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Quantity Over Quality is a Red vs. Blue fanfic by Prim_the_Amazing. It began publication in 2018 and is still ongoing. The author has a firm schedule of updating every Sunday.

It takes place when Project Freelancer is still active, and when agents are first being given AIs as part of an experiment. However, rather than getting AIs named after the Greek alphabet, the chosen Freelancers receive AIs that have the names of a familiar group of self-identifying idiots. But, it becomes obvious to the readers that there is something dark about how the AIs were procured...

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It can be read on Archive of Our Own here.

There is also a Podfic currently in that works by graycalls that can be found on Archive of Our Own here.

This page is still under construction and thus is incomplete.

Unmarked Spoilers are Present though as said above it is obvious to the readers.


Quantity Over Quality contains examples of:

  • 24-Hour Armor: Since it is a Red vs. Blue fanwork, characters rarely remove their power armor.
  • Abusive Parents:
    • In York's backstory chapter, his father kicked him out of the house and refused to let him back in when he began identifying as male.
    • Carolina and the Director's relationship too. Carolina constantly wants to show she is useful to him to the point of overworking herself physically and mentally, and he is emotionally neglectful towards her.
    • Washington's father was also clearly abusive towards him, but no specifics are given. He did kill his secret pet cat and leave the body for Wash to find.
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    • Grif has a memory of his alcoholic mother who he had to take care of to his own detriment.
  • Accidental Truth: Florida, after realizing he has to treat Sarge the same unique way he deals with other people, casually notes that "AIs are, without a doubt, people."
  • Action Girl: Carolina and South since they are Freelancers.
  • Achievements in Ignorance: Caboose doesn't even know that Carolina's unit is supposed to be Super Strength. He just thinks that everyone' is that strong.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: CT can't help but laugh upon realizing that after years of careful preparation and planning, Sister is managing to fuck up all of the Insurrection's plans by attacking the Mother of Invention head on.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance: Dylan Andrews and Jax Jonez show up during the time of Project Freelancer where as in the canon they are introduced in season 15.
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  • Adaptational Job Change: The Reds and Blues are actual soldiers and not simtroopers. They still remain incompetent though.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: Grif and Simmons’ friendship has romantic undertones. Grif's last words were a Dying Declaration of Love towards Simmons and he intended to return the favor before he died.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: Grif and Simmons have romantic tension as humans and AIs. Washington identifies as asexual to contrast the now-bisexual Tucker. While Donut is kept Ambiguously Gay in canon, here it's confirmed.
  • Adaptational Species Change: The Reds and Blues are AIs instead of human simtroopers. Subverted as flashes of memories show that they were humans before somehow becoming AIs.
  • Adapted Out:
    • There is no mention of Church, Tex, Lopez, or Doc. The first two because the Alpha AI was never created, and the third because Sarge isn't able to build him. Subverted with Church and Tex as it is later revealed that the Director created the Alpha to try and fragment his memories of Allison but discovered that the result was not her so he locked them away. They are freed during the crash of the Mother of Invention.
    • As a result of Alpha not being fragmented, none of the AI units that came from him appear.
  • A Father to His Men: Sarge exhibits this trope in some of the short flashes of memories. Even to the Blues. A brief flashback shows him looking out for Caboose by asking him to carry a flaregun in case he gets lost again. He even refers to Caboose as "son."
  • Affably Evil: Florida almost deconstructs this. His nice demeanor is not fake whatsoever; he genuinely enjoys talking to people and likes almost everyone he meets. He's also a sociopath that doesn't understand why they think he's weird when he takes "souvenirs" from the enemies he kills and tests their body parts to figure out how to kill them easier.
