Nobody on the team has ever seen this document. Probably nobody ever will, at least not in this form.
It was written shortly after Jason returned from the Sepiaverse, after his chance encounter with Summer (but before she moved out), an all-nighter getting this lined up for the brain patch and memory zipper merge thing. Just in case.
Jason didn’t know if he was going to survive either procedure.*
Thus, this document, now forgotten (because things changed and things happened and, well, Jason) and buried in the files of Barbara and Hannah, until he gets around to revising things.
CODICIL TO THE
LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF
JASON ALEXANDER QUILL
Resident of City and County of Halycon, State of North Carolina
_Being a transcript of a personal holographic statement by Jason Quill to certain individuals, jointly and separate, to be played upon the reading of the will by his Personal Representatives. Should any individual addressed below not be present during the reading, or in attendance at the playing of this message, the Personal Representatives will make all efforts to arrange for a private meeting with that individual, or, failing that, deliver a copy of this Codicil to them by certified mail.
The transcribed statement is as follows:_
With luck, none of you will see this. None of you should see it, as everyone keeps telling me this should work. But Dad always taught me that assuming a sure thing is going to work is what leads to stuff like the Tunguska Incident. He never explained further, but you can look it up and draw what lessons you want from it.
Some time really soon now I’m going to do two things. The first is the riskiest – opening up the operating system of my nanobots and deleting some code that Dad put in at the last second. Assuming that code is where the glitches are, doing that should stop the progressive cognitive schism I’ve been suffering from the last several months. My brain should stop making rounding errors, computational and memory and personality buffers should stop being overwritten or corrupted, and the whole thing should function as promised. Way cool. If not, then I’m a vegetable, or dead, or something worse. I trust you guys to do the right thing in any of those cases.
The second thing is doing a memory patch job between myself and Alycia, assuming everyone all agrees. In some ways that’s the most scary, the biggest challenge to being “me” still. But something that relies on the brains of myself and Leo and Alycia should work if anything does. Right? Anyway, if something goes horribly wrong, I take responsibility, and I trust you guys etc. etc.
Okay, both of those have a risk – and the life I lead has a risk, and, hell, crossing the street or living in a solar system with an asteroid belt has risks, so sooner or later I know this statement will be necessary. So I’m pulling an all-nighter again, putting together this recording. Barbara and Hannah, my Personal Reps and Executors and all that – and as managers of The Quill Family Trust – are burning that oil as well, but they’re being well compensated for it, believe me, and if you’ve already heard the reading of the will, you know there’s something in there for them.
Because I’m a minor still, none of this is set in stone, but I’ve tried to make it as unchallengable as possible. And anyone in the agreement who challenges it is out of the agreement, which seems harsh, but Barbara assures me she’s seen more families go down in flames over inheritances than any other cause, even alcohol or abuse. And you guys are my family in one way or another or sometimes multiple ways, and I don’t want that to happen.
A lot of the assets I’ve been dealing with aren’t actually mine, but the Trust’s and the Foundation’s. So I’m afraid there are no massie fortunes for anyone. Sorry. Most of this is personal stuff. And it’s a chance to say things I’ve been too chickenshit to say in person, so that for what it’s worth, too.
Okay, so here goes:
Summer – I owe you more than I can give back, but you’d probably laugh and say something perfect about how I’ve already given back and will give back more in the future and other encouraging stuff. Because that’s what you do. You’re the welcome, melting heat of a summer day, under a brilliant blue sky, and even if it’s sometimes an uncomfortable heat, it reaches down to the bones, and warms a person up, and makes for amazing memories and daydreams of the future.
I’m giving you my collected Shakespeare, and some books of poetry I got from different places we visited. None of it’s unique, but you can see the notes I wrote, the stuff I highlighted, the bits and bobs I thought important or thought-provoking. I hope you enjoy it. I’m going to miss our talks, and things that might-have-been, and all that. I don’t know what I would have done without you, and you made me a better person, so keep on doing that for others, especially our friends here. Just like I needed you, the world needs you, never forget that.
Leo – man, I don’t know what to say. When we met, knowing what I know about you, I was all, “This guy can’t be trusted.” And also, “This guy hates me.” I mean, you were this angry juvie and your dad is your dad and you surrounded yourself with robot friends in a way that someone might think is more than a bit squicky.
And that was all the stupidest stuff I ever thought. And I’m a genius when it comes to thinking stupid stuff. You’re noble. You’re compassionate. You have your shit together more than anyone else I know, and I know you are rolling your eyes, even if just inside, and not believing it, and I tell you, I tell you it’s true.
