To Thine Own Self...
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: Year Eight, To Thine Own Self..., November 20, 2005
Duration: 48 seven-day "weeks" (by calendar, approximately two years & three months), 336 comics
To Thine Own Self... is the second year-long "mega" story arc encompassing all of GPF's eighth "year". It is the culmination of events occurring and alluded to in the previous seven years, especially the three years following Surreptitious Machinations, and primarily centers around an alternate universe dubbed by Faulties as "the Negaverse". Nick's counterpart from this universe, Emperor Nicholas the Puissant, kidnaps our hapless alpha geek for reasons unknown and it is up to Nick's friends to hop dimensions to save him, all on the eve of his long-awaited marriage to Ki.
Note: Due to circumstances beyond the author's control, this story took much longer to publish on the site than originally intended. The story was meant to be published within the calendar year from November 2005 to October 2006. However, various factors caused updates to be severely cut in July 2006 and eventually to completely halt from September to November 2006. In November, updates resumed but only once per week until the story was completed in March 2008. Thus, a story written as 48 seven-day "weeks" actually took nearly two and a quarter years to publish. Regardless, the entire story is treated as a single "year" within the archives, similar to Surreptitious Machinations, and will continue to be referenced in this way for the foreseeable future.
The big event is finally here and preparations are in full swing. But when Nick's sister mysteriously can't make it, Trish is called in as a last-ditch replacement bridesmaid. Things get even more complicated with a mysterious phone call for Fooker and Trish vanishing into thin air! Then add Ki, acting rather out of character, seducing Nick into the MUTEX for a pre-nuptial virtual excursion and things really begin to get confusing. Oh, and did we forget to mention Yoshi conjuring Trudy from his own MUTEX clone?
It's wedding day and everything seems to be going well... until Fooker discovers a "Dear John" letter left for Ki. Fortunately, nobody believes it and foul play is instantly suspected. Yoshi and Trudy also appear, but Fooker stops Ki from rearranging Trudy's face by explaining that she isn't "our" Trudy. How's this? That's because the U.G.A. has arrived with another Trudy in tow! Meanwhile, Nick finds himself in the MUTEX, but something isn't right. When "Ki" fails to pass a simple test, he begins to assume nothing is as it seems.
The mystery of the dual Trudys is finally revealed and a new quest to rescue Nick unveiled. We learn of a parallel world, similar yet markedly different from our own, where a tiny twist of fate takes things in a horrible direction. Old familiar faces return in a new light while many mysterious glances are exchanged. Meanwhile, Nick comes face to face with... himself, and finds he doesn't like the reflection he sees.
We begin this chapter with a simple enough revelation: the identity of Trudy's long lost sister. We then have our first slime mold/alien encounter, the Emperor's mysterious benefactor, a Ki and Trudy heart-to-heart (with no bloodshed, surprisingly), and a rescue plan.
As Nick stalls and talks to Ki's double to buy the others time, the rescue plan gets underway. We learn more about the Grey aliens than we ever wanted to know, meet Sharon's and Dexter's counterparts, and learn why Fooker will be dumping all his 401k profits into male-pattern baldness cures once he gets back.
Everything comes to a head as most of the rescue party is captured and brought to the Emperor's lab. Pi and Planck rally the alien troops while the Emperor gloats. Meanwhile, Justin faces a dilemma of two Fookers while Lord Dexter the Diabolical discovers the party is only just getting started.
War! The Greys' arch enemies have invaded and our heroes are trapped in the palace, the invaders' prime target. Alliances are formed, traitors are revealed, and Fooker learns a secret that may change things forever. But how can you be sure things are really that bad? The Gamester himself steps into the fray for some entity-on-entity smack-down action. Oh, and don't forget the rousing game of "Which Trudy is it this time?"
Everyone's home safe, but not necessarily sound. Our newlyweds are finally hitched and the celebrations have begun, but like story in GPF, endings can raise more questions than provide answers....
To Thine Own Self... has numerous repercussions, many of which ultimately lead into its indirect "sequel", Scylla and Charybdis. The alien war depicted in the "Negaverse" eventually comes to the GPF "prime" universe (or at least it's "prime" universe counterpart does), as well as several hints about Fred and Persephone's origins. "Nega-Nick's" mysterious fate in Chapter Seven isn't fully resolved, but it does eventually come into play and become a recurring plot thread through Years Thirteen and beyond.