  • Afraid of Doctors: All the AIs, except Caboose, show fear around the Counselor. When asked by Washington, Tucker replies he doesn't know why he just finds the Counselor creepy.
  • A.I. Getting High: More like getting drunk when North and South start a game of "Never have I ever" under the guise of testing what would happen with their AIs. Hilarity with South and Donut ensues in the next chapter.
  • Alternate Universe Fic: Though it begins seemingly as an AU where the Reds and Blues started out as AIs, it is instead an AU where they were turned into AIs.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Florida is often seen as creepy by other Freelancers and faculty on the ship. He shows clear signs of sociopathy such as lack of empathy, extreme risk-taking behavior, and need for stimulation in the form of bloody combat. He has been called a sociopath both in the story and in the comments; however, he himself has stated he never got an official diagnosis.
  • Ambiguously Gay: As always with Donut and potentially Agent Florida. South feels a twink vibe from her AI (and worries that they might have the same taste in men), and Florida finds Sarge's Southern accent "charming".
  • Amnesiac Resonance: The Reds and Blues had their memories wiped when they were turned into AIs but still remember their last names and retain their personalities. They also retain feelings of familiarity towards each other and their fear of the Counselor.
  • Amusing Injuries: Washington suffers this when he runs into walls due to his and Tucker's inexperience with his armor's speed unit. It is even compared to Looney Tunes.
  • Artificial Intelligence: The Reds and Blues are AIs given to certain Freelancers.
  • Audio Adaptation: The story has a Podfic version currently in the works.
  • Ax-Crazy: Agent Florida, especially after discovering his armor unit is pain inhibition. See The Sociopath below.
  • Bait-and-Switch: After York is called to meet the Director, the Director starts talking about interpersonal relationships and how they can effect performance in the field. York panics, believing that the Director has found out about his relationship with Carolina, only to find out that he thinks that he's with North instead and he's let off with a slap on the wrist.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Tucker appoints himself as the main person to watch over Caboose even though they get along just as well as Sarge and Grif and Caboose is likely to listen to anyone but Tucker. This carried over to AI Tucker who finds just the thought of Caboose and the Counselor interacting to be uncomfortable. When the imprinting process is performed on Caboose, Tucker screams at the Counselor to stop hurting him. When Caboose is killed, Tucker completely breaks down into sobs. This carried onto AI Tucker, as the first feeling Wash experiences after implantation is absolute devastation.
  • Blessed with Suck: The other agents see Florida's pain inhibition unit as this, although he doesn't see it that way. After all, he's still taking damage, and his carelessness with his own safety means that he doesn't stop to properly heal his injuries, resulting in them piling up. Sarge even has to switch the pain back on to convince Florida to not continue on a mission when his leg simply couldn't hold his weight any more. He finally goes too far in chapter 77, with his body simply shutting down, and Florida being rendered apparently brain-dead.
  • Blood Knight: Agent Florida and Sarge are basically a duo of this. Flordia enjoys combat regardless of who he is fighting and especially enjoys it when it results in bloodshed. Sarge gets along with him from the very beginning due to their shared love of violence.
  • Body Horror: There is a detailed description of Florida when North recalls how he looked when he continued to fight after his pain was literally turned off. It gets to a point that Grif exclaims how gross it is.
    An image of Florida that’s burned into his skull springs forth in front of his mind’s eye: Florida, in armor but lacking his helmet, long dark hair almost entirely out of his braid, smiling a ghoulish excited smile with teeth entirely coated in blood, blood in the white of his right sclera, nose broken, gashes littered over his face from the beatdown he’d received, arms held at the ready to deal more punches despite the way they bent in a way arms definitely shouldn’t, Carolina swaying in front of him, her face almost a ruin—
    Grif: Dude, gross!
  • Bow Chicka Wow Wow: Tucker's catchphrase "Bow Chika Bow Wow" has made an appearance once or twice.
