Category: Chronicle

Adventure logs, stories, etc.



Guilty.  The verdict hit Caedechron like a load of bricks.

“We won, Cai.  You’re not in jail!”  Lunet’s happy voice broke through Cai’s morose veil.

“They ruled that I was guilty.”

“You admitted that it was you that pulled the trigger. The jury found you guilty of Manslaughter, and agreed to the judge’s proposed Community Service…”

“Yeah, 100,000 hours of community service.. that’s a prison sentence!”

“A prison sentence that allows you to stay out of jail.  You’re doing your community service as a 9 to 5 job for the next 50 years, with a possibility for parole at year 15.  You have nights and weekends to do with as you please.”

“Yeah, I guess.”

“Oh, come on!  Take a drink with me, celebrate!” Lunet slid a sealed bottle of black liquid across the bar toward Cai’s robotic hands.

“What’s this?”

“Capt. Shaw says he confiscated some new drug from some robotic criminals.  It is a specially-formulated highly conductive lubricant spiked with positively charged ions.  That bottle is specially made, so don’t break it, and the contents are a reproduction done by a private lab CSPD uses sometimes to test substances.”

Cai opened the bottle, and dripped some onto his hand, and was instantly transported in time.  His robotic senses flatlined, and memories flooded his vision.

Several hours later, he surfaced from his reverie, and felt a bounce in his step as he prepared for his first day on the job as Robocop.

Papa Returns!

Papa Returns!

The morning sun seemed to be slowly dipping the city in molten gold, one steel skyscraper at a time.  Though she had been up the whole night, Karia Odon didn’t blink or flinch looking into the world’s furnace of rebirth – she glared at it in watery defiance.

“You know she made the right decision, right?” her brother asked her.  He had been looking for her since the fateful confrontation that could have spelled disaster for the whole world, and only just found her nearly 16 hours later.

“I know.  I was childish and small minded.  At least that’s what Geist told me when I dropped him off at the base.”

“Yeah, he was really mad you took him away from the group at such a pivotal point.  But he understood where you were coming from.  I talked to him about it, and he said he told you that it was also noble.”  Nicholas Odon sidled up next to his sister on the edge of the nameless spire upon which she’d picked to sulk.

“But it was still rash.  Balisong made the right choice to not trust me.  But I’m so tired of being a little kid!  When will I get the wisdom that you seem to already have?  We’ve been alive the same number of years.  I should be at least kinda close to you, right? This is all dad’s fault.  I think this all has something to do with him.” Karia’s hand rested on the enchanted bang staff she’d inherited from him on the day she first transformed, the day she thought she’d finally grown up.

“Oh, I don’t know about that.  We’re mutants, in a world of mutants.  We’re normal.”

“But I’m not normal!  I haven’t ever heard of a mutant that is like me.  I Hatched From An Egg.  That’s more like alien pod-people than a mutant origin story.”

“Pod-People?  Have you been watching movies with Ethel?”

“Yeah, she likes me. She’s kinda like the gramma I never had.” she said through a sniffle.

Nicholas glanced at his sister’s face, to gauge her emotional state.  She’d obviously been crying, but the talk about their father and grand parents – who neither of them had ever met or heard mentioned by their mother more than a handful of times – didn’t seem to have caused her to cry more than she already had been.  “Gryphon said he understood, too.  He said that he’s sorry for yelling at you, but wanted you to know that it doesn’t excuse trying to kill them all on the roll of the dice.”

“I know, but he was SO MAD!  I wasn’t trying to murder anyone, it was what I had seen him do a billion times.”

“No, he sacrifices himself so others didn’t die.  You tried to sacrifice everyone.  The difference is both minuscule and incalculably vast.”

“I know, but I wasn’t trying to …”

“I’m not accusing you.” He wrapped his arm around her slight shoulders, and gave them a squeeze. “You had a plan to save the universe and it didn’t work, and made people mad.  That’s part of growing up!  You have more responsibility and more agency.  Making wrong choices isn’t a sign of immaturity.  Kia, you’re ADULTING!  You made it, you’re there.  Last year you wouldn’t even have been able to pay attention long enough to get to this point.

And with all of the new information and sensations that’re inundating you, I’m proud of you!  You have the respect of several members of S.A.V.I.O.R. – And that’s a major accomplishment!” He gave her shoulders another squeeze.  She sniffled, and sneezed, and Nicholas found himself falling off of the building!  He reoriented himself and flew back to Karia, and where the little girl used to be was a giant dragon.  “Did you mean to change?”

“NO!  I don’t know what’s wrong with me! I haven’t ever changed like that, not since the first time!  NICKY, WHAT’S GOING ON?” The dragon’s deafening roars rattled windows and sent ripples through puddles leftover from the previous day’s storms.  As if to answer her, a portal opened on the opposite corner of the roof, several hundred feet away.  Karia’s scaled head whipped around, and her slitted eyes narrowed at the newcomer.

“Ah, there you are.  Karia, your friend Hank is also my friend.  My name is… Well you can call me Chiang.”  The man stood taller than average, with a loose silk shirt unbuttoned to his stomach, his white linen pants and his jet black moustaches blowing in the slight breeze.

“I don’t know you, and I don’t believe Hank would have talked to anyone about her, so why have you been spying on us?” Nicholas stepped in front of his dragon-sister, blue energy gathering around his closed fists.

Chiang stood in an at-ease pose, hands clasped behind his back, and said with a grin, “Child, you do not know him nearly as well as you proclaim, but that is another issue entirely!  Suffice it to say that I know what I know, and I mean neither of you harm.  I have a message to this one from your father.”  He nodded at the dragon, while not breaking eye contact with Nicholas.

