Archive for the ‘Shotgun Reloaded’ Category


“Every story has three parts, the beginning, middle and the twist.”

-R.L. Stine (Goosebumps Movie 2015)

                Mystery floats up. His eyes look through the window. There is probably an altar with flammables, but I cannot speak to his theatrics or if he would just look for a sprinkler to light up…

                When the wall explodes inwards sending sandstone and wood careening inside and the screamo music turns to screams.

                Mystery lets out a cackle “for Zed.”

 

The Street Avenger is a legacy hero. Many generations tough mo-fos battling from the shadows and keeping Gothic City safe from hooligans and villains. I had the privilege of battling many during my less than heroic past years, some may say I was one of said hooligans, but I was rarely caught. Douglas Katz was one who perished at the hands of a World War II villain known as K, it was short hand for what the Third Reich had dubbed him, “Nazi Killer” (ever the creative ones those puds). He was what was known as a tri-kinetic (telepath, telekinetic, pyro-kinetic).

Said K looked like he perished in the same battle that claimed Douglas’ life. But K was a monster that survived and came back to almost wipe out the whole family of generations, but a new hero rose for a time and defeated K.

During that battle Mystery came out.

Recently he has rejoined the Great Crime Fighters, and stipulates that he is Douglas (not Kevin as I mistakenly believed, old man memory I tell ya). During his recent renaissance, he has shown low levels of telepath (or is it simply over active empathy and intuition?) and a glimmer of pyro-kinesis.

Fast forward to the attack on the Ashram and the surgical assault and assassination of Zed, which led us to the cult-gang Killer Faces, brought us outside their temple (in genius tax exempt organized scam if I will) and the idea to drum out the punks by a simple act of triggering what I hoped would be a sprinkler system.

Instead I get a wall exploding in ward. Security alarm going off. Folks from the cult and neighbours with their phones out video taping, and sirens in the back ground on their way here. Sure, technically we are the heroes, but not really the well know variety. The upside is the exploding wall has silenced the god-awful music sounded like a cat being skinned from the inside out.

“Where is Killer Face?” Mystery’s voice echoes.

I draw my double barrel and as I look upon the armed goons coming over the wall wish I wasn’t packing rubber buck shot in this one.

“We are Killer Face.” Sounds like an off key Greek Chorus. Aim and fire. More screams as I open and load more cartridges.

Mystery is floating into the temple. His telekinesis is tossing folks, some bleeding from being hit by flying wall sandstone and wood. Hoping some of those sirens are EMS, there’s going to be a few hurting units inside. Mystery does not look or sound happy.

Never realized how much Mystery was…mean.

Another volley of rubber buck shot, reload and fire again. Groans but I am at the wall.

Mystery knocks out one KF member. A large gorilla looking man is running his way. His back is turned. I aim to fire rubber and knock him off attack, but Mystery whirls. A jagged piece of wood flies loose from the wall flying through the right eye socket of the assailant.

Ok, Mystery missed the memo as the cult member drops dead.

“We don’t kill mate.”

He whirls in mid-air. His fedora flies off as his eyes flare with crackling blue flame. “They killed Zed. They started this war.”

“So you will end it?”

“Damn straight, Will.”

I feel a telekinetic push knock me back hard on my back. I catch around the altar one shrouded in black cloaks, a middle-aged man with that Charles Manson look and a dagger in hand. The Bishop himself. “We killed no one tonight, it is murder sabbath!”

Wind is out of my lungs when I hit the dust.

I stare at the way the wall came down.

The Ashram.

I hear again the Bishop screaming they killed no one.

Can’t get to my rifle. But in my boot, my hunting knife. A bit awkward but throw while he’s distracted.

The temple wall.

The ashram.

Street Avengers were never tri-kinetics.

K was.

Douglas helped his nephew beat K once and for all then retreated into the shadows.

Shit how could we all have missed this.

The knife leaves my hand as Mystery is focused on the leader of the cult.

Sirens are closer.

A screech of pain. My knife hit his shoulder.

Mystery wheels around to focus on me. Hopefully this Bishop sees his opening. “Do not think you will not join Zed tonight William.”

“Precisely you murderous sanctimonious sack of shit.” If I could stand I would spit for emphasis, but I think I bruised or broke a rib when I landed.

Cars are screeching.

The Bishop screams trying to rally the disillusioned troops.

Mystery sticks out his arm and catches the Bishop by the throat.

“Killer Face Prime I presume. Consider this your 2 weeks notice.” When a neck is snapped it is an eerie sound. Even though he was a murderer, that was cold. The body crumples down onto the dust of the yard. “If you wish to live, I am the new Prime.”

There appears to be no dissension in his new ranks.

Mystery touches the ground before me.

Police have the temple surrounded.

The kerchief is loose and Mystery lets it fall away.

Zed once told me it only takes a little bit to embed your presence into another. The human mind like a computer, a skilled telepath could create a Trojan horse virus to embed their essence into another for a complete take over.

The eyes I stared into I remember from the past. A cold killer’s glare. One crafted in the very bosom of hate.

“K.”

“Very good weakest link. This temple is my home, these worshipers are now my followers. This city will be mine. Let your sniveling heroes know their time of life is limited. This city will be mine.” His face turns into a sneer. “Let your friend Rick know, I will have his head on a pike.”

I watch as he floats back into the temple.

A new evil begins….

 

 

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I hate Killer Faces. They are the worst, its not just an intricate street gang, but one wrapped in a wanked out killer cult motif they try to tie back to weird practices of the occult and esoteric or so the revolving door of Killer Face Prime that leads them. I say it’s a revolving door because there is no way it is the same dumb ass running the show for over 30 years, but stranger things have happened.

The most twisted thing is that they pooled money and purchased a “temple” for their “services” where they gather to hear the gospel (keep in mind ancient word gospel was a political statement) according to K.F.P… The temple they purchased was a deconsecrated Anglican church. Which keeps its doors locked unless you have this week’s password. Which is why currently Kevin—sorry Mystery—an ol’ Shotgun are waiting outside.

They haven’t kept up well with landscaping, grass is so brown its blowing away in the dust, and five trees would have more life if they were driftwood.

Over the solid oak double doors is a cross that is stain glassed images of the stations of the cross. If I was a religious man this would be sacrilegious in my mind. Instead it is quite in genius for the scam, the members of the gang/cult unbelievably tithe to the temple so they are not only used as canon fodder, but also pay for the privilege.

Mystery is still trying to get a telepathic fix, but he is not a strong telepath, so its not the easiest thing to do. Part of me wants to knock and open and just see what happens. But, I also am not a young man, and I counted at least 50 inside and that was for the 20 minutes we were watching before service began. No telling how many may have arrived earlier.  Can’t believe this collection of idjits got the drop on Zed.

“Ready Kevin?”

“For the last time Shotgun, my name is not Kevin.” Mystery said.

“Oh right, sorry it’s Mystery.”

“No, you daft wanker, my name is Douglas, Kevin was my dad. What B.K.’s fist back in the day rattled your brain too much back in the day.” Mystery retorts. I can’t help the laughter escaping. Damn, he’s right. Kevin was entering retirement due to being crippled at the hands of K, and it was Doug that was the Street Avenger during the early days of Rick. The one that others believed was killed but no body was ever found. “Besides I wanted to use Enigma, but that was during Rick’s turn at being touch brooding mystery tech man. So, I took Mystery instead.”

I nod as the weird screamo wafts and hurts the ear drums out of the temple. “Why not use Street Avenger?” Valid question it being a family legacy name and all.

He dips his hat at me. I see a little flame crackle in the corner of his eye. “My nephew was the last Street Avenger. He gave his life and the lineage ended with him. I honour my family by continuing the fight, and letting a good, honourable death stand at the end of our legacy.”

Sometimes it is true, the heroes have darker souls than the villains.

But that spark.

“How strong of a pyro kinetics?

“Why?” His eyes follow mine to the cracked open windows around where the sanctuary would be. And I believe if this was a cartoon there would be a lightbulb going off above his head. If the temple is up to code he would set off the sprinklers, if not…well humans are resilient in survival.

Mystery floats up. His eyes look through the window. There is probably an altar with flammables, but I cannot speak to his theatrics or if he would just look for a sprinkler to light up…

When the wall explodes inwards sending sandstone and wood careening inside and the screamo music turns to screams.

Mystery lets out a cackle “for Zed.”

To be Continued…


Speedster called, but she’s still laid up at home and Johnny Power is playing nursemaid. That left the mysterious, Mystery to float down to the ashram to investigate. I know he likes to play off that he is this living enigma, but truly that is for those outside of the know. Not ol’ Shotgun have you though. This was a Street Avenger. It appeared the villainous K (a Nazi super-killer) had done him in, but left him in the sewers with amnesia for years. He finally regained his memory, a Kevin Katz. But still hiding from his true self. A tri-kinetic, low level, part telekinetic, telepath with flickering’s of pyro kinesis.

I stand at the gate. The ashram has seen better days, burnt out, by my old eyes, from the inside out.  The metal burst in such a way to look like a tormented lotus in bloom. At the centre, pipes twisted into an upside down cross.

Puff intakes as I light a Cuban and begin walking towards the floating man in the billowing trench coat and fedora. Rumour had it that Zed was some ancient alien entity that our ancestors in Greece called Zeus, in Rome, Jupiter. His latest form to survive he had taken on the monastic form.

But here he was stripped to the skivvies, upside down like tradition tells us they did St. Peter. The glimmering fires I can see the scourge marks on the back. But his throat is slit. Who knew alien-godling-immortals bled chartreuse. If I wasn’t processing information to spot some clues I am sure I would laugh.

“Will.” Mystery’s voice sounds like a bad impersonation of the Shadow radio voice.

“Mystery.” I know who he is. He still won’t admit it. Not worth the oxygen having the same argument over and over again. Wonder though if he remembers the many times we tangled back in the day. Ah the bad ol’ days, sometimes it is hard to not want to take that path again, so comfortable like a worn pair of Levi originals they used to sell with Harley’s. The new path still takes breaking in of the new jeans creases.  But breaking in is the way to repay my karmic debt, as Zed once intoned it to me.

Now I am looking at—friend is to strong a word—colleague? Bit more, teammate just hanging there. “Any idea when rescue gets here to cut the poor bastard down?” I ask.

Mystery softly lands before me. “Rumour has it, Rick called in a favour to allow me to attempt to see if I could capture anything from his essence.” It is a telepaths trick, for those a bit stronger, that they sometimes if they respond quick enough can grasp a bit of synaptic energy and replay the last moments for clues. “Sadly, we were too late.”

I nod slowly, but my eye catches a blinking green light. Mystery’s eye slit (only thing visible between fedora brim and black kerchief) moves to the blinking light. I take a puff on my cigar as I move and squat. I go to click the flashing button on the cube, reminds me of that asinine power saving power bar the government gave me for free a few months back.

Mystery uses a telekinetic push and holds my hand still. “What if it’s a trap?”

“Well, I either press it and it goes boom, or we wait till the flashing stops and its goes boom, either way boom.”

I actually believe Mystery laughs as he releases my hand and I double tap (yes I loved Zombieland too) the button.

The blinking stops.

I exhale a little, didn’t think I was holding my breath.

Mystery looks at me, I give him my best Han Solo grin as the box pops apart and a beam opens wide with a whir. Hologram. I really hate this sci-fi shit. Not as much as the godling-alien murder crap, but its in the top 20 things I despise (though surprisingly not as high yuppified coffee bevvies).

The image is simple.

How did they manage to pull of murdering an entity whose twin existed and required literally the Son of the Devil to exorcise?

Mystery exhales. “Killer Faces.”

To Be Continued…

 


Part of me wishes I could open this tale speaking of divine enlightenment. That my role currently in the city was like the Organians in the original Star Trek’s Errand of Mercy episode. Where these next steps up the evolutionary ladder types show the way through non-violence.

As my loaded deer skin work gloves shatters the perps nose sending him to dream land.

My composite toe and heeled cowboy boot mule kicks wanna be tough number two between the legs sending him into the puke and urine soaked alley way. Their mugging target is already skedaddling as I use the butt of my shotgun to knock number two out.

Stupid thing known as blue tooth allows me to call in the pick up to the local police. As I head out to vanish, there was a local store’s CCTV camera to show the crime broken up.

At least its not the `90’s when I was more machine than man. Felt like that bloody Trap Jaw villain off the He-Man cartoon. When my one arm was replaced by an actual shotgun. Thankful to James Saturn, the Ionic Knight in one of his heroic turns using the last of the magic of Gerklyn before he was finally removed from reality that finally transformed me back to full humanity.

But that left me wondering if there was more than being just a hired gun. Which is what set me on my newest path at the turn of the century after the craziness of the Y2K non-event that in the dark night of conspiracy lunacy I went inwardly to my own dark soul to move forward in a new way. Training new heroes, and finding myself on the side of light, even up until now where I am aiding in training the newer heroes.

But this city is angering. It is one with a serious case of ostrich syndrome, where the easiest way to deal with criminal crisis is to be like the allegorical ostrich and place its head in the sand. Now one may say it is because the next civic election has yet to happen to fully replace the dearly departed mayor of the city (see Speare 3 and Quest of Rick Saturn the Bionic Knight), but truly it is a city with a pattern.

When there was child sex trafficking discovered, they responded by cutting the budget to the vice unit.

With the rise of the opioid crisis, the first response was deflection or talk of it not being that horrible.

To the rise in gun violence year to year, and being unable to acknowledge the rising tide of gang violence, with one of the most violent and unpredictable being a gang like cult attached to the Bionic Knight’s villain, Killer Face, each one numbered starting at 2 through whatever they are at now, with all the interlocking layers to protect the higher ups. Like a violent/insidious organized crime version of Scientology if you will from what one sees in things like documentary’s Going Clear.

This is the city that has a team of heroes, that are still recovering from our last grand adventure. And the true hero of the town is taking a bit of a sabbatical after saving space and time (see Great Crime Fighters Together).  But there’s always time for a horrible cup of coffee at a downtown yuppie coffee shop that likes to pretend you exist in Europe.

A perky red headed college lass is taking orders. “Black coffee.”

“Venti? Grande? Light? Medium or dark roast?” She giggles out.

“You misheard my order. Black coffee, in a big cup. Strong.” I state.

She looks stumped as she rings in what comes close to four bucks for the coffee. Or maybe she is noting the shotgun butt coming out of the back holster. My face stubble is more salt than pepper, but I tug off the leather gloves and shove them in the back pocket of my jeans as I take the fancy coffee, and move to a table.

The phone is crackling in my ear. Susan Kobwash-Saturn is running for mayor. She is a solid candidate, long-time friend. Actually, believed me when I started changing stripes mid-race. James’ was confounded to, especially when he went back to the darker side of things and I continued on my path of angels. Even tried to literally chop my arm off. Wound up with my jaw wired, but he had his own thugs, as he led the Killer Faces at that time, and well, it imploded.

Then I survived the time when the heroes lost their own way and a new generation became far too blood thirsty. Thankful that taking them down like the villains they were (see Great Crime Fighters Clean up Duty). But now Susie K has a fight on the hustings for she has laid out the path of truth and justice for the city and there is many incumbents and millionaires that still want the status quo of ostrich scenario.

The coffee has that annoying burnt taste that comes from the yuppie grind on site charge you the tally of your first born to buy that craptacular cup of coffee.  As I watch the full moon take hold in the freshly minted sky. The streets can be crazy, sometimes the mo-fo’s torch folks, other times the cops catch them first. The crisis’ become too hard to avoid, and it takes heroes and leaders to step up and speak out. Never thought in a million years that elder statesman hero role would fall to me, but sometimes I do feel like that old Toby Keith Song.

Click on to answer a call.

“Shotgun.”

The voice is faint. Speedster, she’s still recovering from almost being gutted. “Ashram now.”

“Why?” I can play at being dense, sometimes it’s fun, and besides, ashram means Zed, and I detest that asshole.

“Someone crucified Zed.”

To Be Continued…