A Valuable Life Lesson

A Valuable Life Lesson

February 6th, 2024 – Tuesday: 3:30 AM

Miss Amazing was at the Giving Tree. A worker introduced herself as, Ramona, one of the two night nurses on staff there. She had been on her lunch hour when Miss Amazing showed up with five families in tow behind her. Soon the whole staff was up and finding emergency space in the gym. Security staff was at the entrances watching for aggressive response. The assistant director came up and asked her what happened.


This was her and the Gryphon’s first night patrolling into Waingroh. It didn’t take them long to realize the difference in a sub-district and one written off as a Dreadzone! They came across a seven story apartment building being attacked by a large street gang looking for a place to own and rise to color punk status.

There were still five families hiding on the rooftop. Gryphon asked her leap them over to an adjacent building farther back where they could begin making their way to the Giving Tree. Gryphon moved in with his sword shooting fire and swinging! The first gang member got knocked straight off the roof as his stolen LSAT light machine gun rattled bullets at Gryphon’s dark blue and gold armor. His long coat buttoned around his neck waving in night air not unlike a cape. The helm with its eagle shaped faceplate was the last thing some of these guys saw. After her fourth trip of three (carry two and one on her back) she saw he had contained them to the roof access door. Her fifth trip he was hammer tossing one gang member into another one trying the fire escape and both went back over the edge.

WHAM WHAM WHAM WHAM!!!

This had allowed the gang members time to retake the doorway to the roof access! Small arms fire and A ROCKET LAUNCHER just slammed into Gryphon! The kids had been recording on their phones hiding behind various air conditioning units with adults whom had also had there phones out as well. “GRYPHON!!!” Miss Amazing screamed, pausing a couple seconds that seemed like an eternity! Floating forward through the smoke was a form and a fireball fired from its wicked looking barbed sword! “It will take more than that to stop the Gryphon!”

He turned and dipped his helm in Miss Amazing and the remaining innocents’ direction. Following that he cut the rocket launcher in half straight down the tube just as it got loaded creating another explosion! She took her fifth load and was genuinely nervous he wouldn’t be there when she returned. Her sixth trip it looked like they might win over the gang but his armor was looking ragged and several pieces were just missing! On her seventh trip for the final two adults they pleaded with her to look for their little baby girl in the apartment numbered: 7F.

She turned and told them to wait as she went to try and tell Gryphon. Just as she made it to him she was smashed by half a rocket launcher from a hulking rage roided gang banger ripping through the wall! Gryphon flew to her aid and pleaded with Ashmadiel to heal her so she could save the last two. The sword chided Garrick. “She is unworthy of the power.“I’m okay,” she said to Garrick as she came back to her senses. That’s when he noticed the slight aura around her. “I turned the belt on in time.” Suddenly she remembered about the baby in 7F and screamed that at him! With that she left with the last two adults! He lifted his opponent overhead, flew up, then into the building using the raged out thug as battering ram to get down to the seventh floor!


The assistant director left Miss Amazing sitting at the picnic table while one of the workers was tending to her bleeding wounds, Ramona, right? Oww!” She grips the table leaving slight indentations on the plastic-covered metal.

Yes, I’m almost done with the spray and glue, when I use the needle you’re going to have to not wiggle. I will warn you though.

“Don’t the families need this more than me?”

Enrique, my brother, over there works as an EMT and helps out a number of clinics and shelters like ours on his days off. Besides, if it wasn’t for Garrick from Mallic Robotics, and many other donors like him we wouldn’t have the surplus money to pay for emergencies like this. You got hit by a rocket launcher saving people. You don’t get paid and you just asked about the welfare of other people, you’re a hero now let me help you!

Miss Amazing had never been spoken to ‘quite’ like that before, “Okay, okay.” Then it hit her this lady called Garrick by name! “Well, that Garrick sounds great! Is he a friend of yours?”

I suppose so, he’s been volunteering here for over three years! I’ve known him in passing for the last year. Aside from the time he was working on a movie in California he’s here every Tuesday. The kids love him and you’d have to be stupid not to see why. When he talks to you his words make you feel better. Just last week I saw how much he’d been working out! I managed to get him to agree to dinner and perhaps a movie. He’s descended from a famous poet and writer, he’s so nice I just have to play my cards right,” she crossed her fingers then handed Miss Amazing a mouth guard telling her to bite down as she got the needle ready. Miss Amazing didn’t have it in her to tell the woman that ship had sailed. Well, not without ‘outing’ Garrick to her.

Where was he? Why and how did he keep attracting every woman he talked to? Ramona was good at sewing people up that’s for certain. First Patsy “Indiana Jones” Palmer and now Ramona the hot Latina Nurse! OMG! Did Garrick think the two of them were “friends with benefits?” Where was he? She had said they were not a “one and done” thing, but she realized she never called him her boyfriend directly! Where was he? Was he dead? Where was he? Did she send him into something to dangerous? Where was he?

