Workaholic

Workaholic

February 25th, 2024 – Sunday 5 PM

Katherine left the Norwood Knights’ house at 42 Wallaby Way a little surprised still at how much Garrick can woo a lady. Just when she thought the petals on the bloom of the relationship might be beginning to settle he pulls something like this. Sitting in the passenger seat of her smart ForTwo Car was a picture he had been working on during the week as part of his assignments for class. Turns out he made it seem boring to hide its true purpose, a present for her.

Earlier that day…

When the three girls came out surprising him Garrick was so stunned he dropped his brush. Everyone pulled up chairs and the girls laid out their rules about who had what day and the 10 PM start and stop times. Garrick nodded and appeared to Katherine that he was quietly listening as she laid out how she’d taken very active steps to share him. There was a heavy ten seconds of silence before he actually raised his hand and said, “If I may, there’s a question or two I would ask?”

Looking surprised at how calm and collected he appeared as she thought to herself, “God, he can be suave when he wants to!” She nodded, “Sure, go ahead.”

“First, I think your plan is brilliant and I deserve none of you beautiful women before me.” He held up a hand to prevent any retort to his “worthiness” and continued, “Ameera, allow me to get a hold of the Giving Tree and scale back my time by 90 minutes to 7 PM to 9:30 PM, so I’ll have 30 minutes to clean up and head over. I might even start a smidgen sooner at 6:30 PM which still gives the program 3 hours.” Ameera nodded and approved at how matter of fact he was about it, not the slightest hint that it could be an inconvenience. “Now, there are two days I see missing if this plan is to be fair.” Everyone glanced at each other even the girls looking on at seeing this laid out. Smiling he continued, “I feel I should get a day I get to do what I want and I propose Sunday is my day. I will adjust most of my school projects to this day to not interfere with anyone else’s day.” Then he raised a finger, “Now the person whom most importantly deserves a day is you, Miss Amazing.” Katherine’s face betrayed her shock and surprise and he went on, “I propose Saturday be your day and I will adjust my schedule to clear it of everything I can so if you want to just lay around and watch Netflix we’ll do that. If you want to have me fly you to Bermuda just to watch the sun set we can do that.” A couple of the Norwood Knights behind Constance and Ameera made an audible, “Awwww!”

“So, as the Gryphon, your partner Miss Amazing, is my proposed amendments to this plan for all of us to everyone’s approval?” The three women nodded their approval. “Fantastic! Okay, as to the addition of any other people. I am going to wait at least 3-4 months because I can completely agree with needing to find a new normal. Already, I’ve a schedule planned out nearly down to the minute I use to keep me on track. I could only ever see one other person before I run out of hours in a week. So, I am not looking to fill that spot anytime soon, since I am a time management workhorse by myself. Give me till Monday to get it fixed.” He handed a color printed, folded copy to the three women. Katherine nodded seeing his routine and noting he’d already switched all the cooking to Saturday. Which explained longer art time on Sunday. Ameera was shocked at the lack of personal time. Constance went from shock to righteous anger and then realized he was new to hero work as well. Calming down she decided the first thing was to talk with him about work-life balance.

Ameera interjected, “Sweetie, do you know how to relax?”

“No.” What caught everyone off guard was the flat tone, and finality of such a small reply. He reached down and cleaned off his brush and gestured for Constance to take the seat Tyra had vacated. He handed Tyra’s picture to Antonia to lay it out to dry in the hall closet where he kept a modicum of backup supplies. Like a flipped switch he was back to the charming person everyone was used to.

Ameera sent a text to Miss Amazing that she’d dealt with workaholics before. It would not be overnight but she would do what she could to help. When she had time any info as to why she feels he won’t slow down would be useful. Miss Amazing looked over at her after reading it and gave her a thumbs up. Constance deliberately took a pose on the long, pool chair that Garrick would know from her only previous time at modeling. She smiled at him the whole time, though it was her eyes that said, ‘YOU ARE IN TROUBLE MISTER.’ He told her that she was free after sketching her for 45 minutes. Only Antonia hung out with him because Desha had to leave for work. All of the other women headed inside where they chatted, watched tv, hung out and for the first time everyone wondered how he could just go on and on without breaks. Antonia would bring him tea, he very politely refused breaks and she nodded saying, “A vengeful muse?” He shook his head up and down in agreement and kept at it. Painting Constance in red, monochromatic watercolors. It was 4:30 PM when he was done, he started breaking down his stuff when Katherine and Constance came out to see what he had created.

Both women were stunned when Constance asked, “How long has he been painting? It’s… …he captured the gaze, the smile, I don’t have words. Just like looking at a red tinted mirror!”

“Only a single month.”

