Tag: Giving Tree



30th of January, 2024 – Tuesday 9:57pm

Hey there, could you please help me settle a bet?

Garrick looks up and smiles, this was his first time in his heroic form and showing up to the Giving Tree. He was wearing new jeans and a nice button down shirt with the sleeves rolled up. The apron had Mallic Robotics embroidered on the front, so he didn’t feel bad about not wearing the company shirt. He’d been trying really hard to just act like nothing had changed. No one had really said anything to him other than, “Wow, the gym has done well for you, great job!” Nathaniel had just gone out to bring more of the food to the families and children in the cafeteria. Now, he was looking at one of the workers he’d seen here before. Panicking he did not remember her name his face broke into a hint of worry, “I’m not really into sports, but I’ll try my best.”

Well then since its not about sports you could say I just saved you, but that means you owe me, right?” Her accent and light, mocha tan skin belied her Cuban heritage. Why was she talking to him? What the hell was her name? This felt like a scam he’d seen in prison but he shoved that thought out of his head because he’d seen her here for over a year. Everyone he’d met here personally was incredibly nice to him. He knew why Patsy spoke to him despite being way out of his league. He knew why Katherine tolerated him despite being interested in Nathaniel. Why was was this rather attractive woman talking to him at all?

Hello, earth to …?

“Look, that’s my fault I started taking an art class and you took my breath away the same way when I saw some of Alicia Leal’s paintings.” When her eyebrows raised he realized she was at least familiar with the Cuban artist from the turn of the century. He had been studying her work that day in an overview of artistic styles chapter. Garrick was super pleased he had avoided looking stupid, “So, yes, what was the bet again?”

Two of the other girls and I saw you have a VERY diverse group of friends, but everyone seems to call you something different. What’s your name?

Someone was fucking trolling him, no way an attractive woman walks up out of the blue and asks for his name, “So, which one did you bet on?”

Well, the director said they’ve called you Garrick, but one of my girlfriends who went to the last Mallic Robotics BBQ said Gary because everyone at your company calls you that, my other girlfriend said that the former graduate and your centaur pal call you Griff or Griffon. So I asked the director how they came by Garrick and they said it was on your driver’s license. So I am going with Garrick.

“You win, quite the detective, so you’re attractive and smart care to take pity on your cook and dishwasher with your name?”

Ramona De La Cova

“Garrick Faulkner, Miss De La Cova”

Please, Ramona…
…Wait, Faulkner? As in William Faulkner, the author?” she seemed surprised, and Garrick was mortified she might know Adeline.

“Yes, direct descendant.”

OMG! I have read all of his stuff!” She went on about every title, even his screenplays and soon Garrick relaxed. Finally believing she to was just being friendly like everyone else. He decided to talk to her to get better at dealing with women.

“Oh really,” he looked at her with mocked sarcasm, “well if you’re the kind of person that wants to suck the marrow of life then you should know this work of my great, great, great grandfather…

…So it is: sleep comes not on my eyelids.
Nor in my eyes, with shaken hair and white
Aloof pale hands, and lips and breasts of iron,
So she beholds me.

And yet though sleep comes not to me, there comes
A vision from the full smooth brow of sleep,
The white Aphrodite moving unbounded
By her own hair.

Ramona looked him washings dishes and reciting the poem clearly committed to memory. He wasn’t the only one who could play such a game and Garrick nearly stumbled when a matching voice joined his,

In the purple beaks of the doves that draw her,
Beaks straight without desire, necks bent backward
Toward Lesbos and the flying feet of Loves
Weeping behind her.

She looks not back, she looks not back to where
The nine crowned muses about Apollo
Stand like nine Corinthian columns singing
In clear evening.

She sees not the Lesbians kissing mouth
To mouth across lute strings, drunken with singing,
Nor the white feet of the Oceanides
Shining and unsandalled.

