Author's Note: After publishing an origin story for a new series on FanFiction that combines the 1960s and 1970s setting of Dimension Four with the darker and realistic setting of Dimension One, I figured that it would be fair for me to do the same treatment for my Garfield Stephenson Wu series.
As you may have noticed, his namesake is the title character of the comic strip Garfield.
Therefore, I'm going to make the disclaimer that in these stories, the Garfield mentioned and featured in the stories is Garfield Stephenson Wu, NOT Garfield the Cat from the comic strip of the same name.
Anyways, this new series is part of Dimension Seven, which basically combines the darker and realistic setting of Dimension One (Couple with references to real-world events) with the period 1960s and 1970s setting of Dimension Four.
As such, unlike Dimension Four, there's no floating timeline for this series and at the time of this story's setting, the Cold War was still ongoing, though just like Dimension One, there are still some differences between Dimension Seven and the real world.
For instance, Ottawa still has its streetcars running in the 1960s (In real-life, sadly, the last streetcar terminated services in Ottawa in 1959), and Union Station is still active as a railway station currently (The year this story takes place in is 1968; Sadly in real-life, that's two years after Ottawa Union Station was closed down and replaced by the current railway station located in Ottawa East).
For readers who understand Chinese: 這個虛構世界裡:國共內戰依然有爆發，但結果跟現實不一樣。
This story also contains dialogue in Chinese, which will be accompanied by translations.
In addition, this story functions as a retooling of his origin story for Dimension Four Secret of the School Library, which includes fleshing out the story's backdrop into a more realistic setting.
Another disclaimer: All events and characters presented in this story are entirely FICTIONAL, while all real-life locations are FICTIONALIZED. None of the events presented in this story have any connection to real-life figures or locations. This disclaimer APPLIES to all of my stories.
Chapter 1: Prologue and first day of school
June 26, 1962
Location: Puli, Taiwan
It was a typical night in Puli, a small town located right in the geographic centre of Taiwan as most of the town prepares to wind down for the night.
The night markets were still sprawling with activity, and the playing of A Maiden's Prayer can be heard in the streets as residents are alerted to the presence of the nearby garbage truck.
One particular garbage truck comes to a stop in front of a three-storey apartment, and the waiting residents immediately moved to have their garbage collected.
As that was happening, the scene shifts away from the people tossing their garbage into the trough at the rear of the truck and towards the dark, dimly-lighted alleyway nearby.
It was mostly crickets and silence while the full moon and the stars could be observed in the night sky.
All in a sudden, the silence was broken when footsteps can be heard racing past the bushes and a man was seen running away clutching a large purse.
The man in question was also holding a knife, and he was followed by a woman holding onto her ribs.
"救命!" (Help!) The woman wailed as she chased after the man clutching her purse. "叫警察!" (Call the police!)
Fully aware that the victim of his latest robbery was well behind him, the man continued running, intent on losing the woman that doesn't seem keen on giving up on her purse.
The scene then shifts back to the main street with the garbage truck, where another group of residents were grouped together a few blocks down the street and waiting for the garbage truck to arrive.
Among the group of residents waiting for the garbage truck were Melissa Lee (李宜月) and her four children, who were all holding a garbage bag.
As Melissa waited patiently for the garbage truck to approach, she turned towards her four children and saw David and the two sisters playing near the curb of the road.
"廣輝、宜蓮和國芳!" (David, Diana and Emma!) Melissa said sternly as she put down her garbage bag and walked towards the three children. "不要在馬路邊玩!" (Stop playing on the side of the road!)
As the siblings continued playing, Melissa stepped in with her arm reaching to them and continued, "馬路上有車子，一不小心你們會受傷的!" (There are cars on the road, if you're not careful you will get hurt!)
She then tugged the trio back to the sidewalk and continued, "了結嗎?" (Understood?)
David and his younger sisters only looked at their mother before nodding.
During this time, the oldest sibling, nine-year old Garfield, was holding the garbage bag his mother had discarded to him in order to go over and discipline his younger siblings.
