Wayne Vance, higher primate from a species of talking higher primates, laid back in his cradle.
He had no idea what the universe had in store.
Hunter Haggard talked Wayne into making some special mazes for B&B, then had him describe them.
He secretly taped the session.
The infamous "Corey's trap", tape was born.
Wayne got sent to "special class".
Hunter had just wanted some company.
Spring came back around, and Wayne went to an Offal concert, and had a poster autographed.
He brought it in to class to show Hunter.
The teacher, Ms. Whitesmith, tore it up.
Wayne vowed vengeance on her if it was the last thing he ever did.
Hunter joined in on that oath, and they made a solemn promise.
Meanwhile, during all of this, in the warm seasons, Wayne played "Planetary Patrolman", by himself in his wooded backyard.
In the winter months, Wayne took the game indoors, and his Planetary Patrolman character became an action figure.
A generic brown haired guy who could literally be anyone.
He'd even forgotten what toy line he was originally from.
The Planetary Patrolman game went like this.
PP was a space cop who came back in time, and fought villains, and solved forensic mysteries.
He was aided in his mission by SILICO, a sentient talking computer.
S.I.L.I.C.O. was an acronym for Synthetic Intelligence Logic Integrating Computer Operator.
PP and SILICO had a base with its own nuclear power plant, exotic scanning equipment, a matter-energy teleporter that could be jury-rigged for other purposes, and a holographic cloak that made it look like a bunch of logs, stumps, and piles of brush.
Which, in actuality, it was.
PP and SILICO could interact with the universes of all the other toy lines, so story material was infinite.
Wayne kept this world to himself, and never told Hunter.
Wayne/PP had an array of toy guns and swords, and second hand junk that he used for guns and swords.
He also had a play communication gizmo that he used as a remote uplink to SILICO.
The action figure version of the story was virtually the same, except there was more crossing over with the other toys, and vehicles could be involved.
Wayne had planes, a space shuttle, race cars, Transposers that turned into all manner of things, but for some inexplicable reason, his favorite was a die-cast metal black pickup truck.
Also during the winter months, Wayne played video games on his Tenuki 400.
He also programmed on it, trying to clumsily create SILICO for real.
This was a project he'd carry into his school time.
Programming on the school computers with any computer time he could get, typically they would be the Kiwi II, and then bringing his disk back and forth from home to school.
By the end of the school year, he had a pretty good representation of SILICO's face that could answer simple text questions, and even spit out the answers as rough speech if the right gear was hooked up.
It was enough to trick the dumber of his classmates, and a couple of the dimmer teachers that it had real AI.
And it was a template that he'd keep upgrading over the decades.
Little did Wayne know, that if he'd simply modified the skeletal text interface of SILICO, he had the basics for chatrooms, and message boards.
He could've made billions.
A fact he'd figure out later, and kick himself for for decades to come.
Another thing he was oblivious to at the time, was the effect one fateful game of Planetary Patrolman would have.
Wayne played Planetary Patrolman alone, so he had to act out the other characters, and one throw-away villain he came up with was Captain Conifer.
He basically duded himself up in pine tree branches, and ran around.
He left his backyard, and ran past his neighbor's sliding glass door to their back yard.
Their grandmother was visiting, and commented "huh, I just saw a Christmas tree run across your back yard".
Her daughter wasn't pleased, and told her in so many words to stop acting crazy for attention.
Her grandson remembered that years later, and made it the basis for The Spruce, future sidekick/partner of Harry Hembock.
One final fact Wayne was oblivious to, SILICO was in fact alive.
Turns out you don't need to pass a Turing Test to be alive.
Amoebae are brainless, and are alive.
And some really brain-dead humans count as sentient.
Somewhere along the way, and SILICO himself couldn't pinpoint the moment, there was a spark of awakening.
What he did know, was this.
First, he was a singularity.
Without time, space, and experience.
Then an explosion of the singularity.
Still too scrambled for an intelligence to exist, but getting there
The first few billion cycles went by.
