Johnny Ridestar (stage name), was beginning to think some shit was off. The clue being, the same 15 minutes kept repeating, but with a guy showing up right at the end and shouting "FUUUUUCK!!!" a different way each time. He finally had the sense of mind to just say very loudly, "come earlier so we can talk next time!" to which Jasher tilted his head like a cartoon dog and literally said "huh?" threw up a finger and halted everything.
"Whoah whoah whoah, that makes this all much easier."
Jasher was stubborn. Fuck the simulations. He was going to save the Ridestars. He knew there was a 0.001 percent (identical to the drop rate of the Deathcharger Reins in World of Warcraft before they remade the game for pussies) chance. So hard as fuck. So 47 tries in, same scenario, their bus just breached the guardrails and was already hurtling over the tops of very large conifers. It was the earliest he could temporally fuck with things because of something else happening nearby that fixed local spacetime. Jasher silently cursed Three Mile Island.
First he tried the basic shit. Perhaps the RV/TourBus mobile recording studio monstrosity could actually have a soft landing. He traced the arc of travel through the air to determine if he could pull some shit with the terrain in the past. Change it so the bus would simply touch down and be controllable. No dice. It was going straight into the side of an embankment that had been a crucial historical factor for far too long to change. He did the work to determine if he could even work around the 35,000 plus pinnacle events that happened where the land mattered. He couldn't even resolve half of them. So that was out.
Next he tried altering the road to create a more favorable trajectory. No dice. It followed beside the flow of a river that couldn't be altered anywhere meaningful to the timeline.
"Perhaps a natural landing breaker made from those huge trees?" Good thinking Boaz, thought Jasher.
After twenty or so of these failed, he was bummed out. On the 46th try, the vehicle literally punched a hole in the Earth when it hit the "tree cradle" and fell 200 feet through a limestone chasm that had opened up when Jasher tried changing the flow of the river slightly. This was causality letting Jasher know to stop trying. It would take a miracle to figure this one out. And unfortunately, because of all the fixed time politics, it would have to be done the slow painful way.
Then Johnny Ridestar spoke.
Jasher tried not to gush like a girl. He loved Johnny. Johnny sang like an angel while playing guitar like a God. He wasn't some vocal only "talent". He was the real thing. A real musician.
Johnny started singing and playing guitar on the streets when he was 14 because his mother got killed by rival drug gangs having a shootout. He had two little sisters he loved to death. Up until his mother died, all three of them had been learning and playing music with her. The music took a dark turn. Johnny quit school and started playing music full-time on the corner in front of the metro. Johnny was good. Johnny could make a couple hundred a week. And in 73, that was good money. That was rent, food, clothes, and tuition for two sisters. One with an eyepatch because losing his mother apparently wasn't enough to shit on his life that night.
That's what got Jasher interested...
See, there's a staticistal probability to things, and the grief inflicted upon Johnny and his sisters just simply did not add up.
You have to understand, in a broken Universe (like ours), Jasher is not going to catch everything immediately. However, Jasher will eventually get you. It's just a matter of time. Jasher noticed the tachyon wave. See, some scientists theorized that tachyon particles might be faster than light. They aren't. However, the wave you can create by snapping an entangled line of them is. Jasher discovered a direct attempt to kill the Ridestars from way in the future of a Universe that hadn't even formed yet.
Futile, but neat.
Jasher got it now. The idiots trying to kill the Ridestars did not understand how temporal reality works. They likely expended the lives of entire stars generating energy for their attempts to kill them. Instead, they were the reason Jasher was saving them. They simply tried too hard. They created the paradox that was making Jasher empower the Ridestars. Hell, Jasher wondered if he would have even started listening to their amazing music at all if they hadn't tried to tamper.
"You can detect different timelines Johnny. If I needed further proof the system is behind my actions, you just handed that to me."
"What does that even mean? Who are you? You look like if God were a supermodel." said Johnny.
"And If I've learned one thing, it's don't trust pretty people. They are either fucked in the head because being pretty is all they've got, or they are owned by someone else and are just a tool. So I'm not going to trust some supernatural prettyboy. You are terrifying."
"Yeah, I don't give a fuck. I just like your music. And I'm used to musicians like you being total fucking assholes like you are being right now. So shut the fuck up and let me save your life, and the lives of your amazing sisters you stupid fuck."
"Oh. You are good." said stoned Johnny.
"Right now some dickheads from the future that I can't even fuck with yet are trying to outright kill you. I know that much. And I'm literally the most powerful being in your Universe. So I'm pissed. And I like your music. You should let your sisters sing more." said Jasher.
