Archive for the ‘Bionic Knight Pulps’ Category


“Speedster! Power! Crowd control. Shotgun please God don’t just fuckin’ kill anyone.” I yell.

Johnny Power looks at Speedster as they work to keep folks calm in the ER. “Who died and made him boss?”

Speedster grins back at her friend. “If Shotgun says he’s in charge. . .”

“We listen.” Power shrugs as he turns back to some medical staff.

Shotgun leaned on the hood of his truck laughing. Green flame energy was crackling around the sliced in half ambulance. Two paramedics were cowering, but the armoured lady with the sword was stopped floating in the air. It had been awhile since he had seen this aspect of me. The confident one in charge. Self-care is the buzz word of the helping world and it works, until something else misfires in the holistic self and then you don’t know what will happen.

That is the self-horror I have been living through. Also saddled into a health system that falls within the Health Act, and should be public yet many in Alberta have forgotten since the godforsaken “common sense” revolution has been designed to fail to allow for the “Third Way” (or as much privatization as is allowable under Canadian Law). It has left major centres without enough hospitals, and warped systems where in those centres even if each quadrant has a hospital it is not a true general hospital that can handle everything, you still need referrals to hospitals across town for specific clinics. Inefficiencies within the system, things that need to be looked at to get us back on track to the cheapest most effective form of health care, the type of change Albertans voted for in 2015, yet takes more than 2 years to accomplish because re-righting the ship, can be costly at the front end, but saving on the back. As I have ranted about in my journalism for years, system analysis shows where money is lost from budget line to front line for useless bloat. Money should be front ended to good staffing and patient care, not lost in administration purgatory. For we forget the further away we get from the just society contract, things like health care, EI, social assistance are not designed for the healthy thriving member of society, but rather for the one who is sick, or has lost employment, or needs a hand up. These systems should not be designed to beat the person into submission and loss of belief in their intrinsic worth. Rather they should be designed to lift up, build the bridge from one stage to the next, and preserve the self-worth of the individual where they never lose their own intrinsic self worth understanding.

Too long spent battling these issues, and arguing points everyone knows to be true, but we lost pragmatism as a society that put the value of a human being ahead of ideological bull shit. It is that just caring society we need to get back to. It is why I did not have much time for the arguments around stop giving needles to the addicts and give them to the diabetic. No. You do both. The syringe is the commodity. You are issued the first kit, then get refills by bringing in the syringes for new supplies, don’t care why you need them. Keeps cost off the patient, but also keeps the used syringe out of the school yard. Caring pragmatism.

Here’s hoping an electric spark doesn’t shut my mind down before I talk the new Bionic Knight though, or Rick Saturn could be nothing more than a pile of ash end of the day. “Bionic Knight stand down!” My voice cracked. Damn I miss my powers, the PenDragon would never allow the voice to crack.

She whips around, Excalibur, nope the blade is Chivalry, ahhh… a new one, well the sharp pointy thing designed to impale the human being stops just shy of the tip of my nose. She is in full rage. The PenDragon power, not the human heart is in full control rage.

WHY SHOULD I FAILURE? YOU SURRENDERED THIS. THIS GLORIOUSNESS.”

Ahh the mocking buggar. It misses me. But it is time to pass the flame, what people fail to realize is that when the ring first hit my finger I was alone in a pick and pull yard after escaping some bullies. So the rage meter just got me to smash some vehicles destined for the scrap heap while we worked out our relationship.

But something triggered this. This rage level is not just activation, that was at the Cult of the Killer Face church siege. This is. Stop my thoughts, slow my mind, what brought her there. Shit. Her brother. The not moving body in the ambulance that is trapped in the flame bubble. She is trying to… trying to do what I used the magic for in my middle aged self questing for John.

“It doesn’t work that way Bionic knight. The power when wielded by those of pure of heart allows for good to happen. It cannot bring back life though.”

“SHE DOES NOT BELIEVE YOUR LIES. SHE KNOWS THAT I AM ALL POWERFUL AND THAT ONCE YOU ARE DEAD SHE WILL HAVE THE POWER.”

