Posts Tagged ‘Bionic Knight’

Prologue

Posted: May 28, 2021 by Ty in Bionic Knight Pulps
Tags: , , ,

The innocuous coin was in a non-descript grey plastic grocery bag, on a bottom shelf, shoved away in the cob webbed storeroom of the 1970’s era split level family home. The chains holding the shelving up were beginning to sag a bit with time. The house was next to what had once been known as the ashram, a simple trailer co-op that had been used as the base of operations for a superhero conclave. After the last of the heroes had vanished, the municipal council had passed a motion to annex the land to build a new multi-purpose housing development, the long boarded up split level, rotting away in the slow death of abandonment on the fog rolling space, was also part of the plan. It is where the new green space and universal designed playground was to go.

Long ago, implosion had been taken off the table, the house would be collapsed upon itself with all contents to simply be plowed over and paved. It was a plan many municipalities had used to repurpose landfill sites in time, to build malls. It was a sound plan; the multi-purpose affordable housing project was part of the land developer’s redemption strategy. Many did not know who this shadow player was, they played their identity close to the vest.

They could not explain what brought them to remove the plywood from the door frame and enter the dust covered house. Even though it was so close to the hero commune, it had been a squatter’s paradise, overrun with mice and insects. Their expensive loafers crunched on the scurrying insects that to the untrained eye appeared as carpet. Moving his pen light to shine upwards the ceiling appeared to be moving due to the high level of infestation. Their eyes scanned the stair way up, though the low drum beat in their ear stopped them from ascending. At the landing they looked down the staircase, on the right and left there was doorways at the bottom. This weird thrumming beat in their ears reminded them of the ear infections they had as a child. Something was guiding them.

The light shone downwards, was that squirrels? The kind introduced to the city that run amuck as too many folks thought they were cute and fed them. Ruffling of feathers, obviously between the influx of woodpeckers in the area, and pigeons, that roosting had begun inside.

The descent, the stairs creaked. The abandonment, and more likely leaks and possible floods over time with some broken windows exposing to elements had done structural damage. They shifted uncomfortably in the expensive designer suit, an ox blood colour with subtle pinstripes, double breasted. They pulled on their tie to loosen the not. The thrumming was louder in their ear, they pushed back the short brim fedora a little. From an inside pocket, pulled on a pair of black leather gloves. The thrumming dulled a little when the looked to the right doorway, so they went through the left, a rotting family room with broken furniture, stepping on mice remnants, a right turn brought them into a laundry room. The mildew and mold from a burst hot water tank, a cannibalized furnace out of the peripheral, about eight feet in a left turn.

The pen light beam cut through the thick dust and cobwebs onto the rotting wooden shelves. Was that a skunk huddling in the corner? No movement, if it was, it had long since expired. The penlight scanned ripped open debris, and remnants of a family’s life heirlooms. A father, wife, and children. The light fell on a picture that had a young married couple; a heart drawn with Rick loves Susie. Their footsteps on what they think is a sheet, they squat and look closer, it’s a ripped tapestry, an image of a dragon and a knight pulling forth a sword from a stone.

A crack of thunder outside. Rain was coming. Too often the city felt like it was England or a bad Sherlock Holmes novel. The light beam glances on the shelf, the plastic bag. They walked up to it. An old journal falls off the shelf when they grab at the bag. They glance the flashlight off an entry.

May not have passed that psyc test to the best of my ability. Taking the ancient languages is tripping me out, but the push for funds having me re-look at where to go in university. Thankful to pick up writing gigs. The pain though, is that they are back. Why does society always pick up moment from the darkest elements and sidelines hope? Final’s week is not the time for a new killer mystery, maybe an old standard bearer like Killer Face or Ripper, really do not need a new BK rogue.

They smirk. Really? Their light goes back to the picture. “All these years, and your name was Rick?” They chuckle, the thrumming is louder, so much that they are not able to focus. They lift the bag, it bursts, coins and old paper money fall over.

It lands on top of their loafer. An oxidizing Canadian penny, glowing slightly.

                “A green flame?”

Lightning crackles outside the window.

                The cracked picture frame of the wedding picture bursts outward.

A piece of glass slices through their suit, a bit of blood drops on the floor.

As the thrumming becomes a word.

PenDragon.

To Be Continued…


The black gauntleted hand smashed hard into her golden helm, the Bionic Knight was reeling. She had not had a throw down challenge of someone as strong or stronger than her in her short career. Beth Venus shook her head hoping the com-link had remained in. Retired Constable Sean James was in the old F-150 200 million K white pick up relaying best he could from the tracking off a tablet. Their van had been stolen and torched.

