Tag: Patsy

Reading Is Fundamentally Magical

Reading Is Fundamentally Magical

April 9th, 2024 – Tuesday: 1 PM


Gryphon cried out in a hope of turning the situation around. It surprised him when it worked and Arcana began to attack the rogue agent from the future that had betrayed Frac-Tal Hrix. While a battle raged around him he pulled out Charlie’s scroll that would disrupt the magics. He could see his doom coming from so many directions but trusted that Patsy would not have led him astray. As he began to read aloud the words began to glow blue and began to fade!

The rain hit the paper and the Gryphon rolled himself over the paper with his rear flank completely exposed! He could hear Hank fighting a living, magical wave! Still he read and persisted. Lighting rained down, blasts of firearms, and the never ending rain. JUST READ he kept think as he said the words that made no sense to him. He gave himself over to craziness of his world now and kept reading as though his life may very well depend on it.

As the last word disappeared from the paper he finally straightened himself upright as a greyish-brown colored cloud began to spill forth covering around 2,000 or more feet at a glance! He was watching as the circles evaporated into colored steam. Even more impressive was the rain storm vanishing completely in the next few seconds. Looking back the two from the future were gone as well! Now, to deal with Synistry and finish this once and for all.

Art by: AZ_Artisan
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Problematic Proliferations Preceded by a Pretty Patsy Palmer

Problematic Proliferations Preceded by a Pretty Patsy Palmer

April 9th, 2024 – Tuesday: 9 AM

Garrick’s Pearphone X began to buzz as he was waiting at the Vault Coffee Shop to get Katherine’s 6x Espresso Americano. Kitty Kat had been distant since the day before and Garrick couldn’t read her mind. He figured hitting her up with her favorite drink might help smooth over a conversation. Maybe he had done something wrong and he could at least find out what to he could make amends if needed.

Coming in just as he sent off updates to Amanda regarding his testing progress on the new gel-matrix brains for replacement of core CPU’s in various models of robotic / A.I. and T.I. processing modules. After the third buzz he checked the notifications and was surprised to see whom had sent him a text message. He almost chided himself over how his face lit up. He was not sure he should even respond since she had wanted to be left alone. He remembered the pained look he had seen on Patsy’s face at the Church of Reflections. There was something about her situation he had not understood. He knew he’d seen that look before on a number of people going through a stressful choice. He knew if he didn’t go he’d regret it forever.

Heading back after his single word reply he found Miss Amazing and handed her the drink she loved and asked her to let him know what’s up because mind reading only goes one way. He smiles at her and she smiles back commenting how he got her favorite drink. She remarked to him that he had to much on his plate to worry about her. When he took her hand he told her he would always worry about her. Miss Amazing nodded mentioning he worries about all them. Garrick chuckled at the idea that maybe that was his true super power. She told him it was just one of many as her phone buzzed.

He stopped her from answering it briefly and tried to explain that Patsy had reached out to him. Miss Amazing stunned Garrick when she told him to go see her and walked away to answer the call she was receiving. It almost seemed like that might have been the most unexpected answer he would get that day as storm clouds began to form and rain heavily over the city. Soon he would realize it wasn’t a strange answer but a herald of weird events beginning to unfold.

April 9th, 2024 – Tuesday: Around 11 AM

The continuing growth of the clouds and rain into a torrential downpour from the morning have managed to keep much of the citizenry complacent. Seems not all criminals seek bad weather to perform their nefarious deeds. Gryphon was contacted by the Centurions’ A.I.: S.T.E.V.E. about an individual waiting in the elevator on the 20th floor trying to meet S.A.V.I.O.R. Gryphon waited for his team to meet him on the lobby of the 20th floor to greet a strange guest with an even stranger tale.

Sasha, Black Phantom, Gryphon, Quazi the Serpent, Hank, and Rubber Band Man all arrived on the lobby at roughly the same time to greet their unexpected guest. At Gryphon’s command the doors to elevator “A” opened and a man walked out wearing strange fashion. Gryphon noticed the male-looking individual had wrist blasters nearly identical to Miss Amazing’s. When he queried their bearer he was informed he was from the future!

Having been to the future in an alternate dimension he decided that he needed to find out what was going to hit them so hard a time traveler had shown up. He put Ashmadiel away in a flash of golden light. As Black Phantom seemed to be eye-balling their guest in a manner that suggested a mental scan while Hank was asking his name. Frac-Tal Hrix was wearing a similar belt to what B.P. and M.A. used to create force fields around each of them. It was Sasha that noticed he had Jake’s Injection Gun. Hrix explained that he didn’t know the complete history of how he came to be in possession of the items that had belonged to the aforementioned heroes and heroines. Just that each item had belonged to one of the heroes of S.A.V.I.O.R. It turns out he had come back with a partner that had been given Jake’s Portal Gun. However, something had gone wrong in transit and they did not arrive together.

During all this timey-wimey stuff, the storm outside raged on as Hank was trying to get help from Black Phantom and S.T.E.V.E. in locating the leader of the mages from the Antarctica mission: Arcana. Hank said he had been tasked with keeping her alive so he wanted to find the fountain of youth and have her drink from it. Gryphon mentioned he’d last seen her in Antarctica. He wondered if this out of left field idea was the “favor” the dealer would propose to him. That short Chinese man scarred him in a away he could not easily put into words.

Hrix began to lay out why he had come back. Modulus and Synistry were getting ready to launch an army to take over Century Station and then later the world. They did so by cloning the body of the hero known as the Ultramarine! The world’s first publicly recognized hero from World War II! Apparently that was the body taken from Inbur Enterprises, and likely the blood samples from Dr. Wendell Moore. It was mentioned that they were hiding right under C.H.I.M.E.R.A.’s noses and that he came back using a piece of technology once owned by Korashi Technics. The group realized that the armored car heist earlier that year was thwarted and Korashi got to keep their equipment. Had they not done that likely they would not be getting this warning! Talk about full circle. Hrix began working with some members of the team and S.T.E.V.E. to pinpoint the location of Synistry in the city while Sasha, now transformed into the Beast, was going to take Rubberband Man to look for Arcana. Gryphon left to try and also look for Arcana by meeting Patsy and hopefully find Arcana through another mage in the city he had seen from earlier.

Gryphon was convinced it was all connected, and began to call both Director Balisong and Richard regarding his plan for trying to stop it. This included a chance trip to Antarctica for two of the team members. He was hoping they could inform those necessary and get the clearances before Beast arrived. Everyone was in a race against the clock to stop a clone army of supermen from wrecking the world! He promised to keep the information loop open and they would work on whatever needed to be done to prevent political snafus as the team went about trying to stop the city from being destroyed.

April 9th, 2024 – Tuesday: Around 1:30 PM

Speeding through the rain and wind to make sure he did not miss a chance to see her perhaps for the last time. He landed upon the roof of the building as a woman with an umbrella was bent over reading the inscription on the utility box he left.

Hey “P”,
All of my secrets are out in the open.
Big changes are coming and
I realize we both need to grow.
You may never see or read this,
but I am letting go for now.
I’m trusting in my faith that if
we are meant to be together.
The universe will find a way,
as it did with the church next
to my home.
Be happy wherever you are.
Goodbye “P”

Gryphon looks upon Patsy Palmer, “I want to believe the universe is being kind to me bringing us back together. However, today’s event don’t suggest that to be true.”

Patsy turns and her face lights up as they make eye contact, then she controls her emotions visibly, “Oh Garrick, I’m glad you came.”

“I want to hug you but I am afraid you’re going to disappear.”

Her brow furrows, “No I… I’m not going to disappear, I never disappeared. Oh, uh, you’re so kind I… got your voicemail and read your messages, and I know should have my powers back. I just don’t know if I deserve it? I really saw into myself when that sword took me over and I was at my low. I, I just need to be out of all of this and get my head straight. And you have moved on, you have all of those women around you and they all love you very much.”

“They absolutely do.”

She continues, “I thought I could try and still do a little bit when I was at the church there. Even that is just ehmmm. I need to step, I need to stay out of this.”

“I have to ask you a question?”

She continues, “It’s like an addiction and I need to quit cold turkey.”

“If you want to stay out of this then you need to leave Century Station. A situation very similar to your Murder Master is about to happen by the end of the month. I need to know you’re safe. Hopefully we can stop it, but if we fail you’re going to want to find Wyatt and flee to another dimension because its going to get that bad. I was hoping you might have been coming to me with information about some of this stuff, or even about some lady named Arcana. I’m a giant mix of emotions right now, but if you want out then you need to run.”

A quizzical look comes over her, “Uh, Arcana?”

“Last time I saw you there was a mage from Antarctica not horribly far from you.”

She nods, “Yeah Charlie has talked about her, she came into the shop a few days ago trying to get him to join her. I stayed out of it.”

“Okay, since you’re from another world I am going to lay some stuff at your feet. We have run into a person from this dimension’s future. Arcana needs to be found and kept alive, she is vitally important to that. I would be grateful if you could help with that, otherwise flee the city now. I’m sure you’ve been here long enough to know about the Ultramarine?”

“I’ve heard of him,” she replied.

“Well, they have his body and are cloning him so they can release an army of Ultramarines on the city. So leave or woman up and know you are worthy and this is that redemptive moment you’ve been waiting for. Because I don’t have time for anything else and it breaks my heart to say that to you.” Gryphon was soaked in the rain having this conversation and yet she saw the kind paragon that had saved her that fateful day.

She looked down for a second, “Wow I knew this would be tough. Redemption, I dunno, but I can take you to Charlie if you want?”

He smiled, “That would help certainly.”

She walked up to him and asked if he knew of a book store in Midtown called the ‘Magic of Books’ located there. He knew of it but asked her to direct him as they went. He scooped her up, umbrella and all, and the flew to the bookstore. Gryphon lamented he had no opportunity to enjoy being this close to her again inside his head. She was always the woman he was hoping would be one of the women in his life. He was just happy in a small way right now she was.