                Pen was my friend. The PenDragon was not my friend. It was a roiling power point destined to aid in saving the world that I learned to control the power because of my wizard. But it started first by treading through the pain. The body in the bubble. Not alive.

I look to Shotgun, he mouths one word. Ashley. The new B.K.’s name.

“I ain’t going to talk to the servant, I want the master. I want to speak to Ashley about her loss. About her brother.”

And the green flame erupts around me….

To be Continued…

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I had made the statement to Will that he was the old man the newbies had to turn to for mentorship. For awhile it kept things quiet, as they continued to move forward on the clean up form the siege and ensuring members of the Cult of the Killer Face were picked up and brought into the justice system, their victims were routed to appropriate helps. Which also revealed the gaps in the system of care for the average citizen in requires to mental health, physical health and addiction essentially what is known as holistic care.

Susan was rocking the mayor’s chair bringing a new spirit of cooperation that put citizens first, and ensured that children and seniors were at the forefront of civic policy choices.

Living in the brain fog was my issue. That was a good day, the nightmares still came, and yes there was still unknown neuro events that I waited on the system to figure out and diagnose. Yet it was the sluggish way my central processing core (brain) worked that frustrated the hell out of me. It is why I knew I would be no good to Will in speaking with the new Bionic Knight.

Finally, a quiet night at home laying in my love’s lap as we watched War for the Planet of the Apes and like any good sci-fi story providing excellent commentary for the world we live in. The fight of tradition and fear against science and hope, the interior struggle that can happen when you realize you have allowed pain/grief/trauma to rob you of your “youness” while becoming the other and the road to redemption back.

“Rick, Will called again.” Four words I did not want or need to hear. Since distancing myself from the Great Crime Fighters actual events had decreased drastically. But there must be a reason she was bringing this up to me now.

“He can handle it.” I said.

“No, he can’t. Traditional super powers are one thing, he never really understood what a Supra was, but the PenDragon is something else entirely. She’s struggling, imploding.” The newbie is the one the ring chose, a 16 or 17-year-old girl, to become the new standard bearer, the new Bionic Knight. Shotgun was struggling as this Knight came with issues that she had not repressed like I had from my childhood. Hers’ were fully on display night of the siege and what took her there. Her little brother. Prey for the dealer, the criminal.

He haunted her, but I had faith in McKay.  He would figure out a way to reach her and get her on track. “The ring chose her, she will figure it out.” I left out the I did retort to my lightning rod.

“Yeah, but you also had John, you had Gerklyn, then Merklyn, Merlin and most recently Pen.” Susan said. Damn her logic. She could’ve gone with any host of old time heroes who provided guidance, but she knew what she was doing by specifically choosing those understood Camelot power on earth.

“And they are all dead.” I said.

“And your silence will kill her. She has the Bionics, she needs to hear from the wisdom of those that came before. She needs you and Sister Anne, Rick.”

A radio crackles from the kitchen. Police on scene at a hospital Emergency Room. Reports of the Bionic Knight acting irrationally at admitting.

“Damn.”

Susan kisses the top of my head, “Wear a toque it’s chilly out.”

I roll off the couch as the credits roll. Grab my leather coat and head outside into the cold. Susan has already shot me a text of where in the city the hospital is. Something is not right with the girl, and maybe she’s right.

I glance as my phone vibrates again. I flip it open. It is from Susan.

I love you. Remember you had you wizard, she needs hers.

Flip the phone shut, hospital is a few blocks away. Trudge through the snow. I hear the sonic boom. Thunder and Lightning better known as Johnny Power and Speedster are on their way. A horn honks from a pick up beside me.

I climb in. “Good to have you with us Rick.”

I nod to Shotgun McKay. “A wise lady said every kid needs their wizard.”

“Gotta love Suzie Q.” Shotgun said as we drove into the light show.

To Be Continued…


Some who see him from afar would say he looks like an old ranch hand. I know better than that as the old hic walks up the stairs to the entrance of City Hall. William “Shotgun” McKay (MacKay) was the best assassin of his time when I was earning my stripes as a hero.

