Tag: Nine Lives

When Will This Week End?

When Will This Week End?

March 29th, 2024 – Friday: 8:52 AM

As far as Gryphon knew everyone in S.A.V.I.O.R. had left off for their various destinations and city patrols. As he went to clean the dishes he used in breakfast. He overheard the Geist and Shorty #5 having a ‘Come to Jesus’ meeting about his activities last night. Gryphon knew that he would have to engage him during missions more to help him feel comfortable as providing situational intelligence updates, coordinating the bringing in of police, fire, and E.M.S. Perhaps, even finding a purpose he could get behind.

He checked his phone and it was just turning 8:58 AM. He sent and email to Brandon, Amanda Surges, and Constance Mallic about the hiring of a new developer at the Faulkner Robotics division of Mallic-Faulkner Technologies. He would be specializing in medical applications and language translations/communications. His name is Cai, and he’s a transfered intelligence in a robot body designated by Cai as: Caedechron. He noted that he was a new member of S.A.V.I.O.R. and any necessary paperwork would need to be drawn up. Since Garrick was going to be in briefly on Monday to see about Amanda’s three projects and their humanitarian counterparts. They could meet Cai and he, while on boarding their new developer with the company and a workstation. His starting salary would be $90,000 per year.

After he was an employee and signed the NDA’s he wanted to share with Cai his brainchild for ‘CPU Hive A.I. Networking’ as means to help him adapt to a non-organic body. Hopefully, they could try and figure out a way to see where Mason Douchegutt had stashed the organic dead one. Garrick had decided that preparing for a worse case scenario was prudent.

He also proposed a conditional project for biological cloning and/or synthetic skinned, android, transfered intelligence bodies for people that had been wounded critically and may not survive longer. The elite would pay but this could also allow M.F.T. to help out a percentage of cases for city workers and the underprivileged by economic means. His inspiration was clearly Cai. He was hoping to re-gift him with a synth-skinned body that would allow him to live as close to normal as once did. He ended the email with the quote he mentioned to Amanda as his new corporate email signature: “Our success will be measured not just in control of markets of technology, but equally in what we give back to the communities we reside in.”

He sent a text to Ramona about meeting for lunch in Century Station Memorial Park at 11 AM. He would bring sandwiches, some fruit salad, and soft oatmeal bars. She was welcome to bring the beverages and they could have a conversation that didn’t involve the craziness of last night. He added to bring a sweater because it might be chilly according to the weather report. Garrick made sure to pack an umbrella just to be sure. It did not take long to get an affirmative reply and she’d bring water and tea.

He logged onto the Discord server the Frauen Von Gryphon used and let them know that Ramona may have figured out he was part of S.A.V.I.O.R. Given she was there on the previous night at the Church of Reflections. She was, after all, his way to get most of the team inside without raising suspicion. He explained he was going to have lunch with her to find out if his identity was compromised with her. He also asked everyone their thoughts on him going public as the Gryphon? He asked them to think about it before answering. He closed the app on his phone and then made the call he knew had to be made.

Garrick called Nathaniel and got his voice mail, “Hey buddy this is Garrick, can I stop by the bar tonight and we can talk? If not tonight, maybe Saturday night? No rush, please reach out when you wish, Nate.” Garrick got the reply via text: [Understood.] Well, he’d made contact and at least Nathan knew someone cared. He sent an email to Col. Lightning about taking on Black Phantom if he decided to leave but still wished to do hero work. No sense in him needing to become a Maverick again. He explained the team loosing Jake earlier this very week had hit some harder than others. Also that everybody processes their grief at different times and in different ways.

Irons, so to speak, were in the fire on the issues before him. He checked in with Optimus and emailed Constance that the scripts for checking on the reactor had worked. Another message was sent to Master Nitobe that he was in the middle of a company merger at his day job and moving into a new house. He would like to begin showing up to the morning classes after the 8th of April so he could be focused. Not knowing when he’d be free, Garrick sent Geist an email about meeting with him and next with Richard and Greg about expectations and goals for the team going forward.

March 29th, 2024 – Friday: 9:35 AM

Finishing with the food he found a cooler and a plain white table cloth for the long dining table. He chuckled at the small eagle logo of Tecate Beer© on the side and smirked quietly quipping, “Be Bold!” Packing up everything he left knowing morning rush hour would be coming to a close right about now.

“Hey A.R.C.H.I.E., please make sure Cardinal knows where I am in case everything goes south, metaphorically speaking.”

“Sure thing boss, anything else?”

“Begin Recording: Buddy, we all fuck up at times for a number of different reasons. Watching us should tell you adults don’t always have the answers. Just know this one thing. If you don’t believe in yourself then believe in me – I believe in you to become what you want. Now go get it, and since I have not heard otherwise. Cardinal I would appreciate it if you could watch my six while I’m out. Archie can feed you my location from my comm unit. Gryphon out. End Recording.”

“Message sent just in case he asks you want him to watch from here, correct?”

“Yes please, A.R.C.H.I.E. thanks for your help.”

“Sure thing boss.”