I envy you the family you have, and all the aspects of that. The family you have made – not just with pliers and soldering gun, but with your heart.
You’ve been a better leader of the Menagerie than I could ever be in my wildest dreams, and I know you’ll keep in being that, or being a great person no matter what you end up doing. Because you do it with integrity, and smarts, and compassion.
So I’m giving you two two things, since I can’t be here use them. The first is (and I had no idea I could do this, but apparently there are provisions that Hannah assures me are air-tight) I’m giving you a seat on the board at the Quill Foundation. I need you to keep the company honest, keep it doing things for all humanity. Don’t let it gather cobwebs like I have. I trust you to do this.
Second, I’ve asked Barbara and Hannah to make some sort of management role for you over there. Nothing that should get in your way, but give you some authority. I’m bequeathing to you, Summer, Aria, Otto, Harry, Charlotte, Adam – all of you, access to any Quill residences and attached labs and garage facilities. Hang out and have pizza and chips. Sleep there. Build stuff. Leo, you’re in charge of that, in case anyone needs to be added to the list, or even taken off.
I thought you’d be the last person to be trusted with power. You’re the first. Because you know what misused power looks like.
Aria – you’re included in that list above. Not much more I can give you, after all you gave me in counsel and advice, but I want to ask a favor: watch out for your little sister. She’s inherited all your spirit, but she started off in a really rough patch (pun not intended), which you know as well as I do, and she’ll need your help. I don’t need to ask that, I know, but I do.
Otto – I’m really sorry we never got a chance to talk cars, or play games, or do that cool stuff. You rock. You’re on that list because mi garage as su garage. Keep it tuned up, big fella. You’re the quiet heart of all that group – not the big, stupid guy like in some of the cartooms, but the big guy who holds up everyone physically and emotionally.
Harry – I’m giving you all my collectible figurines, trading cards, toys, all that stuff. Which sounds kinda weird, but we’ve both had to deal with the legacy of our families, and that’s part of it. Oh, and the Magic cards, because we did that thing once, and then I bought a bunch of them, and then we never did it again, so that’s on you. Anyway, you’re a hero, Harry, no matter how it sometimes feels. You are that legacy, even if when you look at that legacy you can only see the flaws. The people, the parts of that legacy are flawed, maybe, but the legacy is a cool conceptual thing, a story about power harnessed for the greater good, to be used or reasons that are noble and helpful and inspiring. You have it in you to continue that, whatever you call yourself, whatever your feelings about any of the rest of your family.
Keep giving people chips, Harry. Though having some gluten-free stuff would be good, and if you can find some stuff that isn’t quite as full of salt and bad oils and thing, everyone’s body will thank you. But keep up that spirit. That’s the thing, you’re the spiritual avatar of heroism in this group, which sounds really dorky and probably is, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true.
I used to think you were kind of stuck up. I was wrong. You’re one of the most grounded of all of us.
Charlotte – I always wanted to kiss you, did you know that? I can say that without embarrassment because I’m dead, which makes it even weirder. But I am so curious about you, so curious about where you come from and how that all works, and what lies on the other side of death. I haven’t talked with you about it because – well, it’s all very much at right angles with my whole science thing, which is wrong and stupid of me, but I’ve been kind of busy. I regret it now, but in the real now I guess I’m learning the answers.
I don’t want to tell you what to do about me. Part of me wants you to find my spirit, assuming that’s applicable. Part of me wants you to leave it alone, let things run their normal course. And the biggest part of me doesn’t want to even consider that all of that stuff may be real. So I trust you to do the right thing.
To that end, in case it makes any difference, you have permission to visit the Quill family plot at the cemetery. Mi tomb es su tomb. If you’re bored, wake me up there and you can teach me weird 19th Century card games like whist and that sort of thing.
You were awesome in Federal City. I wish I’d seen it. I’m sorry I was being kind of an ass, but, well, you know, family stuff.
Be safe. Keep hold of your humanity, but also your weirdness. Both of those make you cool and interesting.
Adam – I’m really sorry, man. Of all the people on this team, you’re the youngest, you had, have, the weirdest science thing about you, you’re the one I should have been focusing on. I feel like I let you down there.
Whatever your path looks like, wherever you are going, you are a good person. You have a strong family behind you. Your father. Your mother. Your little sister. They are all awesome, and you have something in them you can’t even realize right now. However cosmic things get, stay tied to them. They’re your external humanity buffers, and they’ll keep you safe.