Garrick stopped and turned to face her with each of them looking into each other’s eyes as they finished the final stanza alternating each line,

Before her go cryings and lamentations
Of barren women, a thunder of wings,
While ghosts of outcast Lethean women, lamenting,
Stiffen the twilight.

A good two feet is all that stood between them before the sound and fury of the Giving Tree’s community cut their moment short like the shears of an angry fate.

“You’re good, Ramona, I was required to learn them, but your love for ‘Sapphics’ outshines my burden of lineage,” Garrick smiled continuing with the workload as they conversed until the last of the dishes went into the tray sliding into the commercial dishwasher. Turning to look at her he wondered what she was starring at as he removed his apron and noticing they had been talking for about an hour at 10:52pm, “Goodness, is there something on my face from the dishes?”

Spoken almost to fast as Ramona was jarred out of an apparent reverie, “Hey,doyouwanttogetdinnerandmaybegoseeamovie?”

“Certainly, aside from bumper cars last month with a co-worker, I don’t get out much. I’m a workaholic! I’d love to! Why don’t you get your things and meet me out front. I have to find out why Trip decided to trot all the way down here. We can exchange contact details then.”

Blushing she nodded and walked away Garrick started damage control in his head, ‘It’s not a date. It is a movie, and maybe dinner…

…yeah, its called courting…’

He began walking out front after gathering his things…

‘…How did you get through this conversation…’

‘…simple, assume they were never going to be interested in him…’

He banished his overdriven thought process as he reached everyone to explain a meeting for 6 a.m. the following day. He sent a text to Katherine, but was unsure how to ask her if she had just lied to him. He knew she was not completely honest with him, but she had promised to reveal everything soon. Then she shared a great deal more with the group and lord knew what in meditation with Nathaniel. About that time before his self-deprecation could rev up out of first gear. Ramona walked up and they exchanged business cards. She smiled at him once more, as she left she winked, turning away letting the street lamps be her spotlight till she passed into shadow of the night. Only when Garrick began to put her card away Alex wagged a finger at it and on the back was her personal cell number and a small heart with a smiley face in it.

Alex walks up to Garrick and shakes his empty hand, “Wow! Two at the same time. Wow you really are SUPER!”

Sliding the card in his pocket with an incredulous look on his face, “I don’t know what you’re talking about these are just really nice people.”

Alex winks, “Oh, so that’s the way, huh. I’m going to have to try that.”

Garrick shakes his head and waves good bye to everyone, as he heads for his truck. Before leaving the parking lot he calls Mrs. Falkenberg so she would know about the training. Figuring Trip would find a way to let Richard know he pulled out and headed home. He decided to review the video footage to see if the cameras picked up Miss Amazing at his house when Alex arrived. Everyone was asleep when he got home.


Art by: AZ_Artisan


9th of January, 2024

9th of January, 2024


A couple days ago you told me about the winter holidays from your world not being called Christmas or New Year’s day, but kind of a joint version of them called Winter’s Crest. Seeing that you’re kind of a night owl unless you have somewhere to be the next day I made an extra trip to the Giving Tree today as they were getting rid of some Christmas decorations. I got a broken Christmas tree and took some time fixing it while some code was compiling on a scheduled update. I gave it a red star mentioned in the Winter’s Crest fable you told me about. It’s on the same table where I left the clothes last week. I know it’s not much but I wanted to give you something, even belated, to lift your spirits this holiday season. Oh, since you mentioned your Dad was 1/2-American and 1/2-Turkish and your mother was Lebanese, I made some Dolmas and Tabbouleh dishes and left them in the fridge.

Merry or Happy Winter’s Crest,


8:45pm; “Garrick?” Patsy called out holding the note taped to her door as she walk over to the balcony ledge looking down on to the training area. He wasn’t there and as she looked up she could see the plastic tree with lights plugged into an extension cord running to the wall. It was blinking and the red star was the brightest light upon it. Just like the ancient tale of the star that scientists determined was a comet that passed her Earth granting strange powers to some of the world’s first powered super beings. Then it hit her that it was Tuesday, he was at the Giving Tree shelter serving dinner and helping out.

