N The Future Shock - The Father Time Loop - A History

The Father Time Loop: A History

Oh… hello, I didn’t see you there. Let me tell you a story: the tragic story of Maggie Hark. He was once human, much like you or I, but from the very beginning he was unique. Born with only stumps, medical science outfitted him with arms and legs of pure, molten steel. With an array of distinctive, devastating wrestling maneuvers, Hark rose to become the finest pro-wrestler the world had ever seen. He worked his way up through the world circuit to become humanity’s greatest champion, felling even the most ruthless of spine-shattering back-breakers. At the height of his career, Hark was officially recognized and certified by the United Nations as the Strongest Human in History, Living or Dead. His legacy became forever celebrated in history texts distributed throughout even the world’s most public of school systems.

In the year 2OXX, the Earth Slide changed the world forever. The Robots destroyed over 89% of the human population. Cities were leveled, the skies blackened, and forever the very thought of this Robocalypse was to be synonymous with devastating hardship. Humanity’s history was systematically erased.

Then, like a phoenix from ash, a powerful Resistance emerged. The Resistance was led by Velocity Gnome, an unlikely hero with phenomenal powers and knowledge. The Gnome rallied what was left of mankind using his strong sense of justice and humanity and fought the Robots. Through his efforts the tides of war began to turn.

During his years as leader of the Resistance, Velocity Gnome bore a son, whom he named “Zane.” Zane was a precocious young scamp. From an early age he showed signs that he too possessed all the powers of his father. In his teenage years, he grew into a physical giant and became talented wrestling CyBears in the wastelands and veldts near his CyBurban home. His mind, too, was strong; following in his father’s footsteps, Zane developed an appetite for the scientific arts, with a specialty in cybernetic implants.

Zane loved his father with all his heart, but for Velocity Gnome the Resistance always came first. Despite his spectacular accomplishments, Zane was often neglected by his father due to his grueling schedule as humanity’s savior and the resulting late-night impromptu business meetings. Slowly, they began to grow apart. Despite Zane’s privileged position, he grew jealous of the Resistance and what it had done to the tender and sacred bond between father and son.

Velocity Gnome did his best to balance his responsibilities. On a night that Zane remembered forever, he and his father went on a camping trip in the woods. In the middle of intergenerational bonding over a neon protocampfire, Velocity Gnome received an urgent call, and he had no choice but to rush off to an important Resistance meeting. Zane was left alone in the woods. Before he knew it, an entire pack of CyBears descended upon him, buzzing and whirring with fury. Without his father, Zane was no match. He was CyBearly left alive, with his body gravely wounded and covered with deep scars.

Zane felt unfathomable abandonment and rage. He grew evil, and in his eyes his fellow humans were the cause. He vowed revenge against the remaining members of the species that tore his father away from him, and he would stop at nothing to destroy them all.

Zane hatched a plan. He would empower the Robot armies so that the Resistance would be overrun. To do this, he would need to give the Robots a leader, one that would rival Velocity Gnome’s power: a combination of the strongest humanity had to offer and the strongest Robotic Future Technology had to offer. Zane would create the most powerful cyborg in the history of the world to lead the Robot armies to victory. As he had seen, only humans were capable of the true evil that would be necessary. Unfortunately, the appropriate willing human subject did not exist in the Future.

There were few ancient history texts that existed in Zane’s time, but through his father’s contacts he was able to obtain one. Soon he learned of Maggie Hark, humanity’s greatest warrior. His subject was located, but he would need to travel into the past to set his plan in motion and see to it that the evil in Hark’s heart was unleashed. In addition, cyborg technology restraints would require Zane to wait until Hark’s natural death, at which point his core components could be collected and integrated into the perfect cyborg.

Thus, Zane’s time-leaping began. With his level 5 security access, Zane was easily able to use a Resistance portal to travel back to Hark’s time and enter the world wrestling circuit. With his Future knowledge and Robot-hardened musculature, Zane rose through the ranks. He began copying Hark’s moves and making them his own. Soon enough, the two wrestlers faced one another in a climatic clash.

