hapter Three

he Plan

The plan was simple.  First, stop all payments of rent to create a paper trailing showing that rent money was no longer being paid.  After a period of time, declare that Gord had abandoned the store.  Once the store had been declared abandoned, the store could be seized by the Landlord, and ownership of everything could be turned over to The Guardian and his assistant.  In turn, they would sign a new lease and pay a bounty for having the entire store sold to them for a fraction of its cost to replace.

But to orchestrate such a conspiracy it would require complete non-communication with Gord. How to shut off the complete flow of information to Gord?  Enter the wall of silence.

As Gord was pretty busy with his bike-riding adventures overseas coupled with a 16 hour time zone difference, the wall of silence involving communication with the store went unnoticed for many days.  Weeks infact.

Severing contact with Gord was not the only step.  A secondary wall of silence was put into play to cut off regulars who visited the store and could remain in contact with Gord.  The end result was hoped to be that no one would wish to speak to Gord  to prevent their plans for conquest from being compromised.  This plan was done in two parts.  The first part consisted of tales spun under various claims with the hope that while highly improbable individually on their own merits, the sheer number should overwhelm logic and reason.

Claims put forth by The Assistant ranged across many subjects: 

  • Gord ran away to stay out of debter's prison (a magical place that does not exist)

  • Gord hated the Guardian and wanted him to be placed in the magical debtor's prison

  • Gord was a jerk (well, guilty as charged)

  • Gord opened a video game store only to lure young girls in (apparently the assistant was unaware of the demographics of the video game industry and exactly what tiny percentage of the customer base are young girls)

  • Gord hated everyone so everyone should hate him

  • Gord didn't deserve to own a game store so it should be taken away

  • Gord had only been lucky and others less lucky should be allowed to profit from the store.

  • Etc.

As the Assistant was an imposing man, few sought to voice a contrary opinion in a scenario they knew little of.  Those who accepted the claims were welcomed into the new order and rewarded with all that the game store could offer them.  Those who thought differently and may remain in contact with Gord were cast out and cut off from the new order.

As part of their plan, they anticipated that Gord would certainly bring down a world of pain onto their conspiracy once they executed their power play to grab the store.  Gord, having never lost a court case and sporting a moderately impressive legal track record outside the courts, would be formidable in the legal arena.  A contingency plan was formed:  Not content in stealing everything in the store, they would make an attempt for all of Gord's cash reserves.  The theory being that if they could seize those, it would heavily limit Gord's options in bringing in outside assistance such as lawyers, hired force, or possibly even returning from Asia in any sort of a timely manner.

The cries for help went out to Gord.  "The store is dying!" "We aren't making any money" "The end is near!"  Gord would be told claims from The Guardian of how the store was generating revenue at less than 20% of what was expected, but others who had remained in contact with Gord spoke of how the store was very busy due to seasonal shopping and of course the return of people who didn't like Gord because Gord didn't like them.  Two very contradictory sides were being spoken.

Gord believed that while saving the store would have been nice, it was not of any great disappointment should it be forced to close.  But Gord thought that it would be in the greater interest of the big picture for of him to offer up a financial bailout to The Guardian.  Gord picked up the phone and proceeded to call the store to inform The Guardian that a gift of several thousand dollars would be brought by the store in a few days.

The phone number to the store was disconnected.

Unable to reach the Guardian at home either, Gord phoned the phone company to find out what was occurring.  Gord was told that he had requested the phone number be disconnected.  Gord found it unlikely that he had ordered the phone number be disconnected as generally that is something one would remember doing.

To the computer!  To contact The Guardian!  But he was offline.  Gord pulled up the list of people on his instant message programs who had frequented the store.  Most were offline or away.  Of the few that were online and lived near the store, mysteriously they did not reply or suddenly had to leave when messaged.

Finally, Gord spoke with one of the old regulars who had recently moved away from the area.  He wasn't party to the "wall of silence" and spoke openly of what he saw.  He noted that The Guardian had gotten a new phone number, renamed the store, claimed the store was quite busy, and was under the impression Gord knew this already as The Assistant was going to great lengths to tell everyone about how he was going to take everything of Gord's and make it his.

The next morning Gord did manage to contact The Guardian at home and asked what was going on.  When asked why the number had been changed, The Guardian said it seemed like a good idea.  A good idea to cut off most of the customer base by changing the phone number?  Unlikely thought Gord.  It appeared to Gord that the story of The Guardian and The Assistant making a move to steal everything may be true.

Gord made another call.  He called in an accountant and a person who was granted a limited power of attorney.  He requested they go down to the store immediately and uncover what was going on.  Things were not adding up in any sort of positive manner.

A few hours later they arrived at the store shortly after it opened for the day.  When faced with a sudden inspection, the Assistant borrowed directly from the handbook of evil and spoke openly of the plans to take everything from Gord.  He spoke openly because he claimed it was far too late for Gord to stop their grand plan!  But in the spirit of fair play, he offered a bribe of a few thousand dollars in exchange for them not telling Gord of the plan.

They declined the money and spoke to Gord about the plan to take everything.

While it was discouraging to learn that the Guardian had fallen to the side of darkness, Gord did not let this slow down the movement towards ending this conspiracy.  The decision was quickly made that a scorched earth plan of execution would be implemented.   The world renowned game store of the future was entering the twilight of its existence.