  • Braids of Action: Florida keeps his hair styled in a single long one, and he is an absolute battle maniac. It is clearly seen in the illustration of the first chapter.
  • Brain Uploading: North and York discuss the theory that the AIs are imprints of soldier volunteers. This would explain why the AIs have memories of being human soldiers.
  • Can't Stop the Signal: Sister and Jax hold a livestream when raiding the Freelancer's ship to invoke this trope.
  • Cassandra Truth: Simmons is the first one to figure out that the AI that Project Freelancer uses used to be humans, but York dismisses him due to his jumpy attitude and the fact that he uses the word "reincarnate" to describe the process.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Sister's arrival marks a noticeable shift in the tone; several characters are Killed Off for Real, the AI and the soldiers using them gain access to their memories, Project Freelancer is all but destroyed (and the survivors are stranded on an alien planet), and, offscreen, just about everyone who wasn't a main character is killed. Overall, there's still comedy (preventing it from falling into Darker and Edgier), but the horror of the situation is played straighter than before.
  • Cheery Pink: Donut's hologram projection is him in his signature pink armor. And he sparkles.
  • Combat and Support:
    • Combat: Freelancers since they have actual physical bodies.
    • Support: AIs as they help by controlling armor enhancements as well as providing surveillance and strategic-thinking.
  • Comically Missing the Point: When North tries to bring up his suspicions that Project Freelancer watches the agents with hidden cameras to Washington, Tucker is more concerned about the Director watching him and Wash jerking off than the obvious implications.
  • Computer Voice: York takes notice that all the AIs have unique voices instead of sharing the default recording for English male-programmed AIs.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Simmons theorized that the AIs are imprints of soldier volunteers. North and York discussed that the possible true goal of Project Freelancer is to see if it can believably lie about the AIs being created from a new, legal method that is not open to the public. North later begins to suspect that the agents are being watched when he conveniently received "evidence" for the theory the very next day.
  • Deadly Training Area: In the first chapter, Maine, Carolina, North, and South are told they are free to injure Florida as much as they want as long as it does not result in death. Later, when South gets Donut and discovers her unit is explosive charges.
  • Death by Adaptation:
    • Maine gets himself killed before he could become the Meta in Chapter 38.
    • The Insurrectionist Leader and the Director are both killed during the crash of the Mother of Invention. Florida is also rendered braindead after fighting Carolina.
    • All of the Reds and Blues were killed and turned into AI units before the story began.
    • Washington kills the Counselor not long after the crash.
  • Distressed Dude: York and Simmons have to go on a rescue mission to save Washington and Tucker... because Wash ended up getting stuck in an air vent.
  • Dramatic Irony: A large amount of this trope due to the audience's knowledge of Project Freelancer from the canon. The audience is also able to see all the flashes of memories and piece them together unlike the characters.
  • Dramatic Pause: When York first receives Simmons there is a large spacing in the writing to give a sense of lost time due to York suffering an AI-induced panic attack.
  • Dreaming of Times Gone By: Both North and York end up reliving memories of their AIs in their sleep. They even take the places of Grif and Simmons respectively.
  • Driving Question: What exactly happened to the Reds and Blues?
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Caboose senses the guilt Carolina has after she accidentally injured York's eye with her strength unit. He asks to visit York, but Carolina refuses because she believes he is angry at her. Caboose then states if she just visits York she will see he is fine and stop worrying while York will be happy about her visiting. Carolina asks what happens if he isn't fine to which Caboose firmly replies he is. She retorts that he has no reason to believe that and Caboose with help from FILSS in turn retorts she doesn't have a reason not to believe that York isn't okay until she sees him with her own eyes. Caboose ends up winning the argument.
  • Dying Declaration of Love: A flash of memory shows Simmons trying to invoke this to Grif. However, he appears to not get the words out on time.