He headed out before those that chose to stay or survived would return to help Beast deal with Dr. Wendell Moore. The person likely responsible for shattering the mind of the Beast whom appears to be strongly related to the Nightbane they met the previous evening. As he got in his truck and headed out. He got a text from the Geist about some of the items he asked about: [Once you get the funds from the new lease agreement I’ll send the routing numbers. The aircar will be parked on top of Jenga Tower on April 5th by noon. Shorty #4 should have a home in roughly 2-3 weeks after that. For now Shorty #5 will continue to live with you. He’s on probation at the moment. If he passes it then I will revisit the adoption. He’ll want to talk to you sometime today about a car you were offering to arrange for him.]

March 29th, 2024 – Friday: 11:03 AM

Ramona tried one last time to see if she could catch Garrick lying about an honest, polyamory relationship. When she was on her way making a call through bluetooth, HUD glasses that was paired to her phone. She called Ameera, whom asked, “Are you wearing any red, purple, or blue?”

“Wait, what?”

“Well, my handsome man called and mentioned he was having lunch with you. Did he by chance tell you about our special relationship?”

“Yes, but is he really seeing you and two others?”

“Yes, we all look out for each other and if he has a fault. It’s that he’s a workaholic. I heard there was quite the kerfuffle at your church last night. Are you doing okay?”

“Yes, I’m fine it’s just seeing him rush through a room to save people from gun crossfire. It was almost like he was a superhero.”

“Oh yes, did I mention he saved me and four of my friends from the Nine Lives shooting incident? It’s how we met, and for the record, he is my hero.”

“Wow! I’m almost to the park, but why did you mention the colors I was wearing?”

“Because if your going to try and seduce my man he likes blue with gold accents, purple with silver accents, and dark red. Have fun Ramona!” [CLICK] There was a hint of a giggling laugh as she knew the look on Ramona’s face being left with that information.

Her phone showed her it was 11:03 AM when the got to the park. Going inside the walls she found him sitting and leaning back against a tree reading a book on Haiku, Zen and the Art of reaching Inner Peace. “You know Ameera thinks you’re a workaholic, but here you are. In a park on a sunny morning, reading eastern poetry, and getting ready for a picnic. If you’re not careful a passerby might confuse you for someone relaxing.” She began to laugh and then he looked at her and laughed with her as he stood up.

“Let me set those down for you,” helping Ramona sit while he put the drinks down. As he sits and then makes lunch on durable paper plates. Garrick hands her the sandwich, oatmeal bars with fruit he cut up. “Sadly, the relaxing is an illusion. I am here till noon when I have to get back for a meeting at 12:30.”

“So I guess I’m on the clock then? So, you met Ameera at the Nine Lives club saving her from a shoot out. I can say for certain you don’t need a gunman to try and make this lunch memorable!” Garrick laughed and said he’s just trying to make it to Monday so he can begin moving into the new home. They talked about how weird last night was and Garrick mentioned he hadn’t really slept yet. “You look better rested than I do! Oh can you tell me what gym you go to?”

“Sure, uhh,” Ramona could see she caught him on a topic he was not prepared for. He looked at her, “Phantom Crossfit and Self-Defense. Although I am waiting to find out where he’s going to host classes next because he lost his permit for the current park he’s been using.”

“That’s cool, can you place an order for the same supplements you get so I can grow to way over six feet tall? Oh don’t forget the ones that let you shrink back down when you want.”

“Well, shit.” Ramona actually batted her eyes at him as he asked her, “Did I ever tell you my given middle name?”

A quizzical look came over her smug expression of victory. Garrick reached into his wallet and pulled out his driver’s license, “Please don’t say it out loud. Just read it, pretty please with sugar and honey.”

Name: Garrick Griffon Faulkner

“You used your middle name? Was there a time limit to come up with an identity?” She handed it back noting it still said 5′ 8″ for his height on there with a picture she was far more used to seeing. She was astonished she had not realized it sooner and she began to laugh.

When she made eye contact she finally saw the tiredness in him and she remembered the headline from the paper the day before about Jake Thompson, hero of Century Station. The news story referred to an event on Tuesday night. Corroborating online articles reference two large explosions in the upper atmosphere that match the time frame! Then Wednesday morning mere hours later there was the robot attack. It was said Gryphon saved his team, nearby buildings and civilians by flying a robot up into the before it self destructed! She followed all the Hero Watch Twitter accounts for the sub-districts in case the Gryphon made news.

“Does Ameera and the others know?”

“Yes, she was out with one of the others and they have had the delightful shock of watching me blow up. Ramona, being near me comes with some serious baggage. I just asked them their opinion of going public with my identity. I want you to think about that if you still want to be friends with me.”

He sighed, “I nearly died, in the church we did find a cult. I did get all the easy to identify innocents out. During that night though, I had to fight through the fear of being in that situation again. No one got hurt because of it but now I was elected to lead my team. I missed spending time with Ameera this week, no one gets scheduled time with me next week on account of the move. I am worried about being a bad boyfriend. However, I’ve had no time to deal or process watching a hero die to stop an alien invasion, nearly being blown to bits, and dealing with two other members of my team I had come to depend on leaving. I want to scream but I don’t get that luxury anymore as leader.”

His tone had never risen and he took her hands, “Ramona, that was all within the last seven days. So I guess I am trying to make you aware of what it means to be just friends with me, god forbid the inherent dangers that would come with anything else. All I want is for this week to just end. I love having friends, I love what my life is becoming, but this week officially blows.” Letting go of her hands he goes back to eating thrilled to finally get it off his chest to someone. The relief can be seen on his face as tension eases upon his brow.


