Troy McClure Fidgety. You may remember me from such previous Glitch usernames as “girlthulhu” and “elfskinned”, my tower (“H.P. Lovecraftables”), or the person who handed out random Cubimals to strangers. I also clogged up Global with an inexhaustable stream of Simpsons quotes, and I once told somebody that they needed to fight Triangle Man in order to obtain a Teal-White Triangle Key (sorry about that). But if you don’t know me, that’s fine, too.
A few of us Alphateers have been given the opportunity to share our Eleven experiences thus far. I consider this an honor because not only does this allow me to combine my two great loves — writing and Glitch — but I’ve been entrusted by the devs to not cause their blog to spontaneously combust. It’s a responsibility that I’m taking very seriously, which is why I’m choosing to post a series of entries outlining a few salient points at a time instead of publishing an entire novella all at once. This will undoubtedly continue until my WordPress privileges are revoked.
First and foremost, I’d like to reassure my fellow Glitchen by quoting a song of my people — my people being ’90s goths who were never quite able to part with their black nail polish and Doc Martens. I cannot think of a better way to convey the good news when Peter Murphy phrased it so perfectly:
The little foxes were safe and sound
They were not dead,
They’d gone to ground.
When Ur was unimagined in a howling cacophony of imploding lines of code, we were all convinced that we’d never see our beloved second home again. Sure, we begged and pleaded on the forums; we left messages in proverbial bottles and lined our favorite streets with our heartbreaking notes, knowing full well that they’d disappear, too; we did our best to contain our grief in one form or another. And when none of that seemed to work, we would cry during private moments when we were sure that nobody could hear us. I was there, and if you’re reading this, then I know that you were as well.
I’m sorry if I’ve caused that pain — a very real, tangible pain that has knotted itself up in the space right behind your heart — to come rushing back to the surface; if I know this community as well as I think I do, I’m fully aware of the mourning each of us still carries. But that’s exactly what I’m trying to tell you:
It all lives on — all of it. Every paranoid Bubble tree, every chattering Cubimal, every curiously shaped mushroom in Groddle Forest (ahem, Kukubee). Every Giant, every hipster crab. The Rube, the Rook, and Uncle Friendly’s (Questionable) Emporium. And, yes, even the little foxes. They’re all safe and sound.
Well, sort of.
I deal in Cosma’s realm of airy and silly things like words and crazy ideas, not the solidly palpable domain of Tii, composed of math and programming and code, a confusingly logical language unto itself. So, as a non-tech person, I’ll try to explain this the best I can: The Eleven team came into possession of the original Glitch code and assets. Technically, everything still exists in that jumble of if-then loops and commands. Unfortunately, and for whatever reason, a few thousand lines are simply missing. Not only that, but at this moment in time, they’re running all of it on a very small and extremely temperamental server. In addition, this is all being done on a strictly volunteer basis; everyone has jobs, families, and otherwise important and pressing responsibilities. There’s only so many hours in a day, and even though they’d like to work on the Eleven project full-time, they simply can’t.
But what they have managed to get done is nothing short of impressive. I don’t know where to begin conveying my awe and gratitude. With each code push, Ur springs back to life, piece by glorious piece. What was fairly unstable and somewhat dead in January is finally starting to breathe on its own. Of course, some things are still missing or don’t work — the aforementioned foxes, for one, and housing; we still can’t overload the poor server with too many butterflies, and sometimes Helga doesn’t move as she should — but that’s fine. In fact, it’s better than just “fine”: It’s hopeful, it’s joyful, and most of all, it makes me tear up and sing all at once.
Right now, I don’t like to imagine that the Giants are growing restless and drowsy. No, I like to think that they’ve finally had their coffee, and they’re all sitting down to talk about the crazy dream that they all shared. “Was that real?” Grendaline would ask, and Alph would just smile sadly. “What about the Glitchen?” Friendly would offer. “Do you remember every one of their names?” “Oh, I do. I certainly do. Let me think for a second,” Lem would counter.
Eventually, Cosma will pipe up “Hey, let’s do that again.”
Someday. But until then, Tii is hard at work in the other room, pulling it all together and harnessing the beauty of imagination in stark lines of code. And everyone must be patient.
Author’s Note: The song mentioned at the beginning of the entry was “The Passion of Lovers” by Bauhaus, and it’s about the narrator falling in love with a banshee, but the relationship not working out for obvious reasons. It’s sad and haunting and beautiful, which is why it’s long been one of my favorite songs. If you’ve got a few minutes, I highly suggest checking it out.