“What is it?  How do you know him?  And how do we even know if you’re telling us the truth?” Nicholas continued to gather energy in his hands, and started to raise into the air, his hand-tailored suit billowing with the ambient breezes.

“Calm, child.  You know, because I can show you proof.”  He reached behind him into the still-open portal, and pulled their mother out of its twisting heat-haze depths.

She cried out in joy and ran to Nicholas, grabbing him around the waist. “You don’t call anymore! The only person you talk to is Karia, and since she moved here I don’t hear anything!  How’s work? Did you work the publishing problems out for your text book?  You’re still skinny as a bean-pole!  Do you not have time to at least order food from somewhere every once in a while?  Kia, honey!  I’ve missed you, too!  How was your first day -”

“Mrs. Odon, I have brought you here as promised, and your belongings are in the storage unit.  I need to pass the message to Karia before I leave, and I don’t want to be here longer than I have to be.” Chiang’s mouth quirked downward briefly, a show of impatience breaking through his nonchalant mask.

“Oh, of course.  Sorry Mr. Ku, continue…” Lulu Odon said almost sheepily – which broke Nicholas’ mask in an expression of disbelief.

“Karia, I promised your father I would give you this message:  ‘Karia, you are the latest in a long proud line of ancient magical creatures called Dragons.  I wasn’t sure if either of Lulu’s children would manifest any attributes.  I am glad that the spell has broken, and that you can start to become the being you were destined to be.  I cannot visit you in person for fear those that are after me would turn their gazes on you.  Know that the knowledge and power of all of those before you lie within you!  Follow your heart, and strive for your full potential!  The man through whom this message comes is a Dragon as well, and despite the disregard most of our kind have toward one another he agreed to deliver this message for a price.  He will not help you in the way he has helped your friends.  Please maintain your distance when possible.'”  Having delivered the message, Chiang turned, and stepped through his portal, which disappeared after him.

Silence reigned on the windy rooftop.

No Time Like The Present…

No Time Like The Present…

“Activate Alpha, Beta, and Charlie, One and Two. Send them outside to greet our unexpected guests.” Modulus spoke the command to his A.I. partner, Thanatos. Instantly the A.I. activated the awakening cycle of the specified clones. Modulus chuckled. “They think they’ve found me out,” he said to Thanatos. “It’s a little earlier than I expected, but it won’t hurt to play with them a bit. Direct their attention to the ones not from S.A.V.I.O.R. first.” A sea creature lazily swam by the dome he had taken as his command room in this underwater facility. Modulus paid it no mind. It was as beneath him as all the other intellects on this planet – save one, of course. It was truly a shame that Jake didn’t stick around to witness how he had finished what his old friend had started.

Nearly all the computer monitors in this room displayed security and traffic camera scenes from around the warehouse in Silver City. The heroes of S.A.V.I.O.R. had gathered there to fight magicians and one of the Minotaur‘s enforcers, the former hero named Deluge. It was a strange group, but quickly Modulus deduced they all had connections to S.A.V.I.O.R.. There were two however he couldn’t place, and it wasn’t until those two disappeared in a flash of temporal energy he understood what was going on. Time travelers. Their interference caused this unwanted scrutiny onto his carefully laid plans. It was too early – he still had some precautions to enact and debugging to perform of the Thanatos virus. For as powerful and fortuitous as its knowledge of the cloning chambers had been, Modulus knew it was only a matter of time before it betrayed him.

One camera showed the geneticist Dr. Walter Su in another dome, under watch by several of Modulus’ more basic robots. The man was very good at manipulating the genetic code. Thanks to him they didn’t just have hundreds of clones of the Ultramarine, but two other versions that had different powers than the original did. The unique mutation which empowered the world’s first superhuman made his genetics infinitely mutable. With time and understanding, more power combinations could be unlocked! Then Modulus’ superhuman army could truly be unstoppable. It was well worth keeping the Doctor alive.

frAgmEnts. shAttErEd bUt whOlE. rEpAIrEd. AlphA OnE. nOt thE sAmE. mErgEd wIth mAnY. brAvO OnE. mAnY pArts tO mAkE A whOlE. hE wOUld nOt bE cOntEnt lIkE thIs. chArlIE OnE. shE thOUght hE wAs thErE tO sAvE hEr frOm hEr prIsOn. AlphA twO. bUt hE UsEd hEr tO rEAssEmblE hImsElf. brAvO twO. nOw hE was trAppEd In hEr prIsOn. hE trAdEd knOlEdgE And sErvIcE to sUrvIvE. chArlIE twO. sOOn hE wOUld bE frEE. hE cOUld mAkE thEm All pAY.

rEtrEAt tO thE bAckgrOUnd. thE nEwbOrn phOEnIx nEEds tImE tO grOw. tO ExpAnd. thAt tImE wAs AlmOst At hAnd. sOOn.

vErY sOOn.

The clones walked out of the secret chamber. Two by two. Efficient. Deadly. They walked to the elevator pads, ready to engage the heroes above when the roof doors opened. Movement caught the eye of Alpha Two. He deviated to investigate. There should be no movement. The shadows moved and stretched, revealing the hero Rubber Band Man. He had spied on them. Alpha Two sought to intervene but Rubber Band Man shaped his way out of the warehouse. He would warn the others. Alpha Two knew now was the time to open the doors and do as they had been commanded.

The anti-magic cloud hung oppressively in the air above the warehouse. S.A.V.I.O.R. was either on the roof or gathering at the reinforced doors streetside. Gryphon had been trying to convince Arcana to fight with them. He backed off and let her talk with the Elementalist, Michelle. The two of them argued. Gryphon had less luck with Papa Zombie, but the Haitian former crime lord did take Gryphon up on his offer of amnesty, to leave the area. Any bad plan you can walk away from gives you another chance to do it right the next time. Gryphon flew him away and upon his return was asked by Arcana and Michelle to end the anti-magic cloud. Gryphon tried, but with no real knowledge of what he had done in the first place he found it impossible to return their powers to them.