Pastor Lee Jacobs was next to him. Sean had used his previous undercover guise of Sean Williams to track the stolen van to a crew of thugs attempting to re-ignite the spree killing hate group inspired by the departed villain- Killer Face. The six were easy to incapacitate, and drop a line to the police for round up. As Beth took flight to leave the ware house imploded and the black armoured figure streaked through the night air and in a burst of blue flame energy his fist met with her face.

“B.K., duck and weave girl.” Sean said.

“That’s what you got for me?” Beth said as she tried to shake her mind back to reality and track the black armoured  figure against the night sky. The new style street lights city council brought on were supposed to reduce fake light pollution to allow the stars to light the night. They failed horribly a few decades back not purchasing the shade as an “austerity cost saving measure”, so you were not only left with enough light pollution to block out the stars, you were also left with not enough light to illuminate the roads.

She ran a golden gauntleted hand down her helm, she felt the green energy through a crack. The dude had cracked her armour. How was that possible?

Lee slipped on a pair of night vision goggles to track the fight. For some reason in his mind he was running through the Norse Myth of the Mistletoe. A legend of under-estimating what horrors an innocuous plant could cause. Word had come down that Baldur was to die, the Gods got everything in the world to promise not to harm him, but had forgotten the innocent looking Mistletoe. They created a game, of hurling things at Baldur and seeing them bounce off, his brother, though blind and left out, was found by that trickster Loki, and encouraged to participate. See Loki had spoke with the Mistletoe, who also felt left out. It was the Mistletoe that Loki placed in Baldur’s brother’s hand to throw…and fatality ensued.

Death due to surprise. Not thinking beyond what was presented. The literal. The trickster mind. “Sean, look closer at that armour. Remind you…”

“The Ionic Knight.” Sean said. Lee knew, they both knew, the Ionic Knight had been the original Bionic Knight’s ultimate nemesis. Powered by the magics that had wanted to destroy Camelot…that being Morgan La Faye and Mordred, that which corrupted Lancelot. The original Ionic Knight had been the original Bionic Knight’s twin brother. Yet, Beth’s brother was dead.

The mystery of who was a problem to solve later. The first thing to solve was how their girl was going to survive.

“Mistletoe.” Lee said.

Sean looks at his friend. “You feeling the need to kiss strangers?”

Lee shook his head and grabbed the com from Sean. “B.K. draw him in close, then power down and up rapidly.” Mistletoe took Baldur and the Gods by surprise. This new player was underestimating the rookie hero in how he was manhandling her.

Lee heard B.K. gurgle as a choke hold was placed around her neck, and the black sword known as Chivalry was drawn by her opponent. It was shifting from long sword to dagger. He was going to shiv her through the chink in her armour, and then grow killing her. The original Ionic Knight had been redeemed by giving his life to save the world. This one was out for blood. “He’ll kill me if I do.” was choked through the com. Lee got the child’s worry, but it was the hail Mary that was needed. It was what St. Jude’s did on a regular.

“For your life… Please…Beth.” Lee said.

The tip of the black magic dagger Beth felt it cut through her chain mail and break skin. Her hear was groggy from the lack of oxygen flow. Spotlight from a news helicopter and a police helicopter.

“bionic off.”

Green and blue energy explode around the two fighting armoured figures.

A blood tipped dagger explodes to full length…

Armour pieces fly away into the night…


The bluster of winter trying to interrupt fall (or autumnal weather as some wanker has dubbed it). It is made worse by the deluge of media attempting to create stories from non-stories, and not actually doing their job as journalists and challenging the off setting narrative that oil and profits mean more than the planet and people. Some would say we live in a regressive province, but then they would be right. Melanie Moon, fastened the cincture around her purple and gray academic robe denoting her Master of Social Work. St. Jude’s was in the alternative Anglo-catholic tradition (usually seen as anti-many human rights, St. Jude’s established and flourished by embracing the beautiful Imageo Dei that other traditions refused to), and did like the smells and bells vestments. She pulled the diaconal stole (a diagonal stole, sewed at the bottom, bright red) denoting her ministerial office of education, social work and care.

Retired-Constable Sean James stepped into the Sacristry to check on the associate pastor of St. Jude’s. “Ready, Mel?” Melanie Moon, retired-MLA, last Social Credit of Alberta MLA. She had shared her journey in Alberta, to run and win was the impossible task to then lose the party she served under to become an Anti-Abortion group that could have names on the ballot sickened her. She was a believer, but was not sucked into the fog and entrenchment issues. That being things like anti-LGBTTQ+, passive to active ableism through “healing prayers”; and anti-abortion.

“Ready, Sean. But seriously as a deacon I’m pretty sure I am not supposed to be serving the Eucharist.”