‘He nailed the dolmas,’ she thought to herself as she ate them from a small dish she had put some in. ‘Good grief he actually listened,’ she continued to think as she read the letter again eating the food. Unlike a great deal of men he also seemed completely at ease with giving her the space she needed, and he hasn’t tried to hit on her even once. He obviously cared about her well-being to have gone through the effort to try and create something from a world he had never been to. Laughing to herself she thought, ‘Maybe he’s gay.’

She sat down at the work are on the first floor with the data pole mounted in the center with the eight touchscreen monitors on swivel arms. She hit the app options to turn her tablet into a fullscreen digital keyboard, “Optimus?”

Greetings Patsy Palmer, how may I be of service?

“Are their any files on DalusNET I do not have access to?”

Yes, since you are not an administrator on DalusNET many configuration files will not appear in browsing the server file storage. How may I help your search tonight?

“Is Garrick’s records regarding his arrest, detention, and parole located either on the network or available via the Internet?”


“Is it the network, the Internet or both?”


“Is any information contained on the network pertaining the events in question that is not on the Internet?”


“Pull up everything available on Garrick Faulkner either on the Network, the CityNET, or the Internet. Collate the finding into screen blocks: 1 & 2 for DalusNET, 3 & 4 for CityNET, and 5 & 6 for the Internet. On 7 & 8 can you find and play the metal band Call of the Deep, I am curious about Garrick’s music choices. Oh, and connect my tablet to act as a keyboard for the monitors in question treating each group as a separate workspace.”

Yes, compiling, yes, compiling, yes, compiling, connection established.

“Please, let me know of any duplicate documents and show them to me first so I can decide which ones I can eliminate from the displayed results, thank you.”

Task complete, here you go Patsy Palmer.

Patsy began to study the prodigal scientist that use to be Garrick Faulkner, his father Cuthbert, his sister Adeline. He lost his mother when he was 8 and the father continued to raise both children. Cuthbert was considered by many to be an analytical genius with a Doctorate in Medicine, a Masters in Robotics and Cybernetic Technology, and a second doctorate in Nuclear Engineering.

Garrick really did design a bio dome engineered to be modular, house 10 people at a time, combine with other domes for larger domiciles, and provide redundant systems to prevent single point of failures before repairs could be implemented. Apparently, his father Cuthbert contacted a personal friend and they created Dalus Dome Incorporated to protect Garrick’s vision of nearly free housing that had one amazing feature. They could be installed ANYWHERE! Cuthbert designed a mini fusion reactor to power each dome for 50 years before cores required replacement. Garrick managed to come up with a way to process the surrounding environment so the Bio-Dome would begin to convert its structure to blend into the environment as much as it could without degrading the quality of life for the human occupants inside!

Garrick had been interviewed by Time Magazine once and he gave a Ted talk which was still on YouTube. His dream and vision for the company was twofold and simple: 1) Create housing for everyone to live anywhere! 2) Help mankind move to the Moon, Mars, and beyond the solar system. He had postulated the notion of quality of life for the human race would improve if people didn’t fight over resources. Then she found the video of him arguing for the removal of Alpha Prime. In his words, “because enforcing laws upon a people that did not vote or choose to agree to abide by them is the same reason America fought the Revolutionary War!”

When Alpha Prime returned and began to dismantle the Daedalus Project’s infrastructure with her fellow galaxy cops. Garrick had already had to bury his father. His sister had also sent him a letter telling him that “he” got their father killed. She never wanted to see him again and any further contact will only be accepted from his lawyer to hers. This news actually broke Garrick according to psychological evaluations and he snapped joining a fringe anti-alien group in an attempt to steal some of the tech back. There were more psychologist notes that while the group wanted the tech to attack the aliens Garrick just wanted to continue his work.