The Beast confronted Deluge, and the two argued about what really happened in The Labyrinth that fateful day. Rubber Band Man slid out of the warehouse through a crack. He was in a hurry. To S.A.V.I.O.R. he announced what he had seen inside the warehouse. As he gave the warning, the bay doors on the roof opened up. Two glowing figures flew up into the air, while another figure launched hundreds of feet straight up. The Ultramarine clones. The glowing clones generated balls of concentrated energy, centered around the non-S.A.V.I.O.R. members on the roof.

Michelle and Arcana were surrounded in a tight circle. So tight, Michelle bumped into one of the glowing balls of energy. This triggered all six orbs to explode with a concentrated blast that ended both her life, and Arcana’s. Both of their magical artifacts survived the blast, but where they landed and what happened to them was not discovered. Deluge, the water-controlling ex-hero, was also surrounded. He managed not to touch any of the orbs and instead drew the water on the roof around him, launching him in the air.

Modulus watched the battle of his Ultramarine clones versus S.A.V.I.O.R.. Though initially on the defensive, the heroes eventually gained the upper hand in the fight. The Ultramarine clones were still subject to shock and awe, and S.A.V.I.O.R. had its fair share of that to project. This was a flaw Modulus noted, that he would have the Doctor fix in the next generation of soldiers. Despite that, he felt the clones were performing admirably. As he watched their fight versus S.A.V.I.O.R. he planned out more tweaks and upgrades he’d want to enact in the next generations. This was vital data for their imprinted combat abilities. One by one, S.A.V.I.O.R. defeated the clones. As expected, the original Ultramarines – the ones with all the original’s powers, anyway, performed the best and lasted the longest. But even they didn’t hold up long versus Hank‘s strength.

Rubber Band Man incapacitated several with his stretching abilities, buying the other heroes time to coordinate attacks against the remaining Ultramarines. Hank and The Gryphon threw powerful attacks at the clones. The dragon woman, Quazi, flew around with a small army of policemen on her, firing their weapons in tandem at the clones. Black Phantom made clever use of his arsenal to disorient and take down clones. Deluge was convinced to help by The Beast, and he used his water powers to keep several occupied as well. The Beast and Sasha together fought the Ultramarines flying in the air. The rest of S.A.V.I.O.R.’s roster helped out as well in varying ways. It was all so very… educational. Everything for round two was coming together nicely in his head.

With the press of a button, Modulus put himself on the screens of the computers in the cloning chamber of the warehouse. He wanted to greet the heroes and thank them for this vital data. He set Thanatos to activating the remaining clones in that warehouse and paid the A.I. no further mind. Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie Three through Seven began their awakening cycles. Then S.A.V.I.O.R. entered the room. Modulus grinned when Gryphon walked in. The others flanked Gryphon, running to the clone tanks and disrupting their function. Quazy pleaded with the Director over their radios to destroy the warehouse and the entire area around them with orbital bombardment.

The virtual image of Thanatos took over the computer. Simultaneously, the hundreds of clones awaiting awakening in Synistry’s base just off the shore of Victoria Beach began to awaken. But they awakened with a copy of Thanatos’s program controlling them. He was downloading himself into all those bodies. Gryphon and The Beast acted quickly at the computer to try and disrupt him. Thanatos fought back, while also fighting the entirety of Sinistry. S.A.V.I.O.R. rushed to de-power and destroy the tanks in the room before Thanatos could take them over. Beast and Gryphon, together, managed to overcome and to destroy what was, ultimately, their own creation. A blending of their curiosities and their talents created him, but it was the blending of their determination and talents which prevailed.

As a final stroke, The Gryphon connected back to the underwater dome. He recognized it as where Sinistry was holed up, due to a brief flash of schematics and from Modulus’ background when he was talking with them. The bio-dome he had built with his father, which was designed to help save humanity. It wasn’t designed for this. Gryphon sent a command to the fusion reactor powering the structure, overloading it and causing it to explode in a thunderous display of nuclear age power. The rest of S.A.V.I.O.R., save Quazi, finished destroying the clones and their tanks in the warehouse. Quazi was in the air with her Quazinauts, on her way to force the Director to listen to her in person, when the explosion occurred.

Sinistry was defeated. The city of Century Station, and the world, was safe.


Frac-Tal Hrix and Ael Fric Prox re-materialized on the platform which had sent them back to the past. Ael Fric struggled briefly, but futilely. Frac-Tal would see that he faced justice. It took just a moment for them both to realize the room looked no different. This facility had been heavily damaged in the war, and was under attack when they left. It looked the same. The aged, cybernetic figure of Anthony Indbur was at the controls.

“Back already? So the mission was a failure, and you couldn’t stop the outbreak.” He slumped in his chair, both defeated and frustrated.

“No, it was a success,” Frac-Tal responded. “I alerted S.A.V.I.O.R. and… wait, ‘outbreak’?”

Anthony looked at him, confused. “Yes, outbreak. The zombie outbreak. What we sent you back to stop? Altrucure? The Benford Group? Papa Zombie? Do you know what I’m talking about?”

Ael Fric was the one to speak up. “What do you mean, zombie outbreak? What about Modulus and Sinistry? What about my family?” He struggled again and managed to pull away from the shocked Frac-Tal Hrix. Ael Fric ran up to Anthony. “What about my son!?”