After years of Darcey Kobwash and others employing him in their nefarious schemes to eliminate me (or rather my heroic alter ego) he switched to the side of angels. Tired of taking orders, or always living life on the run. Took a very Suicide Squad style deal with The Agency that he would work of his criminal time, in a karmic debt of heroics. He has paid that debt several times with how many times he has stood with us to save the world.

Today he is attempting the type of team up I fear. He is going to speak with my other, my soul, my lightning rod, the mayor, Susan Kobwash-Saturn- my wife. Why you ask?

I refuse to answer his calls, texts, e-mails, voicemails or other forms of social media reach out (subtle he is not). Figured he would eventually make his way here to her office, and I will see what unfolds.

                “Where’s the kit?!” Johnny Power yelled. The bust had left many of the gangsters’ unconscious, but some of the buyers of Fentanyl were overdosing. Never use alone is the government tag line. Some want you to believe it is because of wholesalers and big pharma this had made it to the streets. Others because of pill presses. Truth was probably a mixture of both.

                But what had happened was another round up bust of the Cult of the Killer Face since the siege. Johnny Power, and the New Bionic Knight, Speedster was in their ear pieces.

                But now during the clean up, B.K. had frozen.

The boy fading.

                Signs of an opioid overdose.

The same boy that had brought her to the Church of the Killer Face at the siege. Her brother.

                Johnny barked into his commlink. “Speedster we got seven overdosing, rook is frozen, need that Naloxone.”

                Kyla Storm is a second-generation Speedster. Her father Kyler Storm stood with the Agency, and ultra-secret service super hero task force of the government, and lost his life fighting the good fight. She took up the garb and was part of what the media had dubbed Shotgun’s Turbulent Trio. As the three young heroes worked to find their way as the new Great Crime Fighters.

                She grabbed the Naloxone kits and hit the lightning, 20 blocks would be a heart beat away, 911 was already dialed but she would beat the actual operator picking up.

                Though being the one to save the brother.

Would create one more self-confidence shaking moment for the new PenDragon during the team debrief. That was a conversation McKay needed to have with the kid, or better yet, the real Bionic Knight. But he was missing in action.

“Your worship.” It came out with what almost sounded like a Southern drawl, but was more of rural Alberta.

Susan stopped looking outside of her mayoral office window and turned to the voice, smiling. “Really Will, after all these years and attempts on my life?”

“Just wanted to see what it was like to actually like a Mayor.” William “Shotgun” McKay said. Susan chuckled, even though he had been friends with John MacCurtis, much like his friendship with her husband Rick, he would never publicly acknowledge liking the heroes he was formerly a villain of.  “And I bring my condolences.”

Susan simply shrugged. “She died, cholesterol and cigarettes official story, unofficially the fall of the Church of Killer Face she was collateral, can’t say as I will miss her much, more the loss of the habit of her being around poisoning my and my family’s mental and emotional health continually.”  Hela Kobwash was the perfect partnering foil for her father, Darcey. They never got her and Rick’s connection. Tried bribery, threats to break them apart.

Even took the stance once Darcey was out of the picture of choosing between her and Rick, when she stated bluntly that it would not be a hard choice to cut her out, her Borderline Personality Disorder took over and she started playing more games. Even cost Rick an unpaid leave from one job due to allegations of abuse Hela had alleged Rick had done to the children.  It was Rick that had ensured the type of gutter trash her mother and father hung out with stayed away from the family and the children, whether that was druggies, abusers, paedophiles.

Each time they moved ahead in the right side of the law away form the shadiness of her family her mother tried to find some way to sabotage it, usually playing a “trauma” card by super imposing something of her own life over top of the existing relationship because in her mind there was no way an abject failure like Susan could find happiness and goodness for a lifetime like she had.

It was bitter sweet, but it was now left with Mayor Susan Kobwash whether she would claim her mother’s body from the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee or not, because there was no will, there was no shadow that there was a tie that she needed to claim. Unfortunately, the story had broken in the media, and she had asked for privacy.

Will knew, well, because no matter what side of the fight he has been on since Rick and she were 16 years old, he was part of what Rick has dubbed, the family.

