A Bitter Jet Pack Rivalry Was Formed
The rocket belt is not some cold, lifeless hunk of metal. It's a living, breathing, demonic hunk of metal akin to the One Ring. And much like those Hobbits and elves and s**t who came into contact with the Ring, friendships just can't last in the jet pack's presence.
After Gibson broke their jet pack's throttle while preparing for a stint at Disneyland, Barker took it in for repairs. For Barker, "repairs" meant secretly taking notes on the design, just in case he needed to make his own one day. He reached out to his friend Joe Wright (an otherwise normal person who, like everyone in this tale, fell in love with the jet pack once he saw it), and Gibson got annoyed when he caught the two of them videotaping the device. After all, what fun is a rocket pack if you're not the only one who owns one? The whole point is to be able to soar above the filthy, gawking peasants below as they grind their teeth in envy.
Gibson and Barker had a falling out soon after. Gibson would split off to go form his own jet pack company, away from all of the madness that was about to ensue. Barker then decided to start up his own operation using all of the technical information he'd gleaned. He roped in Joe Wright, and they got to work in Wright's stereo shop.
It turns out it's kind of expensive to make one of these from scratch, so Barker knew he'd have to call in help from a friend with cash ... and that friend was goddamned Larry Stanley, the man with the Level 1 NPC Navy SEAL guardian from earlier, who had robbed them and only returned the goods when Barker threatened to bludgeon him with a baseball bat. And because everyone in this story is crazy, Stanley of course said yes.