    I love you.

    It’s so important for him to say it. It’s never been more important for him to say it.

    The words stick in his throat, his lungs struggle for air, and he can do nothing but sob without meaning to.

    He’s running out of time.

    I love you.

    He has to say it.

    I love you.

    He has to speak up.

    I love you.

    He has to say it now—

    • And, as we see later in the story, Simmons didn't get the words out. Grif, however, does. He spent his last few seconds alive telling a panicking Simmons that he loves him.
  • Dysfunctional Family: North and South are not close. The normality of their relationship is spending as little time together, occasionally getting into a fight, and rarely sharing an actually enjoyable moment together. Grif finds it uncomfortable, stating it feels like South is mad at North when she isn't. York's father kicked him out of the house in his backstory. Carolina is treated like any other disposable soldier by the Director rather than his daughter.
    • The Dakotas' relationship worsens when South blames North for ruining her chance at happiness after merging with Donut. She throws an explosion at him without hesitation though Grif blocks it with his shield. Grif later argues with North about the unhealthy co-dependence the twins have and he points out that North will just drain himself taking care of South when she doesn't want to change and get better. A brief flashback shows Grif's alcoholic mother, showing where his thinking comes from.
  • Escalating War: Played for Laughs. Washington's attempts to get his sword back all get stonewalled by R&D and his attempts to counter this get countered right back, until eventually he has to crawl in through the vent, saw a hole in the wall, and take someone hostage to get answers. The situation finally deescalates when a random scientist has enough and gives his sword back with no issues.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Florida is the focus of the first chapter. In it, he feels exhilaration when in a to-the-near-death fight with Carolina, Maine, and the Dakotas and after discovering his armor unit literally turns off his pain, Florida goes all out, not caring if he hurts his fellow Freelancers or his own body. The fight ends while he is punching Carolina bloody with a smile on his face.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Averted as the Director and Counselor had no problem forcefully turning the innocent simtroopers into AIs through an unknown painful method. Averted even further when it is revealed that the Director and Counselor murdered the simtroopers after the imprinting process. The Director then went on to do the same to everyone significant in Allison's past.
  • Eye Color Change: Slightly different as the irises do not change color but rather the color of the AI bleeds through the sclera of the host Freelancer. This is seen for the first time briefly when Simmons' temporarily merges with York's mind. North notes a red sheen to York's eye. Later it is seen fully when Donut and South end up completely merging. Her eyes end up glowing pink.
  • Fate Worse than Death: The Reds and Blues are turned into AIs against their wills and have their memories wiped. And the process was anything but painless...
  • Feel No Pain: Basically Agent Florida's armor unit. It can be turned on and off by Sarge.
  • Fight for the Last Bite: York has a memory dream where Simmons tackled Grif for eating the last bite of his rations.
  • Flashback: Used often to leave clues and tell backstories.
  • Flashback Echo: Happens to the AIs when certain emotions or events trigger memories. Sarge has a brief flashback of someone screaming after he returns Florida's pain, causing the agent to scream from his injuries. Caboose has several after Maine is killed and he is left trapped in his head. They are the times he is told to stay in place and wait for someone whenever he gets lost.
  • Foil: North and South to Grif and Kai. North comes to realize how siblings should feel towards each other after Kai reunites with her AI brother. Acting as Grif’s proxy since he is still implanted within him, North can feel Kai’s love through her crushing hug and can more directly her brother’s love. He evaluates his entire relationship with South and comes to realize he never once felt anything like the Grif siblings’ bond with her.
  • Forced to Watch: Hinted to have happened to Tucker with Caboose when they were turned into AIs. Confirmed in Chapter 65, paralyzed by their armor being locked up, all of them were stuck listening to the screams of their friends before them. Unable to move their heads they only had partial visibility of the imprinting and then murders. The exact specifics of sight are unclear but Tucker saw Caboose's, Sarge saw either Tucker or Caboose's, Grif saw Donut's and it appears that Simmons watched most if not all of them.
  • Foreshadowing: Mainly done through the AIs' reactions towards the Counselor and flashbacks they have.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: The AIs all had their memories erased, so they no longer remember their time as a team. But they still have feelings of recognition as shown by Grif and Simmons's and Tucker and Caboose's interactions.
  • For Science!: South feels she should be able to fully test out her unit against her teammates for this reason. Later in a chapter with this trope as the title, North uses it as an excuse to bond with his sister over drinks. He says he wants to test what would happen if they got drunk with AIs.
