“...it's the greatest thing in the world!”
Gandalf was glad that was the last line of the song because he could feel his voice going. They'd have to cancel the Denver show so he could recover.
He wasn’t as young as he used to be.
He took another bow and raised the mic to say 'thank you' or something to make the crowd scream even more, but he didn't want to risk hurting his voice any more than it already was. He gave a quick wave of his hand and then bounded off stage with his last bit of energy.
Gandalf grunted as he plopped into the back of the limo. This band seemed to be draining him more and more each show. They weren’t the musicians he had wanted for the tour but he had to make do because all the musicians he wanted, people he had worked with in the past, were busy with their own projects now. Thanks to their success with Rat Hat they were all in high demand. The group had always basically been Gandalf, the bands he took on tour with him were a necessity because he couldn’t very well play all the instruments and sing and run around the stage at the same time.
He was busy muttering to himself when the other door to the back of the limo opened and the stranger fell inside onto the floor.
“Dammit, Henry, get this guy outta here, please!” The guy looked like a wino or something with tattered clothes and his hair was sticking up off his head in a crazy tangled mess. “Dude, get to a rehab program, quick. If you don’t it looks like you won’t be around to buy the next—“ The stranger looked up and Gandalf froze in disbelief. The strangers eyes were unmistakably Gandalf’s own.
“Remember…” the stranger croaked out as he reached his hand up to Gandalf’s face. There was a burst of energy from the stranger and a flood of images filled Gandalf’s mind. Smoke started rising from the stranger and he was quickly engulfed in a bright burst of light. There was nothing left but a pile of ash.
Henry opened the door and leaned in, ‘What guy? I thought you said someone got in here?”
Gandalf was dazed but managed to get out a quick “He left.”
Henry shrugged and closed the door. A moment later the limo headed off to the hotel.
Gandalf sat in shock at what he’d been shown. It was too much. Too horrible. Too unbelievable. Yet he knew it was all true.
He closed his eyes tightly to try and make the memories stop.
It didn’t work.
Gandalf saw himself in a different time- no the same time but the world was different. The hiveship came and assimilated the world, stripping it of everything and leaving a broken desolate rock behind before going on to find its next victim world.
In that other now he had tinkered with machines to control time and manipulate space- he still wasn’t quite sure how that had happened- how would he have gotten hold of a button-sized nuclear reactor and all the other high-tech equipment that was probably hundreds of years away from being created. That part was still fuzzy or blank, he wasn’t sure which.
He saw all the attempts the other him had made to alter the destruction of Earth by traveling back in time countless times and trying several different approaches. He saw his search for other anomalies and his eventual success in uniting with the sisters instead of causing them to kill each other. When they finally worked together the three of them managed to destroy the hiveship in the distant past.
That was just the beginning of this new set of problems.
Without the hiveship as a focus for his aggression, the alien warlord Bandor had turned into something worse than the hive had ever been. In the other now Bandor had focused his considerable power into fighting the hiveship and chasing it on its meandering journey of destruction throughout the galaxy. But in this now, without the threat of the hiveship, Bandor’s armies grew and his dominion spread throughout the galaxy. The tyrant’s heel was on the throat of hundreds of worlds and his sights were now set on Earth. Bandor’s hordes would arrive way too soon and the planet was nowhere near prepared for the coming onslaught.
Gandalf had tried to stop the command ship but he had failed miserably. One final attempt to affect events had to be made and he had to find this alternate version of himself, the rockstar slacker, who had been created by the destruction of the hiveship in the distant past.
His head hurt even more when he tried to wrap his mind around the paradox of a future him going to the past and stopping the end of the world making the current him possible. Then that other future him, still kicking around the universe for who knows how long, finding that his attempt to save the world created a different threat to the world. Finally that future him coming to the current him and giving all the memories he/they had accumulated so something could be done to affect the situation.
“What the crap...” He muttered, rubbing his forehead. “I need to get to the lab. Henry, head to the airport. I need to go to LA.”
He grabbed his cellphone from the pocket in the door. He’d never dialed the number before, but he dialed without even thinking about it. He struggled to find the words to use that wouldn’t make him sound more crazy than he knew he would sound. She answered before he had finalized his introduction.
“Hi… You don’t know me in this timeline but you may have heard of me. My name’s Gandalf North. You and I saved the world together before… but you wouldn’t remember that. Anyway, I’m calling because I need your help again…”
“Um, I think you have the wrong number. Who were you trying to reach?”
He took a deep breath and let it out slowly, “I’m trying to reach you, pup- oh wait, you’ve never heard that nickname in this timeline. It’s a long story that we don’t have time for. Mychala Faith you’re my only hope…”