"Labhunter" is the pairing name for Witch Hunter and my main Toon(sona), Victor Labrat. Their "pairing name" was decided in my roleplay Discord on Janurary 5th 2023. The other two names considered were "Witchrat" and "Rathunter". I've also decided Janurary 5th as their (/our?) anniversary.
(This page focuses on them *together*. To read more about Victor himself, click here. Click on "profile" on the side to read about Prester, or "writings" for my own writing centering him. Some include Victor!)
These two are thrice divorced, happily married, frenemies, madly in love, trying to kill each other, inseperatable, bickering, and writing the most depressing letters you've ever seen. A never ending puzzle game between the two of them that will stretch on for the rest of time. If you asked either of them what it all meant, they'd tie you to a pole, set you on fire, and hold hands. What a odd display of affection..?
So I guess to start, how do these two even know each other? Reasonably, they wouldn't touch the other with a five foot pole. (Or longer) But it wasn't exactly by choice. Victor, being a mad scientist, bribed C.O.G.S. Inc with their desperation for any information on inside information. In exchange for funding on his (Morally dubious and unlikely ethical) experiements. Prester is to "keep busy" by keeping an eye on him. (
Maybe he'll plot less domination over the company)
"Doesn't Prester hate Toons?" Yes, he does! You're right. And I don't plan on changing that. I want to make it very clear, Prester and Victor aren't good people. They never will be, but so terrible in a way thats perfect for the other.
So if Prester still hates Toons, why would he even tolerate Victor? The only possibility is, Victor isn't really a "Toon". Or doesn't have the qualities that Prester would hate, putting him in grey area. On Victors profile, its repeatedly mentioned hes unable to do many typical "Toon" things. He can't use gags, teleport, or do cartoon like psychics. Other Toons find him creepy, unnerving, and its more of *them* really tolerating his presence in the town.
Victor is selfish, smug, doesn't have many boundaries with whats "okay" for medicine, a bit cowardly in he will throw anyone under the bus to save himself, willing to accept bribes, he doesn't have a big sense of humor. (Imagine Prester sighing dreamily during some of these descriptions) So maybe, at the very least, Prester would find him slightly tolerable.
So we atleast established something that'd make Victor respectable to Prester. What would make him go as far to love him? The answer is a bit convoluted, and obviously very headcanon centered. (Not like it matters since Victor isn't a canon character and everything here is just that. - For Prester backstory elaboration I wrote, check the "writings" tab btw which is recommended before proceeding) but something that would tie them together in a way that goes beyond a species or label.
So, for some context, I like to put "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" in my Toontown lore. (Once again, check my Toontown shrine or my blog section for elaboration) But in this we'll be focusing on "Dip". For those who haven't seen the movie (Go watch it?!) the main antagonist uses a substance called "Dip" to harm Toons. Its the only thing that can really "kill" them, or atleast very brutually. But theres a part of the movie that implies Toons can be "scarred" by it at the very least. (Its the scene with the car where he gets dip on his tires)
Looking closely at their designs, theres a part of them that hides a certain area. For Prester its his lower jaw, for Victor its his hands. (I even noted on his profile to *never* draw him without some kind of glove or covering up to his elbow.) And, well, I hope you're putting two and two together on why I'm mentioning a "scarring substance" and "covered parts" of them.
I would imagine scars are.. very unsightly to Cogs. I would think of them as being very appearance based. So no dents, or scratches, or *scars*. To recap the Prester backstory writing I mentioned earlier, I think he tried to be some kind of "hero" and sought out dip. And was splashed by it on his jaw. Apart from the obvious pain and trauma of that, theres the societal factor mixed in on how he'd be viewed. I don't think a repair would be easy, even removing his prideful aspect. I imagine "manager" type Cogs are more "rare" and expensive to repair. So maybe, that accounts to some of his vindictive nature. Obviously in canon this can be totally different, but thats my personal reasoning to why hes so personal against authority. He thinks he knows better, he knows something that no one can understand.
