The Calamity was what it was described as in my own soul. I am one of two folks that remember it, and the only one still alive. It was when a multi-verse came crashing down into a singular reality, much like the Crisis and Flashpoint story-lines in DC Comics, and Marvel Comics (2016) Secret Wars. It was a time when I met other “me” with code names like Pirate, Arrow (John was the sidekick Poison) or went by my first and middle name as the PI Rick Tracy.
The calamity brought all this together and stripped all that away from me. The heroic identities existed but their secret identity had shifted as the primary Rick Saturn was tied to the PenDragon power and the Bionic Knight. Much like the John MacCurtis primary was tied to Herne and the Bionic Archer. Yet is should have been a sign to me that something was awry that during the darkness we fought back by bringing the Great Crime Fighters back together, it was his PinBall self that re-emerged not Herne. It meant the other entity was still existing inside him despite an exorcism that was have supposed to solve that during the Calamity.
Everything coming together as I enter the Camelot realm.
I remember John sharing during the Calamity he entered another realm as a Tulpa and wound up on a journey of spiritual pilgrimage that ended with the Ankh brand emerging on his arm and bringing the Calamity to a close. His awareness began to fade over time of it (the Thor blocking the Herne) but as the campaign heated up for mayor I am not going to lie our family’s drifted. John was up for full disclosure of his super hero past (easy when no powers still there) and could not comprehend why I did not want to unmask with him and endorse him. It was a rift that during the darkness mended mostly because of my supposed death coming into Camelot and bearing witness to Merlin’s passing, and him blessing me fully with the power of the PenDragon.
Now in the armour, with Pen having become scaled armour on my right arm, Excalibur at my side. Here I am fully powerful. Still don’t comprehend why it does not exist within the Earthly realm, but hey that is a wonderance for another day and time. Here I am gliding through the air over the green valleys towards the…
Okay last time I was here Camelot was gloriously golden and diamonds shining. Not a burned out hulk of a building with bodies strewn everywhere. Bodies? But they are of mythical monsters and beings.
In the doorway a short black hair covering, claws…I know that hero. I have fought beside him years ago, he vanished believed dead, but blood is dripping from those claws.
“Badger!” Draw Excalibur and stand at the ready.
The short were-badger turns to me. Teeth bared. Flesh of a troll or a goblin hanging loose and he lets out a roar. More beast than man right now. “You shall die Arthur.”
It is a guttural growl. Seeing me as many in this realm would. As the immortal king of the unified Kingdoms, Arthur PenDragon. Yet if Badger is here, his eyes are glowing with green energy. Herne energy. “Where is the Wilde Hunt?”
The Badger spins and I view the carcasses. Did the god go mad outside of John?
Or was the god already mad?
Is this why the power does not fully manifest for myself in the earth realms? Is this where I would become more monster than man? Part of me is thinking I should have brought the rest of the G.C.F with me…but then I would’ve had to explain laying out of Zed to them.
I need in the castle. My arm is warming. I feel Pen’s impulse, the Round Table. Something there. But this thing is in my way. What’s that Pen? I need to release Herne? How?
I am not killing Badger.
The thing leaps at me.
Badger was an ally.
But in this world. Can this truly be the Badger I knew?
Its claws are powered by mystic energy and I feel it slice through my armour. That’s not supposed to be possible.
Damn that burns.
I land on the grass and roll away.
Okay Pen guide me on reading this.
Herne needed a vessel. Badger those years ago, believed missing/dead had died, but that was when Thor took over John and cast Herne out, Herne not wanting to be dispersed into the Nexus grabbed onto any physical form and brought it to a place it could survive.
Now I need Herne released to renew this realm…no a misread of the impulse of energy. Herne needs to be released to judge this realm for in judging it…judging is wrong word? Seriously Pen what word are you trying to pass through me?
Herne needs to be released so this realm will return to pure energy.
Get to the table.
Get the heart.
Okay Excalibur are you ready. Move the blade to my right hand. If this is going to work I am going to have to drive the sword into Badger and??? Seriously, break it?
Exhale slowly… Badger is huffing, growling and moving fast towards me.
Swing sword out.
Badger hits the grass and rolls back to the entrance. He is scampering inside.
Chase. Dodge inside. Move around the fires, leap and dodge the bodies. The were-badger-godling is moving towards the Roundtable room.
The huge oaken double doors are burned down and it bursts sending burnt wood timbers and ash everywhere. A chunk slaps hard into the centre of my golden armour darkening it.
The Badger is in the room. I re-adjust my eyes for night vision as I step inside. Trying to track it.
The chairs are overturned. There is bodies of knights strewn about. But in the centre of the table is an orb. That is new I…in the orb a face.
“Help me Rick.”
Damn it. In the centre of the heart of Camelot is the soul of my friend, John MacCurtis.
The Badger snarls and leaps onto the table heading to reach the orb.
Pen sends a shot through my arm.
Stab the orb.
But the last two words cause me to move with the sword ready to plunge.
The Badger grabs the orb as the tip of Excalibur pierces it.
Green, red and white energy burst.
But those two words flash across my eyes with the unearthly guttural scream I am not sure if it is me, Pen, Badger, Herne, John or all of us…but two words leave my lips for sure:
As all goes black
To Be Concluded