Posts Tagged ‘Ancient Evil’


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.

 

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Pen spits out a spark of fire. Susan dive rolls, feeling every year and the time of being a mother reminding her she is not the teenage adventurer she once was. Back when Rick was of the brilliant gold armour, now she’s a mayoral candidate. Shotgun fires and the pellets vaporize as a metal gauntlet backhands the old scoundrel across the trailer.

The sword raises again swinging towards Susan’s carotid artery.

Things go swirly.

A leather gloved hand shoots under the sword arm grasping at the elbow and stops the sword mid-swing.

Susan let’s out a gasp.

It can’t be possible.  Susan thinks as she watches the new form that had stepped out of the swirling mists of the floor push the sword arm up and away.

A leather first delivers a quick jab between the chinks of the helmet and the armour, where there is a chain mail space to the throat causing the Knight to stumble back.

A steel toed combat boot sends a round house to the gauntleted sword hand. The sword that was/is known as Excalibur skitters out of the Bionic Knight’s hand and clambers to the ground. MacKay picks up his shotgun, reloads while the knew combatant has his former teammate staggered.

Susan pushes herself up and moves to where Excalibur landed.

It is legend that only the once and future king could lift the blade. But truly it is the one of pure of heart as well. Susan grips the ancient leather on the hilt.

The Bionic Knight looks at the new intruder. Green flame crackles from the eye slits.

The new fighter stands a bout a head and a half to two heads shorter than the armoured form. A slow exhale of breath, as the green flames crackle more around the armour. The breath begins to become visible as the temperature inside the “Ashram” begins to drop.

Zed gets up and stares at the two. He looks to MacKay who is bringing his shotgun up, but the immortal alien entity shakes his head. It would not work as well as the last time, or go worse than before.

Susan’s hand grips the hilt fully. It wasn’t possible what she was seeing before her eyes could not comprehend. How could they be separate?

But the more her eyes came into focus as she lifted the sword and looked at the two. She had lost faith he would find his way back from his quest…yet he had returned. Only changed. As any quest into the next life would do to a person.

But the strength he showed saving her life. Causing the PenDragon/Bionic Knight to drop his sword. The power all those years ago had chosen an adolescent who was meant to be, much like the sword in the stone centuries before had chosen an adolescent. Yet back then the absolute power had corrupted, and Camelot had fallen.

Yet here, the power had not corrupted. Despite every challenge laid before. That was at the core of the PenDragon cycle, there needed to be the ancient evil, and yet the ancient evil could not tear apart this friendship, and this love.

Even when the essence-archetype that had been Lancelot found its way into Rick’s long lost brother James, and led to the villainy of the Ionic Knight, in the end James found redemption and gave his life to save the universe.

It appeared the PenDragon-Arthur had finally been redeemed and that corruption would not come. But this last quest something had changed, for here in the trailer’s living room, the heart of the Ashram of Zed stood the corruption.

Pen hissed at the armoured figure as he landed on the shoulder of the other.

Susan lifted Excalibur and swung at the Knight.

The blade slammed hard across the chest plate.

The Knight screamed as the blade shattered and the chest plate cracked.

He dropped to one knee.

“I will destroy.” PenDragon said.

Susan dropped the broken sword as more green energy seeped out.

The intruder held up his arm.

She slipped under it.

There was a rattle from within the chest of the Knight.

The man that saved her life, his salt and pepper stubble. He lightly kissed the top of her head. “I love you Susan.”

“I know.” Susan said.

Rick Saturn let his arm slide down her back and squeeze her tight once more before stepping fully squared before the Bionic Knight/PenDragon/Arthur entity. Green energy swirled around. His leather gloves he used to straighten the old oil slick duster. It was interesting what clothes he wound up landing in the Ashram in at this moment.

Susan was the anchor that brought him back.

John knew he needed to come back to her, and to save the world from the ancient evil.

A quick scan of the room showed that the youngest members of the team where out, which meant they were more than likely in contact with the ancient evil that would be hunting tonight.

An evil he did not want to be reminded of that existed.

One that Zed had hidden the true essence of, but he was prepared for.

Check that, he had been prepared to face it as the Bionic Knight, but coming through the portal after the collapse of Camelot.

“Why are you outside of me?” Rick said.

The Knight gasped like a smoker’s death rattle. “You will die at my hand.”