Amir – Without going into details that you and I and Summer both know but that the others don’t right this moment, I’ve asked you here because as the brother to Jason Quill, you should be here. I know you’ve had a tough time, and as the brother to Amir Quill, I’ve asked that you have permanent ownership of the Palm Key estate, in your name. Any support from the Quill Foundation is available to you, including any security or technology needs. Ask Leo for help. Be safe, man.
Dad and Rusty can’t be here, for reasons you guys know, but if there’s a way to get this message to them, please do.
Dad – I don’t take back what I did, even if I could, but I hope you can forgive me for it. I think it was for your own good, and the world’s. I’m sorry things didn’t work out differently, and I’ve got probably as many issues with you as you have with me, but not a day goes by when I don’t remember some lesson you taught me – some piece of practical advice, some weird metaphor or bit of arcane language, some scientific fact. You inspired me to be better, and whether I liked the way you inspired me or not, you made me much of what I became, and, net-net, I have to thank you for that.
You’ve always loved a challenge. I hope this new one is your best and most fulfilling. I really do.
Rusty – we already said most of it when I left, so no need to repeat it. But – thanks. You’re arguably an evil son of a bitch, but it was good having you be my evil son of a bitch. Watch out for Dad, which I know you will. And watch out for yourself.
Alycia – I’ve left you for last because I couldn’t think of anything to write up above. And I still can’t. I’m deeply, deeply sorry, not for what was done to me (because, irrational guilt aside, I do rationally recognize that wasn’t my fault), but because after all of that, I ever got a chance to – we never – there’s a lot left unsaid, undone, undiscovered. Things we never got to say, or say again, or all that.
It’s like the potential in an untriggered H-bomb. It’s almost a shame never to see it go off, and it’s something horrible but, from the right perspective, something beautiful and fundamental and that’s been waiting forever to happen.
As I write this, I realize that the “you” I know is at least 50% made-up in my head. The 50% I know is real, and the experiences I can remember, and the feelings around them – I can hold onto that, and speculate about that other 50%. But I recognize that other 50% is just speculation, so apologies for that.
Maybe it’s best I left you for last, because that let you hear the stuff I said to the others. The folk here are great people, the greatest. They’ve been my friends, and you know how tough that is, and what unlikely friend material I am. If they have been my friends, they can be yours, and I know you can use that potential, just as I know that it’s just what you’re least likely to reach out for. I’m not asking them to watch out for you, beause they will anyway, because they’re awesome. But I ask you to watch out for them. If they’re my friends, it means that a part of me is a part of them. So if we were going to have anything, maybe, or if we were friends, then that’s a way you can honor that.
Don’t be a recluse, Alycia. It’s the easiest thing in the world. That’s what’s gotten me in trouble. And Dad. And your dad. This is your chance to break that cycle.
Which, as a reminder of, there’s a cool motorcycle down in the warehouse. I built it three years ago, and then Dad forbade me to ride it, and I never wanted to after I thought he was dead, so it’s brand-new, and you might find it helpful to get to wherever your going.
I didn’t include you on the list of “you can crash here” things, because I didn’t know if that’s what you wanted, and I –
I – still have some – trust issues. Which sounds insane, and it is, but just because I’m crazy doesn’t mean I’m stupid. Roger Rabbit said that. I leave that to Leo. I think you can be trusted, but I don’t know, and the stakes there are big enough that I can’t take that chance.
Of course, you can probably get in and out of the Foundation at will. As we both know. But – well, pro forma, that’s what I have to do. Sorry for that, too.
I also have some books I want you to have. In fact, all the books in my library, except the poetry, which you were never into. Especially the ones you gave me. Because I know you enough to know you only give books that are special to you, too, and I don’t know if you have access to these (well, aside from pirated ebooks, which I assume), but if you don’t, I want you to have them, because that’s something you shared with me, and now I can share back.
Be well, Alycia, Fight the good fight, for the right reasons, in the right way.
And the rest of you guys, too. It’s been – a hella cool experience. The best time in my life. Thanks.
A copy of this transcript, and the original recording, will be provided to all participants in the playing of this material.
I, the undersigned Jason Quill, do hereby declare that I sign and execute this instrument as a codicil to my last Will, that I sign it willingly in the presence of each of the undersigned witnesses, and that I execute it as my free and voluntary act for the purposes herein expressed.
/s/ Jason Quill
/s/ Hannah Josephs
/s/ Barbara Williams
[*For the record, I actually did write this in the time frame described, and for that reason.]
author: *** Dave H.