Tag: Jake

Texts And Chit Chat

Texts And Chit Chat

April 1st, 2024 – Monday: 2:31 PM

Gryphon was sitting next to Miss Amazing in a diner with Hank the Horse-Man and one intoxicated Rubberband Man. They had left the funeral of Jake Thompson where Victor had brought a case of beer to. Being in front of City Hall many of the super heroes that had shown up had done so in costume. Gryphon was slightly envious of her suit he had created with Granny2Good’s help. She was wearing her mask and had used the technology in it to make it black for mourning.

Gryphon was perturbed Victor had gotten drunk at the public event. Still, he tried looking at it from his angle. Perhaps he had lost his jockey career and now this spokesperson job with Tecate© was the reason he got up in the morning. Maybe he nearly lost that job and now has become hyper vigilant in representation to avoid that circumstance. Now, imagine finding out you’re to replace a hero some 15,000 people showed up to honor them at their funeral. Gryphon acknowledged he could sympathize with the last thought sitting in the diner after finding out S.A.V.I.O.R. was to replace the Centurions! Director Balisong seemed to be having a hard time with the words and Gryphon thought of understudies in Shakespearian plays, the show must go on. He wasn’t happy with his choice of wording but it seem to get them through the meeting.

However, perhaps this was the chance people dream of and few ever get. S.A.V.I.O.R. had to seize this opportunity and then when the Centurions returned they could move up to National level threats while S.A.V.I.O.R. handled Century Station. Ugh, his head was everywhere and he got a reprieve to hold off on the official press release until tomorrow morning. He had a call scheduled, and had been given her direct contact information.

The primary reason for waiting was to see if things could be smoothed over with Black Phantom. Geist appeared to have a handle on it. Today though, an item was clarified for Gryphon when Geist deferred to him as the team leader. Gryphon realized at that moment it wasn’t merely a field promotion but he would lead the team in all aspects. This was something he was going to have to work on finding the balance with Amanda. So much was changing as he received a text from Constance.

[Garrick, I wanted to check on you, honey. A few Google searches and Obelisk is no joke. I spoke with Katherine earlier and made sure she’s doing okay as well. Please let me know you’re doing okay.]

[Honey, I’m doing fine right now, I have been voted as the Team Leader and today was my first trial by fire with the CHIMERA director. It went well and Miss Amazing is with me.]

[Okay, I just miss you. I know Ameera didn’t get to see you last week and with the funeral I suppose this might be my week to not get to see you. I’ll try to visit on Tuesday after helping get Cai through their new-hire process.]

[Yeah I deserve none of you wonderful women, you’re so good to me. I’m helping one of my teammates with an errand before going over to comfort Jake’s sister.]

[Then I will leave you to helping her go through this terrible event. Be safe honey and I love you.]

[Love you back <3.]

When finally put the phone away Hank leaned over a bit and reminded him of a moment between his father and he. “Oh, someone’s finally decided to join us.” Cynthia Faulkner had always disliked distractions at the dinner table, and Garrick had said a very similar statement to his father after her passing. He felt a little embarrassed and just nodded at Hank. After stopping Rubberband Man from rolling away as a ball, and then returning him to Hank and his custom-sized fanny pack. The group headed off to Tecate’s corporate offices in the city. Rubberband Man did indeed sober up by the time they reached there and collected the outfits for a photo shoot.

Seeing the new shirt on Hank, Garrick was thrilled for Horse-Man’s fanny pack because like his centaur pal he was only required to wear a shirt based on precedent. However, his genitals were just out in the open, and on a centaur body it is not as noticeable. However, Hank stood upright and, well, god bless that fanny pack. It was a true hero to be certain. Miss Amazing snapped a few shots of Gryphon flying with Hank hanging on by one of his ankles. Heavens knows you don’t see that everyday. Thank goodness most aircar’s could be programmed with a destination and flew themselves.

Granny’s, or Ethel’s house had some positive issues going on from Garrick’s perspective. Geist had made some headway talking with Black Phantom. Deathwish and he were headed back to the base and would be awaiting the rest of the group there. He shared some information before he left and Garrick/Gryphon heard it but was trying to process how to talk with Victor/Rubberband Man to express his concerns about him being the spokesperson and preventing any embarrassment to the group or the city “if” they decide to take Balisong up and step to the role previously held by the Centurions. It was how Granny left her wake for Jake that had everyone at a loss. There was a phone call in her bedroom on her land line phone. She she went to pick it up there was a green flash and she was gone! Garrick chuckled understanding much better why Shorty asked “again” about Jake’s death.

While he was at Granny’s house he reached out to A.R.C.H.I.E. the base’s A.I. entity. He heard some static and wondered about a connection issue. When he and everyone made it to the base later he made a mental note to check in with Shorty in the next 24 hours in case Shorty #1 now needed a place to stay. He suspected if Jake was indeed not dead and had taken Granny. Then he would also take the Shorties because of his famous phrase – What’s a Jake without his Shorty! He made another mental note to have Geist check in discreetly with any families that had a Shorty placed with them. Revisiting the connection issue made him remind A.R.C.H.I.E. over comms so the whole team heard the conversation, specifically Geist. That he needed to list Hank as a guest so the base defenses would not target him.

April 1st, 2024 – Monday: 5 PM’ish

After being at the base for a few minutes having conversed with Hank throughout the day. Realizing Hank’s development as a human level intellect is around 8 to 12 years of human age, based on his limited observations. Sighing about wanting to help him progress quicker, and knowing nothing there was a quick fix. He asked A.R.C.H.I.E. where everyone was currently. Now he knew based on the response the static was not an effect of location, but of an unknown issue with the computer’s neural gel make-up. Geist mentioned wanting to talk with him about this. Having installed and two copies of Optimus in the last few months (one for Mallic, and one for Richard in his corporate office on a lone server), Garrick felt he could look at the logs to get a better idea. He informed everyone about this also over comms, then he asked Miss Amazing to assist him. Her ability to mimic skills she could see used would allow him to divide the work in half and make it about 10 minutes rather than 20 or 30 by himself.