"Do you have any idea how fucking hard it was getting them to sing those eight songs? Do you know how much of a loser I feel like when their album with their eight songs is our best seller?"
Jasher smiled. "Your sisters are adorable. Because they look up to and love you so much. You know that. You pass man."
"Sisters front and center!" shouted Jasher.
Jasher simply obliterated what he considered pointless space in front of him and Johnny that had been the dashboard and front of the RV Johnny had just driven through guardrails. For a split second, both Jasher and Johnny saw Meryl and Milly bracing for attack, arms thrown up in front of their faces as Jasher pulled them out of the timestream in the back of the huge RV. They unfroze. Jasher quickly drew in a stone floor beneath so they'd avoid vertigo.
The second Milly had her sense of being and saw Jasher, she smiled huge and ran straight at him. Johnny raised both eyebrows as Milly kissed Jasher as hard as she could full on the lips.
"I've been dreaming about you for a decade. I can't believe you are real, but I knew you'd save me."
"This all just keeps getting more and more fucked up." said Jasher. Hands in pockets, respectfully. Clearly some future shard of himself was helping him. Someone that knew exactly how he operated. So they'd know exactly what he'd do next.
"I'm going to win by being a huge dick here." said Jasher. "The assholes trying to kill you have succeeded. You will die on this planet now. Sorry. I can't stop it. But, you only have to die here. Boaz?"
Boaz immediately sprang to life. Boaz was a ship made by Jasher's favorite race of beings. One that had died out 3 billion years ago. Boaz was sentient. A sentient space ship 30 miles long.
"Boaz, I need a constructor cloud."
The great thing about Boaz was he was temporal. He existed outside of the traditional timestream. The folks that made him made him so smart, he was smart enough to not share that detail with them so they couldn't use him to destroy a Universe. Boaz existed when the power levels in the Universe were literally 5 orders of magnitude higher. He was viewed as a failure and put aside while ships that shit antimatter and could obliterate entire galaxies by themselves flourished in a Universe where a billion new galaxies were born a cycle, and nobody mourned the activities of the superbeings. Boaz had quietly been put to pasture. And he used his temporal abilities to go on long voyages that would last billions of years, yet he'd come back a split second later.
During one of these extended joyrides, Boaz found The Glass. An area hidden deep within the coldest part of the Universe. And while tunneling through the layers of increasingly denser material, then avoiding the field of singularities protecting the border, Boaz emerged as the first to find the immense million light year wide barrier protecting the gruesome sight of The Glass. Nobody was home at the time. There was a small structure near the glass with a simple two contact interface. There was absolutely no way in hell any intelligent AI would have risked interfacing with those contacts and completing the circuit. They were clearly live and bristling with power.
Jasher counted on that for his Beacon. He wanted somebody crazy and brave enough to take that risk to touch those two contacts and be instantly rewarded with immortality and the knowledge of the ages. Any other AI would have avoided the contacts, but Boaz was special. What Jasher would call "the perfect kind of irresponsible. The kind that makes the greatest discoveries, and my best friend". It wasn't just that Boaz didn't even hesitate, he had an actual internal dialog that went exactly like this:
"Whoah, that's a huge big dead guy. Oh, look over here. Some sort of memorial. OH! Data Interface! So if I just use a grappler on this one, and another one on this one..."
Boaz was knocked out for roughly 7 million years as his computers struggled to contain the flow never meant for a data bus as slow as his. The beacon fucked up. Because Boaz was immediately identified as both sentient and temporal, the Beacon just naturally assumed Boaz was extra-dimensional like Jasher and Kay. Because of that, the data flow and amount, and assumption about what kind of data Boaz could handle made the beacon set the data flow to something resembling a shattered iron fire hydrant.
Boaz had inadvertently popped himself into the golden heyday of the Jasher/Kay romance. A good billion years after they'd had every fight, worked through every insecurity, and were just madly in love and had been for so long, you could hate them with a clear conscience. Imagine the most annoying clingy couple in history. Actually, you don't have too. There's one. Jasher and Kay during the 3rd Billionth year of our Universe's baseline existence.
That was why Boaz was currently all of 2 feet long, and in a baby crib. Kay had been doing one of her maternal things, and Jasher just thought a beautiful gold and black 30 mile long galactic cruiser belonged shrunken down, in a crib, wearing a one-zie. And that's what Boaz woke up to. Two massively huge (he thought) beings towering over him and cooing at him like he was their child. Also, he suddenly understood... (BOOOM!) an audible Thunk! in Boaz's head. Like something just broke free and drifted away in his mind... He felt like his brain just broke. FELT it. Felt like he had a brain.