“Going to claim the body?”

“Yes.” Susan answered. Rather matter of fact. “Not because it is the right thing to do, just want to make sure…”

“After all the bull shit, she actually is dead and buried?” McKay finishes the sentence.  Susan just nods. “Have you seen your husband?”

“Every day. He lives in a world of frustration because he is not who he used to be. Things he used to be able to do mentally, physically, response times aren’t there anymore.” Susan stated trying not to crumble.

Shotgun nodded. It was not where one wanted to see a hero. They had great fights against one another, but even better when they chose to battle back the darkness together. McKay just wanted to have coffee with his old friend, and be present in the now, unfortunately that presence was being blocked and he was just an old man who did not get the emotional crap of the 21st century.

“Susan, god help me, when Rick was pastoring he suggested I watch a movie to understand community.”

Lars and the Real Girl.” Susan smiled. It was the story of an awkward man working through life traumas through purchase of a sex doll, and no not like that. It was about taking the doll in as a person, living a life of companion until healing was complete and where and how the community responded to Lars and his partner through the healing journey. “He always spoke of the Women’s group showing up with knitting and casseroles.”

“to sit, and be. Just want coffee with my mate like I used to.”

“But he’s…”

“In the doorway. What the hell are your brats doing Shotgun?” Rick asked.

McKay smiled. “Glad you asked, we have a wee confidence issue that they need to hear from the old man about.”

“Then go.” Rick said.

“I’m not the oldster they need.” McKay said.

Six overdoses. 15 arrests. Police and EMS everywhere. The park used to be a gathering place for families. Johnny stood next to the Speedster. Thunder and Lightning is what the media has called them. The Bionic Knight looked at them. True heroes in her heart.

                Johnny remembers Shotgun waxing poetic about the old days of the drug trade, when the dealers gave a damn about repeat business. Now with the new breed, it was highly predatory, Naloxone was designed to save lives, but secondarily to also save the mental wellness of first responders from bagging too many bodies. Shogun would joke that the new breed of dealers learned the predatory don’t give a damn nature from governments that shifted to funding models based on gambling/casinos as it was one of the most nefarious of addictions. No real signs until there was nothing left for the person but destitution or sadly in most instances, taking of their own lives. Kyla’s dad had shared in his work in social work some of the only real ways to aid a gambling addict out of the cycle was to set them up with a financial administrator or trustee to ensure all the necessities of life were taken care of before the remnant of monies given over to be used as the person saw fit.

Both wondered if the world of a mere 5 years ago may have been an easier world to be a hero in, than the crazy that existed today. Where politicians and groups were too entrenched in ideological camps to be pragmatic and place the person and the community ahead of the needs of the ideological base. Where the 99%’s voice actually shaped policy because they used their voices in the polls as a mediating and mitigating factor to the extremes that existed within.

                They saved her brother. Something even she was unable to do as the addiction seized him deeper and deeper. Hoping each day and each time she did what was necessary to save him it would mean he would take rehab and detox seriously. More and more each time realizing she was being played.

                Kyla’s hand touches her shoulder, she startles back to reality as the gurney with her brother leaves for hospital. “You okay B.K.?”

                “No…I “  

She flies faster than even Johnny can catch her in the air. The PenDragon screaming in her mind. If you cannot save your family how will you ever be worthy?

                If you cannot save him?

How are you any good to save anyone?

Susan watched the two’s banter, and softly chuckled, 23 years ago the same banter would happen while trading blows of sword and shotgun shells. Now they were navigating a conversation of who is the best mentor for the next generation.

“But you are the one they have, Will.”

I said as I left the mayor’s office.

 


When most of your day is spent slept away or zoned out, knowing when to go out for air can be a bit of a challenge. My chat with Sister Anne was of benefit, but sometimes you just need to face the darkness of the past from where it finally comes to rest. In this case, that is a late-night stroll with the moon full amongst the tombstones.  The fog gives it an eerie old Sherlock Holmes movie feel, with the chill of an early winter coming which for our city means anytime before January.