Miss Amazing lived up to her name as she tore through the diagnostic logs using the knowledge she had for about an hour! When she started asking questions and pointing out things she was finding out a great deal regarding how Garrick thought about things, problems, solutions, and general processing of data. She was very smart herself and realized that he had a genius level IQ. Not Super-Genius like Jake and his father, but he also didn’t require sleep transformed and only three hours when he wasn’t! She began to think of all the things she could accomplish and wondered what did Garrick want. Why was he doing hero work, with his sword’s powers he could solve world hunger or something like that! Between Gryphon, Black Phantom and Beast they were able to determine the hacker was indeed Thanatos.

While Gryphon looked worried Miss Amazing saw him just sigh, make sure everyone knew what he’d be doing and then get to work after asking for a cup of coffee. Miss Amazing was thrilled to go and get that for him. She left Black Phantom in the room with Gryphon and found Geist getting a cup of coffee as well at the machine just outside the kitchen on a small counter area. Instead of returning right away, she took some time to have a small conversation with the Geist.

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

2nd Genius Lost

2nd Genius Lost

March 27th, 2024 – Wednesday: 2:30 AM

Gryphon stood there in Jake’s garage holding possibly the youngest empress of the six that presided over the galactic Atorian Empire. Arcadia, is how her name came out in English. Gryphon held her as she struggled slightly hearing the sounds of an explosion on the display setup connected to a rather impressive and possibly alien tech telescope, showing the brief flash in the night sky. The sound was brief and replaced by shrieking of Granny2Good calling out for her brother. Realizing he just sacrificed himself to effectively wipe out a third of the Atorian leadership.

Arcadia, or her old life as Empress Arcadia, was now dead. She’d been deemed a traitor by either an older sister, aunt or mother that had arrived in the final moments. That family member was now dying in an explosion of her ship and the one the other empress had arrived upon looking for her. Gryphon felt she didn’t need to have that visual remembering how seeing his father Cuthbert die in front of him as he tried to call for help and render aid at a similar teen age. While Ashmadiel had, he hoped, temporarily stripped him of his powers of flight until he could learn to trust his teammates more. He still possessed his strength which was sufficient to hold her with a single arm while he called Ameera.

Ameera sounded concerned when she answered the phone, “Handsome, I was so worried, the center said you had dropped off the food and headed back to work. I stayed and helped Ramona serve dinner hoping you might show up. Are you okay?”

“I’m fine, we lost a hero today. Saved a girl from prison on another planet, and I’m still processing right now. I will call you back when time permits later but hero work is what it is.”

Ameera what stunned by the mention of a death but steeled herself about her response, “Tell Miss Amazing to be safe as well and I’ll pray for you both.”

“I will, bye bye,” he hit the button to end the call and slid the phone away. Ameera at least knew that Katherine was not the one that died given his response. She called Constance to let her know she’d been in touch with Gryphon but someone near him on their team other than Katherine had died tonight. Gryphon knew the range was really impressive on the comm units and he tapped unit in his ear calling shorty. Since Shorty #5 was the one in the suit he was the one with the comm unit as well.

“Shorty, we’ll need to talk about what I wrote you, Jake sacrificed himself to save us and quite possibly the galaxy. Jake is dead. Yes, again.” Garrick told him to stay put and we’d be back soon. CLICK. Shorty #5 could hear G2G screaming and sobbing in the background. All this power and we couldn’t save him. Gryphon knew as Garrick that Jake had just given him and Mallic Robotics a new shot at life he couldn’t have hoped for. The Hideyoshi Motors account was saved in the long run.

Through his most recent adventure he’d learned that Patsy was still on this world for some reason? Without Jake’s gun he’d have to invent and inter-dimensional gateway to get her home. Why on the various Earth’s did she stay? Surely, the Wayfarer, would have been able to get her home by now. It couldn’t be because of himself, and then he was brought out of his thoughts.

The teenage Arcadia, with her triple mohawks and tattooed head was shaking. In, Atorian, he said, “It’s going to be all right. It’s going to be all right. It’s going to be all right. Hush, little baby, don’t say a word. Granny’s gonna buy you a mockingbird

And if that mockingbird won’t sing,
Granny’s gonna buy you a diamond ring

And if that diamond ring turns brass,
Granny’s gonna buy you a looking glass

And if that looking glass gets broke,
Granny’s gonna buy you a billy goat

And if that billy goat won’t pull,
Granny’s gonna buy you a cart and bull

And if that cart and bull turn over,
Granny’s gonna buy you a dog named Rover

And if that dog named Rover won’t bark
Granny’s gonna buy you a horse and cart

And if that horse and cart fall down,
You’ll still be the sweetest little baby in town.”

Garrick was hoping this would pull Granny out of her grief to help the now stranded and presumed dead, former Atorian empress. Garrick knew he had to honor Jake’s sacrifice. There was no doubt he had “haters” and people that would be willing to do him harm. However, he had to get details in place first to protect everyone else he cared about. He had to visit Amanda and find out where his new office was at CF Robotics was as CEO. The name would change but the house must be put in order first. Science would happen, humanity would have the means to become part of the galactic narrative after all.

He bowed his head for a moment in prayer, thankful in these interesting times he was not alone.

In his head, Garrick suddenly heard Ashmadiel say quietly, with pride, “Remember this feeling. You are never alone.” Garrick began floating then, his power of flight restored.

Reader Note: I don’t know where the lyrics for the lullaby originate.

The Scientist And The Swordsman

The Scientist And The Swordsman

March 24th, 2024 – Sunday

Jake had mentioned needing three days in our world to prep a way to stop the Atorians in the dimension Gryphon called Earth Three. Everyone came home in the first few hours of the 24th of March, 2024. Jake tapped Gryphon on the arm and said he wanted to talk on Monday when his work had a window. Gryphon nodded, saying he’d be available, he bid Granny2Good thank you for the lovely dinner. He then said his goodbye’s to all present, asked Katherine for her hand, transforming back to Garrick. Both of them heading for his truck to proceed home.

