King: Hello again. So, let's start with an explanation of why. I saw these stories by JC of the Corn and others about various RWBY characters reacting to multiverse versions of Jaune. I liked the idea and had some ideas for a while. So, I figured I'd give it a try. My hope is to use this as a jumping block for times when I have writer's block (writing something else tends to help me get ideas for my ongoing stories). So, I hope you enjoy my weird outlet to solve this problem.
Inspiration: Red vs Blue
At first, there was silence. There was nothing but the white void. A bright purple light being the only splash of color in a world of nothingness. The purple light moving around the void, humming to itself. In time, it spoke, "Okay… I'm thinking… Victorian theatre esthetic." The void began to form into a massive movie theater designed to resemble an old era theatre, complete with balcony boxes. The light moved through, inspecting its creation. It stopped at the seating and seemed to tilt slighting. "Okay. Maybe I went too authentic with the chairs. Let's make these modern and comfy~" The light brushed around the seating, which started to glow and shift into more modern comforts.
The light backed away and felt a certain level of content. "Perfect~ Now, to bring in our real entertainment." The light began to glow brighter, almost white, and expanded. It then seemed to spit out seven smaller orbs of various colors of light: red, white, black, yellow, bronze, green, and pink. The orbs then expanded and popped into existence as seven young huntsmen/huntresses in training. They were, respectively, Ruby Rose, Weiss Schnee, Blake Belladonna, Yang Xiao Long, Pyrrha Nikos, Lie Ren, and Nora Valkyrie. The orb floated over toward them, "Hello~!"
Said students took their sudden teleportation in a variety of ways. Some, mostly Weiss, were trying to make sense of what just happened. Others, Ruby and Nora, were amazed with their surroundings and the floating ball. Yang was somewhere between shock and confusion. Pyrrha, Ren, and Blake were the most level headed about their situation, simply looking to the ball being the most likely source of their transport.
Nora waved to the purple ball as it approached, "Hi~!"
The ball chuckled, "You're my favorite so far."
"Excuse me," Weiss tapped her foot in annoyance, "who are you and why are we here?"
"Also," Pyrrha looked around among them, "where's Jaune?"
The ball bounced in the air, "Okay, let's start with the who and where. That's easy to explain. Beings of my kind have many titles: Architects, Authors, some even go full hubris and call themselves gods. As for actual names, they're a mixed bag. Some are good, others are weird. Mine is one of the weird ones, I think. Short version, you may call me King. As for the where, you are in a dimension of my creation. I brought you all here to gauge some reactions."
"Okay… but why isn't Jaune here with us?"
"Before I explain that, I have a question. Who here is familiar with the multiverse theory?" After fifteen seconds without any of the students raising their hands, the orb seemed to nod, "Okay. Explanation first. The multiverse theory is the idea that states that for every choice or action made, a universe is created where the other option is taken. This creates infinite worlds with infinite possibilities. Some of the more interesting just so happen to star our favorite wannabe knight."
Blake took in the explanation and nodded in understanding, "I'm guessing the reactions you want to gauge are how we react to these different versions of Jaune."
"That's the idea, yes."
Weiss scoffed, "That's ridiculous."
"I don't know." Yang shrugged, "It could be fun."
Blake kept her eyes locked on the ball, "And I'm guessing we can't leave until you decide to let us." This put the group on edge, looking toward the ball.
King laughed, "Don't be ridiculous. I'm not keeping you here. I brought you here by the only means I had to bring you all to another dimension. You're all free to leave using the exit in the back of the theater. But you have to admit, you're curious~"
Weiss's eye twitched as she took a deep breath. "I suppose…"
The group started to take their seats in the theater. As they got comfortable, the ball floated over them, "Anyone want anything? Drinks? Snacks?"
Nora raised her hand, "Do you have popcorn?"
"Do I~?" King started to glow and produced a bucket of popcorn. "Do you want anything on it?"
King created a stick of butter and melted it onto the butter right in front of them. Handing it to Nora, King waited for anyone else to ask for something. After a few seconds of silence, he floated away and toward the screen. "Alright! Let's get this started! You all ready?!"
The giant movie screen started to glow.
The first thing they heard was a voice over, "He kept trying…"
"That sounds like Jaune." Ruby took some of the popcorn from Nora's bucket.
Nora pulled it away with a look of You had your chance, before eating one of the popped kernels.
"He kept trying to get her right." The scene accompanying the vocals was of a young woman with red hair and blue eyes. She was dressed in light blue stained armor with a shield and sword on her back. She was running through a tunnel overrun with plant life. Following her was a small, semi-transparent Jaune.
"Whoa! What's with the mini Jaune?" Nora went wide eyed seeing the holographic version of her team leader.
Yang, however, was focused on the woman in the armor, "Hey… Doesn't she kind of look like Pyrrha?"
The group was stunned a moment before looking back to the screen. Sure enough, she did look a bit like Pyrrha, just with blue eyes. After some scrutinizing, they noticed that the sword and shield on her back resembled the versions used by Jaune. Pyrrha's face turned a bright pink at the implications. Yang nudging her side with her shoulder didn't help.
Nora looked between Pyrrha and the woman on screen back and forth for a moment before screaming in excitement. "She's Jaune and Pyrrha's daughter!"
"Wait a second." Weiss directed them to the hologram Jaune, "If Jaune is that thing, I'm guessing a holographic Artificial Intelligence, how could he have a daughter with Pyrrha?"
Nora shrugged, "Robot daughter?"
The two eventually stopped in front of an odd-looking wall. The woman walked up to it and placed her hand on the surface, "You sure this is the place?"
The AI Jaune floated over her shoulder, "That's what I remember."
