'd8 The Future Shock - Part Four - Maggie's Revenge

May, 2005

May 18th finally rolled around, and being extremely busy, I hadn't had time to prepare properly for the battle. In fact, I hadn't even played the game once before that day. Logging on to the trusty Something Awful forums, I asked for assistance, and thankfully, many pledged their e-swords to my cause. We gathered in the meeting place of the Wen Chapel, chatting idly as 7:30 PM rolled around. At that precise moment, Zane Figiam and the Gatekeeper appeared out of thin air.

Zane Confronts the World Warriors

Zane gave a brief overview of the quest that we were about to partake in. There were apparently several “Glyphs” that the Wizards of old had left, which would lead to the disembodied appendages of Maggie Hark (Shags, or “Tyler” from Minneapolis), which had been scattered about. He gave us the first clue, and we set to work, solving his word puzzles and scouring the world for these pieces. One by one, we collected the pieces of Maggie, and advanced through his virtual trials.

The last piece was revealed to be in a locked chest. Zane told me that the secret would be found with, “Primitive anti-light through a second time”. That could mean none other than “Use the blacklight on the second scrapbook”. Shining it over the pages, I was once again struck by their genius. Sure enough, on a page near the end of the book I received nearly a year ago, a numeric password was scrawled in UV-sensitive ink. I entered the password and opened the chest, revealing Maggie Hark’s ring.

Overjoyed, Zane assembled the group, and marched us to where we were to dispose of Maggie’s cybernetic parts once and for all. Holding the pieces aloft, he yelled “Treguna! Mekoides!! Trecorum Satis Dee!!!”

Instead of vanishing forever into the abyss, Maggie Hark appeared before us, in all his cybernetic glory. We had been tricked. “So it is written, Gnome, and so shall your fate be sealed,” Zane yelled. “Maggie, assemble... DESTROY THE WORLD WARRIORS!” We spun into battle.

The Gatekeeper, still on our side, attempted to defend us from Zane's wrath. “Attack with all your strength, Warriors!” he cried. It was futile, however, and Zane made short work of all of us, vanishing instantly afterwards.

Battered and hopeless, we discussed what to do next. It was at that moment that I heard a knock on my front door.

Midnight Showing of Star Wars: Episode III

I ran downstairs and swung open the door, but there was no one in sight. The door next to mine opened up as well, and the person who lives under me came out, noticing a box at his doorstep. He picked it up, looked inside, then realized it said “KOLIN POPE” on the top. “I'm not even going to ask,” he said, giving me a look. I took the box, and ran back up to my apartment. I excitedly opened the box, and found three things: A small MiniDV tape, a movie ticket, and a piece of paper with “ALL WILL BE REVEALED AT EPISODE 3: PLEASE ATTEND” written on it in pen. The ticket, of course, was for Star Wars: Episode III, which just happened to be opening at midnight, that night. the tape would have to wait. I said my goodbyes online, and sprinted to the train.

The L stopped nearly ten blocks from the theater. I arrived out of breath to the site of hundreds of people milling around, inside and outside. Being a Star Wars opening, many people were dressed up for the event. It was going to make it hard to spot anyone.

As I crested the main staircase, a guy around my age who was wearing large goggles approached me. “Gnome?” he asked. “Yes, it is me,” I answered. He handed me a cheap frame with enclosed papers. “There is still one you can trust,” he whispered, patting me on the shoulder as he passed. I turned around to follow him down the stairs, but he was instantly lost in the sea of people.

Velocity Gnome, Circa 1952

With no one else visible that was involved, I figured I should go enjoy the movie. Nothing else out of the ordinary happened that night. It wasn't until the way back on the train that I took the papers out of their frame to read. “THE FATHER TIME LOOP” it was titled. It turned out to be a seven page backstory of the 'history of the future' detailing the past of Zane and how he had become a traitor, myself, and what lied in store.

The next day, a friend converted the video for me, and I was very amused by what they had come up with. It began with cuts of various people introducing themselves as “Velocity Gnome”. A caveman, someone in Star Trek clothes from the future, a dog, a soldier, all repeating the lines that I had recited in front of the camera to “Tyler”, way back in Minneapolis. It was re-enacting my adventure through the ages, Velocity Gnome being reincarnated again and again to save the future, and failing each time.

Father Time Loop on Youtube

Come December 10th, however, I prepared to change that.