Gaslight, Gatekeep, Girlboss
Why Scott’s triple-G team was one of, if not the only, successful alliance on Last Life
I’ve been saying for weeks that I have enough material to write an essay on Scott, Pearl, and Cleo’s formula for success, and now that the finale is decided, I WILL. And when I say essay I do mean essay. Click the readmore and hold onto your hats fellas, we’re going for a ride
If there is anything that Last Life proved, it is that Sun Tzu’s words in Art Of War still hold true: “If you do not seek out allies and helpers, then you will be isolated and weak.” In a desiccated shell of a world filled with nothing but betrayal and shattered bonds on all sides, there is nothing that demonstrates this more strongly than Scott, Pearl, and Cleo’s Triple G alliance. Watching their group grow and change through the season has been fascinating to me, and for weeks I have been trying to pin down what held them together while countless other groups imploded and fell to their own weapons. Now, with the final word written in their story, I believe I have found the roots of their success. The gaslight, gatekeep, girlboss trio of Cleo, Scott, and Pearl withstood the pressure of Last Life and emerged as the only truly successful alliance due to their open communication, their discretion in picking their battles, and their restructuring of conflicts to pit themselves as a team against the problem at hand instead of targeting each other.
From the very beginning, Scott and Pearl’s alliance was built on communication: the foundation every good relationship relies on. When Scott first found Pearl, he expressed up front that he was looking to gain an extra life from her since he had only been given two lives and she was in possession of six. In return, Pearl expressed her unease with being alone and her need for protection. Through continuing conversation, they both came to the agreement that if Scott could successfully keep Pearl alive through the entire first session, he could have one of her lives. [ep1] This honourable transaction set the tone for their alliance and marked the beginning of a long and trusted bond between them. By each expressing a need and each addressing the other’s, they set an expectation both for looking out for each other and for being open with their own personal needs and motivations. That same pattern is seen again when Cleo joins their group. She expresses her joining condition (that she not be killed if either of them are the Boogeyman) and lays her own contribution (sand) on the table. Pearl and Scott discuss, and together they agree on their own set of conditions (a trial period during which she won’t quite be shown all of their secrets) and their own offering (extra lives). This repetition of their communication pattern meshes Cleo very quickly with the group, establishing trust on both sides and reassuring Scott and Pearl that she is indeed a good fit. As they progress through the series, their communication makes them unique in comparison to the subterfuge and confusion of the Southlands, the Fairy Fort, the Shadow Alliance, and especially Team BEST. By acknowledging each member’s needs and meeting each other in the middle, the GGG alliance had already set themselves on the path to victory.
The second distinguishing factor in the GGG alliance’s functionality is the unique way they picked their battles. The other alliances made enemies left right and center, pursuing nearly every grudge and turning it into a war. They also on many occasions took actions that would be detrimental to the group for no benefit to themselves, just because they were bored. The enchanting table is probably the best example of this. Team BEST, the Fairy Fort, the Southlands, Scar, and uncountable red names all at one point started highly destructive conflicts over possession of the enchanting table, sometimes even when they had no tools or armour to actually enchant. Many of them took the theft of the enchanting table as a personal slight even when they no longer needed it, and risked lives and resources in the attempt to get it back. This lead them to clash with other alliances and carry old grudges far into the series, which turned them into targets for each other as the server steadily grew redder. Meanwhile, after the brief time when Scott and Pearl had control of the enchanting table, they agreed that it was too much of a risk to own and sold it to Lizzie before they could become too much of a target. When they next needed to use it, Scott paid diamonds to Lizzie for its use and avoided causing a feud by honouring her system instead of stealing it back. [ep3] A similar behaviour is repeated by the G alliance all throughout the series, so that even by the last session the only reason Joel can find to hold a grudge against Scott is “Because you looked at me funny” [ep9] while in contrast, Scott can name incident after incident that gives him reason to be angry at Joel. By operating independently and warding off attacks with a firm hand, but avoiding pursuit of any petty conflicts that would only cost lives and resources, Scott lead his alliance to a finale in which they were the only team still standing, still well-armed, and with no targets on their backs.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the GGG alliance’s method of dealing with internal conflicts when they arose is what held them together through thick and thin, right until the end. The most striking contrast that demonstrates this is the effect of the Boogeyman curse on the dynamics of each team. In most teams, the selection of the Boogeyman was followed by a volley of accusations and near-violence, even in groups where it would later be revealed that there was no Boogeyman present. In instances where there was a Boogeyman in an alliance, it was almost never communicated, and on two separate occasions (BigB and Bdubs) massive rifts were torn in the group when the Boogeymen turned on one of their own. [ep4 and ep5] On the other hand, when Scott is chosen as the Boogeyman in team Triple G, he (after a brief hesitation) reveals himself to the other two as the bearer of the curse. This event actually repeats twice, in spite of the much higher stakes of the second time. [ep6 and ep8] In both cases, when Scott confesses his position the tone of the group’s interactions immediately shifts. But instead of suspicion or outright aggression, Cleo and Pearl move the metaphorical battle lines away from between them and Scott and place them between the team and the problem itself. They express their sympathy, start a calm and rational dialogue about possible next steps, and express either their willingness or their unwillingness to become a victim if Scott fails to find a kill outside of the alliance. Scott honours these wishes, and in exchange the others actually give him TnT and potions to assist him in completing his task. Recognizing their circumstances as the enemy and not each other was a monumental step for the team. It sealed their position as the most successful alliance on the server, and this method of conflict resolution solidified their bond so strongly that even in the final four, Pearl and Scott targeted Martyn and Ren first over each other.