Sean laughed, “what about St. Jude’s screams we follow typical convention? The Eucharist is about hope, about family together, all those that Jesus’ society said were not worthy, or less than, being there and being worthy, and the beloved image that we were created in and called very good and blessed.” Mel stared blankly at Sean. “Lee figured you may want to freeze up on your first solo show he gave me a cue card.” Sean holds up the lined piece of card board.

Mel laughed. Yes, Lee, was a former journalist turned priest. St. Jude’s took the risk to take her on as an associate after she chose not to run again in what was probably the dirtiest and most corrupt Alberta election on record. She spent time discussing with Lee the writings of Nouwen, Day, Fox, Spong, Ragan, Aberhart, Borg, to name but a few and it was through this he asked her to take a risk.

Mel did. The MLA’s in Alberta may not have a platinum pension like other provinces or the Federal or Civic elected, but there was a nice severance package that would float her while St. Jude’s trusted to raise the funds for her role. Sean checked his smart phone and chuckled. “Lee checking in to make sure you’re doing okay.”

Mel laughed, “isn’t he supposed to be chaperoning Beth’s school camp trip?” Ah band camp, they needed parent-guardian volunteers, Sean, Mel and Lee drew straws, long one went. Beth Venus, the most powerful magical hero in the world, The Bionic Knight, was also a fifteen year old high schooler. Since they had issues with the government chronic under-funding of public schools and forcing parents to work Casinos, Bingo’s and rely on the Lotto Fund (which the latest Alberta Budget revoked) for funds… it was preying on vice, and addiction…an addiction that had no outwards signs until complete devastation of the person if they could not get help ala a small T financial trustee, or worst case, suicide after losing all connecting points in society.

The words flowed through Moon from the altar, using a Franciscan Eucharist. Some state that a Eucharist is rote prayers and creeds that have no meaning, these are those that engage out of tradition, and this is just what we do on Sunday mornings, with no ripple effect into the other 6 days and 22 hours of life. But for those that it had the effect on, it was a frame work, like a coat hanger to hang your coat of life on.

Mel opened up her sermon from the opening words of Mark, “the Kingdom is near. It is the thin space our Celtic Ancestors spoke of, that our Indigenous Brothers and Sisters know, and each of us pick up on the moment by moment breaths of miraculous life that is by no ways structured, catechized, or templated for us…” she continued, as the words of wisdom spilled from her lips.

The words of the Gospel, the political statement of personal and communal life change to bring the Kingdom here…not a seeking after political power, or entrenching us versus them mentality that some saw in extremist groups like the dying Dominionist Movement, or other religious extremes…extremes that draw in all shades of Christians James knew, because you just got tired of being unwelcome, bashed, and battered…and these groups provided an ease of welcome and acceptance that centrists, progressives and pragmatists could learn from. Sadly it is easier to stay silent on that which you disagree with to actually belong, see belonging closes the space in the thin space.

“It is up to us if we create belonging in hate, power and love of money… so the Sacred Holy is closed to us for ever…or the thin space is closer and closing because it is found in hope, mystery, joy, peace… and Love…”

“Let us come to the table…”

Lee looked down at the text in with the picture of Mel serving the Eucharist from the altar at St. Jude’s. A smile crept over his lips.

Beth’s rainbow pixie popped out of the cabin. “Hey old man…did you get the text?”

“Of Mel?”

Beth cleared the twenty feet from the cabin to fire pit quickly. “No, from the BBC.” Tsunami in bound to a pacific island.

Lee laughed. “Be quick.”

“Always.” She ducked into the trees, as two words escaped her lips with a flash of white lightning…

“Bionics On!”

A new era launches…


Many were calling for Bobbi’s head. Canada does not have a death penalty, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t raised many times in regards to gun crimes. It was hard to progress with charges when the victim was non-co-operative, he asked for the possibility with the Crown Prosecutor for a house arrest style situation at St. Jude’s that would allow Bobbi to complete school, and work off compensation as a janitor.

Jacobs pressed the button to raise his bed up so he could look out the window with his one good eye.  He watched the armoured figured fly across. Grinned slightly. The bullet had shattered his left eye and knocked him on his butt. Bobbi had attempted to save him, who knew there would be a supernatural intervention so love could overcome hate. His fingers traced the eye patch, he could add pirate to his job list.

Fidgeting in the uncomfortable office chair was retired constable, Sean James. “Many thought you were a goner.”

Jacobs laughed. “Can’t be that morose and dark all the time, sometimes a new beginning means literally that.”

“She’s settling in well.” James said, while picking at a band aid on the back of his hand.