Ahh Ricky what were you hoping to come here? That a vampire would pop up and you’d be able to see how much mystic magic was left in your broken ass old hero body.  Scratch the greying beard, there was a time on an investigative track that some akin me to Sisko of DS9. Y’know the badass that punched Q, for the Harumphs, he would always be Hawk from Spenser for Hire.

My hands run across her name. Shelley Kobwash. Susan’s little sister. One of the one’s that could not be saved. The one that chose drugs over her child after high school and aborted. But could not get out of the darkness regardless. Death surrounds death. She fell into the world of Susan’s father, but not in the way the old man would have approved. For she was not the queen of crime as he has been the Kind pulling strings on the distribution of debauchery for years behind the scenes. Remember it was when my brother James was in one of his side of light phases, it was his child, drove him back into the darkness for years after that repercussion.

“Why are you here Richard?” The voice. It echoes in my dreams. Those times when things would make no sense. It is the voice that used my brother as a right hand for many years in his Ionic Knight guise. The voice of the man that should’ve been at my wedding to walk my bride down the aisle, but as Susan so eloquently put it to her mother, she would have to kill her first before the bloated bastard was allowed in the church.

“Darcey, really, Richard? After all these years surely you could call me Rick.” It is one of the things that confounds me to this day. How this man had compartmentalized his life so much, for my brother had shared my identity with him. Yet…he could not bear to break his child’s heart so he never released it.

Although his emotional-mental-spiritual abuse is still something Susan is battling through not just from the narcissistic-sociopath father, but from her borderline personality mother. I am the orphan and the ones that still cause harm keep breathing air.

“Rick, after all these years, why are you here?”

James’ gave his life in a heroic venture in the end. Much to this pompous ass’ chagrin. For that heroic venture cost, him billions in ill gotten gains.

Yet even then he kept my secret.

“Same reason you are here. Shelley’s death haunts.”

“Susan had mentioned to her Mom all your years in investigative journalism had given you a rough neuro-mental go as of late.” His voice drips with sarcasm. He knows that the real cause is, but like I said, compartmentalization.

“Ever wonder if you didn’t bring the shit into this city if she would still be alive.” Or my brother your sick bastard, could be an uncle and Susie could be an aunty. If only compartmentalization always worked. No answer. Oh right. Just before James’ sacrificed himself was when he saw the file.

The one that showed the shit that killed his beloved.

That claimed his soul mate.

Drove him into the darkness deeper.

Caused him to lose his chance at fatherhood.

Showed the shipment and the dealer.

The name of the dealer was Shelley’s pimp.

The pimp paid protection to…

Darcey Kobwash.

The sword Chivalry slayed a dragon and a falling knight saved a universe.

“that’s right Darcey ya bastard. James’ one. You died.”

I wipe condensation and mud away on the grave marker next to Shelley’s.

Another demon puts to rest.

At least until the next seizure shakes my mind palace to pieces.

“Please forgive me Susan.” For the pain, I have brought into your life by answering a call.

My phone vibrates.

I flip it open to a message from Shotgun.

Need to talk kid.

I click delete and continue my graveyard shift.


There are those days when you wished you still had a vice. Outside of bad tasting-strong coffee that shelters or newsrooms serve up, there isn’t one. Drinking ended almost two decades ago. Drugs were never my scene. My wife has just been sworn in as mayor, the kids—sorry, Shotgun says I should refer to them as what they are, the newbies, the heroes of the land, are convalesced and out aiding with rebuilding hope. Even the new PenDragon, the new Bionic Knight.

My powers of the mystic are sparse and sporadic. I miss Pen, he never made the trip back that saved the universe one last time. Sadly, all I can remember is those I could not save, the deaths, the losses, the overdoses, the times I fought the good fight and failed. Not sure if it is what drives the hand tremor and the seizure activity, or the seizures and tremors have broken the mind enough that it reboots without the updates of self care. It was Susan that suggested I should talk to someone.

Which is hard, because we have always been private about keeping my heroic identity a secret. Too many leaks in the traditional path of psychology. After all we have survived over the many years, and with the retro villains coming out of the woodwork, the last thing I need is for one to discover who I am and decide to swerve to the family instead of me.