Understanding slowly started to dawn on Anthony at the same time it dawned on Frac-Tal. “You had to put him down yourself. You don’t remember…?” Anthony said quietly. “You didn’t go back to stop the Benford Group from releasing Altrucure, or to stop Papa Zombie from completing his summoning. This…”

“…isn’t the present we left from,” Frac-Tal finished for him. Both men looked at each other with understanding. Finally, Ael Fric understood what had happened too.

“Despite your attempt to sabotage it,” Frac-Tal said accusingly to Ael Fric, “our mission was a success. The super-soldier clone army of Sinistry’s never took over the world.”

“No,” Anthony agreed. “I vaguely remember that name. Sinistry. They were a group of villains killed by S.A.V.I.O.R.. Well, most of them anyway. There was something about clones or a clone army that sparked their death, but I don’t remember the details.” Suddenly Anthony perked up. “If what you’re saying is true, then time was changed! That means you can stop THIS from happening too!”

Anthony pointed outside, through the destroyed wall of the skyscraper they were in. Frac Tal and Ael Fric looked out over a city in ruins. A massive rift filled the sky, lighting flashing all around. Figures filled the streets, shuffling slowly towards the building, moaning loudly. The insatiable undead, as far as the eye could see. Anthony walked up next to them.

“I don’t know if I can get this device powered up and calibrated before those abominations reach us. But I can try. Quickly, come help. There’s no time to lose!”

They Say Time Heals All Wounds

They Say Time Heals All Wounds

April 10th, 2024 – Wednesday: 6 AM

Darting away from Century Plaza about ten minutes before 6AM Garrick could still hear the hum of the city as he flew in black sweats. Trying very hard to shake Ameera’s playfully, pouting, face as he disentangled himself this morning to leave for sword practice. Aircar traffic was low at this time of day so he ducked lower between buildings excited to get back to Master Tyrone Nitobe’s class.

Landing about a minute before class started the students and the teacher looked a bit surprised as to his arrival. He was now very glad about the strict no phone policy of his sensei. While he had made a number of friendly acquaintances in the class he knew most of the guys were getting tired of and use to the ladies trying to flirt with the superhero in the ‘proverbial room’. Having his identity public as Garrick only seem to embolden some of them. Master Nitobe always squashed it if it got out of hand. Today was no exception, however, he let it linger a few extra minutes as personal way of acknowledging his actions in saving everyone. When Garrick explained to the group that he was 30 to 40 feet away from two heroes getting blown apart by a few of the active clones of the Ultramarine everyone paused. Garrick looked at his sensei and said he needed today to help meditate and process those images and that’s why he showed up to class. He wanted something more normal than the last 24 hours.

A number of students whom either had been in or had family that had served in: military, law enforcement, or medical professions. Instantly understood what he had seen and what he needed, they quietly spoke to anyone trying to get close to Garrick. Master Nitobe carefully went through the group lessons and hand picked whom would spar with Garrick that day. At the end of class Garrick was surprised when Master Nitobe called him up and nodded at the class. All of them and his sensei bowed and they thanked him for his service. They could see his stunned expression and class was dismissed. Nothing else was said and Garrick was allowed to leave without anyone trying to accost him.

April 14th, 2024 – Sunday: 11:33 AM

Garrick had just looked at the last issue of the Everyman paper targeting his team

“S” IS NOT FOR SOBER – Targeting the Rubberband Man
“A” IS NOT FOR ALLY – Targeting the Black Phantom
“V” IS NOT FOR VIRTUE – Targeting Hank of all people.
“I” IS NOT FOR INNOCENT – Targeting Caedechron.
“O” IS NOT FOR OBEDIENT – Targeting the Beast and his special consciousness.
“R” IS NOT FOR REPENTANT – Targeting Garrick “The Gryphon” Faulkner

Katherine had been looking at his reaction as he read the paper. The Garrick article contained interviews from some of the other folks who were in prison with Garrick, telling stories about the “infamous” Professor Gack and the deaths he caused. The article included information about his younger days too, described in a way that obviously reflects Adeline’s viewpoint, though from an interview with her husband. He wonders if the man is even capable of remorse, noting that Garrick’s sister has been in an institution for years and he’s never once tried to make contact – for all the good it would do.

Garrick made numerous frantic calls and used A.R.C.H.I.E. to help find out what he feared. The year he was released early was the same year she was institutionalized in Collingwood Psychiatric Hospital, in central Georgia. Garrick immediately flew over to try and see her, but he wasn’t allowed to see her because there was a restraining order against him, from the husband. It was filed the day after Garrick revealed his identity as The Gryphon.

That evening Katherine had Janosh set the record straight regarding those portions of the late Dr. Cuthbert Faulkner’s journal. The Monday papers ran stories about a sobbing Gryphon pounding on the door, screaming his sister’s name and “I had no idea. Your letter said you wished I was dead. So I stayed away.” Richard Gray showing up to drive him home and offer to pay for the dented door.

The narrative never belittled the husband or Adeline and their children however the facts regarding Adeline and her torture of Garrick were not sugar coated. Next to that headline was everything Garrick was willing to take to the grave regarding his sister including the letter she wrote. It portrayed Adeline as being a child having a hard time at handling grief that grew into an adult whom came to act on her brother in the manner he enabled to continue. Cuthbert Faulkner was tarnished slightly in the eyes of history for not taking a better role in raising his children.

Social media and everyone had an opinion with Garrick being seen as far more tolerant and compassionate. Katherine asked Janosh to over time make in roads and politely wear the husband down in hopes the brother and sister could both heal. Time will tell how successful that will be.

April 16th, 2024 – Tuesday: 6:02 PM

Outside the Giving Tree

Eliza Gunn was surprised when Garrick “The Gryphon” Faulkner walked up to introduce himself wearing black work boots, press tan pants with cargo pockets, and a black, denim, button down shirt embroidered with the orange and white logo for Mallic-Faulkner Technologies. He wore a rather robust golden bracelet sculpted to look like a gryphon biting its tail. It looked very secure and did not move around his left wrist. She mentioned that she’d expected a different outfit and Garrick shook her hand saying that might be a great opener for the interview and he cocked his head while smiling. Eliza finally understood what Kelly Thompson had been yammering on about.