“But can we afford her?” Jacobs already new what his head Elder thought, finances was his concern. Lee never worried about those, he always stood by the flow method, if he created space for the need it would flow in. “Melanie Moon will be an excellent Co-Minister of St. Jude’s.” She had stood the line, the people trusted her. It made sense, and was a good transition from her work after the election of chaos and hate.

James just shook his head and grinned. If he wanted to be an elder at a church that was easy on the ulcer he would’ve joined a United one that y’know actually panicked about things as nickles and dimes in offering plates as opposed to jumping in head first. “Ashram has been bulldozed.” James said. “Break ground on the retired agent residence, will also have a side door working with the agency for any Supras and their spouses.” Jacobs nodded, a residence with on sight psychologists 7 days a week in their on-site medical clinic.  Surprisingly the idea had come from Beth Venus, who was now living in a room in the newly rebuild Manse of St. Jude. Having seen what happened to the old guard, she wanted something better. Since Speedster had left her the property, James worked with her to create the design.

“How’s Bobbi?” Jacobs asked. The boy had not come to see him since he had been loaded into the ambulance. He was worried for him.

James moved from the chair and walked towards the door, the other 3 beds in the room were still empty. He opened the door and stepped out. Jacobs heard some talking before walking back in with Bobbi. The lad locked eyes on Jacobs good eye.

“Father Jacobs I am soo—”

Jacobs interrupted. “Don’t apologize. You tried to save lives. You are working off your debt. I hold no debt or reason for forgiveness over you.” Jacobs waited a few beats as this boy looked stunned. Even after the few years at St. Jude’s, he was not used to compassion in response to what would appear against the grain. Or missing the mark.

“Bobbi, friends?”

Jacobs extends his hand to Bobbi. A shaking teenage hand takes the one with i.v. lines in the back of it.

One Enigmatic Tale Ends

Others await to be told.


Beth nods to Moon, a trench coated figure moving in the far back with a ball cap pulled down. Retired Constable Sean James followed the gaze, he knew security was good and would get the individual. Due to the dress looked very androgenous, but they had rounded up many that had decided to cause a ruckus.

Jacobs was in Jacobs form. The Holy Spirit was moving through him, Beth thinks as she continues to scan the crowd. She chuckled at the thought. This old broken down writer turned preacher she knew very little about who looked her in the eye when she was in the Bionic Knight armour and said no to her offer of help. Now today he was holding a parking lot Mass of Hope he called it. The Open Table of Love. It sounded corny as it went through her mind, but the corn bread was real.

Another break out of campfire hymn singing. As it quiets down, Jacobs picks up the bread “On the night he was betrayed, betrayed out of fear and hate for change, for the old ways dying away. For those oppressive powers and control authorities realizing they needed to release and let go and let come the new Holy Love. Jesus took bread and broke it. This is the bread of hope.” As if on cue lunch bags, snacks, you name it started coming out, and a potluck smorg was shared with all. It was St. Jude’s way. Communion was not just a simple piece of bread it was eating, like the feeding of the masses miracle. Jacobs handed the bread to Moon and James who let it out to the crowd, as well as the baskets of sandwiches.

Moon smiled as she watched the bread and food move into the crowd. The other reason St. Jude’s was so relevant and real, as she had begun to understand as the area MLA (Member of Legislative Assembly) wasn’t because of some Platonic, Metaphysical or Western-Constantinian Theology…it was simple love through ensuring folks could get to treatment, medical appointments, kids were cared for, and when months were tight in the socio-economically diverse area bills were covered and food was in pantries. She had once asked Jacobs to see a budget sheet, he burst out laughing and said, “Talk to Elder James, he gets heart palpitations at least 8 times a day with how that thing is bent, broken and abused.” When she pushed on how they still survived.

He gave this grin with a chuckle. It wasn’t cockiness. It was a depth of humility. It was the type of look when he locked eyes on you that you truly believed it was all going to be alright and the good would win. “Because we give.” It made no sense to her political mind, or her basic undergrad economics mind, yet here was the result. The more they gave the more…they had in tangible and intangible ways. Almost like there truly is enough for everyone in the world.

He nodded to Beth Venus. The next part. “Then he took the cup, knowing that his blood was about to be spilled. That he was to lose his life for simply sharing the story of Holy Love and belonging. This is the cup of promise. Drink and be at the table together as family.” Beth got volunteers to begin rolling out coolers with juice, pop and water to share.

Sean James admitted Jacobs has driven him batty the entire time he has known him, from his reporter days forward.  James also knew if he did something it was with conviction and belief of actually helping people. His eyes watched the crowd reacting. Lee held that through love you dissolved hate. James thought he was nuts, and said “I told you so.” After St. Jude’s bombing and as the crowd’s gathered today.

