Chapters 21–23 Summary and Analysis
Art3mis's discovery disturbs Wade on more levels than one. This is partly because IOI possesses Fyndoro's Tablet of Finding, a powerful artifact that can help it track Art3mis's movements and ascertain the location of the Jade Key. However, the tablet has one structural weakness: it can only reveal the exact coordinates of a target's location if it is on the same planet as the target. Fortuitously, at the time IOI tried to determine Art3mis's location, Art3mis and the tablet were each in different sectors. In such a situation, the tablet can only reveal the name of the sector the target is in (not the planet).
Accordingly, the tablet located Art3mis on Sector Seven. IOI immediately sends hordes of Sixer ships to the sector. For his part, Wade is humiliated that the girl who left him has bested him. He decides that he must see Halliday's contest through, as it may be the only way to get Art3mis to talk to him again. By a process of deduction, Wade speculates that the Jade Key may be located on planet Archaide in Sector Seven. After all, the Quatrain refers to a "captain" and a collection of "trophies" in its puzzling lines. Significantly, Archaide houses five replicas of Halliday's Game Designer of the Year trophies. The chapter ends with Wade ordering Max to prep his Firefly-class transport vessel, the Vonnegut, for a trip to Archaide.
Just a few levels above Archaide's core, Wade comes across the GSS Museum. Here, he finds the exhibit of Halliday's trophies but is unable to remove the artifacts. Discouraged by his failure, Wade decides to leave. He exits through an unfamiliar access point, which takes him through Happytime Pizza, a replica of Halliday's hometown pizza joint. There, he finds a Pac-Man machine that appears to be broken. Curious, he plugs in the machine, and a high score of 3,333,350 points shows up on...
(The entire section is 1077 words.)