Like two menacing Titans battling for Mount Olympus, the fight would last for forty days and forty nights. Zane grabbed Hark’s exposed right thigh and firmly clenched it towards his chiseled torso. Contorting it he curled his glistening biceps firmly, clamping both arms around the better half of Hark’s lower frame. As Zane leapt to the air he began to spin violently, a sensation Hark had experienced countless times but never as the upside-down recipient. The pile-driver came crashing down upon the blue and white mat causing the ring itself to collapse. As the dust cleared, the ring was empty. Poking up from the pile of rubble and dismay was a single, crippled, tortured hand of the once mighty and undisputed wrestling king, Maggie Hark. Zane was nowhere to be found, for he had already accomplished all he needed to achieve in this time period.

Hark was crushed by the defeat. He never recovered, and he too felt rage. It was the same rage Zane felt when his father abandoned him, the rage that would drive Hark’s human heart robotic. Hark’s rampage would begin that day. Running on pure adrenaline and synthetic oils, Hark destroyed the wrestling complex and with it the lives of 37,865 innocent humans. He took his fight to the streets, clothes-lining any and all that stood in his way. His path of destruction lent itself to the very move that had become his own downfall as he went about pile-driving schools, banks, and post offices, making his way to the Pentagon.

The armies of the past were ready for Hark; hundreds of thousands of soldiers littered his path and tanks, choplifters, and submarines trained their most sophisticated weaponry squarely between Hark’s bloodshot eyes. Unsatisfied with what his life had become, Hark traveled the world to find solace in destruction, but eventually he was worn down and summarily defeated by the world he had hated so dearly. Hark was broken down to pieces and forcefully contained within a fission sealed adamantium safe-case. The day following Hark’s death, a summit of world leaders was held and the decision was made to entomb Hark’s remains at a secret location hundreds of leagues beneath the world’s deepest of oceans. Only two men knew of Hark’s final resting place and both were killed in an outlandish hunting accident. With all evidence of their deaths stricken from the records and their documents classified and ultimately destroyed, knowledge of the location of Maggie’s whereabouts became lost over time. No one ever disturbed Hark’s remains.

Back in the Future, Zane had returned through the portal with grand intentions of searching the devastated Future Earth for Hark’s body; it was all he needed to finish his plan. To his dismay, the Highest Order of Human Wizards had already located the remains of Maggie Hark. Having knowledge of Hark’s role in humanity’s rewritten history and knowing the danger of letting the remains fall into the wrong hands, the Human Wizards cast the pieces into the distant CyberPast, where no Robot would ever lay metal clamp upon them. The High Wizards were able to fully digitize Hark’s remains and place them in limbo between the humans and robots: cyberspace. Only a person with access to the primitive CyberPast and the power to decipher the wizards’ glyphs would be able to locate Hark’s remains, and no such person existed in the Future.

Zane was furious by this turn of events, but he was still determined to succeed, so once again he traveled to the CyberPast. But even his giant brain could not decipher the glyphs, and he wept in failure as he realized that there was only one man with the power to decipher the glyphs and gather Hark’s remains. That man was Velocity Gnome, the father Zane was determined to punish. It was another dead end for Zane, who knew that the Gnome would never willingly help construct the downfall of humanity. Zane was left hopeless.

Then, when all seemed lost for Zane’s plan, Velocity Gnome, who still consumed by his duties and completely unaware of his son’s true feelings, set into motion a plan that would inadvertently bring about his own destruction. Seeking to better prepare his past self for his Future role as the leader of the Resistance, Velocity Gnome sent his tormented son back in time. Zane was to deliver unto the Gnome of the past two guidebooks along with some preliminary training and words of advice to prepare him for the Earth Slide. As the Gnome’s son, Zane was the best candidate for the mission, and with his own agenda fueling his growing insanity, Zane willingly accepted his assignment.