In a world like Last Life, true victory is next to impossible. The cost of battle is great, even the most well-prepared can fall to pure chance, and as the pool of safe people to rely on narrowed it often seemed like every alliance was doomed to fail. But in the midst of all the carnage, the honest and cooperative communication, wisdom in choosing when and how to fight, and expert restructuring of conflict to meet issues hand-in-hand with each other lifted the GGG Alliance to the victor’s throne when it comes to team success. Their strategy set them so much apart that as a group they outlasted every other alliance, and they each died without a single grudge raised against each other. It is this strategy, this break from the norm of their setting, this dedication and honour and drive to create something unique in a landscape of horror, that earned Scott his place as the final living soul in that world. Together with Pearl and Cleo, he found something that no one else managed to find: balance, true victory, and a way to win together in a game whose sole purpose was to divide.
The Triple G Alliance did not simply win Last Life. In my opinion, they beat it.
Today, minecraft youtubers raised 300k dollars for The Trevor Project
(screenshot from mcc.live/pride )
MCC– short for Minecraft Championship– is an event where various minecraft content creators get together to play competetive minecraft in ten teams of four against each other. They test each others skills in parkour, pvp, etc. more info on the event on mcc.live
Today, they all got together to raise money for the trevor project while competing in the event. In total, these youtubers have raised $319,158 dollars in total, which is about 50% more than they set out to raise. This is a huge help to lgbtqia+ people, and will surely enrich many queer lives.
Happy Pride Month, everyone :]
Bitches will be feeling Some Kind of Way and then make self-indulgent post-canon-but-also-happy-ending-au art to cope. It’s me. I’m bitches.
Commission me 💛 ko-fi 💛 inprnt
[ID: the image is a digital illustration of Jon and Martin from The Magnus Archives sitting at a small table. Martin, on the left, Has light brown skin, short curled grey hair, round glasses, and stubble. He is wearing a grey button up under a beige sweater, and holding a white mug with steam coming out. He is looking forward, at Jon and smiling and saying something. Jon is looking back with a fond expression, one hand on Martin’s, and the other holding a mug up, halfway to his mouth. He has brown skin, long greying hair, a short beard, and rectangular glasses. He is wearing a red-brown sweater. There is light filtering in through a window behind them. end ID]
Yautja and Kissing
Being with an alien was much more complicated than you had thought, not that you'd thought it would be easy in the first place. There were many cultural differences to overcome, many explanations to be given and many compromises to be made. But beside all of that, one thing threw you off the most; How do you show them affection?
Yautja usually show their affection to one another by presenting them with a gift, usually a skull of sorts. Something you couldn't possibly do for your mate. That is something they've long realized and accepted as part of your relationship. So if you weren't gonna court them in the yautja way, you both agreed you could court them in the human way.
But what exactly is the human way? When you first thought about it, your mind immediately traveled to the climax of every romance movie that ever existed; kissing.
Easy enough, right? Well, not really if your s/o doesn't even have lips and their mouth is instead guarded by four mandibles. Still, you've always been anything but uncreative.
So, one day when you and your mate spend some alone time in one of your rooms, you decided to go for it and sat down on their lap, looking up at them. Them immediately shifting their full attention to you, gazing down into your eyes with a gentle curiousity. The kind that made you fall in love with them when you first met. The kind that made it hard not to loose yourself in their eyes.
You put your hands on their chest, feeling it slowly rise and fall.
"You know how we've agreed that I could show my affection to you in the human way?"
They tilted their head, then nodded.
"I'd like to try that out right now. Would that be okay with you?"
They stared for a few seconds, as if thinking it over or maybe trying think of what you might do, before nodding again.
Some people might find it silly to ask to kiss someone, let alone your partner. Especially because you've asked before if you could court them.
But you've always found it incredibly important to establish boundaries and ask for consent even for the tiniest of things. Especially because your partner is a Yautja. After all, there are a lot of strange things they do to court one another, things for which you'd want them to ask before doing them to you. And to them, you think, your courting might seem just as strange. And you certainly didn't want to make them feel uncomfortable or unsafe.
You smiled up at them, shifting nervously in their lap at the thought of what's about to happen. You sighed, trying to forget the thought that this was the first time you had ever tried courting them instead of them courting you.
"Alright. Just...close your eyes please" you stroke their arm reassuringly. But even without the reassurance, your Yautja shut their eyes almost immediately, showing that they trusted you completely.
Studying their face for a second, you moved both your hands up to their face, holding it gently, before sitting up and planting a gentle kiss on their forehead.
It was completely quiet as they refused to move or open their eyes. They just sat their, contemplating what you just did.
"hey...you okay?" You ask, worried they might not have liked it. But that quickly changed as you heard loud purring from the giant alien in front of you, almost loud enough to cause the bed you two were sitting on to shake. They opened their eyes, looking down at you with an emotion in their eyes that you couldn't quite describe.
"What...did you just do to me?" They ask, their voice a lot softer than usual. Flustered, you play with your hands, unsure of how to act. It was rare for you to be the one to show affection so you were anything but confident.
"W-we humans call it a kiss" you stutter out, eyes widening as they gently take your face into their big hands, their face inching closer and closer to yours until you could feel their mandibles brush your cheeks.
"Do it again."