Come watch the next game at: HippoTV!
Art either created or photo manipulated by: AZ_Artisan


Stefania, May I Have My Pants Back?

Stefania, May I Have My Pants Back?

Friday, February 9th, 2024: 5:30 AM


“Yes, Katherine.”

Trying to contain her laughter, barely, “I was not aware you could fit a neon orange light bulb in your ass.”

With an eye roll and a tossed pillow at her head, “I have no idea why it takes a minimum of a year before the color begins to fade. Besides aren’t you trying to transfer to the big C.U.?”

“Um, maybe, hey handsome look here!”

One distracting boob-flash later and Garrick is the recipient of the return throw of that same pillow. The large table in his room lit up with a picture of Nathaniel indicating a badge swipe. Katherine turns to Garrick, “Odd. Why didn’t your phone get the text alert?” Garrick replied that is setup for only two people. He didn’t let the conversation continue and Kat’s face pouted a bit. She knew who the two people were. She finished changing into her workout clothes she was issued from her high school. As Garrick went downstairs to say hi and then start the street tacos he had prepped in the fridge. One of her favorite sights was watching him cook, he denies it but she notices he hums songs when he does it and she sees him smile.

6:10 AM

Everyone finally arrives, and Garrick was so happy to see Ethel and Katherine taking a moment for some girl talk. Ethel’s workout outfit was a near identical shade of pink to her costume, just with liberal black trim and accents. Garrick joked in his head that if Ethel was 50 years younger he would be and HR violation for his team. Before she headed down from changing she had stopped over at his kitchen island to let Garrick know that Nicholas wasn’t going to be flying anymore, but not to make fun of him for helping to keep a low profile. As she turned to go she saw the second bedroom door was open and noticed a Miss Amazing costumed outfit over a chair. When she looked at Garrick he wiped an eye mentioning he needed to dust tonight. He told her that Patsy had wanted to move out and try and make a place for herself in this world. He had given her the cash to get started and she left in an UberLyft. He currently has no idea where she is. Ethel patted his hand offering condolences and said she’d let him get back to the tacos. Garrick just murmured to himself lost in his thoughts.

When he came down with the tacos Nathaniel and Ethel were doing good cop, bad cop with Carl dressed in a classic chauffeur uniform. Spurned by fear he was telling his mother, Mrs. Angela Mackenzie-Weisman, whom prosecutes Maverick supers for the city, all about their activities! As they continued politely interrogating Carl, the topic of the CEO of Xander Financial Group, Mason Blodgett, came up. The Council of Industry was not happy with Mayor Zardona not towing the line they feel he should for supporting his campaign. It seems Mayor Zardona may not be such the puppet many fear he is for the Council. Carl was able to pass the investigation and eventually the conversation shifted to other topics.

Katherine brought over a piece of paper after she checks the mailbox outside. She’s been taking classes at Everett Community College to help her transition from Waingroh High School straight to Copernicus University so she can go to the same school as Garrick. Nearly everyone knew she used to teach at Copernicus, but after the experiments she’s forced to re-live college admissions on the same monetary stipulations that many high schoolers have. In other words, without a scholarship or a lot of money there is no way for her to afford it. Luckily, having once been a teacher she knew about the scholarships to apply for and what to write to get one that offered a full ride except boarding.

However, taking classes again that she wasn’t fond of the first time, coupled with the same professor that should have retired by now. Garrick wonders if her actual age is 30’s or 40’s and then his next memory causes a dumb smirk on his face and he realizes he doesn’t actually care. She is frustrated that she got a “D” in psychology. She mentions going to take an extra credit for the psychology class at Everett which will bump her grade to the “B -” minimum for the scholarship she’s on. Garrick mentions to Nathan and her his fear regarding the black ops world they both come from and his paranoid concerns regarding this.

Alex thought about joining until Katherine explained that there was no pay involved, just the grade boost. Alex’s grades are doing just great in comparison so this wouldn’t actually benefit him to show up. Alex mentions he’s good with getting coffee and mail at the law firm as part of his paid internship for becoming a private eye. When Garrick offered to let him know if a spot opens up at his work, Jake mentions he having interviews. Shorty #1 perks up at that while the other Shorties assure Garrick they’re happy until Richard finds them homes. When the Internet being shut off is brought up they shudder. Ever since that time their homework has been done and they each do it. Garrick was adamant about making sure they all get the benefits of school. Especially since they rotate which one goes each day.

A few moments later though, he realizes he has a chance to actually talk with Jake about checking his work on a Fusion Reactor. He has his father’s work that wasn’t confiscated and he still has years of data from the fusion reactor in low power mode. If he submits these designs and asks what specifically is the alien components that would have to be re-engineered then perhaps he can honor his father and the Zarovsky family’s faith in his Bio-Dome idea. Jake was enjoying the street tacos Garrick had made, when approached and asked about checking Garrick’s work to make sure the device wasn’t alien he told him that it would be no problem. He asked Garrick if people here on Earth were using USB-C currently? When he got the affirmative response he mentioned he would dig out an adapter and bring it with him on his next visit. Garrick realized he’s seen other dimensions of Earth and been across the galaxy. Rather than even ask about what was currently cutting edge tech on this earth and what he was thinking about Garrick just said thanks, and left him to his meal.