Art by: AZ_Artisan
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Reflections Of A Sponsored Hero

Reflections Of A Sponsored Hero

April 1st, 2024 – Monday: 12:01 AM

Gryphon had just left the 72nd precinct in Norwood. The officers and Sgt. Matanzas helped him get out on the roof to avoid the group of reporters out front. After Sgt. Matanzas and he had the remaining Skybike impounded following, Cyan, leaving with her partner, Indigo. He asked the sergeant to pull his record. He was expecting the warm reception of him to wear off, but was not expecting the happy surprise of the sergeant’s reaction. Seeing a reformed felon devoting himself to serving the community.

Even the captain of the precinct said he would email the Brisby Commandant and Director Balisong about his actions and non-lethal win over the cybergoons. Plus the show boating Mavericks that were trying to stop other powered criminals. The last 20 minutes was him posing for photos with the precinct officers. He decided that he needed to leave when he noticed four, perhaps five female officers starting to flirt with him. When he was up in the air he checked his phone. Seeing pictures from Katherine showing the simply amazing job she did with the furniture in their new home. They exchanged several emojis of hearts and smiley faces.

He saw a meeting request sent to him for 6 AM on Tuesday with Cai from Amanda. Constance would be there to help with HR on the super issue. However, he would be meeting with her about the projects he’d requested. He clicked on the “Accept” button and then made sure Cai had the information for the meeting. Her pushing the day back from Monday to Tuesday was not bad. Things come up all the time and she has a personal life as well.

He wanted to give him a few days to get settled in before he asked him to help with anything specific. Amanda would likely have him tasked with a project and then he could either help with the project that would pay for the humanitarian counterpart project. Or help on the humanitarian one, all the while having the resources to pursue the universal language translator idea. Really a win all around.

He flew to a specific building in Norwood, one he had last stood upon on January 1st. It was the building he met Patsy Palmer after catching her from a fall. He walked over and leaned against the A/C unit he had last time. Ashmadiel could sense this wasn’t depression but a reflection of the last four months.

“You have done well and come far Garrick Faulkner. This spot has significance to you, to us. Storytellers might say it was the true beginning of your journey accepting my gifts as a hero of the light.”

Gryphon smiled, “I concur, can you change into a metal spike for me?”

Kneeling he began carving into the roof mounted utility box she sat on with the now golden spike in his hand. “You know, I think I can actually be a renaissance man but it means being willing to let people pursue their destinies as well. Constance is going to try adding ‘Cynthia’ into her checks on the reactor in the ocean. I hope it will finally talk to her. Baby steps but I forgot after a time to treat the Cynthia A.I. as a person because it hurt to much. Those two could become rockstars of the future. Science as Jake wanted will be the true hero. We just have to make sure they have a future to get to.”

“And if you succeed in freeing me, how will you be the Gryphon then?”

“I’ve decided I am going to ask Constance and Amanda to build me a power armor suit as a back up. If I go that route then I feel that the hero: Veritas or Ferrum Veritas may be a good name for the project. Either way I won’t hide that I am the pilot and gave up my powers to free a friend. Then to continue the fight I just re-invented myself. Brandon will get a kick out of it.”

“How do you feel knowing the enemy knows whom you are?”

“Cops have to deal with that fact everyday. We live in an age of hacking and information brokering. I will talk with Amanda about her plans for the security system I asked her about. Between the two of us I think we can develop something good to protect Ameera and Constance. I actually suspect Synistry will try to attack my house at some point given I live in Brisby after all. However, if I was them I would wait until I could control the encounter better than attacking a known hero at their home. Likely fortified and if they figure out Miss Amazing lives with me then all the more reason to not attack. What they may not count on is that I have a plan on dealing with them as general in a war. Obelisk was willing to commit mass murder, so as far as I am concerned he gets a ticket straight to the afterlife. There was fear in his eyes when he thought he might drown. Whomever is pulling that groups strings will know I am willing to kill their men.”

“They would fit my definition of evil.”

“I’ve come to the conclusion that even if we eliminate Synistry there will always be someone willing to fill that void. Ever vigilant we’ll need to be without sacrificing people’s freedoms. It will be a hard road because what seems like safety to one person is prison to another. If we’re to be an inclusive and welcoming society then it means looking at issues from different angles and trying to find the most optimal approach. Humanity teaches us we may fail but we will look, learn, and log the mistakes to prevent them in the future. An old proverb states you will fall a thousand times before rising a champion.”

“Garrick Faulkner, you are not the same person I met four months ago, you have grown.”

“By the will of the light watching over us all, I hope to continue to do so Ashmadiel.” Gryphon stood up the sword turned back from a spike to a bracer on his left forearm. After watching the night pass for an hour he flew off to other horizons.

Scrawled into the side of the utility box:

Hey “P”,
All of my secrets are out in the open.
Big changes are coming and
I realize we both need to grow.
You may never see or read this,
but I am letting go for now.
I’m trusting in my faith that if
we are meant to be together.
The universe will find a way,
as it did with the church next
to my home.
Be happy wherever you are.
Goodbye “P”

Art by: AZ_Artisan
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Now And Forever

Now And Forever

March 29th, 2024 – Friday: 12:07 PM

Garrick sent two text messages to Patsy, and an audio message:

[Patsy, I wanted to ask your forgiveness for this intrusion into your private life, but I won’t. When you showed up at the Church of Reflections. I knew fate was weaving us back together for some reason. It was as though we are players in a drama unhappy that we had lost each other. Besides, I’ve not finished saving you from the first time. Hahahaha!]

[Back before Valentine’s Day, my team had been whisked off to Antarctica! Yeah the South Pole. It was there all of us including Jake, put the end to Aaziakel’s efforts to seal this dimension off from a realm called by many among the arcane: the Nightlands. I acquired one of their magic wands and wanted to give it to you. I’ve kept it hidden from everyone all this time. Watching and reading about different magic systems authors use to craft their tales I wondered if the wand was magical on its own but would not risk its discovery to find out. I know it came from a legitimate magic user.]

[Now, at the Church of Reflections, I was able to break the code and hack the ‘First Reflector’s’ laptop. Now I made a document that is helping law enforcement break the Ishtarian cult being run by devilish origins from the Nightlands by what I believe mortals came to understand as Devils, they are aptly named: Nightlords. I left out the supernatural origins of the Ishtarian cults though. I off loaded all of their mystical documentation on to a thumb drive I possess.]

[You’re the only magical scholar I know. Since the only other one I came to know is dead now, God rest his soul. Now, as you study this just be aware of voices like Aaziakel trying to creep in. Because the purpose of this ritual was to open a large gateway between this Earth and the Nightlands. I believe with study you could use it to find a way home. With the Wayfarer off on his unknown mission in some reality. This may be the best shot at giving you a way home.]

[If you still want to go home? I meant every text I sent to you.]

[I recently allowed for what I believe was a character defining moment in Ashmadiel’s redemption. I feel strongly if I can help her rehabilitation then I can eventually find a way to release her from the sword. From what I know of the prison she and Aaziakel were shackled in suggests thousands of years of imprisonment! She has described herself as one of the Celestials, also known as the Athanatos. Two other words I need to know more about are Luciphim and Obscuruphim. However, that is actually not the important part here.]

[I willingly let her use my body to convey information and took her place within the sword!]

[I alone, know what you experienced inside Aaziakel’s prison. I have shared this knowledge with no one. Know this, from now on what happens, the knowledge we share of these Athanatos will be a core facet of our friendship! As my friend I will go to any means to help and see you flourish. Patsy, it’s never a crime to exist. All of my pain has taught me this. I can say you are among the chief lights in my life that re-ignite mine. Allow me the chance now to re-ignite yours. Hyperia is a hero, and in the paraphrased words of Eiichiro Oda I would remind you:]

[Through action, a person becomes a Hero]

[Through death, a Hero becomes a Legend]

[Through time, a Legend becomes a Myth]

[And by learning from the Myth, a person takes action]

[Your birth-world has the legend about the last stand of the Heroes of Millennium Station. You’ve survived your own Ragnarök! You have a chance at a new life here. No ghosts of the past haunting you for doing your best. It’s never a crime to exist. That prison was meant for Aaziakel, whom has not learned his lesson, it is not now and never was YOUR prison! As long as you’re alive, there will be better things that await.]

[I’d rather die than give up on you! You are among the few people that could remind me no matter how deep the night, it will always turn to day. So I say to you Patsy, whom is Hyperia’s core, before the heart of truth, there is no more needs for words. If you must prove yourself then do so and RISE!]



[Now and Forever. I will love and support you.]

[Be your own soul. RISE and light the torch of your future!]

Garrick finished the recording and sent it. As usual, the messages showed as neither delivered or read. He sat back and hit his playlist, thinking about her while listening to Legends Never Die.


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Art either created or photo manipulated by: AZ_Artisan


Heldamm! Is That Patsy?

Heldamm! Is That Patsy?

March 28th, 2024 – Thursday Night

The new guy, Rubberband Man, had proven he was great at infiltration, perhaps equally as good as Black Phantom. He got inside and had remained hidden with no reports of anyone dying to achieve his objective. “A plus” as far as the Gryphon was concerned. There was a brief moment as he entangled the “First Reflector” or Pope of the Reflectionist movement. That one or two of the team were worried they may have had the wrong person! The media nightmare for S.A.V.I.O.R. would be nigh catastrophic! Once his monstrous face was revealed and Covenant recognized him Gryphon felt far more sure of their plan.