4 AM rolled around the center hid her from a patrol officer. 25 minutes later everyone began clamoring outside to the sound of a crying baby! Slowly descending from above was the Gryphon. His left arm was cradling a baby and his right was wrapped around his back. A crowd around Miss Amazing began to form with the baby’s parents pushing through. A few inches off the ground he bent down and handed the baby over. He spoke perfect Spanish telling the parents, “Moriría antes de que le fallara a tu hijo.” Miss Amazing’s first thought was “smooth” and then she realized he was doing it again! She saw every Cuban woman in the crowd look at Gryphon either wanting him or wishing they were younger!

Then, Enrique, her nurse’s brother approached his side and help a young black woman dressed like a prostitute off his back! The woman’s right leg was mangled! He knelt by her as the assistant director came over to help carry her. Miss Amazing and everyone that could hear, listened as Gryphon told the young woman if her leg couldn’t be saved he would talk to a close friend that built one before. The leg would cost her nothing if she needed it. She told Enrique that one of the gang members fell on her and broke her leg. Then exploding out of a window on the seventh floor Gryphon emerged and heard her cry for help. She and every woman there looked at Gryphon and the now young woman spoke, “He said he would save me.” She began to cry as she was carried inside. Miss Amazing got close enough to see Gryphon up close. Blood was dried on his arms, his long coat was tattered and torn, his armor was riddled with holes and streams of dried blood. His whole left side looked as though he’d been in hellfire!

Charred and wrecked he attempted to straighten himself grunting and spoke, “Good and gentle folk of the Giving Tree, I am in all of your debt for helping these families see tomorrow,” with a nod to Miss Amazing, “and rebuild their lives. Miss Amazing deserves so much more credit than I, for she navigated their path to freedom. Please hold her in your thoughts and prayers.” Miss Amazing felt hands laying on her and active prayers were being whispered as the Gryphon went on, “Were it not for our team bringing us together it would have just been me and I don’t think I could have done it alone. The rest of the team is handling other issues in the city tonight but rest assured we always strive to be Swift Interceptors of trouble before it gets out of hand. Everything Miss Amazing and I did tonight,” he begins walking around ignoring any attempt to give him medical aid and shaking the Giving Tree workers hands, “pales to the real heroics of those that will help these families find their path after tonight. You all are my heroes and I need you to know that.”

Miss Amazing noticed he had stopped with his last hand shake on Ramona whom was clearly smitten with his hero persona as well now, fucking great! Miss Amazing smiled at him and whispered in his mind it was now 4:45 AM. Gryphon nodded and they said their good byes before heading off into the night sky. Using the wireless com units they decided on the long way home in case the patrol officer was nearby. It was 5:12 AM when they landed on his roof. When he got inside he headed straight for the shower while Katherine pulls her mask off following him, perturbed by her worry about their relationship status, “How many women did you plan on dating?”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about but can this wait till later? Take from me the Might of the Gryphon,” as the golden mercury expands from no where and washes over him. Returning to his mortal form he stabs Ashmadiel into the floor as he collapses hanging onto the hilt! Blood begins to pool on the floor of his bathroom…

“…GARRICK!?” Katherine runs over as Optimus chimes in, “Garrick, if your vitals don’t improve in 60 seconds I will call EMS.”

Katherine almost pulls him off the sword, but with all his strength left he barely squeaks out, “Grant unto me the Might of the Gryphon.” He passes out as blood pours out his nose and mouth! Katherine feels she is watching him die as the golden mercury once again washes over this scarred and muscled form. Returning to 6’6″ and gaining back the 50 lbs for a total weight of 240 pounds. Garrick’s eyes begin to open as he coughs in his repaired outfit but no armor, “Woops.”

“Woops? I thought you were dying you sonofabitch!” she is holding him tightly as though she might loose him if she lets go, sitting in a pool of his blood.

“I may have miscalculated how injured I was but I had to save the girl. It was my actions that caused her leg to be broken.”

“You were bleeding out your mouth Care Garr! You were bleeding…” she is sobbing softly, “I do not approve of you dying! I don’t want to be alone you hear me. Goddammit, Garrick, we’re sitting in your blood!” Garrick looks around in his hero form and his outfit was restored, completely. “Well, this was a valuable life lesson. Ashmadiel, I think a neck torq would be grand please,” It explodes into golden mercury and transforms into the requested jewelry as it flies to his neck. He strips naked, “hand me your outfit and I will start the laundry so our outfits can be clean when everyone shows up. Katherine does so not wanting to argue anymore right now. Garrick returns walking much straighter and from the chest up he looks fine. Their shower this morning is nothing but her holding on to him and Garrick bathing the blood off them both as the roombas begin making many trips to slowly clean the spill of liquid and then sanitize the floor.