Katherine was quiet watching him drive on the way back to their home. He sat in the truck after their arrival and just whispered, “Dad, how would you make this right? I’m stumped!” He never even noticed Katherine go and come back with a mug of coffee that had the Transformer’s Autobot symbol on it. Shorty #5 knew something was up when Katherine asked him to find Garrick’s favorite coffee cup. He got the quick rundown about the other, slightly ahead, dimension that revealed something really screwing with Garrick’s psyche right now.

What had bothered Katherine the most was seeing the Gryphon taken down when he heard Mallic Robotics had gone under. She was worried for him and putting her concern about Patsy still being in this dimension on hold. When he finally laid down to sleep she could sense Ashmadiel whispering soothing things inside his head. The sword kept telling him to rely on his friends for aid and support. That they were partners and that means not letting the other down when things get rough.

When he woke up it was almost noon! He heard Constance say, “Katherine, he’s opening his eyes, let Ameera know she’s getting a new pot ready.” “On it,” Garrick heard Katherine reply.

Realizing he was half dressed, Garrick understood how awkward Patsy must have felt when she found out she’d been saved again. It was only a few seconds and he was FULLY awake! The woman he was worried most about leaned into view, “Honey, I love you, and Katherine gave me the rundown about you both going to another dimension! Tell me about what happened to us there after you eat something.” Garrick sits up to food and tea from Ameera. Katherine and Ameera sit and listen to his recounting of Miss Amazing’s and the Gryphon’s trip! Including the rundown of what 6 months in the future does to Mallic Robotics at news from that Geist of Earth Three. Garrick is careful to use “Hero identities” for Ameera and Constance’s benefit. Constance is troubled by the news regarding Earth Three’s Blake Masters. She kisses Garrick on the cheek as Ameera explains she told the Norwood Knights that today was dealing with personal issues.

Brandon arrived about 30 minutes after Constance calls him. Garrick gives him the thumb drive saying he knows these files are named identically to the naming conventions we use in this dimension. Brandon thanks him and said Constance made him a small script to check the names for matches and then to verify if anything had been copied to an external drive. Brandon thanks him for looking out for the company, him, and his sister. When he thinks everyone is busy he leans in, “Buddy, I don’t know what super powers you have but, Wow! oooOOOWWWWW!”

Constance is small next to her brother and hasn’t yanked his ear in a long time, “Brandon, don’t you have a company to save from corporate espionage thanks to Garrick? Besides the fact that the people with the information were trying to prevent another Alpha Prime moment. They also have a follow up meeting with him on Monday, so he’ll be off that day to make sure he doesn’t miss it. Oh, and brother, dear, you might want to take notes to avoid a third ex-Mrs. Mallic,” Brandon nodded as Constance let go of his ear, “Okay, oww. Well, provided Pavek had no part in this someone else is getting a promotion.” Brandon headed off to his office to run the scripts and verify whom was and was not involved.

Once things settle down Constance takes Ameera home and tells Garrick she’ll see him at 10 PM. Katherine sees him behaving more upbeat and asks him how he’s feeling. “Well, about average, Ashmadiel has been great about about reminding me I’m not alone anymore. All of you have been great about making sure there was a way through the fire I saw my life turning into once again. You were able to brace others for news that would wreck some people. Constance, is the best crisis manager I have ever known. Ameera has this soothing aura around her wherever she goes and I think Ethel and her must know the same stuff about teas. I forgot to thank you this morning for bringing me coffee, and being sweet enough to do so in a Autobot mug.” Katherine made a mental note Shorty #5 got one free pass in the future for something dumb because of his help.

When Garrick asked her what she wanted to do she paused and asked if he wanted to watch the Wonder Woman movie? Then she’d watch Transformers with him, he could even invite Shorty for the Transformer stuff. She watched him perk up and run down stair to tell Shorty #5. She smiles because it was the first night they really hung out like a family. Garrick even showed Shorty #5 how to toss pizza dough, make a mess, and do it two more times till they got it right. At 9:30 PM Garrick watched him go back down stairs with the last two slices and hit the next raid online. She finally understood his obsession with the Optimus Prime voice even if it was still weird. After he left she sent a text to Geist that Gryphon seemed better having rested. She sent another text to Constance he was on his way and just let her know he got there in one piece. She looked up about 20 minutes later to see the confirmation from Constance.

Constance, met him at the door in a long silk robe. She had him change into one and told him tonight they were going to relax and he was going to get rewarded for saving all her hard work from being used against them. Then she grabbed his chin, “So help me if I wake up alone tomorrow…” never finishing the sentence but kissing him.

March 25th, 2024 – Monday

Brandon fires Blake Masters first thing Monday morning after finding evidence that he transferred files from their system to an external device. Blake’s firing is loud and the police are brought in to escort him off the premises. Brandon opts to not press charges though, he creates a little power point presentation about corporate espionage and sends it out to the company. Everyone is required to click the link at the end acknowledging watching it. Constance and Garrick know that he had been planning on doing that until Garrick got back with the bombshell from his meeting with Jake.

When the Scientist and the Swordsman met at lunch time. Jake looked like what Garrick used to on the film sets. However, there was one noted missing aroma, the stench of various alcohols! The smell of coffee came from the flask this when Jake would partake. Jake explain the initials were a deliberate attempt to make Garrick think of his dad. While Jake didn’t know him he did admire how much he pushed science and therefore the collective intelligence of the human race. Garrick had become distracted from that goal by events in his life and he was here to offer him a top position next to Amanda Surges and Starbucks Guy!