Hopefully, there was incriminating evidence that could be presented or they were going to get raked over in the media from that Reflectionist Reporter on WCTV! Finding that information would be the only ‘religious experience’ Gryphon had been planning on having tonight. He had used his contact from the Giving Tree, Ramona, to front the reason for his being at the gathering this Thursday. Where the Church would welcome newcomers each week. So, when things started to get ‘active’ he had to remind himself to stay within normal parameters. He made use though of his supernatural, celestial-bestowed strength to grab innocent people trying to protect their religious leader and carry them to the door.

He was super thrilled Miss Amazing was not there that night. It was before the group had moved into action when he saw Carl talking to “her”. Patsy’s hair was much shorter and a different shade of brown with some small streaks of blond highlights. In the distance most people would miss such a small detail. Not Gryphon, he has drawn her over 37 times in class, even when the model was different he’d put her face on the drawing. He’d done it digital, charcoal, chalk, pencils, Copic colored markers, watercolor, acrylic and oils, etc.

In his head he was repeating February 7th, 6pm over and over. Verbally what Ramona and another member of the church had heard was, “Ha burb, uh, fe, burb, sveaaaa, burb…” When he overcame his complete surprise, he passed it off successfully as dehydration and they got some water. Gryphon was so off his rocker he made a self-degrading excuse that he had to check on a work thing as he sent Patsy a text.

[“You look great with short hair!”]

He had the presence of mind to not do anything more overt when he had also noticed a mage from Antarctica. Perhaps they were working together? He still had the wand, which was sitting in his glove box of his truck this very moment. His heart soared that she was alive and when he looked up to see if she saw the text he had lost visual on her in the crowd and Carl was beginning to change while Alex ducked under the table he was at to change into the Covenant.

Later, during the commotion to grab the “First Reflector” he saw her just standing there stunned by something he couldn’t pinpoint. Yelling out, seemingly randomly to everyone, but her, “HELDAMM!” Then without missing a beat to everyone else, “Please everyone that person has a gun.” She made eye contact with him, and in that moment Gryphon felt everything fade away to black with just a light on her and him. In this moment of shadow and two lights she held his gaze and then turned and she walked away. Blinking out of that moment back to the real world from his head she had turned and was walking out with a large group, ushering them to safety! The dimensional prison was over she should of had her powers back!?!? Where was Hyperia? Where was Heldamm’s Harbinger of Justice?

A piece of his heart broke in that moment. Oathbound. Promises were everything to Gryphon now. He’d learned it was a form of currency in prison. Patsy asked and he promised to respect her privacy and new life until she was ready to meet up with him once again. Never had he hated the last seven weeks more than this moment he had to let her walk out of his life once again. What’s worse is in the middle of everything “Carl” says he’s going away with someone that has answers about him. HE SPOKE TO HER! His departure was broadcast over comm units so no one on the team actually saw him leave.


Even as dysfunctional as their relationships seemed at times. Aside from Constance, Brandon, and Janosh, these people were all he had to call actual friends and they were dropping like flies!

Like a mantra he repeated internally, “Stay on the mission!”

As a rare graduate of the Gramercy Penitentiary School of Emotion Control, Gryphon, got back to the job at hand while he felt the lights in his world begin shutting off. Dimmer, Darker, until only blackness was there to greet him.

A fiery ball of light blazed suddenly in front of him. “You think so little of the rest of them? Of me?” The voice of his sword, Ashmadiel, spoke to him from within the blazing fire. “You are surrounded by more lights than you realize, Garrick Faulkner.” One by one fiery images blazed around him – Constance, Brandon, Janosh, Ameera, Katherine, Shorty, Nicholas, Richard, Alex, Calvin, Ramona, and the form of Ashmadiel herself, golden and resplendent.

“You are surrounded by lights, and you encounter more almost every day. But the most important light… is you.” She pointed at him and a glow emanated from him, banishing the darkness away from all around him. “Shine, Garrick Faulkner. Shine.” The vision ended, and Garrick was back where he started, in the Church of Reflections with the rest of S.A.V.I.O.R..

And after that beautiful vision, he’s greeted with a vision of Cai’s ugly mug screaming at him, “WHO THE @#!^ING @#($ &@#!BALLS ARE JOHN AND SHERYL? STERYL? STELLA? WHOEVER?

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Art by: AZ_Artisan

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.

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Art by: AZ_Artisan


Goodbye Patsy

Goodbye Patsy

February 7th, 2024 – Wednesday: 10:32 AM

Garrick woke up this morning to a small cooler just outside the ring he’d made with the sheets. There was a post it note from Katherine:

I don’t cook. Here’s some breakfast tacos from the corner. Apparently you’re the only nice gringo. There’s a small coffee as well.
– K

Smiling about how sweet that was he soon let his team know he was awake when he gave everyone the info dump about Patsy’s Millennium Station version of Jake Thompson. “On her world “Murder Master” is that world’s Jake Thompson! It is highly likely that version of Jake has walled off this dimension. Which makes sense that only Jake could stop Jake. With this knowledge hopefully our Jake can begin researching the correct way to undo his evil self.” The real Jake, as far as Garrick was concerned, decided to help on the principle “Murder Master” was a stupid name so he had to stop him.

12:43 PM

Early afternoon Patsy wakes up. She’s confused and embarrassed about being in Garrick’s bed. She’s even more embarrassed when she realizes she’s been changed into different clothes. As the situation is explained to her (and that Katherine changed her) she relaxes a bit.

Now she looks sheepish and guilty. She can’t believe Garrick had to save her again. She doesn’t remember much after walking away from the Wayfarer and finally calling the sword. Snippets of memory. The spirit within slaying the gang members who came after her because they didn’t like that she had been snooping around. A magical circle of… communication, she thinks? And waiting for… a group to arrive. Allies. Then Garrick and the others interrupted, and freed her.

She tells of how she researched Garrick’s sword and found it had been declared lost during transit after an auction. A similar sword, she discovered, had also been purchased and shipped. She figured that could be what was in the other box! She began to investigate the gangs around the museum, and searched pawn shops all around the area. She was surprised to actually find it in a pawn shop. It was sold there some time ago. People didn’t seem to want it for some reason so it just sat there. Patsy eagerly spent the money on it, intending to bring it back and show Garrick. But once it was in her hand it started talking to her. It implored her to call upon its power, to help him continue to keep the world safe.

It said… a lot of enticing things to her about the power it could give her. The power it could return to her, which she so desperately craved. This frightened her. Not that it was offering this power, but that she was so tempted. By the time she returned home Garrick was still out. She had decided she would keep the sword’s secrets for now. Once she accepted that it transformed into an ordinary bracelet on her arm.

He would talk with her sometimes, imploring her to call upon him. Aaziakel. He would offer to share the secrets of his magical knowledge with her. He would offer to give her the power to matter again, to be noticed, special… She can’t believe she’s admitting all this but it’s so upsetting that she screwed up in such a big way. It was when Aaziakel offered to give her the power to fight Katherine, and Katherine heard his voice too, that’s when Patsy realized she needed to redouble her efforts to get home and reconnected to her former powers. The temptation had become so strong. The promises so alluring… And then finally meeting The Wayfarer and learning that he too was trapped… but Aaziakel said he knew why the world was this way. He could show her why, and he could help her. That’s when she finally…

She trails off. It’s taken a while to get this story out of her. She looks at Garrick finally and says she needs to move out. She thanks him for everything he’s done but she needs to go be on her own. She’s managed to get a passable fake ID so she has an identity in this world. She’ll never be able to thank Garrick enough for what he’s done for her. But she needs to accept that there’s no easy solution to her dilemma. She’s stuck, and it’s time she accepted it and moved on, making a life for herself here.

“You’re status as an “indefinite guest” will remain, I will move your access to the room on the first floor once you find a place and have everything moved over. Through some poor communication on my part to my partner something might have become unclear at one point. Kat and I are beginning to date, and you know enough about me to realize I have A LOT of questions being virgin or undiscovered country here.” He looks around for a few seconds and continues, “Can you step out of my room for a second so I can get something?” About 60 seconds later the doors pop open, “Now, I won’t take no for an answer, but here is $1,000 in cash, $500 to help with a down payment on a car, and $500 to help with any living deposit you might need. All I “ask” is that you let me drive you to your new place so I know you got there safely and the genie Ali Baba didn’t get you.” he attempts to laugh at his own bad joke.

She tells him she’ll take an UberLyft. She wants a clean start and hopes he can understand that. She takes the money but tells him she won’t use it since she already owes him so much. He begins to grab his phone and starts a text to Zeau.

Her phone vibrates and she checks it as he’s talking about the last of his Shorties leaving. The message reads: I might not have the courage to say what my heart is screaming, in another time, in another place, in another world even. May this picture convey how I feel since this is my memory of you. Be your own soul Patsy “Hyperia” Palmer. Just know if you’re ever in need I will find you and come for you, now and forever.

5:27 PM

Kat leaned against the air conditioner on the building’s roof like a trained sniper. Yet no gun was in her hand, she was armed with a caring heart for a man who wore his upon his sleeve. She’d been quietly watching Patsy move out boxes and luggage from a few buildings away. Two of the bags were embroidered with Garrick’s company logo on the side. Looks like he will need to get new bags for the gym. The trips outside to set things down were fairly regular. Nothing seemed out of ordinary there. By the time she’s ready to go it is nearly 6 PM. Kat has already texted Garrick back trying to give him time to say goodbye. In truth she was just trying to play along since she knows it’s important to him. She had taken some of the time to get a few extra things and clean her place before she moved out officially. She decided she could be patient since Patsy was moving out and soon she’d be able to have nothing else pulling on his heart strings.

While moving out her stuff, and her research about the area, Patsy had to stop looking at Garrick. He was sitting at his work table downstairs. She had spied over his shoulder one time and saw all kinds of research regarding how to weaponize an Einstein-Rosen bridge to break through a dimensional barrier! Still his last message to her rang in her head. …if you’re ever in need I will find you and come for you, now and forever. Patsy knew how far he had come to even phrase a statement of devotion, of love to anyone. She was so proud of the progress he had made and yet he gave everything of himself to everyone. When she came in from her last box waiting for the UberLyft. She saw him reading Kat’s text reply and his back was turned. She decided that since she wasn’t living here anymore then his rules about showing affection had to be gone as well. It was now or never! She seized the momentary advantage of the distraction to close with him unexpectedly. Seconds before he could react badly he turns to feel her warm body press up against his and kiss him.

