After War Everyone Has An Opinion

After War Everyone Has An Opinion

3rd of September 2019 – Tuesday

Tomorrow would be the month anniversary of being released and things had been looking up. Garrick could not believe after everything that had fallen apart in his life, with a big chunk being his own catastrophic handling of grief. That his late father’s business partners, the Zarovsky family would have quietly helped him out of a gutter awaiting him on a lonely street in Brisby Flats. Garrick reached over and turned on the radiant heating elements in the concrete flooring. Living in a coastal city still meant some wicked temperature changes depending on the wind from the sea. In 10 minutes the concrete floor felt as warm as daylight outside.

This building was huge and NO windows of ANY kind. Luckily when they built it they installed two critical systems alongside the kevlar and carbon fiber reinforced rebar concrete: radiant heating in all floors, and tons of lighting options. From what the lawyer the Zarovsky family had paid to act as Garrick’s legal defense until his parole was up had told him, the building housed two divisions of a parent company at one point. They just gave up on the location when crime had gotten bad in the wake of the Daedalus Project being scrapped. Garrick remembered Mr. Klaussowski the III well since he represented him at his trial when he was sentenced to Gramercy. He was also the only person to visit him during the time of his stay there. He was one of the only ways to pass messages to the Zarovsky family because publicly they had severed all ties with him. A life savings account had been set up in his name in the amount of $50,000 dollars of which $36,000 had been paid to retain Mr. Klaussowski the III and handle any parole issues until the three year probation was up.

Power was currently active to the smaller third of the building and he was shown last month’s utility bills which prompted him to shut the power completely off to the larger side but pay the maintenance fee monthly in case he needed it turned back on for any reason. 6 extension cords ran from wall sockets to a small set of furniture in the middle of the second floor. When Mr. Klaussowski the III or Janosh as he soon revealed to Garrick after his release tried to apologize for a lack of better accommodations. He was asked for a marker, and when he handed it to Garrick the lawyer saw him trace a rectangle on the floor, then a smaller rectangle, a circle, and an oval within it. Garrick tossed him back the marker and stood in the smaller rectangle.

“This was the size of my cell, this area I am standing in was the two tier concrete slab constructed bunk bed. Those are the sink and toilet. This 6 feet by 8 feet was my whole world and you are apologizing because my ‘free’ furniture happens to take up roughly 20 by 30 feet of space? Not TO MENTION THIS ECHO! Because I have been graced with a home the size of a whole prison wing! I am not on the street and I have money to start a new life! Please, either explain to me why you should be apologizing, when I thought I was going to leave that hell hole in a Waingroh Sunset. Or stop, because I still am waiting to wake up and find out this is a dream!” Janosh smiled and made a note to share that Mr. Faulkner had managed to retain his civility and graciousness after all.

Janosh explained the rules:

  • Do not go to Society Hill unless it is for work. Do not accept a job in Victoria Beach or go there for any reason. If you must visit the ‘Facility’ do so from a dock or beach in Garden Valley.
  • Any and all contact with the Zarovsky family is to be done from lawyer to lawyer. The ‘Widow’ has high hopes you will rise from these ashes and make something of yourself once more. Until such time there will be no direct contact between either party.
  • The property tax has been paid for the year, if you can’t find a way to make the building make yourself money then contact me in July of next year and I will help you find a buyer to sell it.
  • The utilities for just about half the total power consumption of the building has been paid in advance for the year. If you use less power then think of it as a credit on the Hellion L&P account which is in your name. If you use more then that year may get much shorter. If I need to help you with this just let me know.
  • You are required to go to three therapy sessions as a part of your parole. Despite the Truck you have been given I am going to be driving you there and back to make sure a witness can attest for any parole related needs.

Despite running very low on food he had been hearing about an organization that might be able to help him out. It was called the Giving Tree, and he had begun donating time there and asking for places some of the “guys” at his manufacturing job might go if they needed help with food. They gave him contacts and locations along with making introductions when possible. Garrick in turn made sure to make Tuesday night a priority to be there as a way to say thanks even though his story was that it was always for a fellow co-worker.

It had been nearly a year and frankly freedom was beginning to feel like six days in the hole. Garrick had stopped sleeping on his bed and kept the strangest of hours, cleaning himself up really well only once a week for his trip to the Giving Tree. He was scraping buy because he was scared to try and touch the $14,000 left in savings between September of 2019 and March of 2020 he lived on a mere $2,000 for everything. Had that truck not been converted to run on Mineral water he would be much lower in the hole when it came to money. All the tune ups he got covered by letting Janosh enter his truck in car shows and keeping any of the award money for prizes it might win in land based vehicle categories.

