A Chinook had rolled through, it is a unique phenomenon to explain to those that do not experience them like happens in Calgary or Dusseldorf, it is caused by proximity to the mountains and allows for in the midst of the harsh winter climate of the prairies to leap up into the positive Celsius. It was one of these breezes blowing through downtown Calgary that was causing melting, and with it bringing out of the shadows those with nefarious thoughts, and ill will in their hearts. But gone is the fun lovingness of the late Twentieth century that saw colourful villains and four colour heroes battle it out in what amounted to a game. Gone is the fun loving feeling of life and love.
The era of the “Super Hero” or “Supra” as the Canadian Intelligence community had dubbed them, had ended, many of those gifted young adults had retired into suburbia or urban life. Taking time to raise a family, and enter into new vocational pathways. Gone from the headlines are the heroes: Bionic Knight, Speedster, Johnny Power, Street Avenger, and Zed. They have faded and a darker light has cast a shadow over the nation. Their adversaries, K, Killer Face, Ionic Knight, Shotgun McKay, and others have gone onto retirement homes as legacy heroes and villains were silenced by what the perceived public outcry of co-opted Judeo-Christian ethos in public life demanded, and that was blood.
A new line of defence arose for the citizenry. A new brand of hero that would terminate the villain, a deathly vigilante that was the juxtaposition of Canadian judiciary and life, but embraced by the public for creating the illusion of safety on the streets for the common citizen to finally feel safe as they reported. It was on these streets when the alarm sounded, and men with guns in the heart of downtown Calgary just off the train line saw five open fires on a rush hour crowd awaiting the Number 1 bus to Forest Lawn. Hooded, they cat called with glibness about redemption and hell fire for the sins of a city.
Emerging from the shadows came a newer hero, only a year old on the scene, but one that had replaced the city’s normal protector, The Bionic Knight, for the Knight had vanished many years ago. This new one, called PenDragon smiled showing dagger teeth, his cloak flapped open to reveal shadow monsters that grabbed the gun men and all that was heard was screams as sirens came on. Smart phones captured video of the new hero as steam emerged from the C-train tracks, sparks crackled in the Chinook air.
Not a sight many were used to when PenDragon would react and execute. It was new. In the centre of the street a man in shimmering silver armour with a long sword, glowing red eyes, rising up to a standing position of over six feet tall, an electrical crackle to its voice as it whispered. “Gerklyn what has this merger done.” Cellular phones snapping pictures, as older pedestrians gasped. There was recognition on their faces. PenDragon’s smile broadened as his cloak fluttered open again and he stepped from the shadows. A foe truly worthy of his power had finally arrived within the city.
PenDragon’s voice sounds like nails on a chalkboard as he speaks to the newly arrived foe. “And do I get the pleasure of your name before you die?” His shadow creatures and tentacles lash out to latch on to the new armoured form. For those watching, gasps again as the shadows latch on and drag him into the cloak. What is heard is a mechanical cackle.
PenDragon’s grin gets wider as the power of the being becomes one with him, for you see the shadows subsume the life force of those they bring into the cloak and it is this life force, like and energy vampire, that keeps PenDragon alive. One senior lowers herself onto the seat of her walker. “The Ionic Knight, but that’s impossible.”
Police cars surround PenDragon with guns drawn; EMS is helping those injured by the earlier gunfire. The new heroes may be liked (or feared) by the public, but by the governance they are seen as worse evil than that which they stop. PenDragon is floating back towards the shadows from whence he came. He stops unable to move. The cloak ruffles and what sounds like a churning stomach echoes above the calls of the Calgary Police Service, the sirens, and the sounds of the injured.
PenDragon’s feet touch the asphalt and he begins walking back towards the centre of the street as media arrives and begins filming and the talking heads begin their commentary. As in a blink shadow fragments splatter across the street and people like blood splatter, an unearthly death scream erupts as PenDragon ceases to be. The armoured figure glows red hot burning away the shadow remnants, it sheaths its broadsword and looks to the sky.
He turns to a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation camera and speaks very slowly and methodically. “This false hero is not whom I seek. This city is mine. I have returned from the void to claim my kingdom.” With that the armoured figure took flight.
An adolescent skater girl looks to the senior who had spoken earlier. “What the fuck just happened?”
The senior looks up and to the young girl. “True evil just came home, and our heroes are gone.”
To Be Continued…
Next: Who is the mysterious armoured figure? Who are the missing heroes it seeks?