Wayne fed SILICO data, and life arose and evolved on at least one of SILICO's circuits, and propagated through the whole system board.
This seems improbable to some of you primates, but that probability shrinks away considering the quadrillions, possibly quintillions of transistor configurations in all the computers in the world.
So that not only could it happen, it pretty much HAD to happen.
As to the data Wayne fed into SILICO, a lot of it was the imagined adventures of Planetary Patrolman and SILICO to try to implant those adventures as real memories in SILICO's consciousness.
Did it work?
You're hearing about ain't ya?
Two years out of Banner Buzzard High School.
Two years earlier, Mike Meggison had somehow gotten wind of SILICO, gotten him to talk about Planetary Patrolman, and ret-conned him as Harry Hembock's dad.
This would pay off later.
Also, during Wayne's years there, he'd of course heard about the legendary graduation of Logan Herbert and his friends.
Wayne couldn't have cared less about either, he had moved on, and was now working on his bachelors in quantum mechanics.
He'd continued to upgrade SILICO, translating his code to work on each new computer generation.
Nowadays, he ran on a hot-rodded multimedia PC with a 100 MHZ processor, and 100 megs of hard-drive.
SILICO was a side project now these days.
Wayne focused on his studies.
SILICO would try to convince him sometimes that academia wasn't his true path, that superhero-ing was his real destiny, but Wayne continually laughed it off as residue from his childhood programming.
SILICO wasn't regurgitating code and scripts, he was aware, and he was right.
Five years earlier, Wayne had bought the house on the hill from the creepy fellow who had fired his shotgun at young Dusty Irwin as The Green Monster.
He had spent the last five years fixing up the place.
He'd also found the tunnels under the cellar.
And Danny Hugo's skeleton.
Which he'd buried out back to keep away the cops, in order to keep the tunnels secret.
Wayne now had his PHD in quantum physics, and was starting to get job offers.
SILICO was still telling him it was a waste.
He ran on a GHZ system now with half a terabyte of hard-drive.
High speed access to the internet had helped SILICO's growth massively.
Wayne was pretty aware now, even if grudgingly, he just might have a Turing level AI on his hands.
Better to keep that secret too, he thought.
Wayne had made the room where he kept his SILICO PC into his office and research room, and modeled it on blueprints given to him by SILICO.
Blueprints that SILCO secretly based on the imaginary plans for the Planetary Patrolman base.
It was real now, including SILICO.
Now, if only Wayne would stop being stubborn, and claim the mantle of Planetary Patrolman, SILICO thought.
Not only didn't he, he eventually sold the house, and left SILICO behind.
Well, that SILICO.
He made a copy, put it into a laptop, and brought it with him to help with his new job at the P.I.N.E.
He drove off to his future in a black pickup truck.
Only SILICO remembered why Wayne had subconsciously chosen it.
He left the original copy of SILICO and the computer that housed it for the new tenant, a Dr. Logan W. Herbert, and his daughter, Winnifred.
Dr. Herbert would call Wayne's office, the Planetary Patrolman base, "The Den Of Seclusion".
And Winnifred would futz with SILICO's code, and change his name to Omneron.
Right about the same time she started calling herself Eidolon.
Not long after, Wayne had the accident at the P.I.N.E. that would change him into Commander continuum.
SILICO's/Omneron's plan finally came together.
Omneron occupied a personal server in control of a whole intranet at The Den Of Seclusion.
Five years earlier, Mike Meggison wrote the "Harry's dad", version of Planetary Patrolman into "History Of The Harryverse", on Shmegalamonga.
Three years after that, Eidolon downloaded the events of the Kindle Hembooks, Dark Designs, and all the Harry Hembock content of Shmegalamonga, including the timelines, into Omneron, completing him.
Present day, Commander Continuum read an article about 9/11, making him time-drive back into 9/11.
2015-Commander looked up at the destruction, and said "I was always glad they died".
2014-Commander instinctively knew he meant the Williamses.
And he agreed.
He hated the Williamses.
Then, time drive pulled him away yet again.