Then from 2016 to 2019 Garrick spent 3 years on Gramercy Island in “A” Block for the hijacking a semi-truck with a group of thugs consisting of color punks and members of the anti-alien group. CSPD was on them to quickly and the official report says everything was recovered according to the victim, and this was interesting, the victim name is redacted! Warden Harker’s review reports look like copies of each other with dates and minor details changed. Notes in the margins by Garrick indicating these are fake, citing multiple stab wounds, beatings, and one stint in solitary in an attempt to get him to snitch on his cohorts. Garrick never broke and was released after only three years from a review board that never actually saw Garrick. 3 years of probation and he was free and clear.

The a scanned copy of the deed to the building naming Garrick as the sole owner. The title and registration to the custom Chinese import truck converted to run on mineral water! On the DalusNET network Garrick had a few notes detailing saving a woman from a car jacking last year in late January of 2023. Everything about his story was checking out based on what she could find and nothing ever appeared restricted. Hmm, time for the ultimate test she thought as she looked at the time on the screen and it said 10:30pm, “Optimus?”

Greetings Patsy Palmer, how may I be of service?

“If I wanted to go in Garrick’s bedroom and go through all his crap would you grant me access?”

Patsy Palmer, aside from the administration files and folders hidden to protect me as the network care taker you have complete access to the house: second, ground, and basement floors.

Heading upstairs she finds the doors open and she noticed his room could be a home for most families, and a larger version of hers. While she didn’t go through anything she did open and close a number of them seeing clothes and collection of a robots built from a red and blue semi truck. It reminded her of the GoBots from her world. The big change was the industrial grade 3D printer he had in a portion of his room. Then she bumped into his 10ft. by 15ft. table that lit up and she realized the transparent surface was in fact a touchscreen tablet. On the screen was notes about scanning her to try and see if radiation she gave off (like all living things do) might be the angle to finding the frequency her dimension vibrated at. Then if that experiment worked could a “tuning fork” be made creating an antenna allowing her access to her powers once more? ‘Wait,’ she thought to herself. He was actively sketching out designs, working over metallurgist reports about radioactive exposure trying to find a material that could work as a dimensional tuning fork!

When she touched the screen to slide the digital-papers out of the way she found recipes for food from the Middle East. He had a checklist of dishes to try until he got a list of ones she liked. Still other notes revealed his attention to details was astounding, there was a paper titled ‘How to make Patsy feel at home until Operation: Go Home and Stop Murder Master is ready.’ One of the items mentioned was to not date and bring them home as it may make her feel uncomfortable. ‘Huh, maybe he is not actually trying anything, he could still be gay,’ she thought and laughed again. Then she found a paystub among the digital papers and saw that he was paying everything fine, however, he had adjusted his savings to accommodate $800 off of each check so she could have enough money to hide and research whatever she needed.

There was a digital stack of papers about how to make those without powers feel like heroes. They talked about honoring police, fire department, EMT’s, and all the civic jobs no one cares about. How to make sure your meetings with others nurture relationships and grow self-worth in others. How to find self-worth in your personal life, and a paper about imagining a world without heroes. There were pictures of Garrick dressed up as Santa Claus that Patsy called Father Winter from the Giving Tree. Finally, there were notes about the injector syringes and the name “Fat Lucca” everywhere with question marks. It was apparent Garrick was trying very hard to balance his mundane and super hero duties so everyone was taken care of.

The sound of machinery begins in the background.

She sprinted out of his room telling Optimus to put everything back as Garrick left it when she heard the garage door open up. The master bedroom doors closed behind her and she further asked Optimus to shut down her research profile on Garrick immediately, but crank the music up. As Garrick pulled in to the garage the Call of the Deep band was blaring out the speakers downstairs. She ran into her room and hopped into the shower knowing he must have known how open he had left his info and access. She was a little worried about how he might react if he saw all the work she had dug up going into verifying his story. However, when he got out of the truck he did not get on the PA system and went straight for the stairs in a rather deliberate fashion.

