Posts Tagged ‘Bionic Archer’


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.

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

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

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

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some greasy spoon that had tanked, sipping bad coffee, sitting in a chair that is more duct tape than whatever it was originally made from.

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

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

“Sister Anne.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Speare hated the smell of closed up spaces. It didn’t matter if it was a dwelling place, a store or in this case a hyper classified government bunker for a team of supra’s doing black ops, they all broke down to the old man smell mixed with heavy amounts of dust, and the same thick layers of cobwebs.

This one also looked like it had been an extra set on Saving Private Ryan. Slick was jumpy with her hand resting on her glocs as they moved their way through what was the control room. John fumbled with a control panel cover to get at wiring.  Whatever had gone down here had also ended with the government not paying the power bill. He muttered under his breath about jump starting the power back up. Sparks, obviously in the dark illuminated by smart phone light John didn’t match the right colours.

Creaks. Skittering sounds. Speare knew it wouldn’t be rats, Alberta had a rat patrol that for the most part kept the province rat free, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t mice, voles, gophers, badgers or worse, skunks—not enough lemon juice in the world for the last one.

The sound of a vacuum wooshing. “How damn! Not bad for a colour blind mayor.” John MacCurtis exclaimed.

Colour blind? Speare shook his head as what was dubbed the control room came alive with light, the monitors were smashed, wires were dangling and sparking, one heck of a fire hazard is what this bunker had become. Not to mention dust bunny.

“What are you hoping to find boss man, this place has been scrubbed.” Slick said.

Speare tuned out the chit chat between boss and employee, as he noted there was a door slightly askew in the corner of 1100 square foot room. But that was just a guess off the top of his head as he moved to it. With all the stainless steel looking like something out of Star Trek, and the Tesla coils he was sure Minion from Megamind would state were from a dealer in Switzerland…

A wooden closet door. It was stuck. Speare pulled on the door knob and the whole door came ff the hinges, a thud before he could brace himself dust and cleaning supplies, mops, and brooms falling out and then a solid 200 lbs of dead weight slammed into his chest and knocked him to the ground.

Dead skin flaked off across Speare’s bald had and caught in his stubble as the body’s head bounced off his. Two bullets landed square into the now empty closet, Slick was in a squawt with both guns drawn and fired.

MacCurtis leapt over broken furniture and moved the corner. He heaved the body off of Speare and let out a gasp.

“Oh shit.”

Speare took a moment to regain his senses and brush the dead skin and body dust off as he slowly rose up and looked at what had hit him. It was a male, more mummified than decomposed, let appeared as if it had some of the skin flayed from his back. His face was deformed.

“A guard?”

“Good guess Speare, but no. After the last stand here when I exorcised the entity from me, the government came through, collected the dead, took other causalities to the hospitals and debriefed the living. The bunker was sealed and the program closed.” MacCurtis stated.

“So this body came in after sealing?” Speare asked.

Slick holstered her weapons like a gunfighter out of an American western Dime Novel and walked over to where the body was found.  “Know this Mummy boss?”

John looked at the mummified scarred face.

“Reesa,  I will always love you.” Daemon said stealing a quick kiss before tearing out into the desert in a dune buggy. The girl laughed as Malcolm, the large albino, fired the gun from the top, she slightly used her telepathy to push people’s mind to confusion.

Daemon, her love, met at the house ran by MacCurtis. He had been saved from a fire that his addict mother could not be, he still bore the scars. But the flames also gave him something else that night.

A large fence door loomed, that crackle in the corner of his good right eye.

A bolt of lightning and outwards to freedom from the camp.

John knelt down, crossed himself, it had been years since he had attended a Mass, but it seemed appropriate to begin his own reconciliation work with this piece with his past. He then placed his thumb on the dead boy’s forehead, and drew a cross on his forehead, his lips, and the chest where the heart would be.

Speare watched the scene. The religiosity of it all, MacCurtis was seeking redemption in this process, it was why he had sent the Bionic Knight away. But how does one claim redemption from a time when they were possessed by an extraterrestrial entity? His body, possibly his mind, but did he have culpability for actions?

A group of adolescents to young adults used for essentially suicide missions by his own government. Somehow they survived, when one didn’t it fell apart. This bunker was destroyed during MacCurtis’ exorcism, but after sealing the bunker someone killed this mummy and left them here as a message.

“John, who is it?” Speare asked.

John looked at this detective who had been brought into some of the darkest parts of his soul. Pieces he never wanted to think about, parts he wanted to remain dead. A detective that was friends with one of the kids, the Martyrs. Yet they had survived and moved beyond what Thor had attempted to do.

“His name is Daemon, no one knew his last name. Like all the Martyrs he was found in the system, and brought to the house to be trained and used. He was alive at exorcism, and after.  He was Reesa’s boyfriend.” MacCurtis said. Speare was not sure if that was a tear of sorrow or just the build-up of dust.

“So then the next obvious question—how the hell did he wind up dead in here after it was sealed?”

“By Jove Slick I do believe we will make a detective out of your thugness yet.” Speare retorted.

The air felt like it crackled around them. Another mysterious body, thunder rumbled over her. Speare looked at John, “who exorcised Thor from you?”