So back to Victor, one day he gets too hasty and ignorant with experiments on this "mysterious" substance he knows is banned far and wide. And he too is scarred with it and tries to cover it. In a way its a bit symbolic, with Victors hands being scarred, and Presters mouth being scarred. One is too confident in his hands, the other is too confident in his speech.
I don't think Prester would be very happy about finding a Toon ..lovely, or maybe anyone for that matter. Maybe he tries to rationalize it as trickery, witchcraft, some kind of curse or temptation away from his mission. (Whatever that may be) And unfortunately, Victor ends up being thought of as that. Witches usually do magic with their hands, so.. well. Gestures.. With knowing whats underneath.
It would break that delusion of him being a witch to Prester. (Since, well, no magic markings or anything) But also seeing someone else who has this "curse"..
Its a bit funny to think about it for a game like Toontown, but these two are what we call "damned and cursed" in terms of relationship. (Well, every cartoon has that weirdly dark episode or depressing character)
Thinking about the larger scope of Cog society, apart from wishing we got more lore on things like Cog Nation, societal rule, expectations, those kind of things.. I think about Labhunter and the sort of Impending Doom that looms over them in one way or another. Its interesting to think about Cogs aging, because its implied that they can be old as hell but can't exactly "die" from natural age. (Since the death of Atticus is was so shocking to everyone - Cogs aren't *meant* to be "weak". They aren't *meant* to "stop".)
(This'll come back to Labhunter in some way I swear just let me-) So characters like Belle, Prester, even Cosmo are clearly older. (Or atleast the most blatantly "elderly" of the managers.) Which begs to wonder: Do Cogs have.. retirement? Do they just never stop? What happens when the machine.. stops? *Can* they stop? Is there healthcare for them? Repairs? Or is it considered "unsightly" or "defective" when that happens. Do they even realize it? Do they think they'll be "different", and evade that faith?
So anyways, the damnation of Labhunter, the "impending doom". I think that'd be something that would happen inevitably. Even in a perfect scenario where Victor can mask himself as a Cog (Since he doesn't look too Toony, he might be grouped in with something like Advocates or Legal Eagles.) he can't... function like that. He can't keep going on for forever, its not his code. He doesn't have code. He would end inevitably. Would Prester disown him in a way? By societal standards, he failed. Who knows..
I guess when you really think about it, theres not exactly a happy ending for these two. If the Cogs get driven away for forever, I don't think Prester would be satisfied not being able to do law, not being able to work. But if the Cogs did win, what would happen for Victor? And even then, they still decide to love?
Just an example of the sort of angst you should expect with these two :]...
In obligation of "lifting the mood", what are some lighthearted things about these two? How do they function.. normally? (Or whatever is close to normalcy, for them anyway) Well, with knowing they can't exactly be "affectionate", less they draw suspicion to themselves, (Not that either of them are touchy types anyway) its likely a bit.. strange (I need you to imagine one of them clasping their hands together and sighing dreamily as I list these) probably things like accusing people of witchcraft, burning said people, angry mobs, Prester explaining really boring laws to Victor, Victor freaking Prester out about Toon things,
Please imagine the comedy of Victor showing Prester a throw gag and both of them revolting at the sight. Or Prester having a stack of old Cog newspapers Victor likes to study and make a strange little "Cog Guide" to. (Prester doesn't get what he finds so intriguing about vinegar treatments) I imagine Victor goes on long winded tangents after Prester gets (
His ass handed to him) beaten by Toons. Probably hates their zap gags the most, saying how "Where do the stagelights come from, Prester I tell you these Toons have no respect for even the laws of psychics we must exile them immediately-"
I would think Presters orbiters are slightly aware of something fishy, with how Prester lets Victor physically hang off of his shoulder and parrot him so loudly. But no one dare ask, lest they wish to become todays "example". (A very romantic date, too)
Both of these two are filled with pride, in a varying degree but similar. Mostly with their work. I would imagine Victor repairs Prester quietly after a Toon battle, picking pieces of blueberry pie and exploded water balloons off of him. Its a silent exchange, I think Prester might be a bit too prideful to accept "too much" help from others. Maybe he'd feel a little less ashamed if it was from Victor and not medically recorded.