As his mother pulled his brother and sisters back onto the sidewalk, Garfield perked up when he heard running from the nearby alleyway.
"叫警察!" (Call the police!) A woman's voice yelled from the alleyway, and Garfield turned towards the alleyway.
At that moment, the garbage truck pulled up, and as the crowd rushed over to toss their garbage into the truck, Melissa was about to have David and the sisters join her and their brother at the crowd when she saw Garfield wondering off into the dark alleyway.
"廣慶!" (Garfield!) Melissa shouted, though Garfield didn't stop as he continued into the alleyway.
Seeing that Garfield wasn't listening, Melissa swiftly grabbed David, Diana and Emma by the hands and tugged them towards the garbage bag Garfield had discarded.
"你們扶著垃圾袋。" (You three hold the garbage bag.) Melissa instructed before turning towards the dark alleyway, though it was that moment that it happened.
In the moment Melissa turned towards the alleyway, she, along with a few residents that had just finished tossing their garbage into the truck, spotted the man from earlier tripping over as he ran past a utility pole.
What drew her attention was the culprit responsible for tripping the man, which became apparent as Garfield emerged from his spot behind the utility pole after having had tripped over the man.
Immediately, Melissa marched right over to her eldest son as a few of the residents looked on.
"你這樣做是做什麼?" (What did you do that for?) Melissa demanded as she placed her hands on Garfield's shoulders and looked at him sternly.
Garfield simply pointed right on the wanted poster on the utility pole before pointing at the man he had just tripped, and Melissa and the elderly couple standing nearby looked at the poster.
The man Garfield had just tripped over had his mugshot on the wanted poster posted by the Nantou County Police, and the poster itself detailed the man's physical description and the charges he is wanted for.
Further reading of the details on the poster revealed that the man was wanted by the Nagasaki Prefecture Police for extortion and armed robbery and was considered to be armed and dangerous.
Melissa then turned towards Garfield as two of the bystanders immediately moved to restrain the man Garfield had just tripped, though before she could say something, the woman that was robbed earlier emerged at the scene.
Noting the way the woman was clutching at her ribs, one of the residents who had just finished throwing his garbage rushed back towards the garbage truck.
The driver was about to pull away when the resident knocked on the door, and he peeked out.
"打110。" (Call 110.) The resident advised as she pointed towards the scene.
Seeing the downed man and a few more bystanders tending to the robbery victim, the driver nodded before shifting the truck to neutral and picked up the telephone in the cab, connecting him directly to the dispatch centre.
A short while later, police were at the scene where the robber was handcuffed and taken to the back of the cruiser while paramedics look over the victim and patched her up.
Witness accounts soon led the officers to Melissa and Garfield, the latter that was credited with his quick-thinking that stopped the armed robber from making his getaway.
"你是一個很勇敢的男孩。" (You're a very brave boy.) The police officer, whose nameplate read "葉國朗" (Wilson Ia̍p), praised as he gently patted Garfield in the shoulder.
As Melissa looked at Garfield proudly, Officer Ia̍p gestured towards the man as he continued, "你是怎麼知道那位先生需要被阻止的?" (How did you know that that man needed to be stopped?)
Garfield simply shrugged. "聽到有人叫「叫警察」、注意到那張通緝海報上有那位先生的入案照，然後有注意到他拿著一個鐵定不屬於他的錢包和他肩膀上的刺青。" (Heard someone yelling "Call the police", noticed that wanted poster with his mug shot and observed the purse he was clutching that didn't belong to him and the tattoo on his shoulder.)
Ia̍p nodded thoughtfully before continuing, "那你是怎麼知道他手上的錢包是搶劫來的?" (Then how did you know that the purse he was clutching was robbed by him?)
Garfield's eyes twitched briefly before he began to explain things briefly, all of which were accompanied by flash visions.
GARFIELD'S FLASH VISION
As the flash vision closes up onto the victim's purse, Garfield's voice echoed.