Which brings me to a trained psychologist, in the back office of a church basement that has doubled as a shelter for teen mothers and runaways, the odd rescue out of sex trafficking that no one wants to admit is a local issue not an international issue. An old ceramic white mug donation from some greasy spoon that had tanked, sipping bad coffee, sitting in a chair that is more duct tape than whatever it was originally made from.

A sip on that coffee I had grown to enjoy, but in later years would probably reveal it had eaten through my gut. With my symptoms, they keep saying with each occurrence I should go to ER where there is a standing order. What our government has failed to realize by not declaring the opioids a health crisis, what they have created in ER’s through attempts at normalization of addiction under health structures is another barrier to care. If everyone you encounter you need to argue with that you are not on something, as they retake vitals and wait on blood work just to see if you come “down” the question arises in the mystery—what happens if they misjudged based on where you live and how you look that it is not drugs and something more. But because they are hyper focused on the drug issue, the waiting game and judgment causes further harm to those who have stead fistedly proven time and again that perhaps it is not a narcotic or other substance and it is something more. Yet in the midst of judging on appearance, you have now alienated the patient who does not feel trusted or valued anymore to continue banging their head against a system wall.

Scratch the beard that since this has started has become grayer than I am used to. She is with another trying to get government pathways to open quicker. The door creaks when it opens, but this little parish has always been more focused on the person before them than the building.

“Sister Anne.”

“Richard, please, just Anne.” Says the Nun, the only one from our graduating class to join the order. Susan suggested it, because at one point and time… “we have seen quite a bit.” She was the first Bionic Archer, while John was still PinBall, but had surrendered her power when she felt the calling, the Wild Hunt wasn’t happy in the moment but there wasn’t much that could be done. “Susan said you needed to talk.”

Scratch my beard. Since returning from staring into the heart of evil that was K, and allowing the power to go to the new Knight, my left-hand tremor had died down and seizure events were rolled back ten-fold. Flashbacks were still plaguing me, and I was working with neurology but the health system still was ailing from the late 20th century early 21st century neo-con “common sense” revolution where they attempted to privatize aspects thus hampering effectiveness, efficiency and fiscal conservatism of true public health care. I await tests to see what is truly happening and what comes after for me. But since hanging up the ring if you will, life appears to be improving.

Yet there is a piece of me that cannot let he action rest.

Sister Anne freshens our coffee and sits in a chair across from me that I swear is even more duct tape than mine. “Richard, you have been through the 7 rings of Dante’s Hell, beat Milton’s Fall, and ascended through Dante’s Purgatory to his Paradise, and may I say been through the Wardrobe.”

“Seriously Anne, I am expecting a Tardis reference soon.”

“There is that. You exist as the Day of the Doctor.”

“Which one, the Doctor that regrets or forgets?”

“You are simply the War Doctor. Richard, you have always made the best choice given your point of view.”  She takes the last sip of her coffee. “And you also carry an over inflated sense of responsibility for the ripples out of those choices. Breathe.”

“Can it be that simple, breathe, and accept the destruction and loss my actions have done.”

Sister Anne smiles in the dimly lit office. “Breathe, and remember the good your actions have brought.”


The most read posts on my site, are my most recent short stories featuring Rick Saturn, the Bionic Knight as he entered what I dubbed the heart of evil. K, an ancient evil returned to earth, Susan his wife running for mayor. Yet Rick was not fully himself, he hands off reigns to another. It is the story of an elder hero who has been challenged by the collective of the holistic self.

These stories found under Bionic Knight Pulps  emerged over the last few months the story of a hero, who is breaking down but still trying to remain strong and place the needs of others ahead of his own. The greatest victory comes in the end, when he makes the choice to return home and choose living forward to look after himself and his family first. To step out of the heroics, for holistic health (it was found in the tale Lightning Rod).

Yet, it was also showing that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (see End Note section), may or may not happen within a vacuum. For there was physiological symptomatology the hero was battling. Hand tremors, weird inexplicable neurological issues. These with environmental exposures throughout his career, all these aided in the breaking down of his self care and allowed the mental health to wane, or perhaps it was the mental health that began to wane that caused his system to react to gain more attention?

Either way, I believe this was an important story to be told during my time of current challenge, because it shows that a human being is interconnected. Our systems do not exist in silos. Alberta Health Services likes to treat and triage us as such. But our symptoms are part of a whole. What happens neurologically, emotionally, physically and mentally are all tied together to create the life experienced and the patient before the physician.

I have received decently reactive care, and I do believe the right thing has been triaged for treatment first. Things moving more timely would be nice.

But I digress. For at the core of the story of B.K. was the shattering of having done everything right to care for himself. What the first responders and helping professionals dub self care. There are the textbook answers on caring for the whole self, but what it breaks down to is doing that which refuels you, and allows you to put the pain to rest, and heal.

In the moments, what had happened to the hero is that his own brain had betrayed him. The unknown neuro events had shattered the self care updates. When his system rebooted all the pain, trauma and stress came back online flooding his brain and heart without the healing.

Crippling.

The other challenge that I hoped these stories would bring out, is that the hero does not just exist in the role or the career. There are still life stressors at play in their day to day life that need to be navigated and dealt with as well. When the dam breaks, all this jumble together.

This is the battle that was going on within our humble hero as he chose one last path. The metaphor of unknown for that minute is within that moment the individual to choose which path they are going to stay on. The path of healing even with course corrections and change, or the path of succumbing. Neither choice is wrong, both are made with the best faculties of the moment, and each time the choice rings out again and again.

The Bionic Knight story over the past several months, was my own hearts attempt at allegory of the journey I was on, and still journey. The mystery of darkness swirling around and within me. The struggle each day to not let the lie win. The lie at reboot that my life mission of making my own little corner of the world a better place had failed.

Each reboot I must focus to name the lie and walk out of it.

Each day is a challenge for I live a mystery of not truly knowing what is happening as I await more testing to truly diagnose. I am learning to live with the new me, and how I experience the world.

My first goal is simple, to be a good husband and Dad, my second goal is to discover what is happening. My third goal is simply to see what that means in my life, with vocation secondary.

Why does the Bionic Knight story matter at this moment in my life?

Like him, I have a lightning rod of family, beyond that…

the journey is only being discovered.

End Notes:

Research: PTSD and Burnout in Workers in the Homeless Sector in Calgary. Read here: http://homelesshub.ca/resource/burnout-and-ptsd-workers-homelessness-sector-calgary

DSM-5 Criteria for PTSD

Full copyrighted criteria are available from the American Psychiatric Association (1). All of the criteria are required for the diagnosis of PTSD. The following text summarizes the diagnostic criteria:

Criterion A (one required): The person was exposed to: death, threatened death, actual or threatened serious injury, or actual or threatened sexual violence, in the following way(s):

  • Direct exposure
  • Witnessing the trauma
  • Learning that a relative or close friend was exposed to a trauma
  • Indirect exposure to aversive details of the trauma, usually in the course of professional duties (e.g., first responders, medics)

Criterion B (one required): The traumatic event is persistently re-experienced, in the following way(s):

  • Intrusive thoughts
  • Nightmares
  • Flashbacks
  • Emotional distress after exposure to traumatic reminders
  • Physical reactivity after exposure to traumatic reminders

Criterion C (one required): Avoidance of trauma-related stimuli after the trauma, in the following way(s):

  • Trauma-related thoughts or feelings
  • Trauma-related reminders

Criterion D (two required): Negative thoughts or feelings that began or worsened after the trauma, in the following way(s):

  • Inability to recall key features of the trauma
  • Overly negative thoughts and assumptions about oneself or the world
  • Exaggerated blame of self or others for causing the trauma
  • Negative affect
  • Decreased interest in activities
  • Feeling isolated
  • Difficulty experiencing positive affect

Criterion E (two required): Trauma-related arousal and reactivity that began or worsened after the trauma, in the following way(s):

  • Irritability or aggression
  • Risky or destructive behavior
  • Hypervigilance
  • Heightened startle reaction
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty sleeping

Criterion F (required): Symptoms last for more than 1 month.