It’s a deep, longing kiss. She left him near paralyzed with that “Kiss” and he’s not sure he’d have stopped anything further. He felt equally as weak kneed as with Miss Amazing. Then she walks out of his home to the waiting UberLyft to leave. For now. There is a long and cold shower between her departure and Katherine arriving about 30 minutes later.

8:17 PM

That night Garrick after an amazing dinner which had no second helpings because of the Shorties. Garrick finishes making sure all of Katherine’s things are on the second floor. Room authorizations are updated with Optimus. Katherine glances in his head and there is some worry he’ll never see her again, but a reminder she wanted this and he has to honor it. Garrick brings Katherine into his room and using a bowl of hot water he washes her feet mentioning he found this idea looking up things boyfriends should do. Then using light oils, he massages them slowly and methodically. Kat playfully asks if this is some sort of fetish? She’s not opposed to it if he enjoys it. She ends up enjoying it more than she expected, and it turns into a rather enjoyable evening for the both of them.


Art by: AZ_Artisan


Decisions From The Heart

Decisions From The Heart

February 6th, 2024 – Tuesday: 11:15 AM

Garrick’s body is having various shooting pains as nerves and muscle tissue repairs itself. Brandon left him stunned by his revelation of being a natural charmer. He had just been studying how his father interacted with everyone. Southern charm and hospitality was big in his family. He then remembered what Katherine had said to him just hours ago, “How many women did you plan on dating?”

He sent off an encrypted email to the Geist first at about 11:02 AM:

He followed that up with a bunch of texts to Katherine as he thought about their trip home from the Wax Museum.

How quick can you get to your house and back? (1/3)
I can make it there and back in about 12 minutes. Faster if necessary.

He had thanked the Wayfarer many times before he left them taking Aaziakel the Doombringer with him. He was just unable to hide the limp, the bleeding hand that had ripped the sword away from the surprised angelic-looking form Patsy had taken on. Miss Amazing could see it and she also knew how wrecked his body looked underneath his clothing. After everyone was gone and they were about to leave the roof they were on she rested a hand on his as it gripped Patsy’s unconscious form, “You’re still hurt Gryphon.”

“I will keep the speed down to match whatever leaping speed you set.”

Miss Amazing couldn’t tell if it was the pain he was finally beginning to feel or he was still angry, but onward she went. It was 8:54 AM when they landed on his rooftop portion of the building. He carried Patsy inside and laid Patsy in his bed. She promised to watch over Patsy, but she couldn’t convince Garrick to call off today. He began to change clothes and get in the shower, and she finally saw or paid more attention to the extent of the injuries he sustained fighting the gang bangers last night. She thought she had seen bad before but he should have been in a hospital! From his pectoral muscles and shoulder blades down to his knees was a varying shade of yellow, green, purple, and black! Over 35 wounds in the process of becoming scabs roughly the size of bullet holes were dotting him like chickenpox. As well as over 12 scars given by blades or sharp objects at various stages of healing!

Having removed her mask Katherine acknowledged her ability to take a hit from multiple attackers may not have survived what he did. She asked what outfit he wanted to wear, he grimaced out a reply and apology for his tone. She was surprised he was using manners at all and got his clothes ready. They talked as he was getting ready as fast as he could, wincing with every movement. They talked about January 30th and Katherine admitted they started out being a bit rude to each other. She came clean about hearing a voice during their chat and now realizing Patsy may have been under Aaziakel’s control longer than anyone thought! She felt bad and didn’t realize what it was until it was to late.

Just after finishing tying his shoes he took her hands in his, “Hey, I would not have realized it. I was worried I was smothering her, I thought I had to let her pursue her own agenda as an adult. I had to let you two come to terms with each other as adults. Sometimes adults fight, but then make up. It would be hypocritical of me to butt my nose into your relationship with each other.” Katherine was nodding as he went on, “I am infatuated with her but fear a relationship wouldn’t work because at some point she will go home. While I promised to come and help defeat Murder Master I know I would return home to here. Look I have to get going but Wednesday morning we all need to have a long chat about how we feel about each other. After the Giving Tree tonight I will be wiped out!” He gives Katherine a very warm and genuine hug as though he wasn’t hurting at all.

When he got downstairs he grabbed some extra medical stuff and he finally allows his poker face to show much pain he is in. He walked through his office door at 9:34 AM.

At 11:12 AM he continued with two more texts:

I’m sorry for being a terrible partner. But while you’ll obviously ‘ace’ your way through school. You still need to turn in homework. I’m worried I have been absorbing to much of your time. I just want to be respectful of it.(2/3)
Just like with making sure Patsy can make it home (i.e. I’ve not really finished saving her yet). I owe you the same courtesy of making sure that I am a partner that recognizes you have a life outside of me. I know I suck at this but I’m trying to figure out how to be better at honoring all aspects of you.(3/3)

His first meeting at 11:20 AM was with his team so he could review their long-term projects on hardware code interfacing for the parts to integrate with other systems in a form of plug and play robot building. Hana Akaikawa had been calling it adult, ass-kicking Legos! Pedro Escobar was still working an updated sensor suite for appendages and sensor drones. Mia Schmidt had built off of Gary’s old notes to explore the creation of amalgam artificial intelligence. Because code for each piece was the soul of the component she felt it could be possible to compile an A.I. from the amalgam of each assembled component creating the whole of the A.I. core neural network! Because of the variety of Hana’s plug and play features, alongside Pedro’s sensor suite upgrades, she spent much of her time trying pull it all together and smooth out all the “rough edges” in the core personality!

As they came in Garrick is sitting at the table they use for meetings, he’s already got three chairs pulled out for them. He rises to greet them and Hana tells him to sit down, he’s moving like she did after a car accident. Pedro and Mia look at each other and then to their boss as he complies and chuckles, “Umm, it felt like a rocket launcher hit me. However, y’all didn’t come up from the basement lab for a play by play. Sit and let’s get this meeting started.” Garrick mentioned every scheduled patch is done. Firmware has been tested and in place, so every computer, and machine in the basement shop and server farm is finally running the latest upgrades. He has pitched a follow up movie deal to Brandon whom is going to call his contacts in Mission City about its viability but he’s excited.

Mia, showed off her her current prototype algorithm on a test server of building and A.I. from sample programs installed on a virtual server! The results dramatically varied based on which programs were installed. The more options which were introduced expanded the functionality but still increased the instability exponentially. In her preliminary experiments three test servers overheated and destroyed themselves! Brandon finally sprung for an upgraded machine sufficient for the second layer to house the new virtual server they were using. It was sufficient for now partly because it was seriously limited in how many additional programs it was exposed to. However the project showed serious merit that it even worked! It still needed a lot more testing and understanding before it could amount to anything safely practical, and destroying their new machine was a costly failure she had been warned to avoid.

Hana, shows off the first prototype of the Mallic Modular Robot. She lays out 14 black chrome spheres with orange and silver lines and circles so they are touching each other. Spherical, exposed, contact circuitry! When she type some commands on her tablet they clumsily reconfigured themselves into a primitive stick figure robot! Hana mentions using orbs were the easiest and quickest way to produce a prototype. With more testing existing robotics designs could someday be retrofitted or designed to take advantage of this technology. She envisions that eventually robotic parts with thrusters and flight suite to begin putting themselves together on site!

Pedro, managed to take a pin point radiation emitter used back in 2018 to make radiation therapy for cancer easier on patients. He then used that to design what he intended to eventually be a two-finger and thumb hand that could x-ray scan, carbon date, contact material register from up to three inches away 300 materials types, and analyze 30 different medical conditions with an exposed blood sample. All of those by themselves would be good but exist in varying devices on the market which Pedro had with him. He had them all tied to a computer running an experimental cross referencing algorithm that he believed allows him to build a chemical makeup and behavior profile. Garrick was impressed the most at the cross referencing and put his hand out. “Go ahead, Pedro, use me as a test case.” Surprised and excited Pedro does arrange the scanners around Garrick’s hand and started the scan. After he ran the scan they waited about two minutes and then Pedro, Mia, and Hana slowly looked up at their boss a little freaked out. Pedro asks, “Were you aware there are minor traces of the same explosive chemical found in some older model RPG’s!”

Garrick sighed and put his head in his hand for a second before answering, “The fact that it picked it up impresses the hell out of me, Pedro. Everyone keep working on your projects and let Constance know about your progress so her team can push them to practical testing applications. Mia here are a few notes I jotted down that might categorize the builds using the psych profiles like ENFJ and such. It should also help when using Pedro’s work to smooth out attitude fluctuations. Hana, your brilliant and work with Brandon and Constance to take the modular robot to the next phase using her socket system. If that works I am very excited to see it go to production testing.

Pedro piped up, “Was the rocket launcher joke, not a joke?”

Garrick folds his hands having worked his way through tough moments in prison before, “Okay, all I am going to say about the matter is their were some innocent people being threatened with death from a gang. I intervened and got shot by an RPG. All of you will just have to be satisfied with that answer. You have your assignments now get to them.”

As Garrick moved around the office: getting coffee, papers from the printer, and seeing if Horace wanted to go half on lunch. Everyone except Sam in security and Brandon kept a 3 foot distance away from him and neither Horace or Constance were in their offices. This distance had been going on for some time now. About as long as he had started coming to work transformed.

A little bit later about 12:30 PM:

The three of us need to have a long, honest, blunt chat when she wakes up.Thinking about what you said and maybe I can charm people, idk? But I do know I have no intention of leaving you. As long as you want me.