He produced a document about excepting the position and Garrick mentioned he had not expected this direction! Jake had one goal, to get Garrick back to working on science and pushing the boundaries once more. Garrick was excited but loyal to the people who gave him his second chance when he needed it most. He hand wrote the addendum on the back of Jake’s copy and his. Jake and he both signed each one, stating Garrick would turn in his two weeks when there was an offer to buyout Mallic on the table. Later, Garrick made sure that part of the video had a copy off line stashed where he kept various other recordings. Jake explained using the Starbucks Guy to make sales they had managed to snag Mallic’s largest account. He was hoping this could be leverage that might make them amenable to the buyout. Garrick mentioned that by absorbing Mallic they could get the already up and running factory which would expand at the start of next month when he moved out. Jake told him when he came on board he could change the name to what he wanted.

  • Amanda would be the VP of Operations
  • Starbucks Guy would become VP of Sales
    • Brandon would work under him as a Director of Sales.
  • Jake mentioned wanting to replace the current H.R. employee because of outbursts. They both laughed but Constance could either work with Garrick or fill that role.
  • Garrick would be Director of Innovation and R&D.
    • In the event of Jake’s passing the title of CEO would pass to Garrick.

Garrick signed both contract copies and that point and so did Jake.

Constance listened to his proposal and watched him get passionate about how this merger could help in the long run, Mallic/Faulkner Robotics. When she brought up Garrick just went from wanting to divorce himself from Mallic to wanting to be a partner. He mentioned he was trying to make sure in the longterm survivability of the company and still help as the hero: Gryphon. Constance watched Garrick get passionate about trying to convince her – did he really not realize how seductive he was being?  She tried to distance herself from that by playfully chiding him about it, asking if now was really the best time for that? She’s deep in thought about what this means for them and how this could work. Mallic is still working to expand into the full building before the move begins on the 1st. She’d have to talk with her brother of course, but this has potential and she can see it working out.

In the afternoon on Monday, Constance finds out that Hideyoshi Motors decided to go with “Mallic’s cheaper competitor. It’s nothing personal.” Manufacturing Hideyoshi’s robotic parts was a large percentage of the manufacturing Mallic performed, and while losing it wouldn’t drive them out of business it would be a loss that is felt. Of course, this comes as no big surprise based on everything Garrick learned recently. Constance notes as she heads off to discuss the proposal with Brandon that they would not loose anything if they went with Garrick’s offer. When she mentioned this conversation might take time. Garrick said he needed to talk with precinct captain in Norwood as Gryphon about his 24-hr crime fighting marathon on the end of the month. They decided to make it up to each other tomorrow with lunch together before heading their separate ways.

To War?

To War?

That is the question…

Four or Five months after March, 2024 – Earth Three

Gryphon was flying around on his mile patrol in what he could only refer to as Earth Three. Technically, from his perspective, the world holding the Earth Two designator was Patsy’s world of Millennium Station. While he had never visited that world he met someone from it. Jake was the only other dimensional being he knew of, and this world would consider “him” the dimensional being.

This Earth’s Century Station looked remarkably similar to the one he came from. To think Jake just made some calculations on the tiny input embedded upon his portal gun and found a dimension where S.A.V.I.O.R. gave in to the Atorian demands. It was roughly 4 to 5 months ahead of their world so time across dimensions may not always sync up. Things to keep in mind certainly.

He had been expecting Atorian warships in the skies above subjugating the planet and its male inhabitants. It had been explained that the Atorians treated men as slaves and were expansionists. Gryphon imagined for a minute being the servant to Miss Amazing and he thought she’d laugh about it. However, he wondered if she’d like that sort of thing? He shook his head with the notion of being a slave to anyone. He had read about bedroom games but just couldn’t wrap his head around it because it reminded him of prison and some of his most painful memories. Jake had taken Black Phantom somewhere and shown him the Atorian style of rule which had Black Phantom sharing Jake’s view they needed to be wiped out. Gryphon was certain that given the track record men had set a significant percentage of women would be on board for the restructuring of the planet.

Geist had mentioned needing to see what Black Phantom had seen before he could agree one way or the other. That was the impetus for this dimensional field trip through the neon green portal. He ran across three different thugs in his patrol and none of them cried out in surprise at him being a male. None of the Atorians arrived on the scene as each thug was being taken from their crime and dumped into a trash bin at a casino with video surveillance. He enjoyed telling them what he intended to do with them so they knew they would be on camera. Each of them were given the warning to turn over a new leaf or it’d be jail next time.

As Gryphon was flying back he was a little concerned that Jake may be wrong about the Atorians. If the guards had disobeyed their Empress and there were six Empresses in the Empire of Atoria. Then it would seem that like many governments and nations, there were factions within the populace and its government. Perhaps Jake had only dealt with a ruthless faction of their regime until now? Gryphon didn’t doubt they were expansionist if they controlled 25% of the Milky Way galaxy! Perhaps though, not every faction was ruthless or bloodthirsty? He radioed his findings to the group and saw Jake out front meeting someone approaching on a motorcycle. He would later learn as he landed that it was the Geist from this world! Later, with everyone gathered around the story he had to share was rather different than what Gryphon and S.A.V.I.O.R. might have expected regarding why Granny2Good’s House was empty.

Come watch the next game at: HippoTV!
Art by: AZ_Artisan


Have You Seen GO? Jan. 19-20, 2024

Have You Seen GO? Jan. 19-20, 2024

When he arrives home he gets on the PA system, “Umm, Patsy, I believe I know why you can’t access your powers meet me at the kitchen if your home. I have to change give me 10 minutes.”

Garrick's KitchenWhen Garrick finishes changing and goes to leave his room he finds Patsy pacing nervously, waiting for him. When she sees him she starts to speak excitedly, then stops. “Garrick, you found-” She seems to notice something about his attitude; the way he carried himself. “Did something bad happen tonight while you were out?” She asks with concern. Garrick looks at her and asks, “Do you like cult classic movies? Did one on your world in or around 1999 ever get one called, ‘GO’? Because if it did then the F’ed up night I am about to explain would make more sense.”