A computer panel on a nearby tree lit up and started talking. "Apologies. But this is a secured facility. I'll have to ask you to leave or be removed by deadly force."
"F.I.L.S.S.? Is that you?"
"F.I.L.S.S.? What the heck does that stand for?" Yang folded her arms.
"Hello Agent Caroline. It is good to see you again. However, I cannot allow you access to the compound."
The holo-Jaune floated back up. "I got this. Open the doors F.L.I.S.S."
"Of course, Director."
"Director? Like for movies?" Ruby tilted her head slightly.
Weiss shook her head, "I don't think movie directors could own security like that."
F.L.I.S.S. continued after opening the door within the wall, "Strange, my logs do not state that you had left the facility. It seems I must update my internal system."
Caroline and holo-Jaune looked toward each other a moment before turning back to the door. They walked in through the hidden entrance and into the dark corridor. As they walked, they started to hear someone talking, "Come on, Jaune. I need to get going."
Nora ate some more of her popcorn, stopping when she recognized the voice. "Pyrrha?"
The spartan turned to her teammate, "Yes?"
"No. Not… Like, the person talking on the screen. It was you. But, that world's version of you."
Caroline and holo-Jaune entered into a room at the end of the corridor. There was a large screen with Pyrrha on the monitor. She was dressed in her armor and was grabbing her sword while someone was filming. She looked up and toward the camera and chuckled, "Jaune. Seriously, I'm going to be late."
Caroline walked up to a chair before the screen and found a man with greying blonde hair and a blonde goatee. He was dressed in a white and grey research officer uniform. His double arced symbol was placed over his heart on the uniform. "Hello Agent Caroline." He sounded a lot like Jaune, just with a heavy accent.
"Wait," Ruby jumped a bit in her seat, "Is that Jaune?"
Yang whistled, "Dang. The years were kind to Vomit Boy."
"Would you like to watch this file with me?" Not waiting for an answer, he turned back to the monitor. "Play it again, F.L.I.S.S."
The computer spoke from a speaker to the side of the screen, "Sir… If I…"
Jaune lightly slammed his fist on the desk, "Play it again."
"Yes, Director." The video on the screen started over again.
Jaune sighed and placed his head in his hand. "I just need a little more time."
"NO!" The holo-Jaune flew over next to him. "You don't get any more time!"
Nora recoiled hearing her friend and leader go into an outburst like that. "What happened to make Jaune that angry?"
Caroline tried to calm the hologram before her, "Jaune…"
"NO! He has this coming!"
"What the heck did Jaune do to that little hologram?" Yang was leaning forward, watching the events unfold.
"He was brilliant!" The hologram turned green and spoke with a more intellectual tone.
Then the hologram turned purple and blue, speaking in a more innocent, almost childlike tone, "And we trusted him!"
Next was a blue color with a speaking style similar to a text-to-speak application on a computer, "But he lied! He twisted…"
Holo-Jaune turned grey midsentence with a black hole like effect, "…AND TORTURED US! AND USED US!"
Holo-Jaune changed again into a bright orange color, as if surrounded by flames, "MANIPULATED US FOR HIS OWN PURPOSES AND FOR WHAT?! FOR THIS?! THIS… SHADOW?!"
No one watching the screen was sure how to take what they had seen. They had just been told that Jaune Arc, someone who acted like he wouldn't hurt a fly, had tortured the hologram and likely others. That he was a manipulative and abusive man in this life. It was rather jarring.
Holo-Jaune began to calm and return to his normal coloration. "He needs… to pay. For what he's done."
Caroline looked down to her father and scowled. Remembering the years of training with her friends. How he drove a wedge between them with his competitive system. The AI copy of himself and how he broke it, trying to chase after shadows. She wanted nothing more than to finally put an end to it all. But as she looked in her father's eyes, all she saw was a broken man. She couldn't hold her anger, becoming a sense of pity. She sighed and turned back to the door. "Come on, Jaune. We're leaving."
Holo-Jaune turned to Caroline, "I thought we came here to kill him!"
Weiss fell back in her chair. "His own daughter… came to kill him…" Her own family was dysfunctional, and she could see shadows of her own father in this version of Jaune, but they were never this bad.
"Sometimes… you need to just let things go." She parroted his earlier words back to him. As she started to walk away, she was stopped by a hand grabbing her wrist.
"Agent Caroline, if you would be so kind as to leave me your pistol…"
Caroline slowly reached behind her and took out a small pistol from her belt. She placed the gun on the table next to the older Jaune. She kissed his forehead before turning back to the door, "Goodbye, sir."
Director Jaune looked downward from the screen, "You truly were my greatest creation."
Holo-Jaune turned toward his mental origin, "I don't know what I am. But I do know that I'm not just some copy of you. I'm better than you."
"I wasn't speaking to you Epsilon." Once Holo-Jaune left with Caroline, Jaune took a deep breath. "F.L.I.S.S., seal the doors and purge all data and power from the project except for this file."
The computer opened a small window on the monitor to show her waveform as she spoke, "Are you certain, sir? That would include this console and the life support to…"
"I'm well aware F.I.L.S.S."
Blake leaned in a bit, "Wait… Is he saying what I think he's saying?"
"Of course, Director. Did you find what you were looking for?"
"No, I did not. No doubt if I had a little more time… Perhaps the next time around."
"It was an honor working with you, Director."
"Likewise. Goodbye, F.L.I.S.S."
The screen hung on the now sealed door to the bunker. As the camera pulled back, Caroline spoke from off screen, "My mother had this saying; Never say goodbye. If you don't say goodbye, you're never really gone. You're just not here right now."