Yeah we all need to talk. Your roommate needs to hear that we’re dating. She refused to believe me when I told her. Don’t worry about my school stuff. I’m not one of your dopey kids. You’re doing fine. Relax. Focus on work. I got this. Just be honest with your roommate and with me and it’ll all be fine. 😉

She really needs to learn how to clean better. This place is filthy. 😀

Thank you so much for saying we’re dating. I told my boss wasn’t dating anyone. He said get that straight before anything else happens. Hence the chat tomorrow. I will have a lot of questions tomorrow about what you consider a good boyfriend.So none of that between us was pity?

I’ve a lot of questions tomorrow for both of you. One more thought train though:
I’m the one programming the Roombas.
She is not my maid.
She’s a refugee from another dimension.
I consider you both my friends.
I’ll get a list from you tomorrow about what you consider clean. Because the person you’re complaining about cleaning is me.

Gotta run Kitty Kat, work calls.

P.S.: wait is dating boyfriend and girlfriend stuff? Tell me after work and have an Amazing day.

Why would u say were not dating? What is this between us then?No it was not pity sex. Was it anything 2 u though?

Is it about Patsy? You won’t say we’re dating or that ur my boyfriend bc of her?

So we’re just friends?


Ur a grown man. Don’t patronize me about bf gf stuff. This isnt gradeschool.

Ill call you if theres a problem here. Have your fun tonight.

Garrick smacks his head into his hand, the voice to text didn’t catch every word and what was suppose to be heart warming makes it seem like he might be trying to break up with her. While he wanted to text her back he was afraid about making it worse.

A little bit later about 1:30 PM he gets two texts from Ramona:

I am as a young girl,
Trembling in the throws of ecstatic modesty
I can’t wait to see you tonight. I hope we can fit in some time together. I look forward to meeting your cousin too!

Shorty #2 had expressed some excitement about getting to go out and meet some other kids. He thought to himself maybe he could find a way to let her down easy with poetry in return? It was worth a shot to type it out as voice to text already had him in hot water with Katherine. After taking a bit to compose something on his lunch. he wrote:

As the days have waxed the flower inflamed in the summer heat.
Time reaped each petal in a countdown of its anticipated demise.
Only to see new its ashes reconstituted by Gaea.
The mother of all life gives birth to new beginnings.
I realize it’s rough, but that is my prose. I have to check to make sure my cousin does his homework before we leave. Otherwise he will be at home with a rather harsh tutor. Tonight I am bringing Brazilian BBQ. Along with some excess beef and pork to help with lunches for the kids.

Rereading his text he only felt mildly confident. If he was lucky she would get that the death of the flower was any relationship that might be between them. The rebirth was to be a nice friendship. Yeah, he saw it and he warned her it was original poetry. He even left Shorty an out in case he didn’t want to come along. The boys had raved about the BBQ all week so he felt very confident there. If only his dad were here to help him navigate women better. How could ‘she’ even think their nights together had not meant the world to him? Now she was telling him to go have fun? Had she broken up with him already? To be fair he had never expected it to go as far as it did. Maybe she would start pursuing, hmm… she said something about secrets? I’d wonder what that was about but best to leave psychic, hornet nests alone for your mind is crunchy and goes good with bacon.

OMG! You wrote me an original poem!See you soon! 😉

Garrick sighs. “Welp, I screwed that up, maybe. At 27, I am about to utter words no well adjusted male will ever say again. I just have to not accidentally charm or seduce anyone tonight.” He went back into his house on the first floor and got a few items out from the climate controlled storage. He returned to his office after a few minutes and leaned them against the wall on the floor. He scheduled a print job for the photo quality printer and made sure he was there to pick it up. One was a partial database table layout and the other item was the real reason he was there. He felt bad surprising the guy from marketing and he left quickly as he realized Garrick was waiting for something from the printer. Garrick sighed when he heard him whisper not quiet enough, “Damn freak forgot how to leave home at home.”

He sighed and realized if that was the worse someone thought of him, screw them he could live with that. Besides he was entitled to what he felt and it wasn’t like gang rape in prison so none of the dissenting opinions really meant anything to him anyway. He smirked and his outlook on the day got so much brighter. When he got back in his office he pulled out his own drawing tablet so he could work off of his private network. He set out an outline:

Micro Fusion Reactor

A robotic power source that is scalable

Thesis: To design a power supply that should last for 50 years in a robot before degradation. Also using the robot hands and arms as a means of offense/defense with energy blasters. These weapon systems would also double as a physical network/power circuit link to share the power load and thus create grids for a municipality that is scalable and defensible in a world with powered threats.


  • Design a reactor core using a different concept than the Daedalus Project.
    • Find out what the guidelines are for this. Talk to Jake if possible.
    • Ask Jake if he would mind helping grade my work to make sure I stay in the correct parameters so I can tell the Alien to piss off, nicely.
  • Figure out how to mircosize it to at basketball at least and softball at most.
    • Make sure it has a “clean” blast vector not unlike what happened with Iron Mike.
      • If possible design an inert encompassing state to nullify the material and prevent detonation all together?
  • If I can’t make the domes to take humanity to the stars then perhaps I can help create the robots that carry them there. If this works revisit the dome concept.

It had seemed like such a simple idea but tomorrow he would begin figuring out how to begin each step. Especially if he was indeed single having been in, what he thought was, the shortest relationship on record. He knew he would need something to occupy his mind. Continuing his father’s work to help his company branch out more seemed a good use of time.

Sitting in his office on the last hour of the day everyone would be gone at 4:30 PM and because he was late he knew he was working on certain code issues for user needs while trying to carefully craft an apology and explanation. He included four pictures he had done of Katherine from memory each time. She’d never known he’d made any of her and Garrick was only sharing them because he was desperate to fix a voice to text omission of words. The first picture was watercolor of her in the shower with him. He clipped his assignment review to it. She would know that he was relying on his experiences with her to get through art class. The second (going clockwise) was a reverse gradient white in black digital sketch he had printed on photo quality paper and then after everyone left he 3-D printed a simple frame for it. The third picture was a perspective in color pencil and oil pastels of the picture she sent him of her diving off a building. The last one was oil and acrylic of them sleeping together.

On the last picture his teacher was talking about putting enough work together to perform a showing at the University. On the third picture the personal note next the letter “A” was this person must be very special to you. On his second picture his teacher mentioned she enjoyed watching Garrick stream his approach to sketching and answering questions from his classmates and others viewing it on Twitch. Garrick left them stacked together with wax paper separating each one. He left a hand written note attached to the ribbon he tied them all up with.

If you are feeling that you mean nothing to me then answer me this dilemma and I’ll leave you be. But if you can’t tell me then maybe my feelings in each of these pictures can reach past your fear of being abandoned. Its quest to find your heart and care for it can be called a success?

My dilemma is why can I not get you out of my head?
My first peaceful night since prison belongs to you.
If you’re nothing to me then did I fall for a dream?
Your touch brought me back from the brink of rage.
How does “Do I mean nothing to you” do that?
– Garrick

Sandwiched between the last two pictures was another, longer letter:


If you really don’t want me anymore I will respect your wishes and keep my distance. I guess I am a bad text sender, I didn’t check to make sure voice to text sent everything exactly the way I wanted it to come across. I had been nothing but excited and to scared to ask if we were a couple, dating, friends with benefits, monogamous, open, polyamorous, or something else. I had not wanted to say dating to my boss on the chance I was misrepresenting your intention to me. The coward in me also didn’t want to get my hopes up in case I was wrong. I NEVER thought in the remainder of my life that anyone would want me. Your heart was broken when he just left you. Until you though, I had never known a kind touch other that my mother, Cynthia, or my father, Cuthbert.

So when you said we were dating I finally allowed myself to think maybe this “thing” between us wasn’t the pretty lady taking pity on the broken man. Before you the only person that came close to understanding that in me was Patsy. However, rationally if I help her get home and stop Murder Master she would ultimately stay in her world and I would return to mine. Even if the feelings were genuine and mutual, their is no basis for a long term relationship there.

On an ethical note the other reason I never acted my feelings was a logic lesson I learned from my father about old fairy tales that exploited the women in them. He hated when the protagonist would rescue a damsel and giver her succor (a home and food). Then over a period of time the “demented” author thought was socially acceptable (again this is never acceptable), the Protagonist would fall in love. How is the damsel suppose to act or react? How could it ever be real? If she refuted the protagonist’s advances would she loose her succor? Would she be tossed to the wayside? It’s tantamount to crappy social veneer to disguise it for what it is, a rape story. I refuse to be this person since I have been the victim of this. As long as Patsy would live under my roof and in my care NOTHING could ever happen, even if short term. I hope this allays your fears about her as competition. I have explained this to her as well, because open communication and honest discourse is the path to long term happiness.

They say an expert is someone whom has made every mistake in a very narrow field. I am not an expert when it comes to love. I am an expert in interpersonal communication when you might get stabbed, raped, strangled, beaten, isolated, or killed. Being very honest, and adhering to anything you say like a promise is how you survive among sharks and other killers.

So here is my declaration to you in writing that can be shared with whom you will. As long as you want me as your partner in dating I believe this grants me the status of boyfriend and conversely bestows upon you the status of girlfriend to each other. I am new to this and do not presume to assume this makes us exclusive as the definition states on monogamy, or if we are still looking at sharing a partner together/separate/etc., as describe in ethical non-monogamy. I also accept that until these details are ironed out between us I will try to do nothing to upset you or discredit you in any fashion. I will try to learn what a boyfriend’s responsibilities are to their chosen partner or partners (again I am not going to assume I know your preferred relationship style).

You have my apologies that I needed a formal style letter to convey a romantic intent.