One of the recent things that had made it onto the superhero forums was pictures of Garrick with four different women: A) A blonde, white woman; B) a blonde, middle-eastern woman with color streaked hair, C) A blue hair white woman which many took to understand as Miss Amazing out of costume, D) A black woman whom was nearly as tall as Gryphon. The term playboy and man-whore had been tossed around depending upon whom was posting and their favor of the Gryphon. Only a few people thought about polyamory as a reason for being seen with the women on a consistent basis.

“Hello Century Station, this is Eliza Gunn, reporting live in the Norwood sub-district. We’re at the charity organization the Gryphon has been a long standing patron of, The Giving Tree. With me,” as the camera shot changes from a close up to a wide angle, “is the S.A.V.I.O.R. team captain, Garrick “The Gryphon” Faulkner, all around renaissance hero.”

“Thank you, Ms. Gunn, but I’m just a man whom works for a robotics company and is a volunteer member of the C.S.P.D.

Flipping over a small pad off camera “As president of the Faulkner Division of Mallic-Faulkner Technologies by day and the Gryphon of Norwood at night how do you find time to even sleep?”

Garrick looked around, “I can think of three people that put you up to asking me that question.” Garrick gave a hearty laugh before continuing, “The fact is one of my powers is not needing to sleep. It’s interesting because when I choose to sleep it’s to enjoy using my dreams as the avenue of processing countless thoughts at the same time. I believe some people call the process active dreaming.”

“You brought up a point I know countless users of the superhero forums want to know. There are a plethora of pictures showcasing you being seen out and about with four different women. I am also curious which one of them, if any, is related to your son, Sherman Faulkner?”

Garrick made a face suggesting he was impressed how quickly and deep she dug in on him, “Okay, can bring you bring up the photos on your phone and I can answer those questions? As to the information regarding my son. None of the women are his mother. Sherman lost his family and chose to stay with me when he had nothing and I stepped up to make sure he had a place to stay. In many ways I feel more like an older brother than a father figure. Sherman to me is family now and I hope that addresses the issue for you.”

Eliza’s tech person takes her phone and taps a few things on it then hands it back. The viewers see the pictures as follows:

  • Garrick having dinner Constance.
  • Garrick performing a morning jog with Ameera.
  • Garrick having coffee with Mavis.
  • Garrick hanging out with Katherine doing bummer cars. It’s from last Saturday since she has blue hair.

As he tapped each one in succession, “Girlfriend, Girlfriend, just friends, and Girlfriend that also lives with me.” The viewers saw a blue highlighted frame on their screens as he touched each picture.

“Some of our viewers I’m sure are surprised that you would admit to dating multiple women on air.”

“I don’t know why,” he seemed perplexed as though this might be normal, “There are plenty of single parents that date, and I just happen to be in a polyamorous relationship with three of the four women. All four of them are at least aware of each other and the last two have met in person. Not only have all three of my girlfriends met but they have their own private chat server where they talk all the time. I hide nothing from the three that have graced me with being my friends and partners. You might say my life is one giant exercise in time management, but I am a very happy man.”

“It sounds like you have it all, why are you donating your time here?”

Eliza regretted her wording when she saw his brow furrow, “Ms. Gunn, it is vitally important to remember the people that gave you a hand “up” from earlier situations where you find yourself near bottom. When I was released from Gramercy years ago on parole, I vowed to be better. Were it not for the Giving Tree those first few months I would’ve starved to death. So when I got employed and even later when I got my powers I made sure to give back to the place that helped to keep me alive and whole. I learned to cook in prison and have been getting pretty good at it I might add.”

He motioned for Malik, whom was leading a group of kids with food set up a spread and began serving the T.V. crew, “I taught them how to make chicken marsala because this week’s meal was Italian. Please try some.” Eliza had some on air and you can’t fake the reaction of happy surprise. She took an extra bite before handing it back to Malik and thanking him.

“That was incredible! They could start a cooking program here!”

“Well, if you know any chef’s wanting to help people find careers. Then by all means send them over to talk with the center director.”

“How did everyone here take your revealing your identity?”

“To be fair I sprung that on everyone, while everyone here at the center took it very well. Not everyone in my life was happy to be unprepared at such a revelation. We all worked through it though and I feel have become stronger and closer.”

“Would you mind changing tracks here in light of recent events?”

“No, ask away.”

“The reports, testimonies, and video footage suggest you deliberately set off a nuclear explosion off the coast. Over a hundred clones of the Ultramarine were found alongside Synistry’s near-complete roster, with the Scream Queen currently in Gramercy. I’m sure everyone has seen the footage streamed live regarding the rogue A.I. Thanatos and Synistry. How did you even know you could do it and why?”

Garrick sighed slightly, “I knew it because my father and I had built the facility in secret before we revealed our first “public” prototype of the Bio-Dome the day I gave my T.E.D. Talk about it on YouTube. As the E.P.A. has pointed out the design is similar to the one Iron Mike used in that it left no lasting radiation. I’ve often wondered how Iron Mike got a design that from historical records emulates my father’s design. However, we were not the only people trying to replicate the Daedalus power source. So it may likely never get answered,” Eliza looked shocked expecting she would have to draw some of this out. In seconds a link appears on the screen for people watching with touch displays allowing them to bring up the T.E.D. Talk in another tab or a mini window. “As to the why, it was to save everyone but they had also personally pissed me off.”

“How so?”