Garrick motions to sit at the kitchen bar and starts cappuccino maker up for two LARGE steins (think of something around 28-32oz.) of sweet caffeine. He’s dressed in sweatpants and his Copernicus University zippered hoodie. Patsy is weary jeans and a hastily thrown on sweat shirt with the band ‘Call of the Deep’ on it. She can see him going through breathing exercises as he makes the coffee. “Okay, Patsy, I want you to know that the stuff pertaining to you is about halfway through this roller coaster of F’ed. So I really need your help because I have NO ONE to talk with about this. I mean when you can startle a billionaire super hero then I feel this qualifies as F’ed.” Patsy sips and looks up at Garrick because that cappuccino had at least four hits of something and she is wide awake. When Garrick sips before continuing it’s hard to tell if he is happy or some of his soul just eroded away.

“Okay so Friday morning you might remember me talking about keeping in touch with one of the Heroes I met on the 17th…”

“…We spent all morning on the 18th texting and I was also chatting with my therapist whom said that ‘confrontational therapy’ was the best way to break down any fear. I felt that maybe if I made a connection with another woman my fear of them would start to go away. Because of how I lost my virginity I have felt – rightly or wrongly – that I wouldn’t be able to love someone correctly because every intimate experience up to now has been some form of rape. I don’t know, or is it feel, I’m not sure I feel any of those acts can be done in a loving manner. Then that makes me feels like less of a man because if I can’t please my partner then I suck.”

Deep breath, “I know logically the fallacies in my thought process and I’m getting better at breaking the loops, sorry ’bout that. Anyhoo, I felt texting seemed a good way to be distant and still slowly break down my internal barriers one teammate at a time. To be completely honest I think we might have enjoyed showing off to each other a bit more than we should have. I think we both just wanted someone to acknowledge and appreciate what we are capable of. In moderation I suppose it’s a fairly healthy emotion.

Anyway, Friday the 19th of January, rolls on up and I said goodbye to you at a smidgen after 9pm. Getting through the gang bangers, ‘Hill-top’ slummers going to titty bars and worse is as bad as rush hour traffic. I am going to have to set a lawn chair up on the roof with a telescope or something to explain why I go up on the roof each night. I love my truck but…
…right, right stop looking at me like that. I am getting there.” Patsy’s sympathy is being threatened in a dark alley of her mind by her anticipation.
Well, since Miss Amazing decided she wanted to be my partner and Jake had said we were to bring a dish I decided to bring my capicola ham and cheese rolls for appetizers and a half pan of beef brisket in case Miss Amazing didn’t have anything to bring. I mean partners are suppose to look out for each other, right?”

Garrick had moved the remaining brisket in the fridge he hadn’t brought and made a small dish for each of them. “Well when I showed up Katherine was dressed as a normal teenager and was coming out from a tree covered portion of the sidewalk. Not to far away from her was Black Phantom and it wasn’t long after that we got to see the Geist in his normal guise of Richard Grey, CEO of Spirit Enterprises Mrs. Falkenberg was already there as her aircar was in the driveway. It was quite the sight to behold, one of the few Retropolis style designs with a huge clear dome on top fashioned as a single piece! Just before we began to head inside, Cavalry, showed up in a beater car, and all I could think of was ‘why is his tailpipe making blue smoke?’

Then Black Phantom starts going on about finding out about a female mole and begins to go off on Miss Amazing as Zeau just floats down out of the sky making no pretense about hiding! Well, 10pm on a weekend in a suburb district of Diego Verde I suppose I could’ve done the same thing. At this point Black Phantom tries to continue his interrogation of Miss Amazing and when she looked at me I stepped between them and told him she was a secret soldier type of experiment and her old life and identity is listed as dead, Kat is who she is now. A doctor at the facility smuggled her out and since he hasn’t contacted her is presumed dead. Now, if that won’t satisfy him to bad we can all leave, but if he calls her “bitch” one more time then I would have words with him.”

Patsy watches him stop and drink his fancy coffee as she sips hers and it hits her. Garrick could never stand up for his father and he somehow feels responsible for not fighting harder against Alpha Prime. So standing up for someone, particularly someone getting abused is a trigger for him to push any anxiety or fear to the back.

“So we went inside and it started off nice enough. Mrs. Falkenberg liked the dishes Miss Amazing and I brought, and then she produced a great dish of lasagna herself. It looked as though she was stunned anyone else here actually cooked anything so I never actually brought up my dishes and left them next to hers. Zeau is a history Professor and after I get through this weekend I’ll reach out to him for help in your research if you want. Fair warning though when he was talking with Cavalry one of the sentences he said was: You could just try not being a fuck up, I’m just saying.

Garrick breathes deeply, “Okay, while Miss Amazing, err Katherine, Cavalry, and I are still talking. I am feeling as comfortable as I do at work so it was really nice until I found out this cul-de-sac was the home to laser canons! Yeah! Real laser canons! You might remember the owner from when I was talking about the Portal Gun sending the ColorPunks we didn’t give a second chance to stay in school to the prison. However, that wacky scientist had used the Portal Gun to travel to alternate realities! Now before you get to concerned apparently this is very difficult to tune into various alternate dimensions appears to be monumentally difficult!

So we all go out to the garage where we notice the scientist’s assistant, Shorty, looking for something and then he heads to another room to continue his search. Not to sidetrack but we got on the Portal Gun topic because Jake was convinced there was a world where the Nazi Regime won world domination and we could steal the Liberty Bell from the Nazis and fix the disaster that had plagued Cavalry when he broke the one in this world.

Okay, so when he opened the portal everyone saw a wall of liquid silver! Apparently, that is not what it is suppose to look like and when he tried to go through he bounced off and I caught him. He dialed in a different dimension and the same result only I tried putting my hand through and it stopped on the surface feeling like a metallic oil substance of some kind.”