As he appeared on the second floor he was not wearing a shirt, rather carrying it along with a towel. Both his face and all of his garments where covered in blood! Garrick walked over to the washer and dryer and flung everything in. However, there were some blood smears on the front of the machine from him leaning against it. “Optimus, please start the wash cycle that removes blood stains the best, please.”

Yes Garrick, commencing now.” The washer started to fill with water as he was standing in his blue-gray boxer-briefs. Then Garrick heard Patsy from behind him, “Oh My Heldamm! What happened to you?”

“Shit, I was hoping you were in the downstairs bathroom given the way the music is playing,” replied Garrick adjust his jaw, “that poor kid can really pack a punch!”

“Wait is that ‘your’ blood?”

“Yes, but I’ll clean the washer off in a minute,” Garrick said and Patsy noticed the scars and old faded skin noting stab wounds and remembering the notes on the files from Gramercy Prison. She looked worried and he held up a finger as he touched one the the steel rings he wore, and spoke.

“Grant unto me the might of the Gryphon.”

A swirl a golden colored mercury ran over him like an animated wave of water. When it covered him completely it burst into mist and he was standing in boxer-briefs just a smidgen tighter on him than he wanted. He had an angelic beauty about his form at that time. He outstretched his arms not unlike Jesus on the cross, “Please heal me, Ashmadiel, my guardian angel.” He began to glow bright yellow and steam rose off him for a scant few seconds. Then he lowered his arms and said, “Take from me the might of the Gryphon.” Once more the golden mercury washed over him and he shrunk back down to 5 foot 8 inches from the 6 foot 6 inches he was a few seconds ago. His looks while the same were plainer, mortal, and healed!

Garrick looked at Patsy, “Walk with me please so I can get some pants on and I’ll explain how this is a tragic day.” They headed over to his room and he called for the doors to open. Going past his digital table which lit up as he got close he tapped a toe into the base of his bed and just like the one in Patsy’s room a drawer popped open and he grabbed a pair of pants and put them on and his tank top that says ‘Sleeves Are Bullshit’ on it. He smiled at Patsy, “Those shorts look good on you, I need a beer, TO THE KITCHEN!

“I thought we were talking about the tragic day and the blood on the washer?”

Striding past her with a blatant wink and thumbs up, “Yes, well one of the kids at the Giving Tree had just came in when he was dropped off by cops at dinner service. His dad, and sole provider, was shot by a robber looking for a quick score at the bar he works at.”

Sitting down at the kitchen bar with Garrick joining her, beverages in hand, “That’s horrible! Is he the one that did that to you?”

“Yes, but he was sitting at the table I was serving and another kid teased him about being a fuck up because of how he arrived. Well, the ball of nerves in him snapped he went to punch the kid, who may have had it coming but the ‘blue boy scout’ was still there and reaching for his tazer pistol. I was quick enough to snatch his arm away and I get to use my enhanced strength in either form. I whipped him around to face me as he was yelling his father had died to the teasing kid. Well, Malik, I found out his name later, tried to tell me to fuck off and I told him my father had been taken from me by an uncaring thug as well. He swung at me and without superhuman strength I would be out cold or knocked back. I waved my hand to the officer and made eye contact to tell him I had this under control. The people at the Giving Tree got the other kids away in case my confidence got the better of me. I told Malik tonight was the last night he got to swing that fist in anger at anyone in this building, so he may as well work it out on me. Otherwise, the cop will take him to juvenile detention. He started swinging and I stood there and took it.”


“I think I only took about 10 punches between all the sobbing and we talked about our fathers, and I even explained I served time for acting out badly in Gramercy. Let me tell you Gramercy scares kids and adults alike. He looked at me and I told him to not make my mistakes and put that fist away unless he’s defending some child here. He finally started to wind down and everyone looked relieved, but no more than my jaw did!

“I bet, you could have let the cop handle it.”

