This Alpha/Beta shit has me seriously confused now, so for my own sanity (because this kind of pedantic crap does bug me), let me sort out my thoughts. It may well be complete bullshit but I’m fairly sure this is how it is.
This is my understanding: in Homestuck, the word Alpha can be used in two contexts:
- There are Alpha universes and Beta universes. The Beta universe is where the kids we meet in Acts 1 to 4 come from. The Alpha universe is the Post-Scratch universe from Act 6.
- There is also an alpha timeline. Every universe has an alpha timeline, whether it’s an Alpha universe or a Beta universe. The alpha timeline is simply the one true timeline of that universe, i.e. not a doomed alternate timeline like the one where John flew off in that rocket pack to fight his denizen.
- This is where it gets confusing. The Dave Strider who DIDN’T become Davesprite is the alpha Dave from the Beta universe. This means that (a) he is the Dave that was always supposed to be Dave in that universe and (b) nonetheless, his universe is the Beta universe.
- Similarly with the trolls, the original trolls were the Beta trolls and the post-Scratch trolls (i.e. Karkat, Vriska et al) are the Alpha trolls. Beta always comes before Alpha.
- All of this leads to confusing statements, such as Dave accusing John of messing with “not the alpha timeline but the ALPHA alpha timeline.” (i.e. the alpha timeline of the Alpha universe).
Not only do I want to go lie down now, I am also confused that I appear to be so interested in this.