Criterion G (required): Symptoms create distress or functional impairment (e.g., social, occupational).

Criterion H (required): Symptoms are not due to medication, substance use, or other illness.

Two specifications:

  • Dissociative Specification.In addition to meeting criteria for diagnosis, an individual experiences high levels of either of the following in reaction to trauma-related stimuli:
    • Experience of being an outside observer of or detached from oneself (e.g., feeling as if “this is not happening to me” or one were in a dream).
    • Experience of unreality, distance, or distortion (e.g., “things are not real”).
  • Delayed Specification.Full diagnostic criteria are not met until at least six months after the trauma(s), although onset of symptoms may occur immediately.

 


Polls are closing.

Vote counts rolling in.

Commentators in shock as the incumbent for mayor is still leading in the count over Susan Kobwash-Saturn. Despite the day starting with him being arrested and taken to jail.

“Are the people of this city this apathetic? An actual man arrested on election day is so far leading in the counts.” The reporter was of the old school variety on the television. Pragmatic not ideologue. Been through many election cycles, and seen many an upset, but has also managed to survive conglomeration and transformation into infotainment from information and critical thinking.

Susan stands on the front step.

“Starlight, star bright, first star I see tonight.” William McKay thought she was nuts not having an election night party, but she pulled the plug.
With the Siege, the arrests, the vanishing of the beacon of hope.

Her press conference announcing to get the vote out, but then to go home, hug your loved ones, and live into hope.

The old nursery rhyme tumbled from her lips as she looked up. The twins asleep. “I wish I may I wish I might.”

“Where ever you are Rick, know I love you and the porch light is on always.” She pulls the oversized hoody of her husband’s around her more as she watches the stars of the sky.

She twitches the corner of her eyes for she swears she sees the darkness ripple

In the pocket universe.

The darkness has wrapped itself around the form of the Bionic Knight. Rick feels it seeping through the seams of the armour, and clawing through to his orifices.

Mordred the living darkness cackles. The light of hope that his father wielded at Camelot finally being snuffed out. The great return prophesied for some many centuries by the Welsh crumbling.

Much of what history stated as they had abandoned the body of the field of valour.

Rick feels his left hand begin to tremble.

His eyes rapidly flutter.

The solid darkness filling his ears,

His nostrils,

His mouth.

He can taste the decay of death.

A faint voice breaking through.

Barely audible.

Something about a porchlight.

The voice.

Feels like it should be familiar.

But the darkness stripping away.

Why await. Why struggle. Simply give in and let it win.

A glimmer of light…like on a front porch.

“As more polls report in there has been a change in the wind. We were expecting 4/14 ward councillors to be new because incumbents were not running, but it is looking like what social media has hash-tagged Vote Hope has caused a massive shift in which we are seeing incumbents falling behind in all but the mayoralty race.”

                The reporter just shook his head. Trying to hide his astonishment that a mayor actually arrested on the morning news could still be leading in votes.

Susan watched the rippling darkness. The voice of the newscaster had become white noise, it was not looking hopeful for her chance to become mayor. Although maybe this is what Rick had been talking about as the PTSD set in.  That the heart may have hope, but the brain trips out and brings in hopelessness.

Which can the soul cling to?

“Follow the light my Knight.” That’s what she said.

The light.

Eyes flickering slowing.

Tremor in left hand slowing.

Gag reflex as the blackness goes down.

The words begin to ring in his head…waiting on a woman

Front porch light

His kids dressed like Superman…the song rings anew from when Christopher Reeve broke, by Hal Ketchum. Hang in there Superman

#VoteHope

Rick closes his eyes. He sees Pen move into his heart.

The energy surges.

The darkness ripples

As the light rips through.

Susan watches the sky as light bursts out of the dark.

The old grizzled newscaster’s voice reaches her ears. “Quite a shock, with the final votes counted… The city voted for hope.”

The voice is raspy behind her with the scabbed hand touching her shoulder. “I love you.”

She turns

Blue energy sparks

As their lips touch.

Lightning rod.

The Adventure Begins Anew…