Nathaniel headed over and tries to talk with Katherine whom just finished asking Jake when her phone might be ready. It’s not that she had left it with him, but he was making her a special sim card that would unlock every carrier and she’d never need to worry about paying for it again, ever! However, today she had already realized Garrick has not completely forgotten about Patsy even if he doesn’t talk about her anymore. So when Nathan asked about a meditation session before she left for her extra credit today her face screamed how boring it sounded to her. She loved social media! It allowed her formerly very extroverted self to have an outlet as this new had to keep on the down low at school to make sure the Nursery never found her. She almost blew off Nathan until he mentioned her “D” and the idea of loosing her scholarship snapped her back to the moment and they headed to a quieter section of the mats for their hour long meditation. Garrick was excited to know she was older than him so when he watched her walking away he did not feel guilty when that dumb smirk came back. Shorty #2 tapped him on the leg when he noticed Garrick was starring at her twirling her hair.

The highlight of the workouts this morning was Richard gathering everyone around and announcing at the beginning of the session that there would be a catered party tonight at Garrick’s house followed by a night on the town. He wanted to celebrate all the hard work everyone had been doing and a night out covered by him as the team leader seemed like fun. Everyone was excited to go except Katherine because of her extra credit would take until very late tonight, but she told Garrick in front of everyone that tonight he had a “Hall Pass” for the party. Nicholas was the other one, whom, had fallen behind in grading some of his papers. He told Garrick that he had adjunct work at the college and would pop in to make sure Katherine was fine. This seem to visibly relieve Garrick as everyone began to break into their routines designed by Nathan to help them best work on their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and training review from previous work outs.

8:30 AM

Katherine said good bye and headed off in her Smart Fortwo car. Heading into his office after making sure which Shorty had to get a move on to school. He opened his email to find Horace had begun speaking to him again. Saying that they were still friends but he need some more time because he was pretty peeved “Gary” had not trusted him with turning into a superhero first. Garrick wrote him and apologized, promising him all the questions he wanted when he was ready.

His team was asking him once a day about Mavericks in the news if he was “there” or not. Many of the people that spoke to him in the office were from shipping and techs in the lab. Shipping kept joking about when cops would show up to haul him away for doing a good deed. Lab techs kept trying to figure out which Maverick he was.

Blake in marketing still thought of him as a freak that was forcing his private life on everyone at the office. Any person in the office that showed any overt interest in how handsome Gary looked now was reminded by Blake that “it” was just a costume. Gary was still the ugly workhorse he had always been. When Garrick heard that the first time, he was about to walk into the break room. He stopped and turned around going back into his office and went back to work. He hated Blake’s opinion but he was far more worried about what they would think if he retaliated in any way. Besides it was America and he was entitled to his opinion even if Garrick hated it because it reminded him of sister, Adeline.

He stopped leaving his office at that point unless it was requested for a meeting. He kept repeating that it was easier to be hated because no one lies when they hate a person or a thing. Since nearly every aspect of his job could be done remotely over the network he spent the remainder of the day being the invisible person getting things done. His work productivity actually went up significantly and the reports for an entire three days got filled out that afternoon, in near personal isolation.

4:30 PM

Shipping sent an email out to security about a truck pulling in that wasn’t on their list. At the same moment Garrick’s tablet that’s on his network lit up showing Richard had rang his door bell. Garrick buzzes him in and then finds out that the truck is the catering company from Society Hill! Garrick runs over to the shipping area and explains the mix up to the security and warehouse workers. He then finds the driver and gives him instructions to pull in through the other side. He apologizes that his directions were not well worded and the driver nods and heads around. The dock employee asks why he didn’t just pick up the truck and fly it over? Garrick sighs, “Frankly, its easily over a few tons, and I was worried I might hurt someone inside.” With sloped shoulders he heads back and never even sees the shocked look on the dock worker’s face. Surprised that someone with powers cared about hurting someone without them.

Garrick works up a smile he practiced in prison whenever he needed one. Despite being thrilled the day would be over and his work had been caught up till Tuesday deadlines for next week. Just after Garrick gets back Nathan shows up. Garrick begins to direct the sous chef to his kitchen which gets a nod of approval about its functions and utility. The sous chef warns his workers if there are any errors tonight then he’ll be coming back here to have their replacements built. Garrick almost smiles but he can see the cooks and wait staff nod slowly as though this was not a joke. Tells Optimus to let the team run the kitchen manually unless they ask for something. He introduces the sous chef to his A.I. and as he leaves them alone he can see the professional team begin to ramp up the dishes involving very expensive use of wagyu beef, lamb, lobster!

Garrick takes a picture with the cooking staff behind him and send it to Katherine with the caption, “Miss you, dinner looks almost as Amazing as you!” He loved that he finally had a retort to her sexy pictures on Jake’s Atorian Starfighter. He smiled at her reply, “you. ⚰️. ?. ?.” As dinner and dessert was served he sent pictures and got similar replies. It was finally getting his mind off of fearing spies would nab her or think about that asshole, Blake. In between the main course and dessert Richard informed us of Jake being held up trying to get “The Goods” and was likely on another planet. Both Carl and Garrick reacted as nerds are apt to do. Carl thought he got arrested in space and Garrick just wanted to travel to another world. Richard continued by explaining he’d reserved a VIP booth at the Nine Lives Club! Apparently, Richard had been going to the club on his own getting to be known as a high roller to quote the Vegas term. Now he planned on bringing us down for some rest and relaxation. The sous chef left extra meals label: Kat, Shorty #2, Shorty #3, and Short #4 in his fridge per that request.