– Garrick

Garrick nodded when he had reread it for the thirtieth time. It was 5:40 PM as he carried the package back into his house. He went downstairs to check on his three remaining Shorties. They exclaimed they would have the homework done tonight. Garrick said they had till 11 PM or their Internet access would shut off. They verbally acknowledge and go back to their raid. Garrick went upstairs and saw a sign on his door in Katherine’s hand writing “STAY OUT!” He realized that it was mostly aimed at the Shorties but also likely meant for him as well now. He set the package on the kitchen island and left one of his business cards folded into a tent. He wrote Kat’s name on it and gathered up everything for the Giving Tree and left.

When he got there early he put his Mallic Robotics apron on. He felt that he got a text message but decided to read it later because he didn’t believe it was anything other than how he had screwed up again. He waves to a few people he knows and begins to get dinner going. While the food is beginning to cook Ramona comes into the kitchen and she is beaming with glee! She comes over and he takes her hand and dips his forehead to touch it. Classic southern gentleman greeting it may have been in these days it was archaic and almost forgotten. Garrick was hoping because he did not kiss her hand she’d get the we’re friends hint. However, even when he cleaned his hands again and switched gloves she was still acting smitten. He tried to ask about the last evening and she described the prior night visit of the two Mavericks: the Gryphon and Miss Amazing. Apparently, the Gryphon had told poor Juliana that he would be here tonight to check on her. However, she was still at Koan Memorial Hospital, along with about half of the refugees from the night before. Smoke inhalation being the most common reason, and Juliana’s leg being the most severe.

It was just after 7:30 PM when Brandon Mallic arrived and he excused himself to talk with his boss. Ramona left them both, and he explained about Juliana. He gives him a promising report about his teams projects. Then he asks about two days off to work on designing a micro fusion reactor. Brandon puts his arm and hand on Garrick gently, “Let me see if I got this, you want to take time off work to work? Yes take two days off, but for the love of everything holy do not do that. Whatever you got cooking in your head can wait till you come back. Besides that lady back there looks as though she needs more of your time.” Brandon moves away to leave and talks to the Director and a few other people before saying his goodbyes.

Ramona starts talking about a book she is reading and a church she has been attending, the Church of the Reflectionist. It sounded like a cult to Garrick the more he heard or a pyramid scam of some kind. He was very respectful when she showed him her triangle above a dashed line and an inverted triangle below pendant. He made plans to be willing to attend a gathering in two Thursdays when new members were encouraged to go through orientation. He tries to turn the conversation back to the Mavericks that were here the previous night. When Ramona feels convinced that the man Garrick was just talking to may be the Gryphon, who she thought was supposed to show up tonight, Garrick mentions that armor like the Gryphon wears could easily disguise sex and appearance. Ramona nods and begins to wonder if the person in the armor was a woman instead of a man. Off she went to see if she can find the Gryphon in disguise among those present.

As Garrick left that night he sent a text and encrypted email to the Geist about this new church/cult. When he pulled into his house he finally check the unread text message from Katherine:

💓 💗 💗 💗 💗 💗 💗 💗 💗 💗 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 💝

“Well, it appears she likes the pictures,” he thought to himself. When he headed in he found out the Shorty squad had not finished their homework. So he told Optimus to shut it off till they had it done and he scanned and checked it for accuracy. While decrying this loss of game privileges he saw them awkwardly work together to get it done. His father had always said everyone’s carrot is different but motivating nonetheless. He text Katherine he was home and heading upstairs. He saw the sign on his door was gone and he sat at the kitchen island. She apologized for not understanding how new he is to this and overreacting. He said while he was sad he felt bad she had to revisit all the hormonal changes of a late teenager. They promised each other to be better at communicating, and then she dropped the bombshell.

Earlier that day while Garrick was brainstorming his reactor project Patsy almost woke up but Katherine realized it was a bad dream. She went in to her mind to look and see if it was serious, it shocked her to see Patsy fighting Jake in her world! Gryphon had been informed about Jake being from a different dimension, and he had talked with Patsy enough to know that there were many differences between her world and theirs, some subtle some not subtle. Perhaps, in her world the Jake of Millennium Station got rid of problems he didn’t want to deal with and he sealed the dimension Garrick came from! That version of Jake had become the super villain, Murder Master! He knew what he was going to be doing in the morning with this info. He asked Katherine if she would mind staying the night as he was going to sleep on the floor. She was excited and then let down when she heard the sleeping arrangement. When she told him not to worry because Shorty and her both went to Waingroh High School and even he was doing well. When he found out she lived in the Dreadzone he mentioned for the second time she could have the room on the first floor if she’d rather live here. In Garrick’s mind anything was a step up to that hellhole!

Kathrine was so excited and made plans to move in the next day since Garrick was staying home! Wait… Second time? Then she realized Optimus had mentioned that room had been assigned to her before, had she missed the first time Garrick had invited her to move in? She saw him looking around the very industrial home that had no windows to speak of. He started nodding and realized Katherine had not really moved anything but had done a deep cleaning of the second floor. She told him his roombas sucked at her version of clean and he was forced by empirical evidence to agree. Kat ran down stairs to check out “her room” on the first floor. Her badge caused the door to unlock at two feet from touching it! She went inside and saw that it was 25ft. by 25ft. in size! This could easily have been 4 and maybe 5 different bedrooms anywhere else in Brisby Flats! Four of her could sleep in the bed, and the second bed had been converted into a 5′ deep by 10′ wide and 8′ tall storage unit. With the extra mattress rolled up in plastic wrap and stored above it. There was a post it note taped to multi-tiered 10′ wide by 3′ deep desk.

“I look forward to being partners in crime”stopping” with you. :-)”

There was dust on the desk and note, suggesting it was likely a week old. When she touched it the 27 inch wide transparent display with holo-projected keyboard went dim as the top tier of the desk expanded up and a TV with speakers was now visible with game controllers and a remote. She turn to thank Garrick and realized Garrick had slipped away. She found him in a corner of his room curled up on the floor, asleep. He had managed to take off his apron and rolled it into an almost non-existent pillow. Two spare bed sheets were rolled up and laid out like a do not cross line. There was a note in his handwriting taped above him:

Kat, Patsy,
Please let me wake up on my own, I have strong mental associations to sleeping on concrete. However, I can’t stay awake any longer I need sleep.
– Garri..

Then pen trails off without even finishing his name. Katherine sees him twitch and punch the wall. She concentrates and just scans the surface thoughts. After 60 seconds she breaks the connection. A dark room and a prison guard with seven prisoners. They are beating and doing despicable things to Garrick! The guard walks over and cups Garrick’s chin while he is suspended spread eagle. When the guard asks about the boxes from the truck and he refuses to talk. The guard nods and glowing red hot thread rod is dragged across his back while he is violated by another inmate. The only verbal thoughts she got was “this is how I loose my virginity?” She was shaking and wanted to snap that guard in half, fold him like a pretzel, and use his compressed body to beat the other prisoners until they stopped moving. For a ‘moment’ she didn’t dislike Patsy at all for giving him any comfort. Then a smile took over his face and he seemed at peace. With great trepidation she peaked in on his thoughts once more and it was an image of them and Katherine in the image had just fallen asleep on his chest. Now the thoughts read, “With enough of these I will destroy the bad ones!”

Katherine knew what she meant to him. And now she had a good idea how she could finally show him how much she cared for him. She removed her hands from the table, not noticing that her angry grip had left an indent in the metal.


Art by: AZ_Artisan


How Patsy Met Helldamn

How Patsy Met Helldamn

Morning of the 30th of January, 2024

“Did I ever tell you how I met the Wizard Heldamn?”

Garrick turned, surprised at the sudden voice from behind him. Not because he didn’t know she was there – he registered her presense at the table when he entered the floor. He was surprised because he said “Hi” to her when he walked up but she didn’t respond or indicate to him in any way she had heard him. She was often like that, buried in her research projects and oblivious to the world around her.

He turned around to see her still sitting at the table, open book in front of her, looking at him and waiting for him to respond. “Not in detail, no,” Garrick told her. She had told him some small bits of the story but he hadn’t pushed for more information.

Patsy closed the book, seemingly glad to be taking a break. “I was fresh out of college. Alan Parkman was organizing an expedition to Iraq, to the ruins of Babylon. The wars at the end of the last century had damaged parts of the site. We were going to re-examine the extent of the damage and try to confirm what remained. Most of the people he pulled together weren’t terribly excited about it. Babylon is an important site but it had been explored time and time again for the last two hundred years. I was excited though. This was right in my expertise. What was I going to say, no?”

“Once we arrived and set up camp Alan put us to work. Mostly we re-examined the site, referencing previous documents to catalog the damage and confirm previous findings. I was two days into the work when I noticed the first inconsistency between the documents we were referencing and what was actually on the site. It was a minor thing – something that was easily explained as a misunderstanding, or a translation error. I didn’t think anything of it. But then I found another. And another. All of these errors were small by themselves but they kept cropping up.

“I took notes on what I was finding. I planned to report this all to Alan and submit the corrections through the proper channel. I spent several weeks noting everything I found in detail. I sat down one night to review all my notes and I made a strange realization. These weren’t just errors in previous translations. They were a hidden message that had somehow been missed for centuries! I was excited, but also suspicious. It took me another two weeks to confirm that I wasn’t just seeing something crazy.”

“You can imagine just how exciting this was! I had discovered something no-one else had discovered before! ” Patsy was speaking really excitedly now. “Best as I could translate it said something to the effect of: ‘He offers respite from the curse. Seek him where the tower once stood. Ambition can be avenged.’ There were directions based on ancient landmarks and the stars. It wasn’t hard to reconstruct the ancient star positions to locate where this message was trying to send me.”

“I was consumed by this discovery. I didn’t want to share it. So I never said anything to Alan about it. Armed with this information I just took a truck one clear night and drove off. I didn’t even ask! I was afraid they would stop me. I was loaded with everything I thought I needed to confirm my discovery. That’s all I was trying to do – I just wanted to confirm it. Then I would tell Alan and everyone else about it.”