It had looked like it was going to snow, but it had held off.

And now what he was seeing.

She noted tears in people’s eyes at the simple acts. Those in hate garb, some let it drop off as they made eye contact for the food. Simple, kindness.

Moon, James, and Venus note the trench coat drop off, the yellow vest, the cap off…

The costume underneath.

She was already vibrating wanting to dodge at super speed towards Jacobs. Beth could hear her words through magic vibration. “this life took my Johnny.” She had known her friend was hurting. But had been improving, and had entered this place of what Venus believed was contentment. Looking at the situation now it was resignation of having a plan on a place to misdirect her anger and denial.

She had promised no powers.

But here was the Speedster flying towards Jacobs ready to tear him to pieces.

An audible…

“johnny”

“Go now in Holy Love of the Creator, the blessing of Brother Jesus, and the Family of the Holy Spirit. Go. Embrace. Simply say, I love you.”

As a yellow vest falls into the crowd and vanishes.

The pop shattered the moment.


There is ancient Celtic myths around Leprechauns and their gold. Modern cerealogy tells us that luck is in charms. Meanwhile the sanitized celebration for a genocidal maniac, St. Patrick’s Day has us dying things green, and talking about chasing rainbows to their tails anchored in pots of gold.

Rainbows.

“I hate colour.” Lee Jacobs said. All he wanted was a deep sleep, the kind where you awake well rested and do not recall your dreams. What he got instead was  a mystical experience from a super-hero and a former mayor with their kids that many presumed missing, assumed dead.

“Mr. Jacobs, this is Camelot.” one of the children said. His mother hugged him and her sister close.

“What is left of Camelot. It is a pocketverse in the multi-verse.” Susan Kobwash said. Former mayor, adventurer with the Great Crime Fighters, and wife to Rick Saturn, the (original) Bionic Knight. “There is some literal truth in each myth or legend that goes with the eternal truth.”

Lee scratched his head, looking at the man in the golden armour, with the balding head. More salt that pepper in his beard as he locked tired eyes with Jacobs. What Lee had seen before entering the rainbow of the man with tremors was no more, just weary with some tears in his eyes. “Bionic Knight?”

“Not anymore. I hold the PenDragon magic, but Beth Venus is the new Bionic Knight of earth.” Rick said. Lee nodded, it already confirmed a heavy suspicion he had about the young lady, and gave him some pride that she had heard his words about battling hate without super powers that she would return to him in her secret identity to continue the fight. “I’m simply Rick.”

Lee nodded, as Rick and Susan went on to share what brought them to Camelot at the end of the Rainbow bridge. The piece of the multi-verse between all the other realms. What ancient philosophers, mystics and theologians had termed such as Hades, Purgatory or Limbo…a place of nowhere and everywhere all at once. They had been healing from the psychogenic non-epileptic seizures and chronic pain the decades of heroics had brought into Rick’s system as a result of his a-typical Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Susan and the kids had chosen to come to Camelot, much like the Fantastic Four was a family that shared adventures, so they chose to share adventures. Healing of all the traumas and vicarious traumas were on the board.

“So this is some mystical Big TOE type Post Traumatic Growth?” Lee said. (writer’s note: Big TOE is a metaphysical-quantum physics terminology for Big Theory of Everything).

(Also writer’s note Post Traumatic Growth, also known as PTG, is the phase of life after healing through PTSD where one can be known to come into a spiritual awakening).

Rick smirked.

“Yes, we are moving through the pain and the hurt to the new reality. The four of us are Camelot, and enjoying exploring all the other realities and the relationships that are we are coming into.” Susan said.

“Wait, you are Camelot?” Lee quizzled.

“Yes, the last of the PenDragon energy has allowed us to become Camelot that which was thought destroyed with my friend John MacCurtis when he stopped the evil alien god, Thor. We can slide through dimensions and universes using the Rainbow. We are finally home and at peace.” Rick said.

Lee got the hint behind it. Everyone kept talking about the “real” Bionic Knight returning to put things right. To save the world once more. Rick was closing that door, and he brought it to… “Why me?”

“Lee, I have grown up with you, seen what you do, and know people listen to you. Take the message home that we are no more, let the nation grieve and heal. Let them accept the new.” Rick said. He extended his hand. Lee shook it. “The Great Crime Fighters are yours. A new team, a new family if you will for old threats, but the wisdom beats in your heart.”

“Wait…I…”

The colours vanished.

The trailer’s laminate was all to real as Lee bounced his face off of it having fallen off the couch. Not really how he enjoyed mystical experiences ending, though it wasn’t like he had a lot of experience with them.