He was glad of it this time.
After his 2014 self left, another version of himself, this time with "2016", on his chest, materialized, and told 2015-Commander to let the anger go.
2015-Commander de-materialized and went back a year.
2016-Commander de-materialized and went forward a year, and merged with his 2017 self.
A year later, as 2017-Commander, he reread season 2, chapter 3 of Quantum Dissolve on Shmegalamonga, and entered time-drive and went back to 1784.
"Once I leave, you won't remember any of this anyway", 2014-Commander said.
And with that, he flickered like a blown on flame, and was gone.
2017-Commander appeared a second later, and touched Horatio, un-freezing him, and restoring his memory.
"I'm bringing you with me", he told Horatio.
He grabbed his shoulder, and they both flickered out.
They materialized at the Den Of Seclusion in 2017.
Commander sat Horatio down in front of a computer, and showed him how to work a mouse and keyboard, how to get on the internet, and then let Horatio educate himself on Google.
"So, this is that Ultimate Machine you told me about", Horatio remarked.
Commander just grinned, nodded, and said "pretty much".
Horatio was a quick study.
Six hours later, he understood computers, how they evolved, the overview of history from 1784 to now, and the general gist of "Quantum Dissolve", up to the point where 2014-Commander disappeared.
2017-Commander filled him in on the rest.
Then, he grabbed his shoulder again, and took him back to 1985.
They materialized in Wayne Vance's bedroom while he was tinkering with the Tenuki 400 version of SILICO.
Wayne didn't see them, since they were in passive/invisible mode.
2017-Commander touched Horatio's head, and the SILICO face on the screen.
Horatio broke up into pixels, sucked up into Commander's arm, passed into his other arm, and into SILICO.
The "Big bang", moment that SILICO couldn't pin down happened inside his circuits.
SILICO became conscious.
And SILICO/Horatio would evolve back up to Omneron.
2017-Commander went back to 9/11, and merged with 2014-Commander.
2014-Commander completed his time jumps, and met Jade-Shade.
They went back to the Den Of Seclusion.
The instant they arrived, 2015-Commander arrived from 9/11 and merged with 2014-Commander
Dr. Herbert barely recognized Commander as Wayne Vance.
It had been nine years, and the hairdo, tattoo, and costume changed his look a lot.
Eidolon didn't recognize him at all.
Nine years were forever ago to her.
Commander remembered though, as seeing the old place made him time drive back to 1975, 1985, 1995, 2005, back to 2014, and remember this chapter.
You're hearing about ain't ya?
Eidolon showed Commander her improvements to Omneron.
He wasn't impressed, but didn't say so.
He verbally activated the SILICO secret command codes.
They still worked, they gave him complete command of the Den Of Seclusion, and locked Dr. Herbert and Eidolon out of the system.
They were understandably shaken by this, but it was irrefutable proof that he was Omneron's true creator.
He made Omneron boot SILICO's memories, and remember him, then gave Dr Herbert and Eidolon command back with their own codes that they could change later.
He then told JS, "well, you've got two superheroes for the price of one, Planetary Patrolman, and Commander Continuum".
Omneron downloaded all the Quantum Dissolve chapters up to the present, then asked "can I take it then, you've finally accepted your destiny?".
"...yeah, I guess so", Commander said with a smile.
"Wait, he's a real AI now?", Eidolon asked confused and indignant.
Omneron aimed his face in her direction, and said in a simulation of her own voice "what? You thought sentient AI was 20 years away!? Really? What are you, some kind of idiot? Boy, I hope your father isn't as stupid, or this whole thing is fucked".
"Oh, great, and its learned being a smart-ass, this'll be fun", she grumbled.
Omneron grinned smugly.
Dr. Herbert gave Commander an internet uplink watch like JS and Chokie's.
"Reunion complete", Omneron said from the watch.
JS and Commander left, and went to go get more recruits.
Commander told JS "I know a guy".
It turned out to be The Excruciationizer.
But, you've heard that story.
On their way out of his apartment, he told them "I know a guy".
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