Patsy was looking at Garrick’s direction but it didn’t seem like she was seeing him. Her gaze was focused on her past and seeing her memories. “I drove for some time. It seemed a lot further than I expected. I got to the area but of course, I saw nothing. I shouldn’t have been surprised – of course I wouldn’t see anything. Most likely the ruins I was looking for were buried, not a standing structure. Still, I got out and walked around anyway. The air was cool and dry. I walked around the area. I don’t know what I was looking for, really. I was beginning to to come down from my excitement and realized that I was being ridiculous.”

“It was then I noticed it was a lot windier than it should have been. I was so absorbed in my own thoughts that I failed to notice the drastic turn in the weather. I looked in the direction the wind was coming from in horror as I realized what was happening… a sandstorm was coming, and it was close! In a near panic I ran back to the truck. I was a lot further from it than I thought. I didn’t make it before the storm hit. I did my best to cover my face and keep moving toward the truck as the sandstorm blinded and blasted me. I knew I needed shelter, but there was nothing around. Blind, panicking, I walked right into a wall.”

“There was no structure around earlier but I was too surprised to really think about that. All I was thinking about was getting to safety. I moved and felt around the wall blindly until I stumbled upon an opening. I went through it and I was instantly out of the storm. I stood there in shock for a moment. Cautiously I opened my eyes. It was dark inside but I could see the sandstorm raging behind me. Using my flashlight I saw I was inside an old stone building. This made me curious. Did I manage to find what I was looking for all along?”

“With the storm still going on I couldn’t leave. I had obviously gotten lost and was beyond lucky. I decided to walk further inside. Just to look around. The entrance led straight to a large audience chamber. The flashlight barely reached the walls. I shined it around in awe. This had to be it. It had to be! My moment of triumph was broken by a voice. ‘It’s been a long time since I’ve had a visitor.'”

“I wasn’t alone! I turned towards the voice while also taking a few steps back. The flashlight illuminated a tall man standing near the far wall. He was wearing a cloak over dark, aged bronze armor in the ancient Sumerian style. The helmet on his head shadowed his face but couldn’t hide his piercing, red gaze. He stared at me in silence for a few moments while I tried to decide what to do. Had I stumbled into a supervillain’s secret base? Was this an ancient evil I had managed to awaken? Did he speak to me in English?”

“‘You speak English?’ I asked him stupidly. “‘It is a simple manner for me to speak all languages,’ he answered. ‘Is that not the gift you came here for?’ I looked at him with confusion. He seemed to understand. ‘No, you have come seeking something else. Glory. Acclaim. Notoriety. Greatness.’ He spoke the truth but I was ashamed to admit it. I stammered back at him. ‘No, that’s not it. I…’ But he held up a hand to stop me. ‘I can sense the truth, Patsy Palmer. We are not dissimilar, you and I. I can grant you what you seek.'”

“He stepped toward me. I stepped further back but was surprised to find my back was already against the wall. What he said rattled me. He knew my name! I was trembling as he continued to walk closer to me. He stopped an arm’s length away and spoke again. ‘It has been too long since my power has been felt in your world. Yet not long enough for me to emerge once again. I find this isolation both frustrating… and boring. So I offer you this gift, Patsy Palmer. Fulfill your ambition. Seek your glory. And do it in my name. Helldamn Spellshroud.'”

“‘Helldamn?’ I asked? At that moment he smiled a large, inhuman grin and disappeared. A smoky mist rose up around me and encircled my whole body. It then wrapped tightly around me, lifting me up off the ground, transforming me and filling me with power! I heard his voice from all around. ‘Say my name to call this power. Say it again to dismiss it. Go. Discover your greatness.’ The mist was gone and I hovered there. I felt stronger. Tougher. The knowledge of incantations filled my head. I-”

Patsy stopped talking abruptly. Her eyes refocused and she was clearly looking at and seeing Garrick now. “I’m sorry,” she said after a moment. “I thought I was ready to… It’s tough, to remember all that I was and lost.” She took a minute to compose herself, then continued. “Well, I had that power. Once I recovered from the shock of it tried out transforming back and forth. After some time I realized the sandstorm was over and I was able to walk toward the truck.”

“I emerged from the structure and it was daylight now. Looking back, I saw a ruined stone temple half-buried in the sand. The whole event seemed improbable. I called his name again and was transformed by the black mist. His name a second time caused the mist to fall away and dissipate, pulling my newfound abilities away with it.” Patsy sighed.

“That’s the story. I managed to return to camp and tried to bring a team back to where I found that temple, but it was gone. There was nothing there when I returned and no sign that it had ever been there. I tried to show the notes I had made but when Alan or any of the others compared them to the originals in the Babylon ruins they said it was my notes that were in error! I was sent home out of concern. I considered telling them all about my granted powers, but with no other evidence what would that prove? And then what would the government do to me?”

Patsy exhaled a deep breath. “Well, that’s how I got my powers. Back on my Earth I eventually found old records throughout history that referenced the Wizard. Here so far I’ve found nothing like that. It’s like… he just never existed here. I’m still looking but…” She trailed off, unwilling to complete that thought. “I’m still looking. You gave me hope that I’ll find him here or find a way home to him. Thank you, Garrick.” She smiled warmly at Garrick. Seeing him look back at her so kindly and warmly made her blush and look away. She gathered up her books and went back to her room. “Thanks for listening!” She said to him as she quickly walked away.

Garrick quickly asked her, “Do you think the Wayfarer could potentially grant you that power once again?”

Patsy stopped thoughtfully. “I’ve known other Wizards back on my Earth who were heroes like how he’s been described. They didn’t have the sort of power for something like that, so I don’t think he could do that. My hope is that he knows how I can return home.”

Garrick told her with strong conviction, “Well, whatever you need I am there for you. You won’t face Murder Master alone. I swear it.”




February 2nd, 2024 – Friday

Everyone had left just after 9:46pm that Friday when the goal was to go inform the CSPD, Chimera, and Alpha Prime about the Denim Rats dealing a drug with an alien xenome in its make up. Primarily this would be done through Black Phantom’s contact in the CSPD. Garrick found himself standing, alone, on the first floor and checks in on the Shorties below. All eight are absorbed in the Worlds Online servers he co-administers with Horace once more. They look like they are very happy right now and he’s worried about splitting them up. He programs a ‘message’ to go out one time on Sunday in case he wants to change it but also so he won’t forget to tell them.

Soon he finds himself standing in front of Patsy’s door, arm raised, wishing to knock.

… If Katherine made a mess of things why would she want to talk to you …

… In his sister’s voice, “Father was already a genius hero, but no, you had to be like him and you cheated with a magic, talking sword!” …

Garrick puts his arm down, after all, he couldn’t even convince the group to get out of its analysis and go do hero stuff. Did he really deserve to call himself Patsy’s protector? He’d failed to find a way for her to meet Jake, and he remembered how crestfallen Ethel had been when he had no news for her. No wonder even Katherine picked Nathaniel over getting involved with a fuck up like him.

Garrick snapped his head back and forth a few times quietly saying, “One hour, one day, one week, one month, one year.” Walking back toward the kitchen island he resolved to tell Patsy about her month anniversary cupcake. He had wanted it to make her feel welcomed somewhere when she couldn’t be home. Feeling the anxiety from watching the ‘video’ gnawing at him. He knew that not getting to the bottom of that argument they had would eventually eat him alive. So he sent her a two-part text with a picture of the cupcake. He moved it slightly and set her envelope with the monthly stipend tucked within next to the cupcake.

He also knew he needed to be delicate about going about asking questions. Maybe the reason there was no fight was that they realized “it” was a misunderstanding. It could already be nothing and resolved with him worrying for naught. Closing the futuristic door of the fridge with a very similar “whoosh” sound to his bedroom doors. He faced the black chrome panel, staring at his muted reflection. He wondered when did he become a William Faulkner quote?”

Garrick remembered a quote of his forebear on a website about poetry and literature: “The only thing worth writing about is the human heart in conflict with itself.” Looking at his phone it was 9:58pm so he decided to send another text to Katherine this time. A whisper in the back of his head caught him off guard and his silver and gold wristband (where the wings and lion rear legs of the Gryphon wrapped around his left arm so that transformation or chopping his arm off was the only way to remove it) felt tighter in a protective grip, “Relax your mind.”

I am trying but I’m worried about two people I care about.

How another chooses to feel about another soul is not for you to decide. Yet you burden yourself with decisions that are not yours to make.”

I was hoping they would be friends.

I can tell you from experience friends can fight more than strangers.”


Garrick felt the pressure on his left forearm ease gently as his Crystal Pearphone X lit up with Patsy’s reply. He became concerned because it could be interpreted as a suicide goodbye. He tried to get her to clarify with another text to her. Just as he hit send a set of rapid fire replies came in to his phone that same minute from Katherine. Clearly she was on her way back but now Garrick was confused. He’d noted her use of emojis and his eyebrow raised, “Maybe Nathaniel and her have an open relationship? I hear polyamorous groupings, triangles, quads, are a lot more common these days then when I was a teen. Perhaps that’s how super heroes deal with loss by having more than one partner?”

Patsy’s reply came in and yet the tone sounded different and very confident in his head when he read it. Still it sounded like she had found a clue and was hot on a trail of something or someone. He had been making sure she had the freedom to come and go as she saw fit, now that idea was being tested and he just hoped letting her pursue her agenda as an adult was the right choice. He sent a reply to Kat that he was on the second floor.

Hmmm, lots to consider, “Optimus, please verify, is Patsy home?”

No Garrick, she is not.”

“Optimus, take the steps necessary and open Patsy’s door.”

Yes Garrick, it is done.”

“Optimus, the second Katherine uses her key card follow your settings on my alert and lock Patsy’s door.”