"錢包上有汗水。現在天氣很涼，所以可以說錢包上的汗水是歹徒從被害人跑走期間留在錢包的。" (There was sweat smeared on the surface of the purse, and considering the cool weather that night, one can surmise that the sweat came from the robber as he ran off clutching the purse with the victim in pursuit.)
Then, the flash vision shifted to the robber's clothes, during which Garfield continued.
"他衣服上有一些土，這會告訴我們他去過的地方。既然錢包上沒有任何來自他曾經去過的地方的土，這表示歹徒是剛剛搶到錢包的。" (Traces of dirt were smeared on his clothes, which pinpoints the locations he has been at previously. None of the dirt from his previous locations were present on the purse, therefore, the purse must've been recently obtained by the robber.)
Soon, the blade of the knife held by the robber came into focus.
"歹徒手上的刀子有血。" (The robber's knife is smeared with blood.) Garfield echoed, during which the scene shifted immediately to the victim as she clutched her ribs and he continued.
"另外，被害人已經超越月經的年齡，她手又拿著一張有鮮血的布，這表示她是在搶劫過程被歹徒刺傷的。" (In addition, the victim is already beyond the age where a period could be expected, she's also holding a cloth with blood, which means that she was stabbed by the robber during the robbery.)
END FLASH VISION
Ia̍p looked quite impressed as Garfield finished his explanation, and he looked at Melissa firmly.
"我不曉得妳的看法是什麼，但我可以說您兒子將來會有一個偉大的未來，李小姐。" (I don't know about you, but I can say that your son's got a bright future awaiting him, Ms. Lee.) Ia̍p said to her.
Melissa smiled. "多謝您的讚獎，葉警員。" (Thank you for the kind words, Officer Ia̍p.)
Ia̍p nodded as he tipped his cap as they turned towards Garfield, who was looking at the squad car holding the robber as it pulled away from the scene.
September 3, 1968
Location: Ottawa, Canadian Capital Territory, Canada
Fast forward to six years later, the now-fifteen year-old Garfield Wu was crossing the Bronson Avenue Bridge over the Rideau Canal at 8:07, on his way to his first day of school at Glebe Collegiate Institute.
In the years following the night he stopped a wanted robber from making his getaway, Garfield had experienced a lot of changes in his life.
Before getting on with how he came to be crossing the Bronson Avenue Bridge on his way to his first day of school at Glebe Collegiate Institute in Ottawa, it is necessary to dive into his background.
Garfield Stephenson Wu (吳廣慶) was born on June 23, 1953 in the Civic Hospital in Ottawa to Gordon Wu (吳景源) and Melissa Lee, at a time when the former was completing his doctorate studies in Ottawa while working in the Japanese Embassy.
He was the oldest of four siblings, with David following two years later on December 15, 1955, followed by Diana and Emma ten months afterwards on October 7, 1956.
When he was six in 1959, the family moved back to Taiwan as Gordon was offered to teach at an then-new international university in Puli (埔里).
The family settled down in the small town, where Garfield spent the first half of his childhood, during which he began attending school and started taking up violin lessons while continuing his piano lessons.
Shortly after Garfield turned nine in 1962, the family moved to Taipei (臺北) when Gordon got a job transfer, which saw him teaching law and political science in the university he attended and graduated from years ago before military service and eventually international exchange to Canada in 1947.
It was that international exchange that introduced Gordon to Canada and he made several friends, including a middle-aged couple who will eventually witness Garfield's birth in 1953.
That middle-aged couple were Garfield Thompson and Arlene Kelly, who had no children of their own but had took in many university students in the past, including Gordon, who they came to view as a son of their own.
Garfield Thompson worked as a train operator for the Canadian Pacific Railway and was frequently out of town, while Arlene Kelly worked as a secretary in the Canadian Army headquarters.
It was Gordon who decided to name his first-born son after the train operator, and during his stay with the Thompsons, he became familiar with Ottawa and acquainted with the Thompsons' family and relatives.