“I was not going to loose him to an overworked system that can barely deal with crooked superheroes, and straight up supervillains! I am going to get this phrase tattooed on me at this rate. I know it’s someone else that said this quote on your world but on mine Edmund Burke coined, ‘All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.’ The teasing kid even came to apologize to both of us and I think he and Malik will be good friends now. That brings me to Abraham Lincoln, ‘Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?’ I don’t know if that works for every encounter but if its an option we should try it more often.”

“You are a better hero than you know.”

“Thanks, well that beer and sleep should do the trick,” as he pat her on the shoulder then started to walk past her, “I’ll clean that blood on the washer when I wake up If you need anything else from my room while I am asleep just knock.”

“Wait, how?”

“Patsy my doors are electronic, when I am not home and they open I get text alerts from Optimus. What I like is that you didn’t deny it. Have a good night Patsy, hope the research goes well. Yes, your butt looks good in the shorts, I blame the beer.”

‘Well,’ she thought to herself, ‘maybe he’s not gay.’

2nd of January, 2024

2nd of January, 2024

9pm; Patsy Palmer awoke to a soft purple lights in her room and a tablet laying on the round table she had not paid much attention to before. It was flashing a soft purple light every few seconds. When she touched it she heard a robotic voice come on that people in this world would recognize as Optimus Prime.

…Greetings Patsy Palmer, I am Optimus, your digital assistant on DalusNET. Garrick pushed and update to his network giving you access to the Century Station CityNET and the Internet at large. This tablet was left in this room for guests, and due to an “indefinite guest” label he has assigned for your access, this tablet now has been formatted and assigned to you. On the steel table with the four white chairs you have been left all the instruction manuals for the key card, the crystal slab smart phone, and to quote: “plethora of clothes from two thrift stores.” A reminder note some simple cubed chicken and parsley-scallion humus has been left in the fridge with tea, and finally all of the paperwork he could find on identity establishment for “undocumented” births…

About two seconds later to flashing buttons appeared on a pop-up: “Do you wish to acknowledge the receipt of this message? [YES] or [NO]

Tapping yes prompted another text message, timestamped at 7pm, “Patsy, I am over at the Giving Tree shelter helping the kids with dinner service and clean up. I should be back about 11pm. I made a little something for you, not sure if you’ll like it so there is a pre-packed Caesar salad as plan B. -G”

He had almost seemed to helpful, but as she wandered around the upper floor she noticed the doors to his room were retracted and open. Wandering pass that she found the table with everything the message said would be there. There was a note on the clothing about how to access the washer and dryer. When she came upon his research regarding getting an identity legally there was yet another note.


Since we have the situation of some alien beings acquiring Visa’s and a “resident alien” status I feel this is the most “LEGAL” route available to us. As the only other ‘district’ like Washington D.C., we have a second HQ for this kind of specialized immigration. I was going to talk to you about this but you didn’t answer any knocking, so I am assuming you’re asleep. Now the next two options both involve deception on our part. If you wish to keep your home dimension a secret I can see no other path other than one or a mix of two of the following:

  • Assume someone’s identity: This is straight up illegal and I REALLY don’t want to do it, but I know a gal that handled fake I.D.’s for me once.
    • #1 Write a letter to the “State Department of Health and Vital Statistics” (this has to be the same state your husband was born in; however in our case Century Station has its own being a district), requesting a birth certificate. In your letter, you have to provide at least 5 main pieces of information about the person you are applying for. This can include date of birth, child’s name, parent’s names, place of birth, etc. Do not mention that you are without a birth certificate since your whole goal is to receive a letter back from the state declaring that you do not have a birth record.
      • Note 1: You will also have to include a money order of $21.50 to cover the birth certificate processing; this money will be returned to you when they find out there is no birth certificate. I believe Century Station is $30.00 for this
      • Note 2: Bear in mind that your state laws and fees may be slightly different than our state (Ohio). For the most part they match the Ohio example I found. 
      • Note 3: You will have to apply for the birth certificate in the same state that your husband was born in. Keep reading below I believe I have a solution NOT requiring marriage, let’s face it that would be ultra-creepy and awkward.
    • #2 Once you have the letter from the state, saying you DO NOT have a birth record, then you will take that letter to your local court house as proof that you do not have a birth record. At that point, you have to go through a number of hoops and eventually the judge will make a ruling that you can get a birth certificate written up. Sometimes, it can take up to a full year and get very discouraging.
      I NEED YOU TO UNDERSTAND that I did not bring this option up to scare you, it’s just the research I found. PLEASE go test the key card, test the door. You can leave anytime you want I have no ulterior motive here.
  • Foundling: Now I think this idea has merit and if aspects of the second idea is used I feel we might be able to make this work with the least amount of lying possible.
    • OPTION #1: You were left on a church in the Waingroh sub-district, you were a survivor of the Bloody Monday riots and can’t remember whom you are. I met you after I was released from jail and let you stay with me. If we (please understand I am aware the marriage would be a lie, and never actually happen) approach the judge with the angle of needing a license to wed, but without a birth certificate can’t make that happen it might work.
    • OPTION #2: I like this plan more – Partial Amnesia. You were left on a church in the Waingroh sub-district, you were a survivor of the Bloody Monday riots and can’t remember whom you are other than the church which is now destroyed. In order to even get access to public services we need a new birth certificate. I met you after I was released from jail and let you stay with me. We have been trying every loose end we can (let them think we’re boyfriend and girlfriend all they want) but are running out of options.
      So I think we follow the TWO STEP PROCESS and then add Foundling: OPTION#2 to it, and blamo! I feel this plan does not contractually obligate you to me in any way, and is the most benign truth-breaking I can come up with. So read through everything again and maybe you can see an angle I did not.



Patsy re-read the options again. “That’s a lot to take in,” she muttered. Then she smiled. This “Garrick” was trying so hard to be thoughtful and honestly, she never would’ve thought about trying to establish a legal identity here on this second Earth. It made a lot of sense. She was stuck here for the time being and having a legal identity would make being here easier. Plus, she needed to prepare for the worst case scenario – that she may never go home. Patsy closed her eyes. “Heldamm,” she whispered. Nothing happened.

She opened her eyes and sighed. She wouldn’t give up. If she was going to be here for a while she needed to do this also to pull her weight. Garrick was letting her stay for now, but she wasn’t planning on being a freeloader. Looking back at the note he left for her she started planning out loud. “Let’s see… no, I agree, I’d rather not take someone’s identity… but let’s not discount a simple fake I.D. for the time being. This stuff about writing to prove I have no birth record is weird – I’m not getting married just to do that! The “foundling” option he mentioned at the end seems like the best route. Seems like he’s got this pretty-well thought out. He does mention that we’d have to pose as a couple… that’s weird. Well… he said I had access to the internet so I think I’ll just look that up myself to see why.”

Spending the next two hours doing some research while washing the clothes he gave her, she heard the insulated garage door. She wandered over to the ledge over looking the training area. It was about a 15-foot drop to the floor below but gave an excellent viewing angle of Garrick’s truck pulling in with the door shutting behind it. She watched him exit the truck in nice slacks and a fancy polo shirt that was emblazoned with the Mallic Robotics in racing team style along the arm and back. He walked over to a work table with a pole in the center and four monitors mounted. He pulled another tablet on the table over to him and started typing. He tapped and icon and said a few words which echoed over the house a few seconds later, “Patsy, ma’am, I’m back from the shelter.” Tilting his head either way waiting for a possible reply he headed to the stair case and started heading up.

Patsy moved over to the island in the kitchen area that they talked at all last night. Finishing up her salad and using some red, corn tortillas to eat the parsley hummus she looked over at him, “You donate time at a shelter?”

Putting a picture of a hand-drawn robot with a stylized “Mallic” “M” on its chest to the frig door with a magnet he smiled, “I was trying to build homes for all of those children and ones I will likely never see all over the world. After committing my one crime the least I can do is help feed them, read a story or two and do the dishes with the staff. They deserve the future I failed to hold on to, they’re the future I need to protect.”