“What,” Constance gasped! Looking at Katherine and back to Garrick. Garrick walked up shortly after that exchange and presented Katherine with a small 1 foot, square, wrapped picture. He only asked that she wait to open till she got home. When she asked him if he was going to work on it more he told her that he’d finished on Saturday morning but wanted to surprise her with it today after all the house hunting. She gave him a big kiss and took it with a hug, thanking him again. She felt it rattle something inside and he said there was a special note inside.

Now, she was home and waiting for Ethel to arrive. She set the picture on the table upstairs and changed into something to hang out in with Ethel. She asked Optimus to start some music she was fond of. With the second floor feeling a little more comfortable she open the painting. Just when she thought he couldn’t woo her from a distance. It hit her again as when he made sure she had a day devoted to her. There was a picture of a ring, and the title of the piece was painted on it: To My Future Wife

Katherine,
This was so hard to work on without you seeing it. Please don’t be mad that I would sneak out of bed to get it done. You’re worth every hardship and I’m only worried when those super teams come back from Antarctica that we’ll get thrown jail. Right now I didn’t have time to 3-D print you this ring because the 3-D printer is in the bedroom and you’d absolutely see it.

I tried to think of a way to say you are the jewel of this Gryphon’s eye. This was the coolest looking design I could come up with. I hope you don’t hate it. Please think of the painting as a promise ring.

Gah, I know I am old fashion thanks to my dad. I also know you’re older than me though I don’t really care how old. I thought you might appreciate a somewhat old-fashion approach. I say somewhat because we’re already sleeping together, hehehe. I agree with Janosh that we should wait a year but you should know my intent. In one year if we still want this I will have the honor and privileged of introducing you as, Mrs. Katherine Faulkner.

Love,

Garrick

February 25th, 2024 – Sunday 11:23 PM

Constance was finding it hard to reconcile the man she knew outside of work because she’d never known him to not to be working on something. She and Brandon spoke about having a meeting with their parts (Sales & Marketing, Engineering & Research) of the company for going to Gary for help on stuff. Going forward they would require supervisory approval before asking the Development Director for help on anything outside his department. In fact this morning Brandon got word back from the server audits and Gary was running a proof of concept test that was now only 46% complete. When he asked Gary’s team to give the specific info of the task, they said he was “theoretically” testing specs for a miniaturized fusion reactor! Brandon told Constance he thought Gary was joking about it when he told him a few weeks back. Brandon said he told him to rest and take a few days off. What rattled Brandon more was Constance calling Garrick by his actual name.

Now she had watched him make a beautiful watercolor painting of her, cook Brazilian style BBQ for the dinner (one of his surprise dishes he had prepared), and wouldn’t even let a single woman lift a finger to do dishes. She found herself thinking he looked damn sexy in an apron. Ameera and she began to notice him yawning and aside from tea or coffee, he refused any other type of stimulant. Now she had him at her house in Xenophan in the segment closest to Norwood. It was a three story town home with an amazing view of the stadiums. He loved her home and collection of computer motherboards as art pieces framed on the wall. What surprised her was that he knew over half of them and why they were ground breaking!

She was excited to show him her home office/build room until he looked like he was seriously going to try and start building a robot! She tried to throw him off guard with a question to keep him from working, “I had a server audit to figure out why so many resources were allocated to a test your running on a theoretical fusion reactor, and a miniature sized one! Why?” She was so mad at herself for trying to distract him from working by asking him about work!

Garrick turned and set the parts down next to the RS4 modules she had on a table. He was sighing and smiling at the same time, “It’s not theoretical, I gave a #tedTALK where I showed the one Dalus Dome Inc. sent to NASA.”

Constance knew what he was getting at she had seen his talk and was impressed a teenager had built such a creation, “But that all got taken away, right?”

Sheepishly, “Well, when you budget something my father always said deliver a budget that will build double so if you screw one up you have one more shot. What I am saying is I still have access to a functioning micro fusion reactor in our technically second working bio-dome with an A.I. just off the coast.”

Constance nearly fainted with shock and had to catch herself which startled Garrick into moving and taking her into his arms, “If you’re lying I will stab you.”

Garrick helped her regain her balance back then promptly let go of her, “Can we skip the trip down memory lane regarding my sister? You won’t be the first woman to stab me is all I’m saying.” Constance made a note to talk with Katherine later about what she knew regarding Garrick’s sister.

“Now, and more importantly, I put the reactor into a low-power mode all those years ago and have been running weekly tests to make sure it has stayed stable since I got out.”

She began to barraged him with every question she could muster regarding nuclear engineering and he answered all of them! She decided, “Show me some proof this isn’t all bullshit.” Garrick nodded, and Constance watched his shoulders drop slightly to the way they they were when she first met him. Quietly inside she was mortified to realize she had been treating him the way she did when they first met! She made a large mental note to make it up if he could prove he had a real mini-version of Daedalus! If this was real she’d never doubt him again.