The sermon for Sunday was in his heart now. He clicked open his phone and dialed MLA Moon, here’s hoping with the election call looming she may still be able to swing a feed of the Sunday message to bring out the good grieving a country, a province, a city needed to embrace the new.

Meanwhile…

Louie Regis, former agent of Canada’s Supra Agency, who wrestles with his own typical PTSD that results in flashbacks, depression and anxiety spells. Today was a good day. He hadn’t had many before retirement, or since he had this feeling to track down MacKay to only discover his old friend dead, and a new batch of yahoos playing hero.

Regis finished what was left of his beer in the run down bar. His trusty snub nose .38 still in a shoulder holster under his rumpled suit. It was a controlled fire arm, and he was not supposed to be carrying it. But Louie had seen, and been involved with enough things to know the necessity of protection in a weird world.

Sliding from the stool, his worn loafers stuck a little to the pitty plank wood as he moved to the stain glass door and stepped out into the night air. Funny enough an avowed atheist, that he was off to church the next morning to hear what the big deal was with this Father Lee Jacobs, and the importance of rebuilding some parish always on financial life support (St. Jude’s).

The six beers were not sitting so well with him with the crisp night air, and light fog as he walked down the road to sleep it off in old hatch back. He had grown accustomed to sleeping in his agent days and as such when travelling never bothered with hotels or motels. Louie just cleaned up at truck stops.

“Loouiee!”

Regis turned to his name…

The arrow sliced through his left eye and out the back of this head sending brain and bone pieces…

 


A few episodes of Letterkenney, which for anyone that has ever existed in a small town the humour just ran deeper, then attempting to get comfortable on the couch as a breeze seeped in through the plywood covered window. More than likely some bullet holes had been missed from the craziness of a night ago. Jacobs could feel stress leaving his system as he silently recited the Serenity Prayer to calm his body.

Image result for serenity prayer

He then moved himself through a mindfulness of a body check in. Moving slowly through his muscles, seeking out the physical sensations which was easy– pain and weariness. The emotions that he was feeling of anger, grieving in sorrow and the thoughts.

Thoughts he had built walls around, because in the thoughts was the memories.

No one wanted to go through to the memories, it is how he had stayed sane throughout his life, and his loss of his lightning rod…Alexis and their bundle of joy. One day he would break through the walls, and deal with it.

Thankful sleep came… Jacobs eyes fluttered rapidly, he felt the room become bathed in rainbow light. Rainbows– the ancient myth from the Hebrew Bible after the Flood, YHWH placed the bow in the sky to promise not to destroy us all again.

Yet today here was the bow inside his trailer. Not his trailer the dead man’s, MacKay, Regis had pointed out that he had been a redeemed supra hitman that had lost a child. Talk about a cursed trailer to move in once the haters had bombed St. Jude’s, the spiritual community for the lost causes.

The bearded man was back. The rainbows flashed across Jacobs face. Something so familiar. Norse myths run through his mind, the Rainbow Bridge connecting realms…

Those brown eyes. The scars, the salty beard. A tremor in the left arm. His golden armour, yet dulled.

“Bionic Knight?” It’s a question, it should’ve been a statement.

The face speaks again…”Camelot”

As the trailer explodes in rainbow light…


Image result for DC Comics Heroes in CrisisYesterday it finally arrived, Tom King and Clay Mann’s first issue of DC Comics’ next big event- Heroes in Crisis. Yes, another crisis arrives at the DC Universe (a title tagged onto big events since the end of the original multi-verse in the 80’s Crisis on Infinite Earths). This crisis brings the real to our fictional heroes, and perhaps demystifies and removes stigma– for it is set in a place called Sanctuary Trauma Centre.

You read that right. A place for Super Heroes to go to deal with the mental chakra sludge of life. I also hear there is a murder mystery (as you can see, I have yet to pick up, but it is on the read list).

It hits home, as readers know my Bionic Knight Pulps have been taking the Great Crime Fighters through a similar loop  as complex post traumatic stress disorder set in on the big three remaining in that universe. That being Rick Saturn, The Original Bionic Knight; William “Shotgun” MacKay; and Supra Agent Louis Regis. Three characters that have been travelling within my stories from the perspective of Rick for 33 years; Shotgun about 30 years and Regis, 14 years. Many adventures, many times when the old model of they are heroes doing heroic things, so it does not wear one down. Much like our world still looks at many, including charity workers who have rising rates of C-PTSD yet help falls through the cracks because the industry and individuals have a troubling time wrestling with it, but also when help is sought it is wait listed. This is due to the repercussions of Klein’s Third Way of health care having gutted what should have been on track by this point to be where European health care is, that being holistic and multi-pronged at once, not triage one symptom while forgetting or putting off the others.