Seeing him reply so passionately once more, “But your parole is over why are you..?”

“Because of you, because of people like the Murder Master,” he poured a cup of water and pulled up a chair at the island allowing for the middle chair between as a buffer, “Ashmadiel coming into my life via an act of larceny, saving you from certain death, all I am figuring out is nothing is like the comics or cartoons we grew up on. Figuring out how to care for you while your here on my world, how to get your powers back, how to get you home, and how we’ll stop Murder Master is not some simple – LOOK, I SAVED THE GIRL – moment. I know so many stories about the heroes: Mavericks or Centurions tackling the big fish at the expense of the little guy or gal. I want those kids at the Giving Tree shelter to know heroes don’t always wear capes and being normal does not make you incapable of being a hero. I want to give them hope, hope that I fear I’ve lost.”

She decided to file away the moment he said “we’ll” stop Murder Master, “Did one of them draw the robot there?” Looking back at the fridge door in the wall console unit he smiled and nodded saying that they think Mallic Robotics builds the robot heroes. He laughed briefly that maybe they build some elbow joints or stabilizing struts used in those armored suits. They talked about how every Tuesday he would go down and spend time at the Giving Tree. He did it as an anchor for when he wondered why he started fighting crime he would think of a brighter future for those kids. Garrick’s phone began buzzing and he pulled a foldable tablet out and began typing on the screen briefly. Patsy looked and saw streams of numbers and characters rushing past with a sudden stop, “Garrick what’s that?”

“A script I run once a day checking on the one active bio-dome, Dalus Dome Incorporated, ever built with a sustainable mini-cold-fusion reactor. My father, was the genius behind the power and I did everything else.”

“Wait cold-fusion? I read a little about the person called Alpha Prime and won’t she/it have already taken it?”

Garrick shook his head, “I put it into low-power maintenance mode when the alien began rounding everything up. There is some interference in the minerals or the water in the area and it’s been overlooked. If I ever take it out of that state to full power it will likely become a blip on her watchtower.”

Patsy tilted her head to one side, “Wouldn’t this land you in jail?”

“Oh, I doubt that, I don’t think the Earth governments will be so quick to hand over tech again since Alpha Prime did not help them into a “Galactic Age” of advancement. For now, I just leave it alone and make sure the script comes back stable, but my father built it and I am not half the genius he was.”

Asking her about how she was doing brought up his plan to legalize her identity. He agreed and would begin looking for his contact about a simple fake ID. When it came to the posing as a couple Garrick mentioned that it looks like Patsy would need a sponsor to help support her claim before a judge, “The reason to write in and be told you don’t have a birth certificate suggests that at one point you did. With the only records being held at a church and destroyed in Bloody Monday more than a few people have had this exact issue. A judge may not believe in the kindness of a stranger but a boyfriend trying to help his girl is easier to sallow. Besides without having a preacher to act as a character witness the “couple” route is the easiest to pull off.” He held up his hands though, “Don’t tell me your answer yet, take 24 hours and really chew on it, research it yourself, come to your own conclusions. I am tired and see a few hours of sleep before I head out on patrol and then work in the morning. Then it’s off to the actual library at the university to try and find everything Sumerian I can for you.”

“Garrick, you don’t have do all…”

“Please forgive me this one interruption, ma’am,” Patsy noted the quaint speech return and paused, “Evil happens when good men do nothing, or in this case drop the ball half way to saving the day.” A cocky grin, and one bow toward her he strode past her into his room, “Have a great night and we can chat more on the morrow I am bushed, Optimus, set a timer alarm for 3 hours, go.”

“Yes Garrick, here you go.”

Patsy was bemused and irritated at the quixotic nature of her benefactor, “At least this knight seems more plausible than the one from LaMancha. I almost think he can do it.”