Anyways, over the course of his growing up in Taiwan, Garfield became fluent in Taiwanese Hokkien, Hakka and Japanese, in addition to the brief level of English introduced to him during kindergarten and the English classes in school.
After Garfield graduated from elementary school in 1965, a week after turning twelve years old, Gordon received an offer to take part in a two-year exchange to Canada, in which he will be teaching in Vancouver during those two years.
Gordon and his wife Melissa debated on the offer, and eventually the family decided to move back to Canada.
Arriving in late-August, the family decided to settle in a small apartment in Metrotown, one of the neighbourhoods of Burnaby.
As the family settled in Burnaby, Garfield and his siblings were enrolled in the nearby public schools. It was during that time that Garfield also joined the Royal Canadian Air Cadets, a youth organization that promotes interest in aviation and joining the Royal Canadian Air Force.
He also made plenty of friends in school, and it was a sad feeling for him when his father's exchange term was ending in the early summer of 1967.
The year that Canada celebrates the centennial of Confederation.
It was Gordon and Melissa that decided that the family should move back to Ottawa after some discussion, with Gordon returning to Taiwan to continue his work.
The day the family decided to move back to Ottawa was June 30, 1967, and they had informed the Thompsons of their return.
It was Garfield Thompson who picked them up at Ottawa Union Station after the family got off the train from Vancouver, and the family was invited to stay at the Thompsons' place in the interim while Gordon and Melissa searches for an apartment to rent.
One thing worth mentioning was that Garfield has a huge passion in trains and anything transportation-related.
As a young boy, he will often drag his parents to the nearby streetcar terminal to watch the streetcars and buses go by. His parents will also take him to downtown at times so he can watch the trains pulling in and out of Union Station and he enjoyed watching airplanes taking off, landing and taxiing during air trips when waiting for their flights at the airports.
Most of his toys were buses, tractor trailers and trains, and his drawings typically consists of buses, trams and trains, and he also enjoyed collected model trains, mainly in the N-scale.
He also had the pleasure of taking a ride on the then-brand new Shinkansen in Japan when he accompanied his father to a conference in Tokyo in the winter of 1965, and as a souvenir, he bought a N-scale model of the 12-car bullet train.
In addition to transportation, early on Garfield has developed an interest in martial arts and detective stories.
His eyes frequently catch sight of those that would be anything but the obvious, and he has the mindset and imagination to piece together everything into a complete picture, a complete picture whose description by him would be a spot-on match with what was actually presented.
He was also a fast learner in martial arts, culminated by his attendance of martial arts clubs after school during his youth, and Garfield has looked up to the likes of Yip Man and Bruce Lee.
He frequently practiced the moves in the front yard, and more often than not, he would engage in practice matches with his brother David, who likewise shared his passion for martial arts.
Anyways, eventually, the family rented a small house in the Alta Vista neighbourhood and Garfield was subsequently enrolled in Hillcrest High School for the 1967-1968 school year while David, Emma and Diana were enrolled in the nearby public school.
It was also during his ninth grade school year did Garfield's transfer to an Ottawa-based Royal Canadian Air Cadet squadron from his old squadron in Burnaby was approved. His new squadron is based in RCAF Station Uplands, which is located in Gloucester South near the new Ottawa Uplands Airport.
The family's stay in their house didn't last long. In the spring of 1968, Melissa, who by then was now working in the Ogilvy's department store branch in the nearby Billings Bridge Plaza, bought a house in Ottawa South just a few blocks from where the Thompsons lived.
As a result of the purchase, the family moved back to Ottawa South in the summer and the kids were transferred schools.
And that's how Garfield Stephenson Wu was walking northbound down Bronson Avenue at 8:07 in the morning, about to cross the bridge over the Rideau Canal, en route to his new school: Glebe Collegiate Institute.
Garfield was feeling anxious as he walked along the major road. Watching a streetcar speeding by, he was thinking what kind of interesting people will he meet and befriend in Glebe.
Those thoughts continued to cloud his mind as he approaches the school building.
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