It Should Have Killed Him

It Should Have Killed Him

March 27th, 2024 – Wednesday: After 3 AM, somewhere above Brisby Flats

Zeau was flying back to S.A.V.I.O.R.’s secret base in the Zericho sub-district. Gryphon had his faculties return after the blast, “Umm, is everyone okay?”

“Yes, had you not performed so well, the death toll would be much higher and several team members would be dead,” Zeau replied very even toned. He continued on, “Look, we need to make sure your brain is saved. I can’t stomach everyone if the collective intellect isn’t going to get much better.” Yep, Zeau seemed to have come through unscathed.

Gryphon felt his phone going crazy and he pulled it out since he didn’t have to worry about flying for himself. He saw the tweet of the explosion and signed in from his account @GryphonKnight and hit like, then retweet with comment: Owww. That hurt, but by the grace of the Shining Legion I’m healing. Apparently this tweet was retweeted by Chimera and saved members of Valkyries and Dynosaurs from facing one of these robots self-destructing. A member of the Iron Brigade was not so lucky and is in the ICU with is power armor completely annihilated! There was TV interviews with Tecate Beer’s spokespeople: Victor Valenzuela and his faithful friend Hank, the mutant horse! Gryphon recognized Hank, and wondered if Victor was the Rubber-Man he saw helping? Then his phone began blowing up as video from someone with the visual perspective of a shop behind him when he grabbed the robot went viral.

“…This is what we signed up for!” then he flies up wrenching the robot along for the ride. From above out of frame you can hear the KABOOM! The glow from the explosion fills the area as all the windows explode and the video ends. In his head, Gryphon suddenly heard Ashmadiel say quietly, with pride, “What you did was very brave Garrick Faulkner.” Internally, he replied, “This is what I promised I would do.” In his mind he could see Ashmadiel nodding with warm approval and admiration.

The video from the shop continues but pictures of all the heroes present begin making the rounds! The Tecate Twosome had their interviews and then began posing for photos as various spots where the battle happened. Occasionally, you could hear MC Hammer playing in the background from somewhere. Soon there was video of portions of the fight, from multiple angles! Many people were talking about how S.A.V.I.O.R. had been the last team to engage but the first to finish off their group of five.

He put his phone away as Zeau tells Cavalry over comm untis that they are coming in the jet entrance since he’s flying. The hidden doors opens and Zeau whisks inside and slows back down. Zeau helped him to the medical bay and handed him a classic gown to put on. When he was done and in the bed he brought him a blanket from a cabinet. A.R.C.H.I.E., the base artificial intelligence, explained he would monitor him and then update people as needed. Gryphon made him promise to wake him up by 8 AM so he could go to work.

After some time resting he awoke to a rain of kisses, opening his eyes to his blue haired beauty, Miss Amazing. “Oh my god your alive! Thank the maker!”

Coughing as Gryphon was still very sore, “Thank Ashmadiel, my guardian angel.” He patted the piece of armor on his right forearm. Katherine noticed he had a few EKG stickers on him that were blinking but nothing was penetrating his skin nor wired to anything else. A.R.C.H.I.E. informed her he has been healing rather actively, and she saw the panel that showed the readout of the sensor stickers. Katherine explained her panic when Geist and she saw the video with Arcadia. The aforementioned Atorian ex-empress was sitting in the community center with a nurse waiting for Katherine to see to her favored concubine. When Gryphon laughed his ribs hurt. The Geist stopped in at this point and remarked how brave Gryphon had acted. Gryphon replied, “Given everything tonight has brought, can you ask the next catastrophe to wait a few days?” The Geist laughed and said he’d see what he could do.

The Geist and Miss Amazing left as Gryphon laid his head back down and shut his eyes. A.R.C.H.I.E. had been making calculations based on data from visual inspection from the cameras. Mentioning that the blast should have killed him, Black Phantom, Covenant, Hank, the mutant Horse-Man and Tecate spokesperson. Then it would have leveled every building nearby killing anyone inside. It took Geist another five solid minutes to convince Miss Amazing to let Gryphon rest and go back with him and Arcadia.

March 27th, 2024 – Wednesday: After 8 AM

Shorty #5 was still at the base and had taken the day off. He was the first person Gryphon saw when he woke up from A.R.C.H.I.E.’s gentle prodding to get up. “Hey buddy, great to see you,” Gryphon said.

“Umm, yeah with Jake gone. I’m going to have to go back to high school. Oh an this suit will need updates and repairs. Please don’t leave me as well,” Shorty #5’s plea made Gryphon sit up.

“Aww, Buddy, I can call the school, I am going to let them know your grandfather died. Take the week off and let the others know. You all need sometime.”

Shorty wondered if Gryphon noticed he’d been lying about going to high school, “We had all been getting home schooled at Jake’s house. #1 still lives with Ethel, but can the other one come back for a bit?”

“Of course he can. I’ll talk to Geist about finding him a home. Then I’ll talk to him about training you if that’s what you still want?”

“Umm, yeah I want that. If Geist wants me to stay with him to train me then the other one can have my room?”

Gryphon nodded, “That’s certainly an option to look into. Great idea buddy!”

Gryphon reminded him to start packing for moving day on the 1st of April to Jenga Tower. Shorty #5 nodded and said he would be ready. Gryphon asked A.R.C.H.I.E. to show Shorty any games with educational undertones needed for hero work. Gryphon got dressed and took his truck to CF Robotics. He walked in the front door and asked for Amanda Surges since today was his first day as CEO.