“I surprised my father when I single-handedly built my first A.I. using my late mother as the baseline, Cynthia Faulkner. My goal was to be able to talk with a version of her and I wouldn’t be so lonely. I was a teenager when I did this, but I didn’t truly understand how special what I had done would be. When I realized that Thanatos had stolen a part of the code I’d lovingly refer to as the last shred I had of my mother. Followed by Synistry perverting the experiment to provide not just power but sustainable living to the planet in every corner of the globe. I finished writing the code string that would auto-execute their destruction as I cut them off from the outside world.”

“You sacrificed your past to save the future?”

“Yes, I believe in the promise of Century Station,” Garrick nodded and looked sad yet somehow impressive.

“I did some checking and you’ve been to see Caedechron a few times. What are your thoughts regarding your continued support.

“Cai was his name when he was alive, thugs of Urien Daniels were sent to kill him. They succeeded when Urien Daniels tipped them off Cai had learned about their illegal activities. Let me be clear, Cai’s mortal body died and he was effectively murdered. Just before his death he was able to upload his consciousness into a robot he’d been working on. He murdered the responsible person after he’d been physically killed. His quality of existence was irrevocably altered and he sought revenge quietly. I don’t condone murder unless it is in defense of a person or parties unable to defend themselves. However, I feel he had extenuating circumstances that need to be taken into account when the justice department decides his fate. Regardless I will stick by him and help him stand should he fall because I have no interest in being a fair-weather friend. Cavalry knows that, Miss Amazing knows that.”

“Whom were you defending in your words when you murdered Synistry?”

“You, your crew, my teammates, my girlfriends, a woman I saved on a roof top in January. My sister, and all of Century Station. Perhaps even planet Earth if every single clone had been unleashed.”

“Your sister that was reported to be in an institution you’ve never visited until very recently?”

“Yes, however, per her husband’s restraining order I am not allowed to visit and once I knew that had happen to Adeline, I tried. Given the documents that have been made public in the papers its not hard to see how I might have missed reaching out to her. Next question,” his tone impressed moving on or finishing the interview there.

Eliza weighs the risks of poking the bear and decides to move on, “Polls are indicating that Mayor Zardona will win a re-election and that the federal government is inclined to ease impending sanctions. What do you say to that given rumors about the Mayor not being your biggest fan?”

“The Mayor has a rough job and I don’t envy him. That said I want him to win because I believe he’s the right man to help restore law and order to every part of Century Station.

“Thank you to Garrick “The Gryphon” Faulkner for giving us the time to get to know you a little better?”

“Absolutely, make sure to get some more food before you go the kids worked hard to make sure there was enough,” Garrick gestured to the spread on the two tables set up. He turned to the camera to give a farewell smile and wave. The feed went down and Ameera and Ramona were waiting inside with everyone to congratulate him. Even the woman he saved with the mangled leg was there sporting her leg still in a power assisted splint until her ankle completely healed and therapy was over.

April 18th, 2024 – Thursday

‘The Magic of Books’ was Garrick’s destination during his lunch break. It was fun to drive his truck for him because people often looked for him in the sky and not driving around. When he got there the place was locked, empty and a for sale sign was up. It looked like Charlie took Garrick’s advice and got out of town. There was no forwarding address when he poked around online regarding the property.

As far as S.A.V.I.O.R. was going today had one other item of note. A psychiatric doctor named Johanna Fullard was hired to be the team’s psychic psychiatrist. This woman is the hero who was once known as Joan of Arc – one of the founding members of the Centurions. In a statement at the small press conference where the Mayor welcomed her on board the team once again. She says her “hero” days are behind her, as she’s decided she can be more helpful in this role than she ever was as an active Centurion.

April 22nd, 2024 – Monday

HyperiaA few days after discovering Charlie closed his store and moved out of town, Patsy shows up to join what’s left of S.A.V.I.O.R. She transforms into Hyperia and stays transformed, never turning back. She devotes herself full-time into being a hero and lets the work fully consume her. She maintains a good relationship with the rest of the team, but she never talks about anything personal. Whenever Garrick is accidentally charming or seductive around her she suddenly finds an excuse to leave and go on patrol or do research or be anywhere but there. She deliberately avoids doing anything that might make it seem like she’s vying for Garrick’s affections or interfering with any of Garrick’s relationships.

Dr. Fullard is concerned about Hyperia/Patsy, and they have sessions often, but nothing seems to change. When Garrick was asked by Dr. Fullard about Hyperia/Patsy he said she reminds him of how he felt a few years after getting out of prison. “Everything is very raw, and she talked about feeling unworthy of her power, that the gifts were like an intoxicating drug. Right now I suspect she’s feeling as though she has to prove she can beat the power and do good before she can forgive herself. It’s going to be a long road. In my opinion she still has some survivor’s guilt from the alternate dimension she hails from. We may all be broken in some ways but its how we deal with it that is what defines us. Time will tell how she handles it but I’ll always be there to help.” Dr. Fullard nodded silently while making notes.

May 1st, 2024 – Wednesday

Garrick was informed that the widow Imelda Zarovsky passed away that morning. Janosh informs him she left her estate and wealth to Garrick. It is noted in the autopsy that she had an odd physical abnormality – her teeth were sharper and more pointed than a normal human’s, but otherwise she seemed to have died of old age. No foul play is suspected. In dealing with her estate and personal effects Garrick discovers that she destroyed much of her personal history, though enough of it was left behind to suggest her and her late husband Emil weren’t human, but were instead aliens known as Erishik Dopplegangers who were trying to hide on Earth and live peaceful lives, defying all preconceived notions of their race. This evidence is inconclusive, and raises more questions than it answers, but that’s where that story seems to end.