Patsy looked stunned when Garrick continued, “It appears someone or something has walled off this dimension and THAT is what is keeping you from feeling the energy here on my world. Think of it like superhero wifi and someone or something is blocking your signal. I realize that news may not be great but it is progress, right? I mean your researching can get more focused perhaps?”

Patsy was listening as well as she could, but the sudden caffination made the story seem like it was going on for a long, long time. She didn’t mean to but she zoned out for part of it. So while she caught that Garrick had stood up for someone in a way he could never stand up for his own father, she completely missed that he was standing up for a woman whom he was speaking very familiarly about. Finally, he talked about someone who was a dimensional traveler and their weird result when they attempted to open a portal, and she perked up.

“You met someone who claimed to have traveled dimensions! I’ve only heard of someone called The Wayfarer but I haven’t been able to find them yet. And you’re not even trying! *laughs* He made a portal to another dimension but it was silver and solid? That doesn’t make sense – the one that took me here was black. Did he say if a black portal was what he expected? How does someone wall off a whole dimension? I guess that makes a metaphysical sense, that if the dimension was sealed it would cut me off. But how did I get here then?

She starts as she realized that she’s been just rambling at the pause in Garrick’s story. “Oh! Sorry, that was…” She looks away, a little overcome that he had found such a promising lead! Well, promising in the sense that it was more information. She wondered if she should talk with him more about what she was finding? No, she realized. Not yet. He was so gun-ho it seemed on looking into this for her… she didn’t want to send him on a greased hog chase.

“It’s more clues to the puzzle, that’s for sure. If he’s been to other dimensions like he says I think I’d like to meet and talk with him. Maybe he’d be able to tell me more!” She slows back down as she realized she’d just kept on talking, ignoring that this was obviously not what had happened to make Garrick seem so… melancholy. “But that’s for another day… what happened after that?”

“Umm, the color I thought would be kinda green? At least that was the color of the other portal he made. Would you believe that was the sane portion of the evening? all gave blood samples just to get on the property. Why? Because the Jake at one point had installed “Laser Canons! Yes, Laser Fricking Canons!” Yep, I first found that out because they killed a reporter that had tailed Cavalry to the site. Oddly enough my only hope that I don’t go back to Gramercy…
…sorry I am getting ahead of myself.”

Another deep breath, “Okay after the failed portal attempt Jake proceeds to tear his gun apart in an investigation to eliminate the physical item from malfunctioning. From what I understand he didn’t find anything wrong with the gun and to answer your question about how you got here. I am hypothesizing at this point but what if the silver wall is a form of prison? What if, like Gramercy, you are design to let people in but not let them out? Maybe, you are not cut off as much as Murder Master learned about a dimension that had been made to act like a prison? Metaphysically what the hell else is in this dimension that needs locking up?”

Garrick doesn’t see Patsy reaction as he rubs his temples apologizing for sidetracking again, “Anyhoo, while we all leave the garage. Black Phantom noticed something outside and mentions it to the Geist. The Geist left but I don’t know how as Miss Amazing, Cavalry and I were talking. Mrs. Falkenberg brought out more lasagna and I snuck another piece and some of my brisket onto a small plate. Soon I see Jake go down a hallway and Black Phantom follows him. About the time I am done with my plate Mrs. Falkenberg and Zeau go out the front door and the three of us begin wondering what has everyone else so enraptured. As we start to stand up there was a second and a half ROAR of what sounded like twin jet engines! We race out to the Geist standing over the body of a now smoking corpse of a tabloid journalist that ran a piece in the Silver-Hill Sentinel. Apparently, Shorty had run off and Mrs. Falkenberg and Zeau were off to go find out why, meanwhile, the Geist had just knocked Mr. Wade out, hmm, now that I think about I wonder if he was a distant relationship of Damien Wade? Well, since we got outside to late to stop the laser canons that had popped out of the front lawn!”

Garrick takes a huge gulp of his drink and Patsy can easily realized this part is what is killing him. His eyes, while weary, perk open at the caffeine, “I knew if we didn’t get rid of the body that all of us would be on the run or in Gramercy. Because we made a mistake an innocent person died. People forget that when you choose to be part of a team then you all share in the triumph and failures. This was a failure but it did not have to sink the ship. I snapped the Geist out of his shock asking him for his cape from wherever he had it stashed in his luxury sports car. Miss Amazing was stunned but saw me functioning the way I functioned in Gramercy. I was in survival mode and I got Jake and Black Phantom to open the garage. Miss Amazing stepped up and asked how she could help in her plain clothing, as was everyone except maybe Zeau, I don’t know him well enough to know if he has another outfit. Anyhoo, Katherine, err Miss Amazing helped load the body onto the Geist’s cape and we brought it inside the garage as Richard, err the Geist, got the door down. I grabbed the Geist by the arm to get his attention, “Go and handle everything else, I can make this disappear given some of the chemicals I see here. We will have a further chat about this tonight! Some innocent died because we made a mistake.”

“I will stay and help,” Miss Amazing told us.

Garrick sighs, “Both the Geist and I looked surprised as she had gotten two of the chemicals I would need off the shelves. I nodded and the Geist left, I think he said sometime during this whole event, “Well, I guess we’re in it now.” Jake paused just long enough to take a sample tissue and something for DNA. The Geist went with Jake mentioning taking the SIM card out of the phone and battery. He would take them to another area of town and turn them on again to suggest a different ‘final destination’ for the reporter. Well, there I was in a garage over a sewer drain with Katherine dissolving a body and shredding a cape to go down with him. I am glad for the respirators we found because even with them the smell was fucking gross!”

