Archive for the ‘Bionic Knight Pulps’ Category


Believed orphaned at a young age…taken in by elderly loving folks

The PenDragon found him in his teens

His opposite twin survived also

Lancelot-Arthur renewed in Ionics and Bionic Knights

Battle joined

For this earth, country, province, city and community

For one soul

Tethered to earth

By another

A partner with hair of gold

Whose family’s power lust proved their destruction

A hero he was

Redeemer of villains

Survivor of cosmic wars

Class clashes

Villains of the week

And matinee monsters

With a laugh in his throat, a smile beneath his helm,

His best friend at his side, with bow drawn…

Great Crime Fighters

New generations tamed,

Legacies created.

Winning with one’s pure of heart…

Until John didn’t.

A death…one of many…but a quest struck…

That saw magic die or did it

As John chose to remain locked away so Camelot ended

His brother, James, knight of Ion

Redeems the faller of Camelot as the lost soul Lancelot

Giving his life

To save the world.

Both stand know upon the roof in ethereal form.

As Rick ponders,

Splitting dagger dragon pain in brain

Trembling side of left

Quiver and cracking voice

Salting beard and temples…

Anger outbursts that leave his twins bewildered…

His lightning rod now rules as mayor…and in her lightning eyes…is that pity he spies…

As he stands a top city hall.

The once proud hero,

At time’s end.

To make a choice

To join James in the Abyss

Or John in cosmos blessed.

Both call his name…

A rattling of the door knob.

A step closer to the ledge in his confused eye

Vision blurs…

Upwards John’s hand outstretches from beyond time and space

Down into the darkness, James’ hand reaches upwards to pull his brother down a final victory of unredemption.

When the door swings wide…and his lightning speaks…

All three call out

His name simply,

“Rick!”

And the hero steps

Into his final destiny….

32 years ago on April 1 a short little story of mine was published called Sir Arthur…that little gem as a child was the genesis for what has been now 32 years + 1 day of Bionic Knight stories, for those that enjoyed them…thank you.
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Stories are a slice of life. A set time span in the character’s existence. That is why characters can exist for so long with minor or major aging all dependent on when the writer wants them to exist. As I have shared previously, my Bionic Knight character was the first super hero character I created circa 8 years old. 31 years on he still is starring in pulpy hero adventures.

Recently over the past 6-7 months the story has been laid out of his struggle through health issues, and PTSD symptomology caused by his exposure to environments, stimuli and circumstances in his life in religion, journalism, outreach, and super heroics. It has led to him being “shelved” as another hero took up the mantle. In the lingo of super heroics, a legacy character stepped in.

Mostly it is the youngster that take over, as we have noted with new Johnny Power, Speedster and Bionic Knight within the transformation of the Great Crime Fighters. With the “Weird Tales of Rick Saturn, formerly the Bionic Knight” (for this and other arcs enjoy the Bionic Knight Pulps category); two new aliens were introduced. But these five characters are not the thrust of this point in Saturn’s lifespan. It is the interplay between William “Shotgun” MacKay and Rick Saturn.

For it is the closing on one chapter in the book of one’s life journey, and officially opening oneself up to what is possible to come with the new chapter starting. Literally an epilogue to one life, and the chapter one of a new book. For when folks ask why I put this four-part story together that did not have much action, it was simply showing that transition and acceptance can happen. Hope can spring forth.

Or in the observation of Rick at the end of part four:

Shotgun stepped back into the restaurant towards George and Dragon. “Look, we have a need to fill on the team with a few more members. Since you both appear to know of this imminent threat, how would you consider joining the newbies?”

Rick had to grin as he heard his friend extend the “offer”, how often he had those conversations over the years. The best conversation to have with a new or old hero, to find belonging and community. To become part of something bigger than themselves.

The world was in good hands. Rick knew it was about more than simply him, it was about taking his new life. His new book of life, one chapter at a time.