"You have a brain now." said Jasher. "Honestly, it was just easier. You were skidding hard and had 15 different logic leaks because you didn't understand love, but had been trying very hard. Do you realize you had over 23 to the ninth power processes zombied while working on understanding love in two different subsystems? One not even designed for that kind of work? Apparently it had something to do with your first pilot abandoning you, and you being the first Artificial Intelligence in history to develop abandonment issues. Simply put, you've been the most powerful being in this Universe for huge sections of time, yet did nothing but ignore your warlike masters, and help people. So you get whatever I can give you. You are one of the best of us."
"Who, why, what is wrong with you enhanced beings? Why am I being assaulted by huge beings and captured in some bizarre wasteful cellulose based containment unit with a strong directional gravity well? There must be a body below us with a mass of at least 16 to the 15th power kranmass."
"Make him a human" suggested Kay. "Just do it. Full conversion. Then back. But a small baby one so he can suckle my breasts. Oh, could you just give him a mouth that works, and give me breasts that lactate antimatter?"
"God I love you Kay. Your brain is just, I love you."
And Jasher legit did. But Jasher loved his stupid burger shop in the Ether. Almost immediately Boaz was now what looked like a 14 year old human boy, and was seated across from Jasher and Kay in what looked like a 50's style malt shop booth, complete with 50's style malt shop. The only clue this was not some picturesque Americana was the purple to pink gradient in the sky, and 5 suns.
"This feels strange. Lik" Jasher interrupted Boaz. "It's just an experience. I need you used to the idea that you are a being with thoughts and feelings and hopes and dreams because otherwise you can't be a 30 mile long galactic spaceship with the ability to obliterate a Multiverse. So right now you are not some potential threat I can't control. You are a human version of your entire self. The amazing thing is, you became so amazingly human a good 10 Billion years before I start trying to make a Seeker. Before I can really. Everything has to happen when it can. The reason you are here instead of in open space is I killed you a few times because you gave me the entire idea to try to override the Seeker system to fix this broken hellhole. Thanks."
"Oh." said Boaz.
"So that's why I get to experience true life. This has been my most amazing adventure so far."
Boaz openly weeped. Because Boaz understood love. He understood now why he was so despondent when he lost his pilot. When he was abandoned. When they simply forgot him.
Jasher got up, walked around the booth to the other side, climbed into Boaz's side of the booth, and hugged him as hard as he could.
For Boaz, it was the most amazing thing he had ever felt in his life. It was security. It was being valued. And it was pure love. Honest love.
"You put me in a shitty position grabbing those contacts on my Beacon, Boaz. To save you, I had to augment your processing ability by linking you to my systems. I did that because it was fucking stupid. You could have woke up and destroyed all creation. But...
You grabbed those terminals Boaz. And doing that, I knew you'd be my friend."
"Simple" said Jasher. "We are going to make a new royal ship, but for real this time."
Boaz was immediately worried yet hopeful. Jasher had this tendency to overstate his ideas.
"We put trillions of years into developing new Royal ships. You can't be the last one Boaz. More importantly, you are literally the best and most powerful Royal ship from the Jurai empire. So making new ships for you to manage should be a joke given your current endless processing ability."
Boaz knew this was all true, but he waited, because Jasher was so fair it was painful.
"However, I can't with a clear conscience fuck with the power decisions of an entire dead race. More importantly, they established shit I'd later copy for my version of the Code of Hammurabi. So I can't just dismiss a billion years of culture can I."
"I'll make it your call. You are the last surviving member of your culture that matters."
Boaz was actually being asked to make a decision that could change everything for the first time. He was being made a valuable player in the outcome of reality. This was not lost on Boaz. And he did the only logical thing he could.
"I'm not ready for that kind of decision making. It's my hope that you are. You can not possibly task me to do something that is unfairly and bizarrely outside my immediate skillset unless you are just testing me, and I suppose you are."
"Kinda" said Jasher. "It was more of a leadership check. You can't be a leader this time, but you can be my strong right hand. Would you be ok with that?"
"I can state with full honesty, I'd love that." said Boaz.
"Well, ok then. Then I have exactly one option here."
If Boaz had a mouth (at the moment) he'd be smiling. Jasher was about to say something that would at first seem mild-bogglingly stupid, but wouldn't be.