In the Alberta system some choices can be removed due to heavy stigma, waitlists, or simply being constantly bombarded by the unhealthy Americanization of our heart-thought patterns to simply “buck up” or “white knuckle through” for it is all simply in your head.

That is what led to (spoilers ahead) the three outcomes for our long term heroes. One with their family vanishes without a trace and no one knows what happens. Another’s tipping point in the loss of his son, and saving the world one last time to protect the future pushing him beyond what the Working Mind Workplace Mental Health training would term “the red zone” (great system for usual office work)…and taking of his own life…and another simply resigns and walks away.

Neither outcome really looks like healing yet they are the choices made constantly in the vacuum.

Perhaps, our world will find compassion, and look to those who are in need and realize that when we debate costs it may look like a drain on the system. Yet that “drain” or rather INVESTMENT in our neighbour, grows a healthier Post Traumatic world.

Stories like Heroes in Crisis matter for it challenges the existing paradigm.

Perhaps challenging will cause fracturing.

Fracturing breaking.

From those pieces, a new reality of healing and belonging.

What do you think?


Debriefing Room. Canadian Supra Agency (also known simply as The Agency). Somewhere unknown (but definitely not the Balzac Bunker that was taken out, so possibly around the Torrington Gopher Hole Museum- but that is probably a red herring or someone would have to kill you for knowing top secret information). The Agency uses rooms designed for literal psycho-analysis. where an analyst would sit back to you, while you were laid out on a couch speaking aloud to arrive at your own insights. To save money they removed the Freudian and replaced it with a room wired for digital recording. Now, instead of a couch, it is a comfy chair and a half, leather wing-back, with side-table stocked with the agents drink of choice.

A place to ruminate. To exhale. To let out everything about the mission. Unwind. Safe, and no worries about someone outside the Agency hearing secrets they shouldn’t (okay too many Analysts were compromised, it wasn’t just cost sharing). Agent Louie Regis shared at the projected windows of what would be different inspiring sights from around the world. He loosened his already loosened argyle tie. Tossed the rumpled beige trench coat over the back of the chair. Undid the top button of his shirt, rolled up his sleeves and clumped in to the wing back. He poured himself his second glass of whisky. Picked up the cheap cigar from the table, bit the end off in a very barbaric fashion and began the lighting ritual.

The other upside he saw over the Analyst not being in the room is no one to complain to him about it being non-smoking. Though how he would debrief this mess. Regis exhaled the cigar slowly and took a sip of the amber liquid. How would he phrase this mess. Started with the Agency- hell he had been recruited out of high school, day after graduation. Little known fact to the super hero community, he was older than Shotgun. In any real world Canadian setting five years ago he should have retired.

“Too old for this shit.” A slight chuckle. The supra reporter, Rick Saturn years ago over coffee had shared how back when he had trained to be a pastor he was shocked to discover a culture of scripture memorization (not application or understanding) in college (Saturn had never been a church goer as a kid)…so to pass his one course on apologetic he had to memorize a passage. Many students chose whole epistles, Saturn simply chose John 11:35- Jesus wept. Got him an “A”.

“Jesus.” another puff on the cigar as he wiped tears away, thankfully the video recording would think it was caused by the smoke. His body ached. Old wounds- bullet and knife holes. Strained muscles from far too many years sleeping in his old hatch back Honda Civic. That especially painful spot in his right foot where he always stepped on his swiss army knife blade waking up during stake outs.

The sound of the body bagging zipping shut. The new Bionic Knight telling the battle story. From his pants belt Regis pulls the smart phone. Clicks open the app he had tech install. Three generations of Supra’s he had outlived. The fourth was emerging. The young Knight, and widowed Speedster were the new line.

The app’s name was simple: ENIGMA.

Regis remembered where the Bionic Knight said he had offered Shotgun a spot on the Great Crime Fighters. That wink of the green glowing eyes under the helmet with his trademark “Trust me, he’s a hero now.”

Regis remembers his response, “it will end badly. Guys like him can’t be redeemed.”

The smart phone falls to the hard would floor. The screen cracks. The steel heel of his shoes finish it off. Regis pours another glass. “Somedays it is good to be wrong.” Though the universe– the world was saved… the redeemable life was lost all to a simple game, a wager on a yearning for the past would pull the hero to the result needed.

Regis unhooks his shoulder holster and lets the gun and holster fall to the ground.

What to let the official record say?

After 52 years how much blood was truly on his hands?

He stubbed what was left of the cigar out in the now empty glass.

Standing up, he pulls on his rumpled trench coat.

The mechanical whir of the voice recorder, “please state outcome for official record.”

Regis’ hand goes into his left jacket pocket. Much candy wrappers, and cigar ends fall onto the ground. He pulls out the badge fold. Opens it and stares at it.

“What would it be like to wake up one morning and not have to worry about whether or no the fate of the world was in your hands?”

Regis looks up to one of the corner cameras. “Outcome: Mission accomplished. Agent Louie Regis. Badge number 5- Gamma. Taking sanction Omega.” Sanction Omega- retirement.

The badge falls from his hand and hits the wing back. The screens blink to black. The cameras switch off. The recorders end.

Green light flashes over the door.

It clicks open. Regis steps out into sunlight of the prairie, walks across the short lot to his Civic.

The dust trail is the last scene.

Regis’ finger switches from news radio to the top 40 country station. A smile crosses his lips. “Finally get to sleep in my own bed.”

 


Shotgun MacKay is old. (suggested listening: Maren Morris “My Church“). He has taken many shots to the head, and is grieving. Why should anyone believe that he is getting weird analog messages on that old brick flip phone of his tracking the forthcoming alien whatever evil it is? This is what has brought Beth into a back shed of the Ashram.

Kayla Storm is mourning hard. Many have told her that it is good to get back up and at `em as advice. She overheard MacKay telling Agent Regis to do something anatomically impossible when the agent suggested the hero suit back up and get out there. Then it really shocked Beth, MacKay actually walked the agent through a lesson on grieving then punched him square in the jaw almost knocking the agent out, clearly stating “and I just buried my kid so get the fuck off my property.” The agent was grumbling about arresting MacKay for violation of the Supra Act of 1984 by donating organs and having the body cremated, but Beth had seen the old redneck get that look on his face before. He had set his face like that during the Siege just before Mayor Kobwash won the election for mayor a few years back. When he charged in, purely mortal, no super powers, just guns with rubber bullets and fists.

Beth was still trying to figure out why the ring had chosen to give her the power. She had almost been killed that day. She knew MacKay had a hard time trusting the younger heroes, at least that’s what she thought it was. Until Beth saw how his son’s death shook him (as he had always presented as crusty and emotionally aloof), and how voraciously he defended Storm from the Agency.

Now Beth was seeking out what it meant to be a hero. Rick Saturn, the previous Bionic Knight, the one everyone points to as the gold standard, kept a written record of his life in journal forms. Rather atrocious penmanship, so reading hieroglyphs would hopefully be a part of her power set.

Basics she had not known, about him coming from a family linked to crime, having them all massacred, raised by an old senior couple, falling in love. The challenges of the Kobwash family. Her parents always fighting to break them up. Even spreading different lies in an attempt to end different career paths of them. The mother-in-law’s attempt once the husband had vanished and grandkids arrived to sabotage their structure to thrive in life. Also attempting to bring known, if unproven, pedophiles around that would have coffee with her when she had the kids. The journals speak to an undercurrent of anger, as Susan struggled to break the link between her and the abusive/co-dependent parent. Rick shows such humanity wondering if the PenDragon would allow him to take a life? Would their lives be better with the mother-in-law dead?

Rick’s funniest story, and Beth could feel the pain. Susan’s aging grandfather, house bound due to health. The man wanting to be apart of church sacraments (Rick had already officially given up his collar due to ableism within the church, and was working hard on journalism again). The church pastors refused to baptize or bring communion because it was not within their “belief” structure. Rick did both, yet when the old man passed away he wrote of the hurt inflicted when the mother-in-law chose the church, and the pastors gleefully stepped in tracking the big inheritance tithe cha-ching pay out. They even spoke at the funeral about how the man was devout getting an at-home baptism and communion.

Beth chuckled. “How did Rick, with his sense of justice even manage to still function seeking community in this dysfunctional religion that kept burning him?”

“Simple kid, you got to belong somewhere.” MacKay’s gravelly voice spoke into the flashlight lit shed where Beth was sitting on a stump squint reading.

“There was no other places?” Beth said.

“Oh, Ricky found belonging in many places, yet the Hrumphs who adopted him were progressive Christians that believed all should belong in church regardless of anything from economics to abilities to orientations to race/culture. That message just stuck with him. Or as Mrs. H once told him…”

“There’s only one God and it’s about love you idiot.” Beth answered, she remembered reading that in one of his journals writing on early battles with Killer Face.

“Which is one of the things he said to me.” MacKay said.

Beth looked at this tired looking fighter. She had forgotten that MacKay at one point was a gun for higher. The echo of the vibrate function on his brick phone.

MacKay flips it opens, sees a message and walks away.

“What’s up old man?” The words ring in the darkness, as Beth’s flashlight illuminates her silhouette in the shed.