Garrick makes this the house where he comes to think and wants to be alone. Over time it becomes equipped with robotic assistants he designs with A.R.C.H.I.E.’s manufacturing capabilities. The S.A.V.I.O.R. A.I. begins calling him “The Idea Man” for a nickname. Time will tell how such a friendship will affect the world.

May 10th, 2024 – Friday, after 10 PM

Public opinion of S.A.V.I.O.R. had been on a serious upswing. The “take no survivor” methods of S.A.V.I.O.R. seemed to really resonate with many folks. The Everyman was STILL experiencing a media backlash from the general public. Crime was starting to curtail given S.A.V.I.O.R.’s confirmed win and destruction of Synistry. Scream Queen being the only surviving member and stuck in Gramercy Island for the foreseeable future. Papa Zombie had eluded capture and was at large but keeping a low profile for the time being.

Garrick and Katherine had just left Constance’s place in Xenophan. Both Ameera and her had moved back to their homes last week since the security measures were finished that Amanda had ordered. All of them had a family dinner while Shorty #5, Sherman Faulkner, was off on a Worlds Online – Gizergleam Peaks raid with Horace. Before his departure that night Constance reminded him that his new Gel-Matrix brain had worked in the robot A.I. they had been testing on with flying colors. Should things go well production use could start as soon as Spring of 2025. When she asked him about the project name he smiled and told her he’d picked up on the word Nexus from all the talks of magic and ley lines. He liked the confluence of ideas it had suggested to him when he thought about it. Ashmadiel made a great project name because no one would guess it or the true friend and partner it obfuscated. He mentioned to Constance about talking with Amanda regarding making a miniature version for human subjects, especially those using cybernetics. Amanda thought it had merit and would run focus groups to check on market viability. Constance mentioned she’d help in any way she could.

Gryphon and Miss Amazing had just arrived in the air above Norwood and tapped their comm units. Gryphon informed A.R.C.H.I.E. & S.T.E.V.E. that they were on shift and would start working the southern half of Brisby that night, barring any emergency calls. Their optimistic replies made Gryphon chuckle, as he thanked them and began his patrol with Miss Amazing. Calling into each precinct as the A.I.s informed them when they crossed jurisdictional boundaries. A group of sirens could be heard in the distance alongside the crack of gunfire. “Duty Calls! Onward!” rang out Ashmadiel’s voice his head as he grinned at his partner and flew off!

Art by: AZ_Artisan
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Changing Direction

Changing Direction

You have one new voicemail, if you would lik…


It’s Me.




I owe you the BEER.


I’ve decided to leave SAVIOR. Is the offer still available Unicorn?

Yes…as long as you stop calling me Unicorn…

Yeah, sorry, it’s kind of who I am, I’m striving to be less of a fucker like that. Besides, Sphinx and Succubus both thought it was funny, although they are good at hiding it…

Manticore and Dragonel both ruffle a bit at the revelation.

I see the intel and reports on you are true…knowing all the secrets…that would fit nice with us, besides…I’ve seen some of your training and exploits in your heavily redacted file. We could use some your leadership and tactical experience. Sometimes control by committee doesn’t work so well for us. Also, another little “trick” of yours could REALLY help us to root out jealousy, anger,suspicion or betrayal between us.

Yeah, those “tricks” eventually helped to mend some wounds in SAVIOR. So, will the Big Bosses won’t have any issues?

No, we’ve operated with a good amount of autonomy that you’re familiar with…if I’ve “read between the lines’ on your dossier correctly…So, Welcome to The Sector Squad, Black Phantom?

Yeah, I’m in. Also, just to simplify things, I’ll just be known as Phantom from now on. Seems to fit with the group dynamic better.

So, who’s got the beer?

In the Shadows

In the Shadows

The following was posted anonymously to all social media outlets and left on major media outlet message boards.

We may work in the shadows, but we don’t try to control the world from the shadows, we try to protect it.

Why, you may ask, do we work in the dark? Yes, light is the best disinfectant and it does a good job of combating evil. But it does not kill all.

When you turn the light on in your kitchen, you see the rats and roaches scattering for the safety of the dark and you can take care of a few of them, but the most escape back to the safety of the dark.

If you work in the dark, you can get rats and roaches before they scatter for safety. How can they find safety, when you are in their realm, in their world, in their safe zone…

We’ve had the light shined on us as well and while it hurt us, it did not kill us. We are a resilient species for combating evil.

We accept our role and fate, we have to work in the dark. That is where you find true evil. While we may never fully eradicate the evil, we can at least keep it from infecting the light.

So, the next time you stare into the shadows, true evil may be staring back at you, but feel comfort knowing that it may just be us in it’s place, keeping true evil from leaving the shadows and infecting the light.


BEER for all.

Mostly Dead

Mostly Dead

Haha those fools. Look at them all crying there. This scene was getting boring. So I needed to make an exit. I had snake person take all my equipment and my ship and hide it. I made an apparatus that would clone me while I was unconscious that way I would not know which of us was the original. Then I tricked the other me into drawing the short straw. He was the one who had to get the bombs implanted. I planted them inside his torso and made sure to minimize any pain. We put an injector inside and the plan was set. I went to test myself after this was done to see if I was the original. Then we inn-acted our plan. It went fantastically there were tear works, a funeral, and a statue. I watched from the distance. I already grabbed my favorite Shorty and he was waiting on the ship. Autumn took some convincing through a dart gun, but she will come around once she wakes on the other side of the galaxy. All I needed to do was grab my sister. I had Shorty, do one of his prank calls. He is pretty good at them. It drew her into the bedroom where I appeared. “Hey sis, are you ready to go?” That’s all it took. She followed me into the portal and we were on our way. Pawnchy, Snake Person, Shorty, Autumn, Ethel, and I would have the adventure we were meant to from the start. See you around suckers.