“Possible, but let’s be honest it won’t be tonight. But why the wanting to kill me? And for the second ask, why the hell are we able to even fight?” Rick asked.

The Knight picked up the hilt with the broken sword, and looked at it. Green energy swirling as he struggled to be on one knee.

Rick looked down into the eye slits, the green energy had enveloped what ever creature truly existed within the armour. But the raspy voice emitted once more. “You defeated the ancient evil of Lancelot, but still you needed a quest so Camelot would collapse.” Rick thought it through, in the story it was Lancelot and Guinevere had been true love, the King was left out, to lie with his sister Morgan le Faye, and to produce Mordred who brought down Camelot.

Yet, it was the quest to bring back a hero this time that led to Camelot’s final demise in the multi-verse. “But Lancelot wasn’t ancient evil. He, with my brother, made the ultimate atonement sacrifice to save everything.”

The Knight roared. Confronted with a new twist it could not comprehend on an ancient story that should continue to play out. “And as for John, unlike your friend, he never stole my love.” Rick stopped, paused on the thought letting it hang in the air. “Guinevere was the seeker of power. It wasn’t Morgan, Mordred or Lancelot.” His mind kept racing. The ancient evil that came around reincarnating in new forms, Rick had always believed it came from the remnants of Mordred, or more precisely La Faye. But those were just chess pieces. What truly shattered Camelot was the lack of “an anchor.  You never had an anchor to bring you back, and the story kept playing itself over and over again.”

“No, you lie Rick Saturn.” The Bionic Knight said.

“No it is true. If you had truly seen what evil had ripped out the heart of Camelot originally you could have save Camelot and the world may have been different. Now we are at a new beginning and it needs to be different. Your queen was the one that absolute power corrupted absolutely, and she was the cause.”

“No. You die Rick Saturn.” The Knight screamed and lunged with the broken blade.

Rick side steps. Both his hands grip the helmet. He looks in the fluid motion right at Susan. “Remember I love you and I will be back.”

The helmet rips off and green flame envelops Rick and the Knight.

To be Continued….


He watches the duo that Shotgun, his old adversary, dubbed “Thunder and Lightning”- passionate kids that they are for this line of work. There were two other duos that had the names Thunder and Lightning. Legitimately it wasn’t a nick name to the first, but rather their pseudonyms in a Circus Freak Show that they used as their base of operations for committing crimes. Thunder was the bearded strong woman, Lightning was a mad scientist, she had turned herself literally into electricity. The man remembers his Dad sharing stories of battling them.

The other were young heroes like these two, run away caught up in adventures. Died far too young as a government used them on a message far to dangerous.

But the media had always dubbed the tandem of Johnny Power and Speedster with it. Confusing yes, but wasn’t the world of super heroes such.  These two had done good in their short careers. The man remembered the original Johnny Power that this one had replaced, they had shared many a beer after successful adventures, and saving the universe. This Speedsters grandfather and father he remembered fondly as well. A pretty good BBQ burger maker they were.

Now he watched as they staked out around the hunting ground. MacKay was attempting to keep them safe by giving them busy work. Unfortunately, the busy work had placed them on the hunting path. The ripples of energy were speaking to it. It was back.

He adjusted the kerchief around his face and fixed his fedora. His long trench coat billowed a bit in the wind as his feet floated off the asphalt. The air rippled with thunder, and literal lightning began flashing.  It is coming.

The man floated towards the two standing around the cathedral where the last victim was struck.  The night was falling, and the clubs were opening.

The hunt would begin.

These two would try their best but they are not fully trained, he needed to keep them in sight.

The red head fell behind her group of friends due to the heals she wore. If you could see as he saw, you would see the white teeth glittering from the shadows.

  • * * * * **

MacKay adjusted his worn beaver hide cowboy hat.  The silver highlights in Susan’s hair shimmered with the sheath lightening through the window the trailer dubbed the Ashram. Zed had disappeared into the back bedrooms.

Susan studied her old friend’s face. The crow’s feet were deeper, and the graying whiskers were more salt than pepper now. “This was easier when I was the one playing the villain.”

Susan looked at the haunting in the man’s green eyes. He wasn’t lying to anyone, he had been cast in the role of mentor for this new generation. Not the role he was comfortable in, the old villain turned hero still struggled with the code of villainy in his new reality. But without John and Rick, he was what they had. Hopefully J.P. and the Speedster were up to the challenge of battling the ancient evil.