Simply a new chapter, watch for future adventures/mysteries as Rick transitions into who he is meant to be now in his life. Who knows where the stepping stones have led, and where the new chapter…new first word will lead him.

 

 

 

 


Saint George is a military saint/martyr that is known across many different countries and religions. Very many patronages. Foremost a protector (and that whole patron saint of England, but moving on) … the most famous story of this Crusader involves a little tale of a dragon.

The story of a little-known village tormented by a dragon, where sheepily sacrifices were offered up to keep it satisfied, until the livestock ran out and the dragon’s insatiable appetite persisted. The ruler came up with a lottery to offer scrumptious offering of human sacrifice. The only problem was that the King’s daughter “won” (if one could call becoming the dinner of a Dragon winning). Hence the chaining to the rock probably, for the Dragon to come and have dinner to save the township.

A crusader night, humbly named George as the legend goes came up on the scene, and with his lance (that some say Churchill dubbed a bomber after in World War II). The fight was on …

Legend says he vanquished the dragon, saved the town, and rescued the princess…

What if the dragon was not the evil that needed to be vanquished?

 Rick stood up from behind the high bench table, why any design team though that was comfort was astounding. “I think you missed a space memo.” He stepped forward walking towards the croc-hunter. “I am no longer the heir, there is someone new.”

                The smoke in the thing’s nostrils began to glow, almost a flame. Rick focused on that, the stabbing added to the temples as well as the top of the head. The feed back sound became a white noise which started to trip his brain out.  He froze in place fighting in the void of darkness unable to move. The croc-hunter leveled his weapon at Rick.

                “You are a coward to hide behind a child as heir. Good Knight.”

                The trigger squeezed…

Pieces of tempered glass crunched beneath a tasseled loafer. George was out of shape, showing the middle-aged spread, and a bad comb over. All in all, a very good alien camouflage job. How else that many centuries ago would a simple crusading knight have been able to defeat a dragon?

“Dragon put the damn gun down.” George said.

Rick’s eyes fluttered rapidly, as his head slumped forward. Slowly he chewed his lips as his brain rebooted. The weapon—some would call a blaster or a phaser dependent on whether you were a Star Wars fan or Trekkie leveled at him. Rick fought through brain fog and re-focused on George. “Aren’t you Dragon?”

George chuckled. “I have allowed it to become my last name, but we were more partners.” George said.

Shotgun pushed himself up to a standing position and stumbled forward. He felt the bruising coming through in his back, and was sure he had probably broken or the very least bruised a rib or two. His hope was for a break, at least those had a healing time frame, bruising was a pain that lingered over time.  Unfortunately seeing the weapon trained on hi friend, and sadly the only person appearing able to stop the vaporization is an old alien.

“Dragon.” George stated.

“Yes, George.” Dragon said.

“The Knight needs to die.”

“No, like they misunderstood our name, we need this Knight to be ready to rise again.” George retorted.

“Wait, you’re St. George from the legend?” Said Rick.

“What did you think the S. before my name stood for?” Rick shrugged at the response. “You were the reincarnated PenDragon and this is causing a confused facial expression?”

“The legend says you killed the guy with the blaster on me. What was up with that princess…”

George laughed. Shotgun just looked confused, the sirens were there. Dragon looked at Rick. “Why do you think the town had to chain her up?”

If it was a cartoon, a light bulb would’ve appeared over Rick and Shotgun’s head. “The Princess was the monster.”

“Yes, she was eating others in the township. They chained her up and…” Dragon paused, searching for the words.

“Hired you, because you are some sort of bounty hunter.” Rick said.

“He’s a hired assassin, but you make it sound so heroic, Rick.” George said.

Shotgun chimed in finally, “so the big intergalactic bad coming back is the princess.”

“Bingo cowboy.” Dragon said as he released the trigger and holstered his weapon. “We just don’t know when.”

Shotgun walked to the gaping hole and motioned to the police. Rick watched as Shotgun did what he used to do in the armour, sort out the issues.  Shotgun stepped back into the restaurant towards George and Dragon. “Look, we have a need to fill on the team with a few more members. Since you both appear to know of this imminent threat, how would you consider joining the newbies?”

Rick had to grin as he heard his friend extend the “offer”, how often he had those conversations over the years. The best conversation to have with a new or old hero, to find belonging and community. To become part of something bigger than themselves.

The world was in good hands. Rick knew it was about more than simply him, it was about taking his new life. His new book of life, one chapter at a time.

The New Beginning…

 


The world of comics has become a world of reboots for the super heroes as publishers’ experiment with legacies not getting to long in the tooth. Characters aging, and living life…or worse yet experimenting with keeping up with other mediums their characters appear in so there can be cross sales. What is left is a product that can become too over controlled from the top that does not allow for creative passion. Which it is the creative drive that creates stories that stand the test of time, and the new meta-narratives of our time. For whether we want to admit it or not, super heroes are the new heroes of ancient myth today.

Why these thoughts enter Rick’s mind as the green flame bursts through the glass and sending the two old fighters flying across the restaurant and breaking the fountain pop machines, slumping into the mess of carbonated water, syrups and ice on the floor. Rick notes that William “Shotgun” MacKay is unconscious. Moments like this as the dagger like stabbing of pain hits his brain a new, he misses having Pen, the little dragon of power with him. Moments like this where he wonders why he left re-watching Star Trek, to meet with George Dragon in the alley.

Rick’s tremoring left hand finds the chunk of space gem, it is glowing. There is something moving through the smoke, alarms are ringing, sprinklers have kicked in. People are screaming and running. One text away from back up, and Rick curses himself. “Silly old bastard.” He had sworn this nuts life off, time to be a Dad and leave saving the world to the younger set. Only problem being that many times those in most need were chronic and would not go to the new faces. They would seek out the old guard for advice and aid regardless of health conditions.

The person looks reptilian. Not trying to hide, if this was a Star Trek episode possibly a Gorn, but truly looked more like a mutated crocodile ala Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Rick’s eyes narrowed as he attempted to breathe through the pain. Now would not be the time to take a seizure, could end very badly for him. This was an intergalactic bounty hunter. George had mentioned him before many years ago. The harbinger, the one that pre-dated those that drove them away. An immortal jerk out for blood.

The croc-hunter steps through the shattered glass and blown apart booths. His eyes narrow and smoke comes from his nostrils.  Was the green flame not from the gun he held in his hand? Could this actually be a…

“Richard? Where for art thou heir to the PenDragon?” The snarl made it hard to be made out, but Rick picked it up. There was also a burst of purple noise blocking out many other electronic forms of hearing. The government would be able to create a cover story for this issue.

Will began stirring. Rick tapped his friend’s shoulder “stay down. I got this.” Will rolled onto his stomach to be able to push up a little. He cursed under his breath for leaving his gun in his truck. Two old fighters, facing some space monster.

Rick stood up from behind the high bench table, why any design team though that was comfort was astounding. “I think you missed a space memo.” He stepped forward walking towards the croc-hunter. “I am no longer the heir, there is someone new.”

The smoke in the thing’s nostrils began to glow, almost a flame. Rick focused on that, the stabbing added to the temples as well as the top of the head. The feed back sound became a white noise which started to trip his brain out.  He froze in place fighting in the void of darkness unable to move. The croc-hunter levelled his weapon at Rick.

“You are a coward to hide behind a child as heir. Good Knight.”

The trigger squeezed…

To Be Continued…


Chimeras—mythical hybrid creatures’ ala Centaurs, Minotaurs, Nephilim, that where two species become one. Some would call it false flags, a word for something that does not exist. Others for the possibilities of when alien technology used with/upon our ancestors is understood today. Rick sipped his double-double McCafe slowly as he watched the parking lot. George Dragon had raised questions that he needed answers to. His left hand slightly trembled, his head had a dull throbbing, but all in all it had been a good past three day.

Rick knew he would pay for that later.

Dragon was one of the many hiding in plain sight.

Not something the new kids needed to be drawn into, but something Rick needed to give a heads up to an old friend about. The beaten-up F-150 pulls into the lot and Rick watches Shotgun MacKay gets out and heads towards the McDonald’s.

A black coffee later and McKay is sitting across from his old friend. There is fading bruising, and fresh scarring on the whiskered face. Years ago, they had been adversaries, with many of Rick’s rogues paying to have the hired gun on side to try and assassinate the then Bionic Knight. Slowly the transformation of the mercenary to mentor began. Will (Shotgun) noted it was small kernels that Rick’s super hero alter ego had laid in his path. Eventually to the place he was now mentoring the new Great Crime Fighters, so this new legacy batch did not turn out like the last blood thirsty judge-jury-executioner types.

“So let me get this straight. What caused the intergalactic exodus to earth is now…” MacKay let the statement dangle.

“On its way, here. Dragon says we could have a Chimmering Chimera.” Rick stated. MacKay looked puzzled by the statement. Rick stated what a Chimera was, “The entity that eventually spliced into John.” Rick had to say no more. If the taking over of John by the alien entity had led to procreation of a new species with the same dark intent. But instead John MacCurtis sacrificed himself to end it.

“You want the kids ready?”

“I think I may have a way to stop this without needing to risk their lives.” Rick said.

“Rick be real, you have given more than most. If this risk is real, step aside, let us step up for a change.” MacKay said.

“Dragon came to me. It will start covertly, if I can find the source and shut it down there will be no risk to anything else.” Rick said. He took another sip. “It will be played out like a Trojan Horse. I just need to find the horse and burn it down.”

MacKay nodded. His friend had saved the world even the universe many times over. But those were times he had been imbued with the power of Camelot. Now he was as normal as can be described fighting the health effects those many battles had brought onto his holistic self. “What did Susan say?”

Rick closed his eyes slowly, trying to push the dull throbbing aside. His wife, his lightning rod. The one that keeps pulling him back from the darkness of death. A death that some days he would happily succumb to. But there is more than just him to consider, a balance with the life and the darkness. Each day consciously choosing life.

“Haven’t specifically had that conversation, but she has encouraged my writing and investigative work more.” Rick said. Which was true, she just was unaware where the investigative work may be leading.

MacKay had known his friend a long time. He noted the slight tremble in the hand. The twinge at the crow’s feet where he was fighting back pain within his mind. Dragon was an associate who rarely showed up, but if he was coming out of the shadows to speak then what was coming was true. He looked squarely in his friend’s eyes. A glimmer of green energy sparked. Maybe Rick was as done as everyone believed.

“We are one text or call away for back up.”

“thank you.”

The green flame hit squarely the centre of the parking lot shattering the window the two sat next to sending them careening across the restaurant.

To be continued…


“At least four different species of aliens have been visiting earth for thousands of years…. Some of the extraterrestrials look like us and could walk down the street without anyone noticing.”

-Paul Theodor Hellyer, former Defense Minister of Canada and 22-year member of the Canadian Cabinet (as quoted by Erich Von Daniken in 2018’s The Gods never Left us).

It always amazed Rick how people could accept some things, but then still quibble over the most mundane. They could accept that there was Supra’s in the world. Those with extra human powers, and that they could be good or evil. They could accept his former alter-ego, now passed on to a legacy, the Bionic Knight came from another dimension and was part science, part magic.

Yet, folks like those that stood in the shadows of the alley speaking with him were of another planet, now as he fought to keep the left-hand tremble under control. Silently cursed the flashbacks he knew were coming with stepping this far back into the field. Much like the comic book John Jones, who was a green martian in DC Comics known as the Martian Manhunter, his secret identity put forward a humble human form. That was George. From a distance if you did not know better you would swear he was Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons come to life.

George was not a malicious entity like Thor that had dragged Rick’s friend John into the darkness and eventual death. He was like many immigrants and refugees from the cosmos, just looking for a simpler existence. Sadly, his connections with the Supra set had narrowed quite drastically, he did not know if the kids running with McKay could be trusted. Rick told him they could when he called the house line, Susan pushed, she remembered George and how big of a problem could he be in. Last time he had reached out it was because he had misfiled his income tax.

Why they couldn’t meet for a McCafe coffee Rick did not know, or even Perkins for some pie. The Dragon chose here. Only upside was hopefully it would not bring on the worst of the seizures as actually being on Ashram soil and with the team, like it had in the past. But the alley was across from city hall, Rick looked up, his wife’s office light was still on. Which meant by this moment with Uncle Shotgun the twins had him tied up or convinced that sundaes and colas were part of the night time routine. The thought caused Rick to smile a little.

George moved closed, pulling up the collar of his trench coat. His family were interstellar refugees that settled shortly after World War II and the Bogart look stayed true regardless of the generation. From inside he pulled out what looked like a fossil. Rick’s eyes moved over the greenish tinge.

“Jade?” Rick inquired.

“Possibly that or Emerald. If this was some comic book, I would quip Kryptonite.” George said.

Rick took the rock, there was etchings he had a hard time rendering in the dimming evening light. Every so often what the role of super hero had neurologically taken on him would cause his vision to almost go shadowy tripling. That effect was happening, he squished his eyes closed, and took some slowing breaths to correct before opening them again. Ensuring the stone was still in his right hand, the reasserting of breathing rhythm was bringing the left-hand tremor to control. “Not of this earth.”

“But of this cosmos. It’s a message.” George said.

“Message of what?” Rick asked, feeling very tired of the tedious crime noir novel back and forth, but it was the price one paid when people learned their language from Marlowe novels.

George pointed to the darker green etchings. “That which caused my people to run is coming.”

To Be Continued…


Old familiar. Man, never believed there would be a time in my life when side stepping into a magical pocket dimension would ever be referred to as that. Talk about a letter to my 16-year-old self moment. But it is what is needed to coral the crazy that is over taking my replacement. Ashley, I will learn her last name later. Young teen girl, whose even little brother is the latest victim of the opioid crisis that the Alberta Government refuses to declare.

What people fail to realize in the hero that is the Bionic Knight is two souls doing a cosmic dance. The soul of the host and the PenDragon. The dragon that literally dwelt within Uther, then his son, Arthur. The hero source that has traveled down through the centuries always finding a host to stand in our world between order and chaos. Or to be blunter, save humanity’s collective ass from itself.

“I am sorry Ashley, he is dead.” I said.

ASHLEY IS NOT HERE. ONLY PENDRAGON EXISTS.”

The most annoying piece about the two souls, is that the PenDragon cannot exist independently, but if it takes primary drivers seat, well back in the day the reading of the tales of Camelot was part of elementary school English I am not sure if it still is. But Arthur, Morgan Le Fay, Mordred, Lancelot, Guinevere and Merlin quite a mess.

“Ashley if you let the power overwhelm you. You won’t be honouring the life your brother could’ve had before the darkness seized him. He wouldn’t want you to hide in the recesses of your own darkness.” Says the broken ass hero who can barely hold his own memory together. Why did I let Susan convince me that me, Rick Saturn, should play Merlin to a new age Arthur?

Though she did remind me that the super hero life was the easiest for me. Whether I was an activist, a geek, a pastor, politician or a journalist I chose to take stands for peace, human rights, inclusion, home and community. Took my lumps, my death threats, but finally got completely disillusioned with my own faith over how the supposed children of God have kept Alberta’s eugenics history towards the differently abled alive and well. How members and clergy felt they could barrage you with how the child did not belong, how they were not a person only a diagnosis, shaming you as to why you would have let them come into this world and other Nazi ass bull shit. Yeah it was an open wound, yeah it saw me fired from a few callings before I had my own kids fighting the battle of inclusion. Once I had my own, saw us sitting in an annual general meeting where I sat as the congregation effectively voted to downsize me and in another instance when a new community was to ordain once I saw their beliefs around my babies surrendered and walked out on principle.

But now here I am as the interloper in the green flame pocket dimension arguing with that which I kept at bay for over 20 years because of my own neurological issues that triggered PTSD, but hey, here we are.

NO! SHE IS RIGHT TO HIDE. SHE FAILED. WHAT GOOD IS SHE AS A HERO IF SHE COULD NOT SAVE HIM? HER OWN FAMILY. My little brother.” There. That change in voice. Ashley is still trying to assert herself, and that is what I need to touch base into. That searching for the light it is what Susan calls it, and why even with all the bull I keep trying to find that diamond in the rough faith community because no matter what I search out the light in the darkness, because as she has noted I like to believe the best in people, even the monsters and those that try to kill me. When I attempt to argue she tells me to go for coffee with Shotgun and laughs.  Sarcastic one she is.

“The hardest part of being a hero is…” Fight the crack in my voice, the tear trailing down my cheek. One name ricocheting in my brain that I kept missing each time. John. Best friend. “losing those you love.”

“then why do IT? ASHLEY IS NO LONGER HERE. ONLY PENDRAGON.”

“Bullocks Pen. You were my pen sized magic pet. Ashley will learn to control you or we all perish here. You know it, I know it. The PenDragon power either supports or extinguishes, and if I recall the last time you were in complete control was Camelot.”

then why shouldn’t I just perish with it here?”

“Part of it is self preservation, I do not want to die yet. I would like to grow older with my wife, and see our kids flourish even more.”
Selfishness does not seem very heroic.”

“It’s not, it is part of my answer. The other part is the power chose you to replace me. It chose you because you are pure of heart. It may sound corny, Ashley, but you got this. We have no control over other’s choices, lives and sadly, deaths. But….” The right words? Do I even believe what I am saying anymore? “And it is an important but, you have the choice, the moment this moment to become a hero that can make a difference.”

“Not in his life, his life is over. So why shouldn’t mine end?”

The eternal heroic question.

“Because the only life you are responsible for is yours. The only thing that matters is end of the day, beginning of the day when you wash your face can you look at yourself in the mirror.”

“And what if I can’t?”

Time to play the card I hate to play, because to stare into my own sorrow means to let go the dread and guilt I carry about John.

“Ashley, take a breath, look into your heart. What would your brother tell you at this moment, right now?”

Silence. The green flame is getting hotter. PenDragon is trying to seize control even though the entity knows it means its own destruction inevitably.

The green flame is crackling out the eye holes in the helmet. Her gloved hands are releasing the latches, she pulls off the helmet. A child.

Maybe 16 if she is a day. There was a time I looked that young and naïve. But there it is. The flames are going out. Tears coming down the sides. PenDragon is taking form on her as she powers down, the armour evaporates and the tiny dragon is on her shoulder as she slumps to the mystery ether we hang out in.

“That if I have a chance to be a hero. Be a bad ass hero and save the world.” Ashley said.

“And that is why the Dragon chose you.” The flames vanish.

The parking lot of the hospital reforms around us.

The peace and quiet is eerie. Until the boom.

Shotgun’s gloved hand on my shoulder. “There she goes.” I said.

I watch as Johnny Power lifts Speedster and flies after. The new generation of heroes. New hearts. Less baggage. Same heroic age. Simply trying to make a difference despite and in spite the sludge of life that can pull you down.

“Rick I…”

“Your welcome old man. Coffee?”

William simply nods as we head back to his truck. I do not know what is wrong with me, but I am learning to live in my new reality. Part of the new reality will see moments when these new heroes will need their wizard not their guru. In those moments, Shotgun knows where to find me.

Finale