Ethel allowed Shorty #1 to fly her aircar home and rent a movie from pay-per-view. Which the young clone was excited because it appears that he is beginning to be treated as an adult. He did, however, make sure she had a way home before taking off for a date of the third installment in the Jumanji franchise. Thinking of others is always a good sign of growing up Garrick thought. He also found it interesting this was the first time he had noticed a Shorty wanting to spend time away from his brother clones. That was a good sign they would begin developing their own personalities and identities as individuals.

7:30 PM

Garrick took one final selfie on Richard’s custom, stretched, 2022 model of the Rolls Royce Wraith they were going to ride in to Nine Lives, and was photo-bombed but he just rolled with it and sent the photo. The reply, “UGH! SO BORING, oh ?? have a good time on your hall pass.” Carl did a stellar job driving and getting the door for us curbside half past 7 PM. However, when he showed up three minutes later from parking telling us the club owner gave him Fat Lucca’s parking spot everyone gave him a nod of approval and respect! Garrick had to throw on the charm Alex remembers from the watching him get Ramona’s contact info without appearing to try. He saw Garrick and the bouncer talk about his birthday being next month and making sure he didn’t order any alcohol. They shook on it but when Garrick said they can take the Rolls and leave mentioning the bad experience they had all of a sudden it became Alex’s birthday!

The whole line out side began cheering, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!”

Inside the club you could feel the “THUMP THUMP” of the beats in the EDM being played by the DJ on stage with their sound crew. There was a table in one corner on a raised dais with a two step climb and a red velvet curtain that could be drawn for privacy. Richard indicated with a nod and a wave of his hand that was the group’s destination. As we headed over Ethel ran into Snake Person and they caught up for a few minutes before she sauntered over in a shimmering dress. There were a few looks followed by smacks of their dates that Ethel could hear and she smiled. She still had “it” she thought to herself, eff Sharon!

Bottles had already been set up on the table and our nearest bouncer, Greg, also informed the group he would be their personal liaison for anything they needed tonight. Richard mentioned that while he hoped we might be able to check this place out, tonight the group’s primary objective was to have a good time. Granny said something supporting that but with the music Garrick didn’t hear it. Richard headed out to go dancing, Garrick headed off to the bar after seemingly depressing Ethel with his fruit laden vodka order. Garrick didn’t really drink a lot of alcohol since he knew how easy it was to pollute it making it unsafe to drink. However, he did like his drinks sweet if he was going to do that.

Making it to the bar the bartender hands him a ‘White Russian’ and nods in a direction. Garrick looks and one guy runs off, a lovely olive skinned woman that reminds him slightly of Patsy walks away absorbed in a phone call. This was how he met, Thad, a clothing store manager near the stadiums. Garrick began talking to him and after about 30 minutes he realized he had done it, again. He did his best to let Thad down gently but that it was not going to happen. Thad made sure to let him know he’d be waiting if he changed his mind.

Shortly after Thad had broken away he Ethel came up to talk with him. She was nice and checking in on him. She asked him about how he felt about Patsy and Katherine. She got the full run down of why he never made a move. She was the first person to tell him adult choices are rough but being good is not always easy. She saw Garrick think for a second and then smile and Ethel thanked the bartender for refiling their drinks. Garrick nodded and checked his phone but no missed messages from Katherine. Ethel then asked him to think about the hall pass he’d been given because Katherine didn’t have to do that. Nodding again he decided to try and talk with a couple girls before the night ended. Ethel was happy that she’d been able to make him feel a little better and patted his arm before moving on.

Garrick was sipping his drink and realizing that tonight whether or not he was monogamous was irrelevant! Katherine had trusted him to come home to her even after getting as wild as he wanted to go. According to many a relationship website she was a goddamn unicorn! Women like her were not suppose to exist. For some reason she liked him? He was so giddy that even when he saw no messages from her his face had that dumb grin again. Everything began to feel amazing like brighter colors could be seen!

He looked up and saw the lady from earlier that looked like she could be Patsy’s sister. “Oh, please would you like me to move? I didn’t think you were coming back. I’m so sorry about that,” Garrick motioned for her to reclaim the chair he had been occupying. She smiled and said, “Oh no that’s okay.”

“I apologize you’re probably waiting for your boyfriend?”

“Oh, no I…” she blushes and Garrick is forced to admit she may be prettier than Patsy. “Oh then your girlfriend, I don’t judge, apologies.”

With a casual wave of her hand, “They are all out on the dance floor. My friends dragged me out here and I… I don’t dance.”

“Alas, neither do I. We’re both moored at sea with not a drop of water to drink,” Garrick sighed and then grinned. The slightly younger looking woman smiled and played with her hair nearly identical to his former roommate. “That may be the best line I’ve personally heard, Stefania, and you are?”

She produced her hand and her took as he had practiced from watching his father so many times, “Piacere di carne, signora. Garrick, hizmetinizde.”