He used his phone to connect to her big screen tv and a bluetooth keyboard and mouse. When he established a VPN connection to his home Constance heard Optimus come over her speaker system and Garrick used his one time authentication method. He had his personal A.I. display the test results for the last ten check ups. Then after she took pictures of the screen, checked and verified that the data being displayed was legitimate she sat down next to him stunned. When she began to cry he wrapped his arms around her, “Shhh, Constance, it’s really okay. I would have doubted me in your position.” There was no malice in his voice, it was the first time he seemed fatherly to her. His body language showed he had been disappointed but everything else was about comforting the person whom just suggested he was a liar.

He hand coded an Artificial Intelligence. He’s been sitting on a working nuclear fusion power source for a decade with enough working historical data to back up any theory. What did he need Mallic Robotics for? It was like being in California all over again. She looked at him, “Garrick, what do you want to do with this?”

He smiled, “That’s easy. I’m going to give it all to you and Brandon so you can begin adding micro-fusion reactors and hive mind A.I.’s to your components and they’ll be able to build themselves into whatever the situation calls for. A robot, a car with a few added accessories, a make shift emergency power plant, a remote data center on the moon.” He began to tear up, “Sorry, I just want my idea of ending homelessness and bringing humanity to the stars to not die so my father can see I never quit on him the way he never quit on me.” Constance realized she was seeing Garrick at his core for the first time. “My father said true wisdom is knowing when to get out of your own way. This is me trying to get out of my own way by giving that dream to people I would trust to see it through. Your biggest hurdle may be getting the TMC delegates to make Alpha Prime adjust the sanctions against Earth or wait for my tests to finish. If they succeed then I think I will have figured out a concept that doesn’t utilize alien technology.”

Constance put a finger over his lips thinking no one deserved him, “You trust Brandon and I to usher in a second era like the Daedalus Project? This is your life’s work!”

Garrick kissed her finger and moved it aside, “No, as an ex-felon no one will trust me to see it through. If you want it then it would now become your life’s work. You have a whole company and soon 50% more space to work in. You’re a good person and I trust you, besides my infatuation with your mind has always been twice what it was with your body. Your mind is off the charts!” He looked so giddy, “I love that I can finally say that now since I don’t report to you!”

Constance realized she knew the lawyers that could make this potentially happen and get her a meeting with the TMC delegates. Garrick just gave her the chance to create a future that really could save not just Century Station, but one day the whole world! He never asked for credit just that she and her brother see it through. He was going on about bringing an off site backup of his A.I. to work so real progress could be made on his team creating one for the company. She was so lost in the stars she missed him thinking about work again!

Putting on her iron queen face, “Garrick!”

He turned from shutting down his VPN and faced Constance, “Umm, yes?”

Now that she had his attention she let the iron queen bleed away, “Please don’t argue with me. You need to learn how to balance your work, life, and hero sides. I don’t care if you think you don’t need or deserve it but get undressed and go upstairs to my bedroom, its the one with double doors. Lie down and I will be up in a short minute and show you how to relax, by pampering you tonight until we find some things you enjoy. Dammit mister! You’re going to relax because I just don’t know any other way to handle someone as selfless as you.”

February 26th, 2024 – Monday 3:55 AM

Tired and exhausted, Constance sleeping on her bed behind him. Garrick struggled to keep his eyes open and focus on his project for hive mind networking. A familiar voice rang out, startling him.

“Let me help you.”

Garrick found himself in the swirling desert he would meet Ashmadiel in.

“Hello?”

“Greetings Garrick Faulkner.” Ashmadiel’s voice echoed all around him. Instinctively he reached out and the sword was in his hand. It was warm to the touch. His vision blurred and he blinked to clear it. Suddenly he could see the heat all around and could make out Ashmadiel within the clouds the way that Predator movie worked! Ashmadiel nodded. “Your eyes do not deceive you. With our connection growing stronger, you are now able to access more of my gifts. This one is flaming vision. But that is not why I called you here.”

She walked forward to stand before Garrick. She reached out to him and cupped his face in her hands. “Do not worry about being exhausted or too weak to face another creature like Aaziakel. Draw your strength from me.”¬†Ashmadiel smiled. Garrick suddenly felt a burning heat come from her touch, racing into him and spreading throughout him like a fiery wave. Once it suffused through his body he felt fully awake and even stronger. She let go of him and began to back away. “Accomplish your good deeds, Garrick Faulkner,” Ashmadiel said in a fading, almost exhausted voice. “Don’t be held back any longer…”


Art by: AZ_Artisan
Ring Design by John Guerra
Come watch the next game for our super friends on HippoTV!

 


4 Replies to “Workaholic”

  1. Where is our exercise time? What about Ethel’s day?
    OOC, I am concerned about this “upgrade” with the sword…

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