 

 


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…


  1. That was the number that was splashed across television, social media, news media, and break ins on radio stations across the country, but centred in Calgary, AB. It was where PenDragon’s death toll of criminals was halted by his latest “villain”. The talking heads came out of the woodwork to dialogue on the loss of heroism, and what ifs the fourth wave of heroes had stayed around to train the new violent ones would the outcome have been different yesterday.

Rick scratches the greying stubble around his chin as he looked down at the Metro headline, the image of the electricity tearing through the darkness. The form in the middle of it was familiar, and sent a cold chill up and down his spine as he awaited his c-train. The Chinook was turning the roads to slush puppies, and creating a mixture of slush/ice around the sidewalks creating treacherousness for the average pedestrian.

The follow up of the story stated that City Council would be holding a press conference about the downtown incident and what their response was to be. Mayor MacCurtis was not standing for this level of violence any more was the vibe being given off. Rick had to chuckle, how long had it been since they had stood side by side saving the world, and now here John was running the city, and no one was the wiser as to where he had come from. John had been a local Guidance Counsellor in a S.E. high school when he tossed his hat into the ring to be mayor.

Two years into a four year term was when PenDragon emerged. One year in, and 226 alleged criminals had been executed by this supposed hero. The citizens of Calgary were split much on this new breed of hero that had emerged five years after the fourth wave went silent, they were more violent, took no prisoners, and yet the world did not feel safer with the darker world view.

Maybe Rick would go by city hall on his way into work at the college to hear the news conference, how long had it been since he had talked to John? Four years? Three? Time was slipping away from them, especially since he technically was Rick’s kids’ godfather. How things had gone sideways between Rick & Susan and John & Nathan.

But it was when the cancer struck Nathan, it was progressive and fast moving, in less than six months his life was claimed, and then the scandal of money laundering hit city hall and the incumbents were all jailed. The John coming through his grief made the decision to run, and work from his secret identity. He knew he could have just disclosed who he was, but was fearful then with the new technology of the other’s being revealed, always a team player, and now the sidekick was the leader.

John MacCurtis stood at the podium as the cool and warming Chinook wind blew through at Olympic Plaza. A brick structure in the middle of a park down town Calgary across from City Hall. It was created for giving out the medals during the 1988 winter Olympics, had hosted Stanley Cup, NLL Championship and Grey Cup celebrations, and in the summer was a splash park and the winter an ice rink. John had chosen this location for the press conference as a rally point for the city.

Rick watched as John ascended to the podium, the slow breath into the microphone to ensure it was on. The John started. “Yesterday, the horror that was unstoppable within our city was ended. PenDragon is gone; now all that remains is to bring his murderer to justice. The mysterious armoured man is wanted; our Chief of Police has just released a Canada wide warrant for this unknown Supra.”

John started fielding questions. Rick scratched his brow as he walked away from the conference, but then the air crackled. An all too familiar sound as the hairs on the back of his neck stood up. It couldn’t be. Pundits were saying it was, but Rick did not want to believe the news. “He’s supposed to be imprisoned.” A mystical imprisonment of inescapable means if you will.

John’s eyes move from the reporter’s to the sky. Rick notes the crinkling in the eye. His former partner knows who it is as well. A loud boom as the shimmering silver armoured figure touches down in the centre of the swarm of people, knocking civilians over.  Rick steps back and gasps as the red eyes sweep, and he feels the energy given off, the hilt of the sword. Rick whispers, “My brother.”

John grips the podium a bit tighter. His mind flashes back to his sock drawer at home, where the mystical ring is. A lifetime ago when he put it there, and Nathan and him decided it was time to have a life that did not involve him risking his life, first as the teen sidekick PinBall, but then earning his own stripes with the sorcerer Merlin, and becoming the Bionic Archer.

A full partner to stand beside his best friend, Rick Saturn, who Merlin had called in his adolescence to become the Bionic Knight, a mystical science reincarnation of Arthur Pendragon to defend the world. It was a time of fun, adventure and magic. Mordred, Arthur’s son with his sister Morgan le Faye had reincarnated thanks to Merlin’s student, Gerklyn, and was a mix of mystical science known as…

“Ionic Knight.” John MacCurtis, Mayor of Calgary, captain obvious, said. The red eyes flash to the podium, the air crackles with red energy as John dives out of the way, and the stage erupts in fire and debris.

The police draw their weapons as the armoured form advances towards John. The mechanical voice speaks. “I claim this city.”

John brushes ash off his clothes and stares at the villain. “You and what army chump?”

The Ionic Knight’s sword clears its sheath and arcs towards John.

Rick thumbs his wedding band; his hand traces the Welsh words of incantation. The world did not want heroes, they came to speak that PenDragon’s way was what they wanted. Not the adventure and challenge. He slowly rolls the ring as he watches the sword arc out and up, it begins to slow down in his mind. John had put the ring away completely stating the power held within was too much for anyone to wield. The Supra’s had to step out of the limelight and let humanity choose their own path. The magic, the mysticism, the science, and the weird UFOology sky effect that had created the fourth wave had to be given up.

All this rolled through Rick’s mind at a rapid pace. If he was to do this to save his friend, it would open up the chasm again. Yet, it would save a life.

That is what the choice came down to. Two simple words and the world could be better or worse, but that is the challenge of free will.

Rick steps forward, “…”

To Be Continued

Next: Does John Live? Is a hero reborn? What do these choices hold for a new era in heroism?