Scylla and Charybdis
This article is a stub and will be fleshed out as time permits. It also serves as a loose summation of a major story arc within the GPF archives. A full appreciation and understanding of the events encompassed in this story can only come from reading it in its entirety.
Start Date in Archive: Years Fifteen and Sixteen, Scylla and Charybdis, November 4, 2013
Duration: Two years, 104 three-day weeks, 312 comics
Location: Primarily Earth, near-Earth orbit, or orbit around Earth's moon
Scylla and Charybdis is the third GPF "mega" story arc encompassing all of GPF's fifteenth and sixteenth "years". It is the culmination of events occurring and alluded to in the previous fourteen years and is in some respects a direct "sequel" to the previous "mega-arc", To Thine Own Self.... It primarily centers around the mysterious plot orchestrated by Colonel Lionel Barker, Fooker and Justin's father, and an impending interstellar war between two alien species over the biological and natural resources of Earth. It also explores Fred's origins, as well as strained relationship between Trudy and "Nega-Nick", who has been impersonating the "real" Nick since he mysteriously vanished near the beginning of Year Thirteen.
- 1 Chapter Summaries
- 1.1 Prologue (November 4, 2013 to November 15, 2013)
- 1.2 Chapter One (November 18, 2013 to January 10, 2014)
- 1.3 Chapter Two (January 13, 2014 to April 4, 2014)
- 1.4 Chapter Three (April 7, 2014 to August 22, 2014)
- 1.5 Chapter Four (August 25, 2014 to November 28, 2014)
- 1.6 Chapter Five (December 1, 2014 to March 13, 2015)
- 1.7 Chapter Six (March 16, 2015 to June 19, 2015)
- 1.8 Chapter Seven (June 22, 2015 to September 18, 2015)
- 1.9 Epilogue I (September 21, 2015 to October 9, 2015)
- 1.10 Epilogue II (October 12, 2015 to October 30, 2015)
- 2 Repercussions
- 3 See Also
Brooding from some mysterious location, Colonel Lionel Barker, father of brothers Jason "Fooker" Barker and Justin, contemplates mysterious events that are about to unfold. With a brief dip into ancient Greek mythology and American Revolutionary history, the Colonel seems resolved to carry out his plans to the bitter end, despite reservations that few will understand his motives.
It's business as usual at GPF Software. As the team tests a new in-house geo-location game called "Friend Field", they also split off to tackle separate tasks. "Nick" (really "Nega-Nick" from the "Negaverse") and Trudy are off on another trip for a few days to meet with a client, Ki is still out of town but on her way home, and Fooker and Sharon have a few days off to prepare for their upcoming wedding. Meanwhile, Dexter, Patty, and Fred have a mysterious errand to run, and before they know it, Trish is tagging along as well. As the team parts ways, we begin setting the stage for the chaos to come, especially when Fooker and Sharon stumble onto unexpected visitors....
Fred's mysterious errand is finally revealed: he's off to confront his ever persistent stalker, "Socrates". But when he, Dexter, Patty, and Trish arrive at an abandoned junk yard, they find "Socrates" is not what any of them expect. Meanwhile, Trudy grapples with her loss of control around "Nick", struggling to keep him and the "link" between them out of her thoughts. "Nega-Nick", on the other hand, seems to leverage this weakness to his fullest advantage. As our focus returns to Fooker, Sharon, and their surprise visitors, Fooker's brother Justin recounts a tale filled with swirling twists and daring escapes, until the group quickly discovers they need to make another escape of their own...
In this gargantuan chapter, our multiple threads dance around each other, occasionally weaving a complex but interlocking tale. Socrates gives us new insight into Fred's true origins, changing everything we've ever known about our gelatinous friend. Meanwhile, Fooker, Sharon, and Justin find themselves in the company of the mysterious Grey aliens and are awakened to the true scope of the Physaric threat. As these two threads converge, we get conflicting perspectives on the origin of both alien species and their long running conflict. We also hear the embarrassing tale of how the "Mister Inertia mech" came to be and are reunited with a long lost old friend. Finally, Trudy gives "Nega-Nick" the cold shoulder until a fiery confrontation leads to a much hotter climax....
This chapter is literally out of this world as all our heroes (and villains) find themselves aboard one of two alien space ships. Aboard the Grey vessel, Ki is reunited with the husband she didn't know she'd lost, but Nick didn't know he was lost to begin with... or that he has a wife. At the same time, Pi and Planck reveal the mysterious Physarics to Fooker, Sharon, and Justin, forcing Fooker to reveal why he's been giving Fred the cold shoulder for the past few years. As Sharon and Justin confront Fooker over his knee-jerk assumptions, our attention shifts to Patty, Dexter, and Trish (with a hidden Persephone in tow), who find themselves aboard the Physaric ship and the unwitting guests of Colonel Lionel Barker, the self-proclaimed "savior of the human race" (despite, you know, his apparent aiding the Physarics in their conquest of Earth). Meanwhile, "Nega-Nick's" tryst with Trudy leads to their capture and transport deep into the bowels of the Physaric ship, where they each make separate unexpected discoveries....
Colonel Barker's mysterious plan is finally revealed as he chronicles his past connections with the Physarics and his research into the Greys. His analogy to Odysseus is made plain as Earth faces its own passage "between Scylla and Charybdis", the two warring alien factions that threaten to devastate the planet. Just how does he plan to save the human race while seeming to steer it into slavery? Meanwhile, Fred confronts his lost past and must make a choice between the legacy he never knew he had and the only planet he's ever called home. Elsewhere, Trudy's reunion with her mother unravels further mysteries about her relationship with the Colonel, as well as a heartbreaking revelation sure to have future ramifications for her and Sharon....
The solar system's grandest poker game begins as the Grey Seventh Fleet arrives, evening the odds between the two alien factions and ensuring that interstellar war is all but inevitable. As Fooker fills in the Grand Protuberance on the situation, Ki revives Nick's memories, prompting him to come up a "last ditch idea" to hold off the war. Chekhov's gun eventually fires and our separated heroes finally reestablish contact, giving Nick a chance to formulate a plan. Earth's first interplanetary peace conference gets off to a rocky start as Colonel Barker accelerates his plans, forcing Nick to play his trump card. However, the double-crosses are far from over as the Greys seize their opportunity to attack. With little other choice, Nick is forced to play his ace in the hole, sending our story to only one fateful conclusion....
The fireworks are over; now it's time to deal with the aftermath. As our heroes reunite, Nick plays the reluctant diplomat while suspiciously avoiding his friends' lingering questions. When they finally do corner him, his answer to the fate of the Earth leaves a lot to be desired. Meanwhile, the Colonel and the Key Master are detained, while the Physarics offer Fred a last chance to return to the home he never knew. As the gang attempts to adjust to their new lives, they draw solace in one blessed event: Fooker and Sharon are finally married, with the Great Skaboola officiating, no less!
As the Physaric fleet retreats from Earth's solar system, something sinister stirs within the (literal) bowels of one of their ships. In true GPF fashion, no story ends without leaving key plot threads dangling, and this may be the biggest unresolved plot thread of them all...
Not one, but two epilogues! The repercussions Nick's actions stretch far and wide, and they will not go unnoticed. But what happens when two of the most powerful entities in the known Cosmos are powerless to stop these events, and equally unsure how to repair the damage?
TODO: Flesh out the Repercussions section