Traveling into the Gnome’s past, he completed his mission as ordered, but he added his own modifications to the guidebooks and the journey in order to gain the Gnome’s trust. This Gnome of the past, Zane concluded, would be unaware of all that would transpire in the Future, and thus he would not know the true history of Maggie Hark and his final resting place in the CyberPast. Zane knew that though the Gnome’s powers were not at their height, he was still the only man, past or Future, with the inborn talent and outright genius to decipher the High Wizards’ glyphs and locate all of Hark’s remains. So, unbeknownst to his father, Zane began to use the Gnome of the past as a willing pawn. He covered his feelings of jealousy, betrayal, and hatred toward his father with words of accolade, love, and encouragement.

Making another unauthorized trip to the past, Zane used his knowledge of cyborg technology to create two weak prototype cyborgs made from the human shells of two college students, two unassuming intra-web enthusiasts who would help him blend into the past world seamlessly and manipulate the Gnome’s trust at will. Zane’s plan went off without a hitch, and the naïve Gnome of the past led a powerful band of World Warriors through the CyberPast. In the end, Zane used the Gnome to summon Maggie Hark in his final, cyborg form. The Gnome fought valiantly to stop what he had unwittingly helped create, but to no avail. Hark and Zane escaped, and the world was doomed.

Returning to the Future, Zane saw that things had changed. Velocity Gnome was dead. The leaderless Resistance was on the brink of destruction by the Robot armies, led by the powerful Maggie Hark, cyborg extraordinaire. Hark ruled the Earth with a titanium fist, but his bloodlust proved to be unquenchable. His evil had twisted him into a monster of metal and flesh, and even his allegiance to the Robots became lost; Hark no longer yearned for domination, he now sought only destruction. With his power as Supreme Leader of the Earth, he constructed a DoomsDay Device that had the power to implode the Universe unto itself and destroy the very fabric of the space/time continuum. Zane’ s celebration was short-lived, and before he knew it Hark had activated the Device. The Universe was destroyed.

Father Time, displeased by this turn of events and his subsequent loss of control, intervened at the final fleeting moment of reality with a nano-rift. Time was stopped and rewound to when all the events of this narration began. Trusting that the new time stream would be different, Father Time again fell dormant and relaxed as history continued, as it had before for so many millennia.

Once again, the Earth Slide occurred, once again Zane became jealous and manipulated the Velocity Gnome, and once again the DoomsDay Device imploded the Universe. Father Time intervened as he had before, again rewinding time. The Time Loop continued over and over again, with each successive loop being slightly different and slightly shorter than its former. In each Time Loop, the Velocity Gnome changed, but he always led the Resistance. Fluctuations altered each new timeline, but the end result was always the same: the Universe was destroyed.

However, it seems that the Time Loop we live in today has a substantial difference. In this Future, Velocity Gnome, the human known as “Kolin Pope,” was not defeated by Maggie Hark, and the Resistance has all but reclaimed the Earth. Unable to defeat this Velocity Gnome and rule the world, Hark has tried all means to realize his goals. Recently, he traveled back through time to intercept Zane’ s mission to train the Gnome of the past. Hark thought he could stop the Velocity Gnome in the past by killing his lieutenant, Shags. Zane, startled by the appearance of the very cyborg he had not yet created, witnessed Velocity Gnome’s power as he resisted Hark’s attack. Confused but undaunted, Zane continued and carried out his plan as before. Hark killed Shags, but upon returning to the Future saw Velocity Gnome still in power, a testament to the Gnome’s power and sheer will. Hark’s rage reached a boiling point.

In a last desperate attempt to fulfill the purpose of his creation, Hark has again traveled to this time. In his underground lair he is building his DoomsDay Device in a time where there is no Resistance to stop him. If all goes as planned, he will emerge from hiding one last time, in December of this year, to activate the device and again implode the Universe, thus continuing the accursed Father Time Loop.

Among countless Time Loops, this one will be the shortest. I have noticed the power of this new Gnome, “Kolin Pope.” Kolin is the most powerful Gnome to have ever lived. It is unclear how he had the power to create this unique Time Loop, but it speaks only of his bravery and skill. It is my belief that he has the power to stop the Time Loop forever, and that he will have but one opportunity to do so, in December of this year. As always, I will watch and see what time has in store.

-Father Time