His mind was exploding in waves of color and her touch was the softest thing he had ever felt! It was like nothing he had EVER EXPERIENCE! When his eyes met hers she seems astounded that he had spoken in Italian and then finished in Turkish as though they were native to him! “How many languages to you know! You’re amazing! Italian and Turkish! Ci siamo incontrati prima di signore? or Eğer gökten melek misin?”

“I had a friend that is American, Turkish and Lebanese in their ancestry. However, if I had met you I would’ve remembered because while I didn’t come from heaven meeting you feels like its smiling on me.” For the first time in days he did not think about Patsy in the slightest. He did think of how amazing Katherine was granting him a “Hall Pass” otherwise he might never have met Stefania. He would find ways to make sure she knew how much he appreciated her trust in him to give him no restrictions about what happens this night.

Time is fluid to Garrick and he is wondering why everything feels wonderful. Playfully he blames Stefania for making everything about this evening so incredibly pretty and she giggles as they continue talking. Then, without warning there’s a tickle at the base of his neck above his collar. Instinctively he turns to find out about the source of such pleasure and there is Thad with another White Russian! Holy crap, Thad must’ve spiked his drink! That explains why he found the touch of a man so pleasing, he’d been drugged!

Even as mad as he was at something so rape cultured! The drug in his drink was stimulating nearly every pleasure center he had. So, he politely refuses his drink to avoid what he believes would be a second dose. Garrick even makes everything about his interest in Stefania. Once Thad leaves again he makes sure the bartender knows to send him a drink with the message that this is a repayment and he’d prefer not to take his money. It was the nicest “don’t come around me again” he could muster given the chemistry analytical nature of his mind was figuring out how to dissolve Thad for trying to date rape him!

When Stefania touched his hand and said she liked his eyes he completely forgot about Thad. Everything regarding any of his anger was melting away and was beginning to go really great until. From behind them on the complete other side of the bar screams were being heard and a huge window seemed to have exploded! Then another explosion and wrenching of metal as a car alarm begins to wail loud enough to overcome the music playing! Various folks at the tables look, get up, scream, and run for the exit by the VIP booth! Garrick was able to see the reaction of the tables and hear the fight breaking out behind him and Stefania. He takes her hand and says, “I don’t have time to explain, but you said you were here with friends we need to grab them and get out of here!” Stefania nods and when directed begins to point to her friends. Garrick is now about an inch off the ground but keeps pace with Stefania moving in her heels.

Antonia was the first of her friends they made it to as the dance floor began to stampede for an exit the folks at the tables headed towards. Antonia grabbed onto Desha. When they saw Garrick their eyes went wide as they realized a man wearing armor was trying to rescue them! Stefania noticed the sudden appearance of his armor and made sure they knew he was her friend. Then he lifted off the ground as though he was leaping and landed next to her friend from Canada, Tyra. Poor Tyra was beginning to freak out and a knight appearing from above with her friends offering to rescue her was not something she was about to pass up. The last friend had features of Stefania but blonde hair! Ameera was quick to hop on to the savior that had grabbed “all” of her friends as she watched someone get knocked over!

One final leap and they were at the door, Garrick’s armored presence caused the bouncer at the door by the stage to just back up as the Gryphon swung the door open letting them leave. He had seen Nathan near the stage and knew his friends were in action. When the gun shots were heard upon exiting Desha asked if he was the Norwood Gryphon?

“I am the Gryphon of Norwood. Now let’s get you ladies home and away from the gun fire!”

They all nodded as he lifted into the air, with Stefania on his back while carrying the other four pressed against his chest. When he asked about addresses they all began talking at once. However, Stefania, pressed her face against the side of his helm as she moved one of her arms so her fingers could graze his bare neck, “42 Walaby Way. I have a pool and a bikini you need to see. Your name is safe with me big G.”

The Gryphon replied he knew the Walaby address and began moving in that direction. It was roughly 10 minutes to her home and half of the trip was the ladies realizing they just escaped a second Florida nightclub shooting. The second half, due mainly to the efforts of the Gryphon calming them down, was the ladies realizing they were flying with the person that had saved them.

While he was aware he was high on some sort of aphrodisiac stimulant. The Gryphon couldn’t stop the feelings of having 5 beautiful ladies pressed up against him. It really felt like heaven and he could very easily see how drug addiction would never be eradicated. He was even more thankful to Katherine now because if it weren’t for her. He knew he’d likely seek out this drug in the future.

Stefania directed him to land in the backyard by the pool. When they touched down she asked him to wait one minute while she asked her friends a question. He nodded that he’d do so, and as she left him there relaxing in the fact that they’re safe his armor began to vanish piece by piece. Dissolving into golden flecks of light blown away by a soft breeze. There were some squeals and gasps when the group saw him outside his helmet.

A few minutes later the Gryphon was staring at the stars when Stefania approached him. “The girls and I have decided that to say thank you we shall be your entertainment for the night. Desha and I are both going for our Bachelor’s in physical therapy after realizing what we wanted after massage school. So let me turn on the fire pit and we’re going to give you a massage while we arrange a fashion show!”