Yes Garrick, it will be as requested.”

Resolving to touch nothing, hoping to just see that nothing screamed an interest in suicide. Garrick strode into the room and began to use his phone to record and snapshot various things. On one wall was a HUGE map of Century Station! Upon it she’d drawn in highlighter two or three lines on the map. One line running horizontal across the city that looks like it bends but Garrick sees it actually is two lines that overlap each other at the bend. That location he recognizes as the Zericho Wax Museum. The third line is short and runs North-South in Society Hill. It intersects the horizontal line in Century Park.

She has notes and articles on criminals being defeated around town, all tied to a Maverick noted as dressed in ancient clothing and using a pole arm type weapon. Whoever this person is, it looked like she was trying to track and map out where he operated from. Garrick wondered if she has finally found the maverick known as the Wayfarer.

The third group on her “Wall of Weird” was notes on many of the gangs that operated around the Zericho museum. Most of them are X‘d out or say things like “No luck” “Nothing” “Not the ones”. One of them is a gang called “The Abandoned.” Their name is circled with “Jackpot!” written in her handwriting on it. Threads go from that note to various spots around the area. There are pictures of auction receipts and shipping notices for two items in a series which includes articles about the robbery Garrick was arrested for. There’s a spot before that where a couple pictures would be, but they are missing currently. Insurance receipts show that both items were claimed lost and paid off by an insurance company. She has notes about the two items, one says “His” and the other has threads going to the Zericho museum, which has its own threads with the gangs and The Abandoned. Numerous locations in Zericho and neighboring areas are marked and X‘d. There are a lot of pictures: of gang members, pawn shops, the Zericho Wax Museum, Garrick quickly recognizes the hiding spots he put the boxes in among them.

The final grouping he had time to look at was lots of shots of the Grand Lady and her Handmaidens. The whole area is photographed well and looks, in her pictures, to almost be a majestic, magical place. As he attempted to read about a recent newspaper articles of another Maverick…
…Garrick gets the text notification that Katherine has entered the house. He hears the door click and he lifts off the ground by a few inches and flies out shutting the door as he goes. He lands at the island wearing the same new jeans but a faded dark blue grey tank top with a mythical gryphon upon it. He’s barefoot but the radiant floor heating is on to make it feel 78 degrees. Katherine is still dressed in the clothes she had on when she left, however, he noticed some buttons/zippers are a little more revealing than earlier. Garrick began to stare and a ‘gulp’ escaped his lips as he realized instantly that look in her eyes was not a “hey buddy nice to see you” look. It was the same look a fat kid gives cake they’re about to eat and he was dessert in this case!

“So, I’ve been waiting for this ‘Care Garr’ you’re far more shy than I gave you credit for.”

Garrick had a flashback to an Animal Planet episode when he was 14 watching a tiger stalk its prey. Only this tiger was lithely striding across the floor toward him. Nearly stammering he got out, “Um, what is Nathaniel going to say? Um, I thought you two were seeing each other?”

That slows her a moment, “Nathan? Pffft. What’s he got to do with this.”

“You said we were friends and you’re always staring at each other,” he gulps “I thought you both may have well, you know, hooked up?”

“What? Me and Nathan?” She laughs out loud now about 10 feet away from Garrick in his seat. “That’s absurd. He’s got secrets. I’m just trying to find them.”
As she got within 5 feet of Garrick, “That’s all that ‘staring’ is about.”
As she got within 2 feet of Garrick, ‘You know my powers.’


She smiled and winked as he heard the last sentence in his head! His mental activity was off the chart for him! Katherine could see his thoughts of her in his sketchbook. Even more thoughts of trying to commit her current pose to memory so he could draw her again. Cold sweat running down his back when he tried to form the words to ask her to pose for him. While his face, neck, and shoulders flushed bright red, “Oh I get it, sorry my bad!”

As she placed a hand on each of his knees scratching slightly through the jeans material she picked up on two easy to read signs with or without psychic powers, arousal and terror. In her whole life Katherine had never seen a man act like this. His heart and head were at war with each other. To an observer this scene was almost comical. Katherine was 5 feet 6 inches tall and Garrick was a full foot taller than her in this form! She watched him breathe slowly and begin to speak, “Trust me it’s not that I am not interested,” it very apparent to her glancing at the curve in his jeans below the waist where his interest was at, “but to be honest I have never been with a woman. You’re also the first kiss I ever had with a woman, so I umm… I am not very good at this kind of stuff.”

“It’s easier than you think,” she says and she winks while sliding her hand up his legs and climbing up into his lap.


As Garrick looked into her eyes his heart began to pull out of panic mode, something about her was easy to trust and her smile wasn’t so erotically wicked but charming and beautiful. Her hands went to the outside of his torso, up over his chest and stopped at cupping his face. She leaned in to kiss him once again and Garrick slowly wrapped his arms around her content to die in that moment. After an indeterminate amount of time she pulled back lightly biting his bottom lip. In that time Garrick made three attempts to pull her shirt up and undo her bra. She had managed to slide his tank top off of him and discard it on the kitchen island. He finally sighed admitting defeat to her undergarments, “Your going to have to be gentle, what, umm… I’ve seen porn but these chairs and the kitchen island really don’t look comfortable.”

She smiled at how awkward his expression was his thoughts belied a fear of waking up in his bed and this moment becoming a dream. They kissed some more and held each other in gentle caresses until she mentioned that to avoid Shorty’s getting an eyeful his bedroom might be a more appropriate venue. Garrick’s mind railed for him to seize this one moment to be cool and romantic! He carefully picks her up in his arms and glides through the air to the bedroom. As he pulls his legs up he lands on his enormous 12 and a half by 15 foot bed he smirks, “I guess it’s time for my education to begin?”

“Oh yes. School is in session, and I am the teacher here,” she says as the doors to his room close.


Time Passes…


Laying in his bed snuggling they share their complete life stories with each other. She learns about his growing up to the genius of Cuthbert Griffin Faulkner, his mother Cynthia, and the vengeance of his sister Adeline. He leaves his hero form in that wash of seemingly divine light and a wave of glowing golden mercurial substance to show the burns and scars from every time she tried to kill him.

Katherine traces some of the scars and says, “So what you’re saying is, you’ve been driving women crazy your whole life…” Her smile and laugh tries to cut the tension and elevate the mood.

Smiles and kisses her again and then, “Well strap in then ain’t nothing boring with me.” He laughs with her and after a bit of snuggles he says, “Grant unto me the might of the Gryphon.” Once more what seems like the light of heaven changes him as the golden mercurial substance leaves him the perfect physical specimen of 6 foot 6 inches and 240 pounds. The last thing he mentions about Adeline looking off into the dim blue light barely illuminating his room, “It is easier to be hated, because there are no lies in anger or rage. Not even pretty white ones we tell ourselves.”

Katherine just shrugs. She doesn’t know what to say to that and just listens while cuddling.

He apologizes when he mentions all the other scars he never talked about – and DOESN’T transform for – because they were the ones from Gramercy. He mentions that he was beaten by guards, questioned by various officials about the robbery he committed and he suspects it was about the two boxes he made off with. One had this sword in it and he’s never seen the other one since he got out. From the Tuesday surveillance he knows she met Patsy and she had a picture of it on a stand in her book. She’s gone and won’t be home for a day or two because she’s tracking this Wayfarer maverick.

“Yeah, I was flipping through that book of hers too. She had some sword pictures in there, and a bunch of nonsense about magic and other worlds and stuff. So you watched all that? I thought you told everyone you would just delete the footage your cameras picked up of everyone.” She laughs. “What else are you watching her do? Be careful, you’ll make me jealous.”


“Well, had Alex not seen you in the shadows when you told me you were sick I would never have even looked and at 7am the next day it would have deleted. Before you get upset at him you didn’t stop to think before I delete the footage I might watch it. I never promised anyone I wouldn’t review the footage just ensure its deletion.”

He switches topics back to Gramercy and rather clinically mentions his first sexual experience was in prison. Until tonight its all he has ever known other than watching porn to see how it could be done nicely. Although he jokes that he’d be a horrible masseuse because about 5 minutes in they all end of “doing” it. Laughing, he pulls Katherine closer and thanks her for showing him he “can” be intimate without causing pain to someone.

“Well to be honest, this was my first time since being rejuvenated. I’m glad to say it’s a lot like riding a bike.” She giggles. “It’s a wonder real teenagers can get anything done with all these hormones running around their bodies.”


Garrick nods and he wonders what it would be like growing up again and then giggles and begins laughing horribly long about realizing “he” is the floozy in this setup because she is actually older than him! However, he mentions he can never tell Ethel that unless Miss Amazing does. He pleads with her to try and get along with Ethel because she’s on the team.

“I’ll be nice to her when she stops being a raging bitch to me. I still won’t like her, but I’ll ‘play nice’ if that’s what you want. I’ll be damned if I’ll be a pushover to her though!”


“Thank you and I will talk with Ethel about a clean slate. I feel if we all try we can make this team work, there will be bumps and families fight. But I am taking care of eight kids and she is there grandma so she will be a part of their lives.”

He makes her sit up though, cupping her face in his hands, “Know this, Kitty Kat, since I’m your Care-Garr,” smiling and a mock eye roll, “As long as you want me I’ll be there with you and for you. You don’t have to be alone if you don’t want to anymore. Since I am a ninny when it comes to figuring out romance and the heart I’d like your advice. So do I rent a billboard about not being a virgin anymore?” He attempt at hiding his grin is pathetic.

She grins back hearing the “not alone anymore promise” but wirly replies smiling, “Aw, I’m glad you feel that way. Share it with whoever you want – your friends, your coworkers, your maid… just make sure they know you and I aren’t a one-and-done deal here.” She holds onto Garrick tightly as she falls asleep.



Art by: AZ_Artisan