9th of March 2020 – Monday

Mallic Robotics Logo Garrick checked his email after getting up from the floor next to his bed. The nightmares about prison were an on again and off again factor he did not seem to have control over but the last two nights he couldn’t remember them. He knew from the sweat drench blanket and clothes that he had most definitely had them. Last week he had almost broken his fist punching a support column before the pain woken him up and he realized his attacker wasn’t real and he had already taken care of him in prison a few years ago.

He had spent the first two months of 2020 trying to rent out the larger portion of the building as warehouse, office space, or both. Today, however, he had been contacted back by his 49th inquiry, Mallic Robotics. They were interested in meeting about the facility and could spare time at 11 AM. Checking his phone he had roughly three hours to get ready. Quickly he responded that he would meet them and how to arrive by highway access and then surface streets. He called Janosh and told him he needed a suit, any suit, and why. Janosh had a mailroom intern from his office deliver it about an hour before the prospective tenants arrived. The mailroom clerk also provided him with paperwork necessary to give them to fill out if they decided to go further with the offer Garrick had worked up to under cut the other buildings in the area and make some money to live on and pay the Zarovsky family back even when he was not legally obligated to do so.

Brandon Mallic was an enormous 6ft. 5in. tall compared to his sister Constance Mallic whom was 5ft. 6in. tall and bookworm thin. Apparently, his bionics were being maintained by his sister. She had created some custom joints that had revolutionized his range of motion to beyond the scope of human norms! He had contacts in the movies as he had done some stunt work and small roles in action movies. When he showed off what his sister could create they got partnered with a company looking to create a small robot army and futuristic environment for an upcoming movie! They needed a place quick to begin production and with a pinch of luck make a name for themselves in the robotics industry. Garrick handed them the property sheet and comparative pricing sheets from adjacent properties in the area. Then he made the gamble that changed his life.

“Look, I know of a way to knock the rent down from 2 million for the year to say 1.4 million and get you an eight percent tax break incentive if you agree to be my tenants.”

Both siblings looked at each other stunned and turned back with glances for Garrick to continue, “While I did not serve, thank you for doing so, the tattoo above your bionics says you were 82nd Airborne. One of my teachers at Copernicus University was a former member. You could say I am going to try and make the deal irresistible and go “All the way” and “Death from Above” style. Now I am willing to just cut the rent from 2 million a year to 1.4 million because it meets all my needs and then some. If you let me have the security deposit in furniture the film doesn’t destroy in this sci-fi fantasy blockbuster I can waive that as well. Now the tax credit has some strings to it, but when didn’t the government have strings on strings?”

Brandon laughed.

“As you will read in the information packet I was in Gramercy for three years and survived, got out and I am on parole. So my service “as it were” was no less dangerous than front line warfare. You take all the time you need to vet me and the building. However, the tax credit comes from employing a felon. I might add to apply all you need is one felon. In that information packet is my 1st Masters thesis on Robotic A.I. integration procedures, and my 2nd Masters degree thesis on Bio-Dome Engineering which means I am a subject matter expert on designing habitable environments on other worlds. If you’re willing to hire me I can assure you of no conflict of interest by putting the managing of the building into a blind trust with a 3rd party management company. All I would be is a point of contact if there were issues to be solved. Well, there it is – All the way.”

They nodded and Brandon asked him if he could call him Gary or Rick. Garrick told him he could call him anything he wanted except late for dinner if he hired him. Soon the topics were more about his adjustment to life outside and how it compared to life out of the U.S. Army. Then on Sunday the 15th of March Brandon contacted him to let him know they had signed the papers for the lease and just sent them over to his lawyer. Garrick apologized for coughing except he was really trying not to choke on his excitement! Constance then got on the call and said they could afford $50,000 a year to start for him as infrastructure developer. If the movie did well at the box office then they could bump it up to $66,000 with a healthy benefits package. All Garrick asked was when do they start and he got the reply, tomorrow.

Brandon told him when he came home from the conflict in Romania with bionic parts a lot of people looked at him the way felons get treated. He told “Gary” that he saw someone that wanted his life back and was willing to do what it took to get it. People always have opinions when they are not in the thick of war. No one cares about what the men and women in the pit go through when they come back and if “Gary” was willing to have faith in him, then the least he could do was return the favor. With that and the two sequels that movie franchise made gave Mallic Robotics it’s start making the parts other companies used to make their robots.




Art by: AZ_Artisan


6 Replies to “After War Everyone Has An Opinion”

    1. You know what I’ll let you come up with the Sci-Fi Blockbuster Movie Titles for the “unnamed” trilogy. If you do I will draw the movie poster for the first one.

  1. The Autonomous Robot Swords for the Trilogy- from the very underrated Screamers movie
    Each movie can be named after the featured robot- Kronos, Hector, and Proteus.

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