Before he could even say a word Desha was taking his coat off of him while Stefania laid a finger on his lips. Garrick was convinced he was still high given his reaction to their touch and blowing on his ear when they would ask him where he was sore! He was allowed to keep his boxer briefs and the gold and silver eagle headed torq around his neck as the two women led him to a pool chair. Stefania and Desha then said they would be right back but Ameera would keep him company until they returned. It was at that moment he heard a jingling noise. From around the fire in the darkness came the blond haired, mocha skinned, Ameera. Dressed in a modern tribal belly dancing outfit she began to dance around the stone firepit blazing brightly. As she approached the Gryphon, silken veils were pulled from her belt of metal plaques and bells. She continued to dance around him allowing the veils to be fall upon him and often obscuring his gaze.

The dance ended with a veil draped over his eyes as he laid back in the pool chair. Then he felt Ameera’s hands reach over from behind the chair and tilt his head back as she bent down to kiss him. Pulling away his sight returned to Tyra and Antonia dressed in alternating black and white bikinis that would be more accurately be described as body floss or a slingshot micro bikini one-piece. Inside his mind Garrick had an epiphany the nearly naked women in front of him. He had wondered what Katherine would look like in these outfits? Was there a more than one way to fall for a person? He had read about the spark between people and that other times that spark is a match that grows brighter with ti…
…Tyra and Antonia are sitting on the end of the pool chair and rubbing tanning oil into each other’s back! Now they pushing the backs of their bodies up and down his legs while tilting their heads back to look him in the eyes! Desha reappears wearing pink bikini/lingerie two piece with a more athletic theme to it. She ushers Tyra and Antonia to the hot tub where they join, Ameera, whom from this angle appears to be wearing nothing. Garrick is convinced her top must just be lower than the hot tub’s edge from his vantage.

Desha begins a real foot massage and Garrick can ‘feel’ it working. In his head he knows his body is transformed and not a costume or illusion, so Blake can stuff it as far as he is concerned. “I can see you ‘really’ enjoyed your fashion show Big G.” Desha giggled as she kept working on his feet and calves, while Stefania had surprised him leaning over the back of the pool chair pressing herself up close. Having a clear view of how ‘happy’ he was. Desha mentions she going to join her girlfriends and Ameera in the hot tub leaving the mighty Gryphon in Stefania’s care.

Stefania swings around to his side and sits right on his lap. As her head turns to face him her grins grows as well, “Well, well, very happy indeed!” That sensation made his body shudder and shake and then he saw her swim suit was a two piece mesh and not meant for a public beach. When he began to reach for her she reclined into his chest resting her head on his shoulder, “I never thought I would meet someone as shy as I used to be before I met all of my friends. There’s no other way you would have such control under Molly.”

Garrick asked if she saw who spiked his drink and she grabbed his arm and began to really work on his biceps and triceps as she told him, “No, while the guy that was hitting on you was a likely suspect I don’t actually know for certain. What keyed me in was the reaction to physical stimulus, I am becoming a physical therapist and they do go over common drugs to be aware of. When the fighting and shooting started though you fought hard against what you were feeling and saved us from another club shooting like the tragedy 6-7 years ago.”

“Evil happens when good men do nothing, it’s one of my favorite quotes.”

“But do they get rewarded? You’re on a “Hall Pass” that only lasts tonight right?”

“I, yes that’s right, I kinda remember telling you at the club about getting a “Hall Pass” from my girlfriend.”

“It was sweet to watch you wonder whether it was a gift or a test. So I have a compromise, (whispers) Garrick.” Our hero raised an eye brow and tilts his head down as she looks up, “Antonia, Tyra, and Desha are in a triangle, poly-couple, however, Desha is bi and in to you, we both go to Copernicus and met in the same class for physical therapy. Ameera is technically a distantly related cousin, but you have to go back to the 1700’s on my father’s side and her mother’s side to find it. You are the first guy she’s ever danced for solo, she’s been working on that routine a little over a year. She’s been studying for the hopeful approval to get in the master’s program for performing arts at Copernicus.”

“It was enchanting to say the least,” he smiled.

“Trust me big guy I can feel how enchanted you are. So I need a simple yes or no do you trust me not to betray you?”

“My gut says yes, trust her.”

“Then I promise that if anyone kisses you tonight it will stay at the pectoral, shoulder, and shoulder blades and above. Touching with hands will be the only other allowed form of contact unless you grant otherwise. If you agree then you promise to abide by two secret requests, trust me remember.”

“Okay,” he said as his shoulder and chest was being kneaded in her hands with decent force, but felt so good because of the Molly, “I agree and trust you.”

Stefania called out for Desha to have the blindfold ready, because the Gryphon has agreed to his reward! Stefania got up and led him to the pool and he stepped into the hot tub. Desha stood up and wrapped the silk scarves from Ameera around his eyes with Stefania and Ameera looking at him biting their lips. The Gryphon was asked to sit on the edge of the hot tub and he started to until the second request was made, “Loose the underwear, that’s my second request.”

The Gryphon complied, blushed, and sat down in the water quickly among a few gasps.