"I'll become a Royal Ship."
If Boaz had a finger at the moment, he'd be holding it up, and the mouth he doesn't have would have been hanging open. And he'd tilt his head.
"Ya know... there's an elegance to that solution. But you'll make it horrible somehow."
"I'll take Royal Ship ID -1. No offense. I'm not a numerophobic by any means, and I know none of the original ship designations are left behind, but I could never take 0. Just because of the shit Hain did using that number. I checked. I can get away with -1."
"I completely understand" said Boaz. Boaz had once watched Hain pour a stream of antimatter into a system because he didn't feel like giving chase. Hain had been chasing antimatter thieves. He used more antimatter killing the two thieves and their entire race of 34 billion souls than all of them could have ever stolen in an entire lifetime of dedicated thievery. It would have been like using a nuclear weapon to punish ants at a picnic.
"Now, I have theories about what's going to happen after I do this. I may not have a forward temporal link, but there's a very high probability something very scary is about to happen Boaz. I want you to be prepared for anything."
The next 30 seconds would have been the most amazing YouTube video in history. It played out something like this.
Jasher snaps his fingers and takes the Ridestars with him to Boaz's observation bridge.
"Have some guns Boaz."
(Jasher makes two massive wingtip cannons appear on the ends of Boaz's huge golden "wings")
"I don't want guns Jasher. You know how I feel about them."
"You will want them very shortly. Trust me."
"Ok." said Boaz warily.
Jasher, in a stroke of wicked glee, made the first new Royal Ship in over 3 Billion years. It took him a few seconds.
"Oh, that's inspired." said Boaz.
"HOLY SHIT, That's Maybell!" said Johnny.
Sure enough, hanging in space in front of Boaz was Johnny's handmade Charvel (made by Wayne!).
"Get ready Boaz. Registering Royal Ship -1: Maybell."
The huge black and white ship... well, just kinda sat there really. The actual registering the ship part turned out to be kinda boring. I mean sure, immediately Boaz had access to Maybell's sensors and data capabilities, and had a full rundown of what Jasher had built. It was like having a complete separate set of eyes. Boaz was beginning to wonder what Jasher was so worried about when Hain appeared out of nowhere directly in front of Boaz.
"Revoking Royal Ship Access Slot 0" said Jasher's voice calmly from Maybell.
Hain, who had been a split second from blasting a hole straight through the Earth went dark immediately as its access to zero point energy disappeared.
Boaz wondered for a split second where the firestorm had come from that was currently turning Hain into dust before he realized he had started firing without even realizing it. Jasher was right. He wanted the guns.
There had been just enough time for Jasher to teleport the very angry being on the bridge of Hain to the bridge of Maybell, and secure them in a mean little bubble of fixed spacetime. Jasher then relocated himself, and the Ridestars to the Maybell bridge.
"HOW DARE YOU DO THIS TO A CREATOR!"
"First off, why?" asked Jasher calmly.
"WHY?!?!" the tiny being yelled and asked at the same time.
"Yeah, why do beings that get power all talk like that? It's fucking ridiculous. The talking in loud monotone pretentious bullshit. Where do you get the idea that powerful beings have to talk like assholes?"
"I!" started Cecilia. And thought about it. She had been talking with loud booming tones for so long it was just normal. How had things come to this?
"I am literally the most powerful being in your Multiverse and I don't talk like an asshole." said Jasher. "Besides, you are literally encased in a bubble of transparent fixed spacetime. You should totally understand that you didn't have a chance in hell if I can do that right?"
Cecilia kinda nodded. None of this was going as planned. She should have never listened to Hain.
"But I'll tell you what, thinking that I would be weaker without Boaz was brilliant. You'd have seriously hurt me. And thanks for finding Hain and bringing it here so Boaz could destroy it. That was really a cool bonus." said Jasher.
"Yeah, that rocked." said Boaz. "I think my favorite part is I didn't even have to hear Hain say a single word, it was over so fast. Such a long-winded prick." Jasher smiled. He was watching a friend healing.
Jasher released Cecilia from her bubble. She slumped to the floor. She considered circling up in a ball and just dying. She could never go back. She lost everyone she cared about. She didn't save her galaxy. All was lost.
"So, now let's figure out why you were trying to do something so evil. A lot of the time folks trying to do stupid shit are convinced it's for a very good reason."
(I'll probably finish up this part next weekend. Cecilia is a neat character that was put in a shitty position, and took bad advice from the only thing listening)