Pen rested nuzzling her neck. “Probably was, but you wear the white hat well kemosabe.” Susan said. A creaking sound from the back room in the double wide. MacKay’s hand picks up his 12 gauge and he motions with his finger for quiet. He slowly pulls back the triggers. Zed had been levitating, he wouldn’t be creaking.

“Zed?!” MacKay shouts.

Door splinters and an ancient godling alien fly down the hallway with two simple words in a burst of lighting inside.

“Bionics On!”

To Be Continued….


Walt Longmire. Leichtman (Lie to Me); Sherlock (from Elementary); Sherlock (from Sherlock); Spenser; Jesse Stone; Rake and Patrick Jane (Mentalist) were his type of main characters.  Susan chuckled at the thought as she stood on the steps. She clearly stated he had a type, Rick would always deny it saying what is so similar about them all? She pointed to the A-hole with a golden heart scenario.

Every time before he had vanished, over the last few decades…five for sure the world thought he was dead.  Each time he claimed her as his lightning rod. The Lois Lane to his Superman (thanks to the New 52 there may be a generation that will never get that reference) or the Linda Park to his Wally West (Flash). Every time he spoke the simple mantra, Bionics On; or leapt into some social justice war zone (literal and figurative) for his life as a journalist.

Twins. Special needs. One income through a dying entity—the free press. Now conglomerated and shrinking, the City news room continually being shrunk. Yet Rick Saturn survived.

Until their Mayor died.

The mayor, John MacCurtis. Childhood friend. The three of them dubbed the Three Musketeers; the Scooby Gang of Canadian Super Heroics as she back benched the Bionic Knight and PinBall. Then later The Bionic Knight and Bionic Archer. Then de-powered Archer, sought a life, was married, had a child, a dog…ran for mayor. Revealed to the world the truth of who he was.

And won.

Stood over as the heroics turned dark.

Stood with the re-united Great Crime Fighters and revealed the PinBall was live again.

John MacCurtis.

Mayor. Possessed by an alien entity. Finally, freed. Died. Rick believed at his friend’s grave his spirit spoke to him unsettled.

Cashed in savings.
Took a leave of absence.

Rick began a quest to free his friend to eternal rest or new life.

Susan pushed the blue hair out of her eyes. Staring up at the steel and glass building that reflected sunlight. Fresh rain beaded off. News cameras always were around. Always a free podium. How John would use these vultures to get things done for the better.

Money had run out at home.

Interim mayor has been arrested on embezzlement charges.

Election time according to Municipalities act is stipulating the time for election is nigh after four years with no incumbents.

Rick promised he would return. Promised it would work out.

Now there was no musketeers.

Just her.

And a city that needed help.

Kids that needed a Mum with a job.

Susan wipes the tear from her eye. Chasing John’s ghost took her soul. “But I’ll be damned if he’ll take my love.”

Susan steps to an empty podium, pulls off the white sheet covering it from the rain. A reported looks at her, she nods. Taps a microphone to a burst of static.

More turn.

“Hello, my name is Susan Kobwash-Saturn. You knew my friend, John MacCurtis as a hero and your mayor. You read my husband in the Chronicle as he battled for what was right. Today I honour both of their lives. Today I look at our amazing city, and realize it is not the city that I grew up in. It is not the city that I want to continue to raise my daughters in. I could just leave, but that is not the answer. No. I want tmy city back. So today I take the first step in reclaiming this city for its citizens. Today I Susan Kobwash-Saturn, put the big money candidates on notice. Today I am running to be your mayor.”

In the far back in a lumber jack jacket with well worn wrangler jeans, a grizzled looking man with long salt and pepper hair watches the announcement. A sheep skin work glove takes a half smoke cigar from his mouth. His one good eye winks at the lady on the stage unknown to her. He lets out a guttural chuckle and ponders that fifteen years ago it was this spit fire that had driven the tip of a dagger through his left eye to save the life of the Bionic Knight and changed the course of his life from villain to hero.

William “Shotgun” MacKay tips his fedora as he walks away from the reporters shouting questions at someone he once wished dead who had become a friend. “Bout time ya lived your passion Susie.”

The Election Begins…

As the storm rolls back after dark…

As in a public plaza an woman watches a man.

A flash of steel.

A scream.

To Be Continued…