Saturday, February 10th, 2024: 2:46 AM

The Gryphon’s phone had been going crazy for sometime and Ameera left the pile of bodies resting on towels in bliss to find out what was going on. When she tapped on the last message it said 2:46 A.M. All of the rest were significantly before then. Ameera realized she had the Gryphon’s personal phone and it was the Crystal Edition of the Pearphone X! She took a selfie and added her contact info to his phone. Then texted herself so she’d have his contact info. Afterwards she brought over his phone tapped Stefania on the shoulder from over the hot tub edge. She was still laying on top of him in the hot tub’s molded reclined seat. Just enjoying everything and tracing his muscles on his chest and arms. Gryphon and her looked up and when he said, “Oh the real world calls, um just set my phone on the chair and I’ll get out but I don’t want to get it wet.” Stefania looked at Ameera pained as though her dream got crushed. Alas, she climbed up and out of the hot tub followed by the other ladies and then Gryphon.

The Gryphon tried to find underwear when Ameera laughs out loud about him tracking ‘whom’ is using his front door and why is ‘Kat’ Amazing? The other girls spring the trap as they have all his articles of clothing and he is forced to fly over the larger pool several times to cut them off and get dress an article at a time. Ameera begins recording on her phone as he is naked and trying to get his clothes back from the other ladies. He professes how thankful he is that they respected his boundaries of what he considered an acceptable use of the “hall pass” given to him by his girlfriend. He promises to address the issue of whether his relationship is a monogamous or ethical non-monogamy relationship. He is certain though he would need to have a talk to make sure he didn’t disrespect her before engaging in intimate congress with any of the beautiful women. He is finally dressed by the end of it and to be nice she edits out him being totally naked, but once he gets underwear she uploads the clip from there. She uses the hashtags: #gryphon #partywiththegryphon #norwoodknights #savedfromninelivesshooting on all her social media. The rest of the girls follow suit with an avalanche of photos taken from during the night where they show themselves at the club and later partying at the house using filters to mostly blur his face.

Stefania was especially sad to see Garrick go and made sure the two of them exchanged contact information. Then she was the second person to tell him how lucky Kat was. Desha was shaking her head in the affirmative behind Stefania gesturing at the other ladies and mentioned playfully that they should paint “Norwood Knights Hall Pass” on the roof! Everyone laughed at the playful joke. Stefania, Desha and Ameera stood watching as the Gryphon took off telling his Norwood Knights they will meet again. After about 500 feet in the air he headed to Xenophon to find a 24-hour mart opened at 3 AM so he could get a money order. Stefania’s home was surprisingly fairly nice for the area – if Norwood can be said to have a “good” area her home was most definitely in it. She had lamented off-handedly during all they talked about that night that she might not be able be able to stay there much longer, since her jerk landlord increased the rent on her and she’s fallen behind. While he was flying he sends a text on his phone to Janosh.

After getting the landlord’s name and saying it wrong so she corrects him. The Gryphon smiled because the ladies likely found his coat he had deliberately left behind. He lands in an alley near 24 hour mart and goes inside to buy a money order large enough to cover two months of rent with the excess cash he had. He addresses it to the landlord, with the memo section having the house address and rent written upon it. He removes the money order’s receipt and sticks it in his pocket. After buying small bouquet that had 6 roses and bidding the clerk a good night setting the sixth rose on the counter. He walks briskly back into the alley and shoots straight into the air summoning his armor after he set the 5 roses against his chest in his shirt.

Flying back he calls out for his knights as he lands. Everyone gathers around and he can see Stefania is holding his coat. Dropping the armor and apologizing for the intrusion he produces a rose for each lady mentioning he couldn’t think of a better way to protect the roses from the wind. When he gets to Stefania at last he hands her the rose as she returns his coat. He reaches into his pocket to get the true reason for his surprise return. Summoning his armor again over the clothes raising his visor, he takes her hands in his and kisses them to thank his hostess. As he does so he slips the money order into her hands. She is smiling but then opens the money order her jaw begins to drop! “Stefania, I cannot do this for everyone, if some of your friends are in a position to be reliable roommates then perhaps you can save your home. Please though this is a gift to help repay you for keeping my name to yourself, a true friend. Just pay it forward and help someone else one day.” She starts crying and stammering repeatedly, “How are you so nice? Why are you so nice?”

The others rush over to her concerned and Desha shoots a protective look at the Gryphon. When Stefania stops and explains that he just may have saved the house everyone stares at the money order covering two months of rent! Then they slowly look back at the Gryphon. Desha’s expression is relief that he is a hero in more ways than one. A few of the other girls can’t believe it and Tyra reaches out to poke him once more to make sure its not a dream. As he begins to raise off into the air he we says, “Farewell, fair ladies, should you wish it we shall meet again. Farewell my Norwood Knights, may you stay safe and find happiness in all of your pursuits!”

3:15 AM

He flies home to talk with Katherine and goes in from the roof. Finding her in the bed she looks asleep to him. He sits on the edge of the bed and just strokes her hair SUPER thrilled she’s okay. He leans down and kisses Katherine on the cheek whispering in her ear, “I’m sorry if this feels slow of me but I am so happy you’re home and not hurt. The group needs me but I ‘love’ knowing I will see you again. Sweet dreams Kitty Kat and I adore you.”

Then head downstairs to join everyone else.


Art by: AZ_Artisan
The names for the five girls came from our guest GM’s love of ESPN fantasy football. Then the character descriptions were based off what the name results were. Everything else about them is based off people I know in my hobbies. Come watch the next game for part 2 of the adventure of our guest GM: HippoTV!