Then Garrick holds up both fists with his index fingers extended for emphasis, “You would think that would be the worst part, but oh no, I managed to cock this up even further! We had a fan running and the garage door cracked about two feet up to push the chemical smell out. We had taken our respirators off and all I could think of was going back to Gramercy and not having kissed a woman. I turned to Miss Amazing and told her I wanted only one good memory of tonight and I gave her what I thought was a small, chaste kiss. To which I was surprised when she returned the kiss with one of her own and much more earnestly than mine. She broke it off after a moment and looked away with what I think was embarrassment, “I shouldn’t have done that. I- everything’s just so crazy right now.” I have never been kissed like that, ever! She walked into the house with me but, I could feel her putting a little distance between us and what little more time we spent there that night was awkwardly professional, even when she said good-bye.”

Patsy put her hands over her mouth in shock at what he told her. “Garrick, you didn’t! That- are you sure…” She trailed off suddenly. “No, I’m sorry. I’m too harsh to judge these people just based on these stories. I…” She seemed at a loss for words as a jumble of conflicting emotions play across her face. She seemed unsure for a moment but then hesitantly reached over to grab his hands and squeeze them gently. “You may be an accomplice, but you aren’t a bad person. You were put in a messed up situation and did the best you could. How would the police have even reacted to an ex-felon reporting a body? Sometimes… you do what you have to in order to survive. You of all the people I know understand that. You’ve helped me rediscover that.”

Looking at Patsy, “Thank you for listening to the rest of my cluster fuck of an evening. I am going to try and sleep, but I need to get a hold of the Geist. Well, at least its Saturday. Alright I’ll be back later today.”

“You’re welcome. I’m glad to be here for you in some way for once.” She squeezed his hands again, then let go and stood up, leaving him to rest.

Going into his room he grabbed his phone to text the Geist. After a few back and forth texts he headed out once more knowing this was going to be a long night, day, thing.

Garrick figured now was as good as time as any to make sure people are getting on the same page. This wasn’t Gramercy and he had to start trusting someone, but no one does anything for free, even as a charity. The reasons can be helpful and benign but there is always a reason, even more likely is a number of reasons with some more important than others. When he began to pull into the parking garage at the emailed address a small text message popped up saying: I’m on the roof.

One of the reason for so much construction in industrial and commercial areas was a city code stating any parking superstructure over three levels had to be made of reinforced concrete given the risk of aircar collisions and super fights. Funny enough this is paid for by that excess money from the SBCW at Gramercy. Well, paid might be to strong a term, subsidized it more accurate thought Garrick as he wound his way up to the roof. ‘Well, clearly being a billionaire has its perks,’ Garrick pulled onto the roof and saw a luxury version of the newest aircar Avtran was going to begin selling in June of this year! ‘I wonder what it would cost for Jake to convert this truck to do both, I can dream.’ Garrick began to smile as he pulled up thinking of an old set of James Blond spy novels by Ian Fletching.

Getting out of his truck in his sweat pants and Copernicus University hoodie, “Thank you for meeting me because I am well aware of the fact you didn’t have to.”

“Certainly, you did mention earlier that you’d be reaching out.”

Garrick gave a resigned shrug, “Look, I like your dream and over-arching goal. I had those once but it didn’t work out for me and I am hoping this time around things will be different. I learned how to survive prison, and one thing you could never do is show fear. If you’re going to lead this team you cannot afford to be shell shocked like that again. I will back your play, always. In private I might ask questions if don’t understand something. In public though we are a unified front, even if it means a near suicide mission for me. I said I was all in and I think tonight proves that!”

Richard nods, “I accept and acknowledge the admonishment. I need to step up; for all my research on everyone there’s obviously a lot I didn’t know. I will be better at both anticipating, and dealing with them. The previous Geists would’ve been better at handling it. I am grateful knowing you and Zeau support me in this endeavor.”

“Okay, what Kat & I did tonight never happens again, the dissolving thing. It’s clear Jake may not remember the details of every invention he has made or what their triggers are. We need to be aware a similar situation could happen in the future. Proper preparation prevents piss poor performance. A lot of the guards in Gramercy served in the military at some point.”

Richard emphatically nods this time, “Agree 100%. I’m still not sure it was the right thing to do but I’ll leverage Spirit Enterprises into finding a way to at least provide proper restitution to that poor man’s family. I’ll be investigating him to both learn about how he can help make things better for them and also to help ensure that this is never discovered. It’s the “real world” not a comic book and people die. I intend to try and make sure that no more innocents lose their lives because of our actions.”

“Confrontational therapy, okay in your research on me did you know I was raped and lost my “cherry” in Gramercy? I need help finding a super hero friendly therapist and figured a multi-generational hero might know one.”

Richard looks genuinely surprised and sympathetic. “I had no idea and I am so sorry about that. I don’t know one off hand but if I remember correctly, Ethel was looking into a therapist as well for her own issues. I’ll see what he can do to find someone appropriate for both of you, and the others as well who may wish to talk with one.”

“Okay, here’s my real potential fuck up. Fearing I might be sent back to jail I panicked and I kissed Miss Amazing. What I had not anticipated was being kissed me back. I think she feels awkward now and I need any tips on how to smooth things over if she wants to be:
Just Friends,
Just teammates,
More than what happened last night.
Since all my previous intimate moments were in prison this is a big step for me and frankly you have to have more knowledge of women than I do. Please do me a solid because I just don’t want to hurt her.”

He sort of chuckles at the idea he has more knowledge of women than Garrick does. “Traditionally, The Geist doesn’t have a very good track record with women.” He suggests reaching out to talk with her but letting her respond in her own time. Don’t force it. She has her own things she’s dealing with too; not just last night, but related to her own past. Garrick nods having learned what he believes is a significant portion of it.

