Taffy, and all that chaos...

I could always bring it up tomorrow.

I wonder if they'd even be interested in hearing about it?

I was searching for them in that dream, and now that I'm awake and found them, I just feel like drifting off to sleep again...

I'm tired...

Good night.

...

... zzz...

... ... ...

Nada: Did the doorbell just ring?

Nada: Oh no, if that's Null or something, they're gonna wake up the whole house!

I need to go get the door and make sure no one heard that...

I can't sleep, there's someone at the door right now!

I gotta answer it before someone else wakes up and does it for me...

I'm not getting in trouble today!!

Let me just quietly get the door before anyone else wakes up...

Nada: WAH—

Nada: Oh, gosh.

It's just a dog... That scared me for a moment...

Nada: How did you even get here?

Who's dog are you, lil guy?

???: Did you get what you wanted?

???: Is the Waking World so precious to you?

???: It's time to truly wake up now, Nada.

END OF CHAPTER 3