Susan Saturn nee Kobwash sat in silence in her living room watching the reformed Great Crime Fighters announce their return. Watching as Killer Face and K are loaded into a Calgary Police Services Van destined for the Remand Centre as they await trial. Watching as no one will say what happened to her husband.
Outside of her wedding and the birth of her children, the second happiest day of her life was at 16 years old shortly after the Bionic Knight premiered; Rick came to her and shared his secret. The happiest was when he announced to her it was time to put the ring aside, although he constantly wore it as a reminder of who he once was.
For twenty years she lived in fear that each time she kissed him, said good bye, good night, good morning or I love you, it could be their last time. She had been lulled into a sense of security, this morning a ridiculous and fun argument as he had taken the last of the coffee without making more.
Now, all that remained was a gauntlet.
The Void: Much less poetic than its original name when it existed in the world of human history… Camelot. Now it is usually only accessible when the Lady of the Lake opens up the rift between existence, and Merlin welcomes you in.
The last time it was so readily accepting of visitors was when Rick Saturn turned 16 years old, and found himself in the landfill in Calgary (don’t ask, long story, and really does it matter?) and stumbled upon a ring that released the power of Arthur reincarnated through his life force. That was until today.
Merlin stepped into the empty Round Table room and awaited his visitors.
The ceiling opened and eight forms fall into chairs. The immortal wizard, who ages backwards and currently is experiencing his twenties again looks at the new arrivals. “Now how did you all fuck this one up?”
Rick scratched the stubble around his face as he peered through brown eyes at the golden, yet singed armour that is the Bionic Knight, and the boy King, Arthur, both existing outside of him. Filling five more seats are Gerklyn, Mordred, Morgan Le Faye, the silver and cracked armour of the Ionic Knight, and his twin, James.
“Long times no see Merlin, how’s interdimensional hermitism treating you?” Rick said.
Merlin looked at his protégé. “I prefer company of sanity, which is why I prefer my own company. Now what caused this?”
The centre of the Round Table opens; a shimmering white woman with very little clothing emerges out of the enchanted wood and floats in the air looking at Merlin. Her eyes move to James and Rick then back to Merlin.
It is Merlin that breaks the silence. “You’re right my dear, I should tell them.”
This time it is James that speaks. “Damn straight, for 20 years I lived with voices in my mind and then my brother almost kills me. What is going on?”
Morgan chuckles and flicks her long black locks back. “Yes Merlin, tell the lads the total game. Why at this point are we here.”
Gerklyn with his long white beard and long white hair, flowing robes of gray simply chuckled. Mordred was young as well, and lived with a permanent scowl. But then how could a young adult live knowing that your parents were brother and sister, and your mother had enchanted your father to rape him to produce him so that you could dispel him on the battlefield and end paradise.
Merlin laughed. “It is quite simple my dear twins, you were not meant to be twins. It was his fault.” The shimmering lady spins and white light launches from her fingers evaporating Gerklyn. “Gerklyn enchanted your mother at pregnancy and you came out as twins, two sides of the same coin, both incomplete which allowed for enchantment on your 16th birthdays. The year Arthur pulled Excalibur from the stone, and the year Mordred would slay Arthur.”
James looks to his armour and realizes that Chivalry his blade was left back on Earth. The cold chill moved from the top of his neck to the base of his spine. This was not an end game that was going to end well.
“I attempted to knit your souls and bodies back into one on the day of death,” the day that their family was massacred and both boys were taken to live with separate families, “but then she got in the way.” The shimmering lady twirled and from her eyes red rays vaporized Morgan La Faye.
“You are probably wondering why it is so easy to dispatch my enemies here, but you see within Camelot, this existence is mine and those I choose not to exist, simply cease.” Merlin states succinctly.
A flash of steel as Mordred leaps towards Merlin. “Die Warlock!” A young arm draws a sword, and there is another flash of steel blocks the blade inches from Merlin’s face, leaving the proclaimed Warlock to smirk at his good fortune.
Merlin looks at the two duellers. “Truly children this getting tiresome, you both need some Dr. Phil, but all I can do is offer peace and quiet in the respite of Tartarus.” Merlin mumbles some backwards words and both Arthur and Mordred shimmer into wood and retreat back into the mouldings of the table.
The centre of the Round Table opens and the shimmering lady in white vanishes. The table closes and Merlin faces both Rick and James. “Now, there is two, well actually four, but really the armour’s are simply empty husks.”
Rick pinches the bridge of his nose as he faces the young sorcerer that had gifted him his powers. “Okay so if you could clear up our soul confusion so easily why did we have to carry/gain all this baggage during our careers?”
“Simple Richard, I enjoy soap operas.” Merlin said.
James fist connects with the sorcerer’s jaw and sends him reeling back into a wall. Merlin chuckles “Ah James shall I end you now.”
Rick snatches the sword Excalibur from the sheath of his armour and directs it to the wizard’s heart. “Step back from my brother.”
“Haven’t you two been listening, you are not supposed to exist. You came to Camelot because of the breaking point your battle brought you too, when your fist shattered his helmet and you drew Excalibur in anger and thought of separating his head from his shoulders, well Rick, you channeled that piece of you that was missing.”
“So you are saying I am the brother that was a figment of Gerklyn’s mind?” James said.
“Really James,” Merlin wipes some blood from his lips, “I cannot say which of you was the figment, because neither of you should have existed. My dear brother, Gerkie had his own issues to overcome, and well; when it came to powers really you got the bastard kid from enchanted incest.”
Rick felt metal grip around his throat. James felt the same sensation. Merlin laughed. “Have you both forgotten that the armour was created by me, and as such in this realm I control it?”
Rick rolled his ring on his finger his eyes flashed to his brother’s ring as they both were feeling the air be choked out of them. James slipped his ring off and tossed it into Rick’s outstretched hand. The Ionic Ring and Bionic Ring connect as Rick whirls Excalibur around connecting with his armour.
Merlin’s eyes grow wide.
James lets out a guffaw as a bolt of lightning shoots through his crumbling armour. Oxygen rushes back into his lungs as Rick in the electrical energy swings Excalibur back towards the Round Table.
“No you’ll destroy us all!”
“Do it bro!” James yells.
The centre of the table opens and the white shimmering female form begins emerging as Excalibur slices through where her heart would be.
The Camelot earns its new name The Void as all goes black.
Susan feels a cold chill grow from the small of her back and moves up to the top of her neck.
Then a sensation of warmth that she cannot shake, that there is a reason for her to be in her backyard, as she moves through the living room to the kitchen and the back door. Susan steps out onto her deck and down the stairs onto the gravel by the fire pit, looking into the car park as the night descends upon the city of Calgary and her heart that feels empty, now has a sense of bewilderment.
A small spot of light appears in the dirt. The small spot of light grows bigger until Susan sees a form standing before her. Armoured in gold with sword in hand, the sword slides into the sheath. Then she hears two words which bring joy to her heart.
Susan looks at the man before her. Scraggly greying beard, brown eyes, bald head, a few more wrinkles than the first time they met. And she knows it is a cliché from a 1990’s comic book, but she is in his arms faster than a speeding bullet.
He kisses her.
“You made it.”
“Susie, you’re my anchor and I will always come home to you.”