58 The Future Shock - Part Three - Answers & Questions

February, 2005

All was quiet in regards to the future for the next six months. My retelling of the events in Minneapolis had spread throughout the internet, and I had many emails inquiring about it. Nothing from Zane, the Gatekeeper, or any of the other people I had met on my trip. Then, on the morning of February 19th 2005, I woke up to find a private message in my inbox on the Something Awful forums. It was titled “I found your future stalkers!” I quickly clicked the link contained within, and was shocked at what it displayed.

Reverse Engineers: There’s Someone at the Door For You, He Says He’s From the Future” was titled at the top of the screen, and a picture of me looking confused at Zane outside my doorway was under it, next to the text. My jaw dropped. It was an art exhibit. There was a synopsis of everything that had happened to me in Chicago and Minneapolis, and a description of the exhibit, made by two guys: Dylan Reiff and Joe Korsmo. The place it was being held was called the Carnegie Art Center, and was in a very small town called North Tonawanda, in New York. I became determined to track these guys down.

The End Day

Several days later as I was heading out the door for work, I nearly stepped on a CD on the floor. It had obviously been slipped through the mail slot. The words “FINAL DOCUMENTATION” were written on the front in large letters. I ran to my computer and played the video [Youtube] on the CD. Zangief and Maggie Hark walked in from the sides of the screen on a fighting game background. They exchanged blows briefly, before a third player, “Kolin”, (My head was pasted on a figure) flew down and destroyed Maggie with laser eyes.

My ongoing search for Joe and Dylan narrowed, and eventually I managed to find Dylan’s mom’s number. I called, and deviously left a message pretending to be one of Dylan’s old friends who was trying to re-establish contact with him. The next day, she called back and happily gave me his current number. I was nervous dialing, not sure how the conversation was going to turn out. The phone picked up with a click. “Hi, Kolin!”

“Hello, Dylan..” I responded, now recognizing his voice. We had an awkward conversation for about twenty seconds, then he asked if I could call him back. I began to ask why, and was interrupted by a sudden beep.

I had been talking to an answering machine.

This took me completely off guard. I was in awe of Dylan’s scheming to accomplish something like that. I called again the next day, and received a similar, but still cryptic message which attempted to engage me in conversation. Wondering how long this would continue for, I called back a third time the next day, and to my surprise, Zane himself actually answered this time. “Hello, Gnome.” He said. “The phones are not secure, so we cannot discuss details here.” I asked him what he was talking about, and he let slip that I must travel to North Tonawanda, very soon. We discussed this briefly, and were able to settle on a date: Friday, March 18th, 2005.

There was very little to prepare before going to New York. I packed a few things, including my trusty blacklight, and set out on that Friday. The ten hour drive was thankfully uneventful. I arrived in North Tonawanda in the middle of the night. The Carnegie Art Center was a large stone building, right in the middle of a residential area. Zane had told me to “shed light on the situation”, which I assumed meant use my blacklight to find a clue, as I had in Minneapolis with the password. I armed myself with the light, and went to work scouring the perimeter of the building for any clues. After several sweeps resulting in nothing, I went back to my car to warm up and think.

It was at this point that a police car slowly drove past, then swung around and pulled up right behind me. Of course – I had just been suspiciously prowling around the outside with a flashlight in the middle of the night. I was thankful that I was in my car when he got there, and not still running around the building in the dark. “Hello!” I said as the officer came to my window.
“Hi. Were you just around this building with a flashlight?”

“Yes, I was. This is a bit of an odd story, but I just drove here from Chicago. There's an exhibit on the inside of this gallery that's all about me, and there is some sort of clue hidden here that I need to find, that’s supposed to be visible by blacklight.”

The officer gave me the most skeptical and puzzled look I've ever seen in my life. “Can I have your license please?” I gave it to him. “I'll be right back...” He walked off to his car, talking with his partner, and no doubt running my plates thoroughly.

Another squad car arrived, pulling up next to him. They both discussed something briefly, and then strode over to me. “So you drove here from Chicago tonight.. huh. You know how weird that sounds..”

“Oh yes, I know perfectly.”

“So explain this a bit more...”

I attempted as best I could to give a short synopsis of my future story without sounding crazy. It seems that I succeeded though, since they let me go once I let them know of my website where they could read the story.

Being the middle of the night, and since the clue was obviously inside the gallery where I couldn't get at it, I found the nearest hotel and fell asleep instantly.

The next morning, I returned to the Carnegie Art Center bright and early. It wasn't open yet, but an art class for children was being held in the basement. I knocked, and briefly explained my situation to the teacher. She actually knew of my exhibit, and promised to take me up to the gallery once the class let out. A half hour later, she opened the doors to the main floor, and I stepped into the gallery for the first time.

The Exhibit

It was a very large room with many exhibits set up along the walls, and on podiums. Mine was towards the back, and I went over to inspect it. Memorabilia from the events hung on the walls, and sat on stands. The famous phaser, printouts of my original story from the internet, my plane ticket to Minneapolis, and more. I was drawn to a television standing to the side that was playing a video.

I soon realized that the video was of the initial delivery of the scrapbook, from 2003. The video was obviously shot out of a car window from the street, and you can hear people talking as the event takes place. “OH MY GOD, is that really him?! I've never seen him in real life.. only in my dreams!” someone yells as I come to my front door.

Obviously, I wanted a copy of this video. I was told, though, that I’d have to wait and ask the curator when he arrived. So, I decided to wait and make the most of my time. I pulled out my trusty blacklight and scanned the items in the exhibit. Nothing out of the ordinary, until I came to one framed picture on the wall.


At this point, I stopped to realize the genius of the guys I was dealing with. They had left this coded message in the exhibit more than a month ago, knowing that I was going to show up someday.

The curator eventually arrived, and surprisingly already knew quite a bit about me. He divulged the bit of information that this wasn't the first exhibit where my future story was featured. There had also been one previously, several months ago, which I hadn't even known about. I brought up the topic of copying the tape, and he was sad to say that he couldn't let me without express permission of the artists.

Sadly, I took a few exhibit booklets, said my goodbyes, and went out to my car. I took out my laptop to check the internet one last time, for Zane had the odd habit of appearing in times of need, and this was no different. He messaged me instantly, and though cryptic, it became clear. The next meeting was not only a meeting, it was a battle. The Wen Chapel was in a virtual world, a video game, and “BRING THE INTERNET” meant I would need friends, warriors. Thanking him, I shut down my computer, started the car, and began my long drive home to Chicago.