She was afraid to read his mind but she had to know what he felt. The flood of differing emotions from fear to elation at saving the baby was torrential! He remembered a quote of Benjamin E. Mays his father was fond of: The tragedy of life is often not in our failure, but rather in our complacency; not in our doing too much, but rather in our doing too little; not in our living above our ability, but rather in our living below our capacities. She had a clear view of how Garrick idolized his father and she saw that last night was the first time he thought he might make his father proud as a hero. Continuing to just read his surface thoughts she picks up on:

Fear that she might have been hurt following his request.
Happiness that she was able to get everyone to safety.
He was worried he was sending her into doom but if he had to trust Patsy to pursue her agenda as an adult, then he owed his partner the same courtesy as a minimum!
He was grateful for her.
A wave of gratitude and a feeling of debt that could never be repaid. She had shown him love was indeed a possibility he could have after his forced, sexual-awakening in prison. Miss Amazing realized that Garrick did not “yet” conceptualize a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship!
He thought it was a kind, tender bit of pity being taken upon him!
He was uncertain if being so new if he was making her happy?
He thought about her question, why did she think he was dating anyone?
Obviously he wasn’t as broken as he thought but he has no idea how to be in love with one person or many people.
Was polyamory something heroes did to avoid loosing all the people they cared about?
Could you even have a relationship with a non-hero if you had to lie all the time?
Did you have a non-hero partner and then a Hero partner?
What if the non-hero partner found out did you all live together then? Wait, wait he thought, yep that was a superhero porno he’d seen clearly not how a real relationship would work. Ecchi, Otaku, pervert.
Did he say something inappropriate?
He was just trying hard to treat women and everyone else the way his father had done.
Katherine must think he’s an idiot.
He was mentally preparing himself for the day she got tired of him and moved on!
He just assumed that he was not enough to make her happy, god she’s so beautiful he thought.
He felt bad about making her upset and cry
He kept repeating he had to be stronger.
He began to tremble on an emotional and mental level…
…what if caring for someone only put them in harm’s way? Lying about secret identities, Super villains taking advantage of them, and going to jail for aiding and facilitation of Maverick vigilantism.
He was so thankful she has to stare at someone intently to read their mind, or she’d leave him in an instant for being such a normal. He had to be strong for her, “Please God don’t me let me fuck this up for both of their sakes.” When she heard ‘both’ she caught an image of someone’s face alongside her’s that had long hair. Patsy or Ramona it was so quick.

At 5:48 AM Katherine is quietly looking at Garrick and realizing that when it came to relationships he was emotionally younger than 27. Since Patsy couldn’t read minds and was dealing with her own craziness then she had the advantage. He genuinely was not trying to cheat on anyone, because he didn’t think he was truly with anyone. His default thought was that he was inferior and incapable of being emotionally available for a partner. Katherine wanted to pull her hair out because he was actually wrong, she was thrilled with him!

He was wearing clothing by Under Armor that deliberately hid any remaining injuries. She could not shake the sight of him bleeding out. So the damage in hero form was not proportionally transferred to his normal form. He had taken to much to survive the transition back. What did she have to do to make sure he thought of her as his girlfriend? She wondered if she had not sent him after the child perhaps he would not be on the verge of death.

Then a little after 6 AM Garrick was interacting with everyone as though nothing had happened to him. Scanning him briefly he had decided tooting his horn would be gauche, and not very heroic. Also a barrage of thoughts to correct his posture and tough it out until healing finished. Katherine was irritated because she felt the Geist needed to know, so she began texting him about last night. Especially, Gryphon’s speech about being ‘Swift Interceptors’ of trouble. He might want to disguise himself and go to the Giving Tree when he had time to hear about it himself. She also tells him how close to death he came and the drastic change when he changed back before healing. When she heard Wayfarer mentioned Patsy was in danger she didn’t need to read his mind to know that if he’d risk his life for a complete stranger he accidentally hurt, then he would die for someone he knew. Her heart ached a little that she wasn’t the damsel right now but thinking back to their meeting the other night, she was so glad she wasn’t that woman right now.

 


Art by: AZ_Artisan

 

4 Replies to “A Valuable Life Lesson”

  1. My Spanish is rusty, but is not the proper translation
    Moriría antes de que le fallara a tu hijo
    Like I said,rusty, but curious.
    Garrick just keeps pushing over the line- I worry about him

    1. I fixed the Spanish translation.
      Garrick is still learning about the full capacity of some of his powers.
      I’ll leave you with this nugget on how I approach him as a PC: If you want to be a main character then act like one. 🙂

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