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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4 Replies to “They Say Time Heals All Wounds”

  1. A very nice epilogue, typing up a lot of The Gryphon’s story while still leaving plenty of promise for the future!

  2. I was happy laying the ground work for the “Nexus” in Frac-Tal Hrix and becoming the first “Idea Man” in reference to the Archie relationship from Rifts with Hagan.

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