  • Friendship Moment: Carolina has a sweet moment with Caboose by doing macaroni art to satisfy his desire to draw. They are also able to have a nice conversation. This is especially welcomed as when they were first partnered, Carolina ignored Caboose causing him to feel neglected. Their relationship once again starts rocky after she regains him after Maine's death but Carolina is clearly now putting more effort to work with Caboose.
  • Glowing Eyes: The color of the AI will bleed through the sclera of the Freelancer and cause them to glow when the AI and host's mind merge.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Florida gets a lot more mileage out of Feel No Pain than most; a favorite trick of his is dislocating his limbs to fit into small spaces or attack from unexpected angles.
  • Help, I'm Stuck!: Washington gets stuck in the vents when stealing alien tech from an enemy base so York and Simmons have to save him and Tucker.
  • Heroic RRoD: 'Heroic' might be stretching it, but Florida straight up loses functionality in one leg after he stresses it too much (Sarge is supposed to watch out for this, but they both tend to get carried away in the moment), and Sarge has to remove Florida's pain block to convince him to call for an evac. After a brutal fight with Carolina, Florida's body simply quits on him, and he is rendered brain-dead. Sarge has to puppet his body to surrender to Carolina.
  • If You Ever Do Anything To Hurt Him: South gives this talk to York over his supposed relationship with her brother. York is too stunned at the entire situation to give a proper response, so she continues to give these sorts of messages every now and then.
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • Even though he's an AI, Tucker still manages to gain control of a sword, even if it's technically bonded to Washington. Word of God states that the sword is actually bonded to BOTH Tucker and Wash so it won’t work for just one of them.
    • Even without Tex around, York still loses sight in his eye, this time courtesy of Carolina accidentally breaking his helmet with her Super Strength.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: The Director, Counselor, and doctors/technicians all refer to the AIs as “it”s. The technicians go as far as referring to their memories as data meant to be deleted. Averted with the Freelancers, who all refer to their AIs with male pronouns. Carolina tells Caboose he is a person because he has thoughts and feelings while a ship or FILSS don't so that makes them "it"s.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Kaikaina got information confirming suspicions about her brother's death out of a man by grabbing his balls and threatening to tear them off.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Sarge, who gets up to the "in" of See You in Hell before he's shot.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The Counselor is killed by the merger of one of the soldiers he murdered and one of the agents he manipulated.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Everyone in the Project comes to believe that York and North are seeing each other after York barges into North's room wearing only his boxersnote , not helped when South and C.T. barge in and see him on top of North.
  • Mythology Gag: Caboose refers to FILSS as Sheila again, even though it's not actually her name this time.
  • Name Amnesia: The Reds and Blues no longer remember their full names, only referring to themselves by their surnames. The exception is Sarge. Caboose is the first to recover his name.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Several characters gain names in this story.
    • Washington's full name is David McCormick, the last name of which is a Shout-Out to his voice actor from the series, Shannon McCormick.
    • York zigzags this: his birth name is Andrea, but the name he takes upon his gender switch is not revealed.
    • CT's full name is Melanie Stoker.
    • The Insurrectionist Leader's name is Connor. It's implied that Girlie and the Demo Man are named Baker and Phillips.
  • No Face Under the Mask: Caboose made his hologram take off the helmet, only to find static underneath. After Grif regains all his lost memories, this is not the case for him.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: It is unknown what exactly happened to the Blood Gulch Crew. That leaves it all up to the readers' imaginations... That is until The Reveal.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: When Kaikaina arrives to the Mother of Invention, she acts like her usual self such as flirting with South even though the latter is trying to kill her. However, her voice and attitude becomes cold when she voices that she wants Project Freelancer to burn, no matter what it takes.
  • Outside-Context Problem: Sister ends up being this for everyone. The Insurrection wasn't expecting her to steal a ship and ruin all of their carefully constructed plans, while Freelancer wasn't expecting someone to ram their ship with a ship and reveal all their secrets online. As a result, in a single night, Sister brings Project Freelancer to the ground (literally) and gets the Insurrectionist Leader and the Director killed in the process.
  • Papa Wolf: Sarge clearly cares about the about the other AIs and is happy to spend time with them as he literally glowed with happiness when Florida gave him the chance to talk to Caboose. Flashbacks shows him looking out for Caboose since he had a habit of getting lost. He became enraged when Caboose and Tucker are killed and continued to shout threats and curses edged with tears until his death. When AI Sarge first came online, he was furious and “ready to kill from the first second”.
  • Pretty Little Headshots: This ends up tipping Sister off as to something being wrong with Grif's death. The shot to the head he received after being killed by Project Freelancer was just a little too clean and perfect to be a random combat shot.
  • Projected Man: All the AIs manifest this way in order to communicate outside their hosts' heads.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Sister's plan to bring down Project Freelancer involves crushing a ship through the hull of the Mother of Invention and then live-streaming all their secrets.
  • Related in the Adaptation: When Caboose mentions his mother, North questions if he is referring to the Director. Grif then protests that that would make the Director his mother. So in a weird way, the Reds and Blues are technically siblings.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Sarge can monitor Florida's physical state, to prevent him from being suddenly crippled by an injury he didn't notice. Of course, Sarge being Sarge, he has a tendency to get caught up in the moment and forget that he needs to do this until problems occur.
  • The Reveal: The AIs having once been humans is obvious and the Director's true goal of regaining Allison remains the same with the canon. The big questions were how did the Reds and Blues become AIs and how do they fit into the Director's plan of getting Allison back. The answer to the latter is the Director originally created an AI imprint of his own mind named Alpha and fragmented his memories of his wife from it but discovered Beta was merely a "shadow" of her. He locked them away and realized he would have to combine multiple perceptions of other people to make a complete Allison AI. The Reds and Blues were the test group of his experiment since they had gotten to know each other well due to being isolated together for a long time. And the answer to the former is the simtroopers were tricked, placed into armor lock, and murdered after the imprinting process.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!:
    • In the backstory, Washington knocks his commander unconscious once he makes it clear he's trying to lead his unit on a suicide mission. It gets him betrayed by the rest of his unit, sending him to PFL.
    • Upon realizing what the Director's plan is, Carolina destroys the imprinting machine and takes the Director prisoner.
  • See You in Hell: This was presumably what Sarge was saying as he was killed, but he only gets up to the "in".
  • The Sociopath: Butch Flowers/Florida can only feel real happiness whenever he is fighting, especially when it causes bloodshed and regardless of who he is fighting. He has difficulty understanding and empathizing with others, particularly why people don't like hurting people they like. He has no regards for his own safety, and Sarge is forced to return his pain to prevent him from permanently damaging his body. In his backstory chapter, he removed the head of his deceased teammate during the war as a "souvenir" and was confused by his other teammate's horror.
  • Speech Impediment: From the stress of Grif regaining his memories combined with the crash of the Mother of Invention, North develops a stutter.
  • Stress Vomit: Washington vomits after killing the Counselor.
  • Super Speed: Wash's unit.
  • Take That!: When Wash has to reconnect FILSS to the Mother of Invention, he looks up how to do it on Youtube and gets a large amount of ads, even by Youtube's current standards.
    Tucker shouts at him through both of the two unskippable ads, the one ad that they get to skip after five seconds, the ad they get to skip after ten seconds, and the ad that asks them which brands of cereal that they recognize (none, and it’s the actual truth).
  • That Man Is Dead: After regaining his memories, Tucker has an identity crisis as he views his current AI self separate from his deceased human self. He feels this way towards the other AIs.
  • Title Drop: The phrase "quantity over quality" is used by the Director and other Project Freelancer members to describe their goals. Since the Director couldn't get a perfect copy of Alison despite knowing her best, making his viewpoint the "quality", his next attempt is gathering as many people who knew her and getting all possible viewpoints in order to get a more complete image of her, hence the "quantity".
  • Virtual Ghost: The AIs were created by scanning the original Reds and Blues’ brains before they were executed. They retain the originals’ personalities and some of their memories.
  • Was Once a Man: Carolina comes to realize that Caboose and the others are imprint AIs rather than experimental ones, meaning they came from humans. Caboose, Grif, Simmons, and Tucker regain their memories thus showing them to their hosts where they realize all the AIs use to be people.
  • Wham Line: In-Universe, the first time the Director talks to Carolina about her mother is incredibly shocking to her.
    The Director: What would you be willing to do to bring Allison back?
  • Whole Episode Flashback: Some chapters are entirely dedicated to telling characters' backstories. There's also a full chapter dedicated to the story of how the Reds and Blues were killed, one showing how Sister realized Grif was murdered, and another showing how Dylan and Jax became involved.
  • You Are What You Hate: After merging with Donut and being separated, South realizes that the only person she really hated was herself.
  • Younger Than They Look: The AIs project themselves as and sound like adult men (except Caboose) but aren't even a year old. The AIs are technically about two years old, but they spent a year “turned off”.
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