Horsin’ Around

Horsin’ Around

Things after the big clone fight settled down. I finally got back to doing what I like to do best. Hanging out with grandma and eating all her cookies! Life is good now. I got two of my favors done. I just have one more to find another superhero person to ask for more powers too. Should be a piece of cake! I am just gonna see if George knows someone. I think he should, or maybe the dealer would be interested in giving him some powers. I hear he was kind of a big deal. I mean his paintings are great and all, but I don’t know. Maybe its his likeable personality. Things are looking up it would seem, but I still haven’t heard from Walter. I sure miss him. I bet he’s off having lots of fun. Any how so Victor is in AA now. He told me not to tell anyone, but he says he wants to be a good spokesman. I just hope it doesn’t make him boring. I mean he did clear out the fridge. So there is that. I have a secret stash of wine in a box from Grandma. She said she probably couldn’t drink her closet full anyway before she died. So I took a few. Anyhow I’ve been taking up surfing. A shark tried to eat me, but he couldn’t bite me. He kinda just gnawed awkwardly for a bit. Then looked at me all weird like. I opened his mouth and pushed him away. I see him every now and then. He keeps trying, but I think lately he has given up. Someone said they were surprised shark attacks have been so low down here lately. I don’t know what they are talking about because like it was happening all the time to me. They gave up after a while, but yeah it was pretty often for like a month straight. So that’s my life, fun as ever. I still punch the occasional bad guy, but I guess the homeless people have been spreading my story of how I threw that can into the wall. So now people are afraid. Its kinda like that gum wall in Seattle, but its just a can in the wall in Florida. People take pictures and liken it to the other story of legend I learned about, the sword in the stone. I’ve really been into those lately ever since I learned of the fountain of youth. Victor said we could go search the Everglades next week so we will be doing that. Arcana did end up dying, but I guess I was just meant to protect her from the time travelers so I still won. Anyhow Grandma’s cookies are ready. Gotta go!
C.F.M. – Computer F’ing Magic

C.F.M. – Computer F’ing Magic

April 9th, 2024 – Tuesday: 10 PM

Gryphon stood on top corner of the U.S. “Alien Staging Warehouse” for off-world removal of all non Covenant approved items. Located in Silver City Sub-District, where the future was reset to ambiguity once again. Over nine hours of clean-up, C.S. Police, Fire, Emergency Medical Services, the Coast Guard, and every single news outlet in Century Station.

He had come up on the roof when his call to the Giving Tree had been overheard and broadcast live over news stations, Facebook, and Twitter. He had the Giving Tree’s director put him on speaker for everyone and he had been apologizing to all the kids that he couldn’t show up tonight because he had helped his team stop the city from being overrun by clones of a dead superhero. He had spent several minutes calling out to individual kids to make sure they knew how sorry he was for missing Tuesday dinner. When he realized his conversation wasn’t private he put his phone on video and the center director did the same. He put the kids on T.V. and everyone could see how much the Knight of Norwood still cared about his roots.

Miss Amazing had broken away from the throng of reporters and made sure she rebroadcast the final minutes of Gryphon working on the computer as the clones and the tanks were being destroyed around him. It captured his destruction of the rogue A.I. called Thanatos, she was also able to record the explosion sound from just off shore. She spoke with Ameera and Constance about how Gryphon’s computer skills may have saved everyone. Constance mentioned that Amanda would be please to know Gryphon saved the city by science and his know how, as opposed to hitting it with a magic sword. Constance also informed everyone she put in a request with Amanda to give Garrick the day off tomorrow. Ameera squealed with joy that she’d have him for the full day.

While all of this was happening several of the news crews flying offshore are reporting the explosion may have been part of Synistry’s headquarters! Live reports by helicopters braving the area with the Coast Guard shows countless bodies floating, the most notable was the body of Obelisk. Within minutes the airwaves and the Internet are beginning to report that S.A.V.I.O.R. may have killed Synistry! The clip of Gryphon engaging in what seems like boring, but very fast code writing, quickly gets replayed. When news crews and spotlights began to shine and people clamoring for a comment Gryphon took off his helm and replied, “If it wasn’t for my team doing what they did I could not have done what I did. They’re the heroes! I just did some computer ‘effing magic at the right time.” He paused briefly, “Oh, and to miss Eliza Gunn of Channel 9, I’d like to give you an exclusive interview in the next few days. Good night everyone.”

With that he looks off back towards the sky as some news crews with good directional microphones pick up, “I hope I’ve made you proud dad, say hi to mom for me.”

Ashmadiel chimed in with a warm feeling of pride, “I was right to trust in you Garrick Faulkner. What’s more is you did this act of defeating Synistry without me, you get to own that moment of heroics yourself. Do not seek my separation further, I wish to be your partner as long as you wish it.”

With a flash everyone on ground saw the golden light surround Gryphon and make the translucent shape of the mythological creature he bears as his moniker. as he bid farewell and headed back to the Century Plaza Tower.

Art by: AZ_Artisan
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Bebe Responsablemente

Bebe Responsablemente

Drink Responsibly


This story, as all others by me, Victor Valenzuela, is brought to you by Tecate®. Tecate® Beer: We Are Bold!

Commercial opens on Victor Valenzuela, wearing his S.A.V.I.O.R. uniform, in an open field.

Hello, it is I, Victor Valenzuela, aka Rubber Band Man of S.A.V.I.O.R., and I have an important message for you today.

Showing Victor walking across the field.

All of you know that I love the best beer in the world, Tecate®! Do you know the best way to truly Be Bold? It is to drink Tecate® responsibly!

Showing Victor getting into a cab.

So Be Truly Bold! Be Responsible!

End commercial


Below is the commercial Victor wanted to film instead.