“If there is a reason to have me more active during the day then I would like to purpose an option. Because I “refuse” to touch the rent money that may end up being my emergency cushion. Has Spirit, your company, ever considered super-hero training gear? Perhaps, this would be an avenue to pursue and as new heroes if we get in a pinch you can keep paperwork saying we are sponsored? The reason I thought of the super-hero training angle is because of my sword. Ashmadiel is super powerful and I was holding back from killing blows, or using the fireball in case it would catch something else on fire! I poked around and got one email back from a guy that wants $50,000 for a carbon fiber, resin practice sword able to take the abuse I can dish out. I am not asking for you to say yes, that would be a cheap shot. Run the numbers check out my company – Mallic Robotics, and if Brandon Mallic asks we met in the Vault Coffee Shop across from Copernicus University.

Richard was honest that in this early stage he’s not sure how much activity the team will need going forward. He explains his intentions with this group was to bring everyone together so they could work as they usually would but with backup and support. He went on to note there are already some legit companies (and illicit versions) whom produce equipment for superhuman training and operations. It’s already an area that Spirit Enterprises has invested somewhat in. The sort of thing Garrick is looking for though, that’s not something that a company like his would just produce off the shelf. “Garrick, can you give me the contact information for the person you reached out to so he can see what he can do in this regard. Definitely don’t embezzle from your company! After your help tonight it’s about the least I could do, anyway.”

Garrick hands Richard the business card he scrawled the info on the back of and laughs, “Maybe if Spirit does decide to get into Superhuman training gear this deal will allow the team to get Cavalry a new set of wheels so he could show up, and well, actually be the cavalry!”

Richard laughs, “Yes, I’ll be reaching out to Cavalry soon to see how I can help him in that regard.”

Smirking Garrick asks, “Last item, Can you look into Fat Lucca, and the bar in Norwood he frequents? Also if your ears about the city in occult circles hears about someone going by “The Wayfarer” please let me know.”

Richard smiles, “You’ve read my mind. I planned to do some digging around on that bar and Fat Lucca in general. As far as “The Wayfarer,” I’ve heard the name and had tried to find out more, but was unable to. I had considered inviting him at one point as well if I could’ve learned more.”

Garrick thanks him and they shake hands with Garrick driving away in his truck and the Geist getting into his luxury aircar and lifting off afterwards.

So at about 8:02am Garrick arrives at the Vault Coffee Shop. He gets coffee and sits in corner of the room where two glass walls meet on a two-person couch. He uses his bag to prevent anyone else from sitting next to him and he begins working on his foldable tablet.

A girl who had been there in the shop already already comes over after about a minute. She asks Garrick, “Is this seat taken?”

“Oh, I am sorry I am waiting for someone very important to me, umm wait…
…Katherine! I am so sorry but your ‘other’ outfit is very different. Please sit,” Garrick moves his bag, “I can flag a waiter down and get you something?” Seeing her dressed like any normal, average teenager would be and something about how she carried herself that really made her seem almost like a different person. Occasionally, she’d glance around a bit nervously. Not often enough to really stand out Garrick thought to himself, but he noticed it anyway. She seems nervous for some reason and even the ordering of a meal didn’t catch her attention.

Garrick tries hard to make a sincere effort to be warm and charming by taking her hands in his (he got the idea from Patsy, because if she does it then this is likely an acceptable way to be intimate and caring), “If meeting out in the open sounds like a bad idea, or just unsafe, we could go wherever would make you comfortable.”

“No, meeting in the open is probably better,” she said as she turned to look back at Garrick. She smiled. “I knew that working with other heroes was a risk. It’s… probably okay anyway. I’m not going to worry about it.” She pulled her hands back. “I’m glad you wanted to meet. You’re right, last night was so… weird. I’m a little uncomfortable with what we did. I think it might have crossed a line, and I’m having a little trouble being okay with that.”

“Oh, I’m sorry, I know at my age you won’t believe this but you’re the first girl I’ve ever kissed. I’m sure I will get better I suppose. Everything was so dark and depressing I can’t get that one good memory out of my head. I have not slept yet….” he looks a little crestfallen, “…Oh, yeah I spoke with Richard G. and made it clear that what we did for everyone will never happen again. Richard is going to make sure any family is cared for, and some form of restitution is made available to any of them, discreetly. That was a one time thing.”

A bemused smile crept over her face, “Slow down one sec; first, girl, kissed?” Garrick thought someone could shiv him right now and that dumb grin he just got would still be on his mug, “Well, yes.” Knowing he would need to explain he motioned for her to lean in. She did so after another scan of the room and Garrick realize she smelled really nice, “Katherine, you umm, smell great, sorry sidetracking. You see going after dual doctorate degrees at my alma mater – pointing across the street – left no personal life. I currently have two master degrees: Robotics and Bio-Dome Engineering. I still toy with the idea of going back to complete my doctorate in at least the Bio-Dome Engineering.” Katherine scans the room as he takes a breath and then turns back to face him to see his cheeks are much redder than before, “Okay, if I feel if I’ve any hope of getting you to kiss me again you need to know everything, we’re partners now. I told you about the truck heist already and that I went to the ::almost whispered:: Rock. What I didn’t tell you was I was raped there and that is how I lost my virginity.”

She leaned back, shocked. “Woah, that’s like… really personal. You don’t have to tell me about that. Um.” She looks a bit concerned. “Slow down. You’re…” She struggled to carefully choose her next words. “I like you Garrick. And I want to learn more about you. But not like this. Let’s just… spend some time together first. Get to know who we are now before we unpack our complicated pasts.” She smiles at him then, genuinely. “Figure out how to deal with our current issues.”
Garrick nodded because he had not anticipated he’d shock her into being just friends. Then he had a stroke of what he thought was brilliance thinking about some things he rarely got to do. “Then I have the perfect idea,” he check the time on his phone, “Sentinel Park opens in 20 minutes let’s get a bite to eat and spend the morning having fun! Then we head to our homes, get some rest, and go on patrol tonight. So, think you can take me at bumper cars?”

She grinned mischievously at him. “I think you don’t know what you’re in for!”

Later that day as Garrick pulls into his garage as the door begins to shut. His transparent crystal Pearphone-X buzzed that it got a picture message.
Super Hero Selfie 4U