Gryphon met with Amanda Surges and explained to her what happened with Jake and the new ownership of C.F. Robotics. Explaining that he is working on going public with his identity since he is a member of S.A.V.O.I.R, the group Jake consulted for. That CF Robotics was named for his father. He’s going to change it to just Faulkner Robotics. The company will be merging with Mallic Robotics under the corporation of Mallic-Faulkner Technologies.

Garrick the dreamer began to talk shop (still transformed as the Gryphon’s body), “Want build a laser to shoot an Atorian space cruiser? Do it and let Jim [Reader’s note: Jim is “Starbuck’s Guy”] make that government contract happen. Humanitarian project: figure out security measures for real world and online situations that publicly known Heroes can use to safeguard them and their families. Use the laser to cover the cost of the security developments and we solve Mayor Zardona’s issue with Mavericks coming forward. Use me as the test case.”

Garrick continued, “Want to build a futuristic, robotic A.I. house for the snobs on the Hill? Fine, but figure out a way to make a smaller, affordable, version for low income families that’s modular. Then we can help the disenfranchised of the city become home owners once more.”

“Want to make a rugged combat Android? Fine, just make a medic version and send them to tech heavy towns to help fire, EMS, and police save lives or team members in situations that would kill a human.”

Amanda was initially pretty visually upset when this information was presented to her. She didn’t act out but didn’t really hide it either. Curiously, Gryphon’s usual charm had zero effect on her – if anything, it made things worse. Gryphon noticed all this but continued along, choosing not to address it. In short order she seemed to arrive at some conclusions, muttering things like “Oh, I see,” “It’s like that then,” and “I’ll show them.”

Her attitude flipped after that internal dialogue and she soon appeared very happy to move forward under Garrick/Gryphon’s direction. He asked her to have plans ready for three projects by next Monday. She can pick two humanitarian projects but one of the three had to be the hero security option. Seeing that it was almost 9:40 AM. He mentioned he had to head over to Mallic Robotics to discuss the merger with them. He gave her his card so she could reach him as needed. He left her with what he thought would be a good corporate motto: “Our success will be measured not just in control of markets of technology, but equally in what we give back to the communities we reside in.”

Arriving at 10:10 AM he parked where all the employees parked and came in the front door. Checking his phone, an email had gone out saying Garrick would be out today. He chuckled at the receptionist upon entering and said, “It’d take at least two robots to keep me down.” Dressed in a Mallic polo he kept in his truck for moments like this, tan jeans, black work boots. He headed upstairs to see Brandon and Constance.

To say they were surprised to see him was an understatement. Novia said she hold any calls as Garrick, in his Gryphon transformed body, walked in and gently shut the door. He tried to start with good news, “Hey, I saved the Hideyoshi Motors account! In shitty news from last night Jake Thompson, the Hero of Century Station, died stopping an alien invasion. Once that happened I became the CEO of CF Robotics! As the CEO I would like to propose a merger and create Mallic-Faulkner Technologies! Geez, I thought this would be better received news! You both look either mad or shocked, someone say something you’re both freaking me out. Constance, did you hit your head?”

Constance did have a small bandage on her head. Brandon explained that since Constance and Ameera both live in Xenophan. After Ameera called her regarding Gary’s teammate, they both met up to hit a bar that would be open late because neither of them could sleep. Luckily, their bar was not one of the ones that had been attacked, but as they were leaving the area. They saw saw Gary as Gryphon fly up with the robot and EXPLODE! Constance tried to keep walking when it happened and hit her head on a lamp post and fell down. Ameera called Brandon since Constance drove and has been with them ever since.

“I.. I don’t know what to say, I..” Garrick looked really lost for words as Constance, still saying nothing, came over and hugged him so hard and wouldn’t let go.

“This is why I didn’t want you to date her!”

“Shut it Brandon, he’s alive,” angrily murmured Constance.

“Aside from my anger about that, thank you for your service.” Brandon walked over and hugged them both. Garrick could not believe someone said that to him! He became acutely aware of the fact he may have saved Constance and Ameera’s lives last night unknowingly. Since he was at the center of the blast he really didn’t know how big it was. He shook his head and told them both, “I need you both to let go and let me breath.” As they did a look of concern crossed their faces when he continued, “Garrick in my normal body would have died. In this body of the Gryphon, I barely survived and I can’t change back for another 14 to 16 hours based on how I feel. If I do change back to soon, then all the damage this body can take gets shoved onto my normal body. I would still die right now. In this body I can actively heal just doing nothing, nor do I need rest of any kind. Despite that I still feel very sore in certain parts.”

Garrick pulls his shirt up and they can see the burns that are still healing. Tucking his shirt back in, “I have so many things to work on but if you want to thank me then help me merge CF Robotics, now called Faulkner Robotics with Mallic Robotics under a parent company called Mallic-Faulkner Technologies. Brandon I need you to become CEO and Chairman of the Board for M.F.T. Constance will become President of Mallic Robotics and you can train Pavek the Romainian kid to do sales in your place. I will change my title to President of Faulkner Robotics and then no one at either company is put out of work! What do you say?”

“I’m in, you could have totally screwed us, made us work for you, but you saved everything. Thank you, Garrick, don’t get used to it. Anything else?”

“I’m working out how to go public with my identity to honor Jake and what he did for me, but there are a lot more people involved in that conversation. Both of you among them, however, that can wait till after I move into the new home. I am requesting vacation time, barring emergencies, until after the move from here.”

“Consider it done,” Constance said and added, “I’ll let your old team know they are being absorbed into my team.”

“Thanks, Honey.”

Brandon made a gagging gesture as Constance smiled and everyone laughed.


2 Replies to “It Should Have Killed Him”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *