Archive for the ‘Speare 3: Thor v. Zeus’ Category


Speare stood in the hallway outside the mayor’s office. The power had been restored, but there was something brewing in the sky. He could not believe what had just been disclosed, more so that Sax would not have told him that he had known the dead girl. Although that could have been Speare’s bad as he was not one to flash around corpse pics.

Slick was standing on the other side of the door, she wore her holster like a gun slinger from the old west. The Slick family had a long history of being hired “help” Speare believed the accurate term was. This was one of the more legitimate ends of the business, that being body guard work.

“How long are the two fossils going to be yabbering?”

She glared at him, and let the sunglasses slide down granny style on to the bridge of her nose. “Show some respect man, those are two icons.”

“Two icons that may or may not be wrapped up in the murder of a young woman.”

Speare could’ve sworn her heard Slick laugh at this statement as the office door opened, another flash of lightning that lit up the entire floor. The Bionic Knight walked out, mumbled something about the mayor being an idiot that he thought was inaudible under his breath before vanishing in a flash.

Speare peaked in as John MacCurtis pulled on his charcoal gray trench coat.  MacCurtis locked eyes on the detective. “Ready to go Junior?”

Speare burst out laughing. “Yea old man. Where the hell are we going?”

MacCurtis stepped out and made a hand signal for Slick to get the car. He looked at Speare, and then out the window as more thunder boomed, lightening flasehed, he swore he saw the outline of goats and a chariot in the sky.  A low growl was heard by John. It was barely audible, but something vocalized into his brain. `want to come home.’

“No.” MacCurtis said out loud. Thor wanted back inside him, and the last time that happened, it had not ended well.

“No what?”

“Thor wants back, Speare, and I am not going back to that dark place.”

“Of Martyrs, those that give their lives for their faith?” Speare said.

“Correct. True patriots, who stand for Freedom and yes, some on the team lived up to that name.” John walked with Speare to the elevator and down to the underground parkade, outside the elevator in the parkade was the black sedan, John and Speare got in the back.

“John, you owe me some answers about what the hell I have found myself in the middle of.”

“I don’t know. Years back, when the world though the Bionic Knight was dead, I was taken over by an alien entity that transformed me into an old man.” John continued his story. “There was six children, adolescents about 16 years and older, that came into my care. Effect survivors, that if I had not taken them in would’ve wound up in jail or dead.”

Speare nodded as the story unfolded. “I used them as a means to continue the work Zed had with the Prophets, we were dubbed the Martyrs as a full next level. Those that could go forward and do things that the government or other heroes may not want to.”

“Kids? Seriously, you used kids?”

“Yes Speare, they were brave, like the original X-Men or Teen Titans, as they aged the entity’s control on me grew. We joined some peace keeping missions… the last one saw the entity exorcised from me, and a team member die. Returning home to the Bunker underneath Balzac we disbanded.”

“Died? So how long has Reesa truly been dead for?” Speare asked.

“Reesa’s death is new. On the Martyrs there was six- Grizz, who looked like a human hybrid with a grizzly bear, Malcolm an albino man monster; Daemon, Natan, Sax and Reesa.  Grizz was the lad who died to ensure I was exorcised. The program was shut down. Everyone when their own way.”

John made some hand gestures to Slick, she nodded her head in the driver’s seat as the car left city limits and out towards a field between the city and Airdrie.

There was an old United Church that the car stopped in front of. John stepped out and motioned for both Slick and Speare to follow him. “I haven’t thought of this dark time in my life for a very long time, until of course Reesa came back a few months ago and somehow executed my family. Which I know in your mind Speare makes me suspect number one in her murder, but please, if I wanted her gone there would not be a body left.”

Speare could not argue with this logic, as John stepped behind the church sign and suddenly the parking lot opened up like hangar doors.

“Welcome to the Bunker.”


Thunder booms, lighting cascades like a sheet, but still no rain. Speare scratches the stubble on his face, fighting the urge to take up smoking within this situation. Never was one, just seems like something a tough PI would normally do in the old Noir’s like Spade and Marlow, or maybe gourmet cooking like Spenser or drinking like Stone. But instead he is in the plaza of city hall, outside sipping on a double double hoping not to get caught in the rain, waiting on a coffee interview.

The interviewee will hopefully shed some light on the Prophets/Martyr dynamic and the memories surfacing. Sax walked away from the whole thing telling Speare it was a lifetime ago, but did give him this number to call. The number brought him to an active switchboard for the Great Crime Fighters (G.C.F.), the Super Hero set of Canada.

Yes he investigated weird as shit, ghosts, cheaters, the odd demon…but really the super hero stuff he liked to avoid as it was just a whole other level of strange.

The voice was low but echoey, almost mechanical. “Speare I presume.”

He turns, lets his hoody fall away from his bald head as he refocuses on the armoured individual. Scientific bionics, or mythical magic of Merlin, it really didn’t matter what you believed, the golden armoured individual before him had been a Canadian institution for years. “Pendragon.”

“I have recently gone retro and am using Bionic Knight again.”

“My apologies, so Mr. Knight?”

“B.K. will be fine.”

“B.K., thanks for agreeing to meet with me, my book dealer Sax passed on the switchboard number.” Speare looks into the reflective eye slits, was there some way to tell through this armour a reaction, it covers the body, and makes his usual reads impossible. Passerby are gawking.  The mayor had done the big reveal on Election Day officially retiring from his past, but the rest of the G.C.F. had remained masked since their reformation. “It seems that you are all tied into a mystery.”

“And what is this mystery?” The Knight begins walking alongside Speare, in such a way that he begins to manoeuver both of them towards City Hall.  Speare makes a note as they enter the double doors, and Bionic Knight waves off security as they step on the escalator and ride up to the level of offices.

“A woman’s death, I only have a first name and it is…”

“Reesa.” Just outside the Mayor’s office door, John MacCurtis steps out. “Her name is Reesa, that is all we ever knew as well. She killed my family.”

If Speare could see the expression under the helmet, he could’ve sworn this hero was shocked by the Mayor’s admission. “You realize Mr. MacCurtis then that…”

“Makes me prime suspect number one, possibly, but I ain’t no Martyr.” The lightening bathed the sky causing the lights of city hall lights to dip.

Another flickering of the lights. This was the type of things that made Speare strongly dislike working mysteries within the super hero community, they rapidly became conspiracy theories wrapped in science fiction with a dash of occult on a good day. On a bad day you are standing in a hall way in city hall, with the mayor claiming a dead woman killed his family, and a mystical knight beside you as the power was deciding whether or not it wanted to stay on.

The door opens again, and Jaqueline “Shade” Slick steps out with her gun already drawn. Speare couldn’t help but roll his eyes. What truly was this about at this moment?

“Mr. Mayor you need to come back into the office so we can secure it, there are reports of the storm.” Shade said.

“I am tired of the euphemismistic bullshit. It is not a storm you are worried about, you think he is coming for me.” John retorted.

Euphemisms, another layer, just like a bloody Bond file. Speare felt the pain behind his eyeballs returning. He looked from the Bionic Knight to the body guard to the mayor. “Who is coming?”

John looked Speare straight in the eye, his eye contact unwavering. The type of eye contact held that makes someone feel like they are being looked right through. The rumbles of thunder getting closer to the flashes of lightning. The Knight breaks the silence, “we can’t tell him, national security.”

“Fuck, B.K., this has nothing to do with national security, they were bloody kids and we fucked—I fucked up royally with them.” MacCurtis was yelling at this point, other office staff were beginning to move out of their offices, he motions the motley crew back into his office and Slick secures the door behind them.

The Knight lowers himself into an arm chair to the left of the desk, while Speare takes a load off in what can only be described as a womb chair. MacCurtis still visibly shaking moves behind his desk and sits down. John leans back in the chair and steeples his hands as he exhales slowly.

“Speare what do you know about world mythology?”

Speare scratches his head and looks at the mayor. Not where he was believing this conversation to go, but it was a question that touched upon an area of interest for him. “I dabbled a little in Egyptian mythology in grade school, but really Classic and Norse resonated with me quite a bit in Junior and Senior high, probably because of liking Thor and Wonder Woman comics as a kid. What does this have to do with the dead woman?”

Before MacCurtis can answer, Bionic Knight speaks. “Because it is rooted in those ancient tales, truth, and that truth is what caused the Effect many decades ago.”  The Effect was a sky effect that has happened a few times, looks like the Aurora Borealis on steroids cascading across the earth, each time a new wave of Supra beings morphs into reality. “And as much as I hate to admit it, it also speaks to the truth behind Paleo-Seti research and theory.”

Speare smiled, the hero was attempting to use technical terms to baffle him, and so he possibly wouldn’t fan boy out by the governmental agent’s admission that Ancient Aliens held truth. “And the truth of the Ancient Aliens is?”

MacCurtis burst out laughing. “Ah he’s got you there B.K., the truth is not out there, it is here, and has been here for many centuries and millennia. The Effect releases dormant DNA evolutions hidden within some of us. Two of these old buggars are a well-known secret to the Canadian Parliament.  One is well known to the world at large, Zed.”

Speare smirked, where these two having him on. “Zed is an immortal Tibetan monk.”

“Zed is short for Zeus ya dumb ass.” Slick said.

Speare looked at her as she smirked at him. “And don’t get started on Zeus being Greek and Romanized, the man impregnated throughout life as beams of light, ganders, etc…he wants to currently exist as a Tibetan he will.”

“Point taken. So what is so important about Zed?”

“Simple, he guides the heroes, the Prophets, those that break ground on justice and make things right with the world. Currently our little band calls themselves the Great Crime Fighters.” Bionic Knight said.

“And Jung showed us that there is always a shadow.” MacCurtis said.

To which the lightbulb went off, “The shadow were called the Martyrs?”

The Knight nods. “Yes, the Martyrs were a group of lost souls needing direction found by an entity known as Thor. The entity as far as we know had no physical body, it possessed John for a time that this group was up and running, aged him rapidly so he was an old man, played an Xavier role if you will, and this group of lost souls did things to save our world no one can never fathom.”

“Sax was part of this team.” Speare clicked the thoughts together.

“With Reesa.” John MacCurtis confirmed.

 


-A Mayoral Interlude-

The Dodge Caravan. Dogs in back—one for each kid, and each adult don’tcha know, his son and daughter dozing while Brad Paisley sings about Me and Jesus having it all figured out. His wife laughing at his side over some silly joke he had made. The darkened highway on the road suddenly appearing out of the darkness of the high way.

                John’s eyes readjust when his wife motions. Coming back from time in the mountains with Rick and Susan, a nice respite from the mayor’s office. Johnny and Kyler had left alone. Zed was a mysterious monastic that had called them together for the BBQ but then wouldn’t say why the reunion of the Great Crime Fighter’s needed to happen over burgers and dogs.

                From the billows of blackness the form moves, a girl, MacCurtis’ eyes refocus again, he knows the form- a girl.

                “Good Night PinBall.”

The night sky is lit blue with flames.

“Fuck!” sweat pours down the mayor’s body, the flannel sheets were to be a comfort at this time, not a trigger. But the dream—night terror proved the trigger.

A reminder the night his family were killed months ago.

He knew the woman, but who was it? Who could light the night sky blue with fire that destroyed his family and left him with new scars? A flame that vanished with the form as quickly as she had appeared.

Vibration from his night stand. A quick swipe and tap to activate speaker mode on the Smart Phone. “Mayor MacCurtis here.”

“Hey boss update, Speare was here.”

“That’s not an update Shades, your father was Captain Obvious, what does that make you Commander Oblivious?” He knows he shouldn’t be snarky, this is a weird time for the city, and something ominous is about to be let loose. Why is the woman haunting his dreams? Rick thought she was a demon from Gerklyn’s dimension, but that did not seem to set well with John’s soul, even after putting his family to rest. There was something all too familiar about her, and the fact that she knew one of his heroic identities.

“Look Mayoral Asshat—Sorry boss, that was uncalled for.”

John’s eyes go to the clock, 2 a.m., he clicks off the television in his bedroom, a Spenser dvd is droning on replay he had fallen asleep watching. “Look Shades, it’s late or early depending on when one’s day starts. So what is Speare up to?”

Speare was a new player, unfamiliar, a supposed private detective who had done some good in the city, how had he gotten caught up in all the Supra dramas? That is what concerned John, these high level games already killed far too many.

“Natan called me, Sax dropped the Prophets and Martyrs on him, he was in the bookshop asking about…”

“Reesa.”

A woman with darkness billowing around her. John’s eyes refocus as he can in the night on the darkened highway. His heightened hearing hear’s the name she whispers—“PinBall.”

                The voice so familiar, from a time when he tried to play Professor Xavier…working with youngsters who were gifted by the Effect.  The blue flame crackles, his wife screams. The name in his mind gets caught in his throat as he attempts to scream for mercy, but the words—“Reesa please God not my family.” Never clear his mouth….

 


The bookstore awning had fallen in due to the build up of rain. First 8 days of the bloomin’ month and the precipitation total for the month had been reached, never mind the thunder, lightning and hail. Speare chuckled, his Dad always told him that thunder was just Thor’s chariot rattling the heavens.

Cool aside on Thor’s goats, they were great to have around for he could kill and eat them, as long as he laid out the bones on the pelt’s each night they would regenerate. Loki played a trick, and snapped a leg bone one night, so the one goat always had a limp.

But Sax had more answers to this twisting charade.  It was where Shades redirected him after almost blowing his head off in MacCurtis’ office. Thankfully she let him go before the police showed up and sent him to a cell again.  The question that kept reverberating in his mind, there seemed to be a deeper knowing of this murder victim by the name of Reesa, but nothing she would reveal to him.

Sax was trying to hit the Hollywood seen with the display window, as Speare pulled his ball cap down to keep the rain off. Robert Ludlum’s Bourne books. The originals were great, unfortunately since Van Lustbader took over they lost that essential pinnace that made them work. Also the graphic novels of Suicide Squad—the New 52 take was excellent, except for Amanda Waller, re-imagining her as a super model tough bitch kinda sidelined her character, hard to take tough as nails seriously when you know the villain is trying to mind fuck her…ah but he has collections up of the original John Ostrander run and the Rebirth single that brought back the true Waller…the best of both worlds.

That was the eclecticness of Sax’s shop to meet all generations of readers to hit their understanding of the hero, no matter how wrong Speare thought it was.

Sax was elbow deep in book cart shelving the top ten best seller shelf, unlike other stores that used a system where publishers could purchase a spot for release, Sax used an algorithm for internet sales that his partner Natan had designed. So this little indy store actually had an accurate top ten reflection, which baffled publishers with his stock ordering.

“Speare how can I help my insomniac book-a-holic friend, new James Rollins is in.”

Speare shakes his head. “Na, when his books were around 400 pages he was good in the quasi-ancient history conspiracy theory genre, but since making it big and having the co-writer series, he has become pedantic. Although make sure you save a copy of the new Jesse Stone by Coleman, that man is channeling Parker’s ghost for sure.” Sax laughed at this quick assessment, Speare was an enigma to him, hard to know where he came from.

The crow’s feet in Speare’s eyes told a different story. There was a burden on this man’s heart, was he able to break through the fog? Was something coming through that nobody was sure about? “Come to me all who are burdened and weary and I will give you rest.”

“Jesus complex now Sax, seriously?”

“Na, hubby bats for the other team y’know that. Any who, what is troubling you Speare?” Sax moves to a coffee nook and pours two cups.

Speare takes one, and sips. The beauty of caffeine re-entering his system allowing for his mind to calm a little. A simple mindfulness practice that aids in quieting the noise around, the enhanced flurry of data from the world around.

Speare scratches his whiskers as he looks at his long time friend, it suddenly hit him how weird it is that a professional thug (ala Spenserism) would have such a close compatriot that ran a bookstore.  “What aren’t you telling me Sax?”

                Her lips brushed his ear. A little giggle.

                Bullets zing past as the jeep tears over dessert terrain.

                “This is where we live up to the name Martyr’s ya Sexy Beast.”

“Prophets and Martyrs play for keeps but by different rules.” Sax said.


It was the wettest July on record, and the perverted part of Speare’s mind would note, not in a good way. The addition of excessive thunder, lightning and hail made him ponder if Paganism had sprung a war between Thor and Zeus. But those were contemplations for a time when he was not standing in a rather awkward standoff.

The woman he was looking at dressed all in black with her long hair pulled back into a taut ponytail and a gloc pointed at him was the daughter of legendary shooter, Jake “Shades” Slick, or so her story on the street went. Her “dad” was like any shooter and finally ran into someone on his way down, who was on their way up and took eight in the chest. No one, including Speare had ever heard the womanizing sumbitch had ever reproduced, but if gunsulling was genetic, this lady was his daughter.  She was a gun for hire, one not expected to be found in a Canadian city’s mayor’s office.

But then John MacCurtis had always been a touch paranoid in his life. Speare wasn’t fully briefed on the reasons for that, but he knew there was a lot of secret government crap in the background that was never talked about, but the term hero got tossed around a lot.  The awkward part of this stand off was that Speare on his best day could not qualify to carry a restricted weapon, which in Canada was a hand gun…okay to be honest due to his political leanings and choices he couldn’t even qualify to own a hunting rifle.

So following up a lead from the start of the week…

The rain had come in hard and fast. There was some hail, mostly because outlying counties had received tornado warnings, but the city had just been warned of thunder and lightning. The joy for Speare was that the rain had cooled off the over 30 degrees Celsius down to the 17. A great moment, as he disliked the heat, especially when someone had asked him to come and look at a body found in a urine and grime soaked alleyway.

The downside was that the rain would probably wash away forensic type stuff the police would look for, but then again with how much DNA was present in the alley he was sure that would not have been useful. The question in this situation would always come back to did the heat wave cause emotions to boil over or was this planned?

A philosophical question, that did not need to be answered as he stood next to the lead reporter for the scene watching the police work with tarps trying to cover up what his grandmother colloquially would have called a 25 cent tart, but sadly was someone’s daughter and now was being loaded into a body bag to be taken back to the morgue.

 

Had brought him into the Mayor’s office, and epically so. The plate glass had cut like a bitch through his scalp when he leapt through. But Shades Juniorette was not part of the plan, this was supposed to be shock and awe for the mayor to find out what he knew about the dead girl. Only the office was empty but for the gun hand.

“So Jackie can we talk about this?”

“Speare are you always an insufferable ass?”

It was a good question, but the switchblade in Speare’s hand was not a confidence builder. What was it from the Untouchables movie, about bringing a knife to a gun fight? Speare really needed to work on his thuggery networking one oh one. This life was so much easier when the crew was running together, before the breakdown, before Sax decided to sell books.

Before a girl turned up dead that haunted his dreams for who he reminded her of.

“Where is he?”

“Not here, and soon you will be not here as well.”

Speare shook his head. Shades was tightening her grip on the handle of the gun, he noted her finger tensing. Upside in Canada, legally the gun could only have nine rounds, with one in the chamber, unlike south of the border where expanded clips could carry 10s to 100s of rounds. But seriously, how many bullets did it take to end a discussion?

Speare looked into her reflective Ray bans. His mind flashed to the girl being loaded into the body bag. The girl’s face.

So familiar.

The name flashing into his mind.

Shades moves forward with the gun at ready.

“Who the fuck is Reesa?!”

The gun hits the ground…