Posts Tagged ‘Bionic Knight’


“Speedster! Power! Crowd control. Shotgun please God don’t just fuckin’ kill anyone.” I yell.

Johnny Power looks at Speedster as they work to keep folks calm in the ER. “Who died and made him boss?”

Speedster grins back at her friend. “If Shotgun says he’s in charge. . .”

“We listen.” Power shrugs as he turns back to some medical staff.

Shotgun leaned on the hood of his truck laughing. Green flame energy was crackling around the sliced in half ambulance. Two paramedics were cowering, but the armoured lady with the sword was stopped floating in the air. It had been awhile since he had seen this aspect of me. The confident one in charge. Self-care is the buzz word of the helping world and it works, until something else misfires in the holistic self and then you don’t know what will happen.

That is the self-horror I have been living through. Also saddled into a health system that falls within the Health Act, and should be public yet many in Alberta have forgotten since the godforsaken “common sense” revolution has been designed to fail to allow for the “Third Way” (or as much privatization as is allowable under Canadian Law). It has left major centres without enough hospitals, and warped systems where in those centres even if each quadrant has a hospital it is not a true general hospital that can handle everything, you still need referrals to hospitals across town for specific clinics. Inefficiencies within the system, things that need to be looked at to get us back on track to the cheapest most effective form of health care, the type of change Albertans voted for in 2015, yet takes more than 2 years to accomplish because re-righting the ship, can be costly at the front end, but saving on the back. As I have ranted about in my journalism for years, system analysis shows where money is lost from budget line to front line for useless bloat. Money should be front ended to good staffing and patient care, not lost in administration purgatory. For we forget the further away we get from the just society contract, things like health care, EI, social assistance are not designed for the healthy thriving member of society, but rather for the one who is sick, or has lost employment, or needs a hand up. These systems should not be designed to beat the person into submission and loss of belief in their intrinsic worth. Rather they should be designed to lift up, build the bridge from one stage to the next, and preserve the self-worth of the individual where they never lose their own intrinsic self worth understanding.

Too long spent battling these issues, and arguing points everyone knows to be true, but we lost pragmatism as a society that put the value of a human being ahead of ideological bull shit. It is that just caring society we need to get back to. It is why I did not have much time for the arguments around stop giving needles to the addicts and give them to the diabetic. No. You do both. The syringe is the commodity. You are issued the first kit, then get refills by bringing in the syringes for new supplies, don’t care why you need them. Keeps cost off the patient, but also keeps the used syringe out of the school yard. Caring pragmatism.

Here’s hoping an electric spark doesn’t shut my mind down before I talk the new Bionic Knight though, or Rick Saturn could be nothing more than a pile of ash end of the day. “Bionic Knight stand down!” My voice cracked. Damn I miss my powers, the PenDragon would never allow the voice to crack.

She whips around, Excalibur, nope the blade is Chivalry, ahhh… a new one, well the sharp pointy thing designed to impale the human being stops just shy of the tip of my nose. She is in full rage. The PenDragon power, not the human heart is in full control rage.

WHY SHOULD I FAILURE? YOU SURRENDERED THIS. THIS GLORIOUSNESS.”

Ahh the mocking buggar. It misses me. But it is time to pass the flame, what people fail to realize is that when the ring first hit my finger I was alone in a pick and pull yard after escaping some bullies. So the rage meter just got me to smash some vehicles destined for the scrap heap while we worked out our relationship.

But something triggered this. This rage level is not just activation, that was at the Cult of the Killer Face church siege. This is. Stop my thoughts, slow my mind, what brought her there. Shit. Her brother. The not moving body in the ambulance that is trapped in the flame bubble. She is trying to… trying to do what I used the magic for in my middle aged self questing for John.

“It doesn’t work that way Bionic knight. The power when wielded by those of pure of heart allows for good to happen. It cannot bring back life though.”

“SHE DOES NOT BELIEVE YOUR LIES. SHE KNOWS THAT I AM ALL POWERFUL AND THAT ONCE YOU ARE DEAD SHE WILL HAVE THE POWER.”

                Pen was my friend. The PenDragon was not my friend. It was a roiling power point destined to aid in saving the world that I learned to control the power because of my wizard. But it started first by treading through the pain. The body in the bubble. Not alive.

I look to Shotgun, he mouths one word. Ashley. The new B.K.’s name.

“I ain’t going to talk to the servant, I want the master. I want to speak to Ashley about her loss. About her brother.”

And the green flame erupts around me….

To be Continued…

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I had made the statement to Will that he was the old man the newbies had to turn to for mentorship. For awhile it kept things quiet, as they continued to move forward on the clean up form the siege and ensuring members of the Cult of the Killer Face were picked up and brought into the justice system, their victims were routed to appropriate helps. Which also revealed the gaps in the system of care for the average citizen in requires to mental health, physical health and addiction essentially what is known as holistic care.

Susan was rocking the mayor’s chair bringing a new spirit of cooperation that put citizens first, and ensured that children and seniors were at the forefront of civic policy choices.

Living in the brain fog was my issue. That was a good day, the nightmares still came, and yes there was still unknown neuro events that I waited on the system to figure out and diagnose. Yet it was the sluggish way my central processing core (brain) worked that frustrated the hell out of me. It is why I knew I would be no good to Will in speaking with the new Bionic Knight.

Finally, a quiet night at home laying in my love’s lap as we watched War for the Planet of the Apes and like any good sci-fi story providing excellent commentary for the world we live in. The fight of tradition and fear against science and hope, the interior struggle that can happen when you realize you have allowed pain/grief/trauma to rob you of your “youness” while becoming the other and the road to redemption back.

“Rick, Will called again.” Four words I did not want or need to hear. Since distancing myself from the Great Crime Fighters actual events had decreased drastically. But there must be a reason she was bringing this up to me now.

“He can handle it.” I said.

“No, he can’t. Traditional super powers are one thing, he never really understood what a Supra was, but the PenDragon is something else entirely. She’s struggling, imploding.” The newbie is the one the ring chose, a 16 or 17-year-old girl, to become the new standard bearer, the new Bionic Knight. Shotgun was struggling as this Knight came with issues that she had not repressed like I had from my childhood. Hers’ were fully on display night of the siege and what took her there. Her little brother. Prey for the dealer, the criminal.

He haunted her, but I had faith in McKay.  He would figure out a way to reach her and get her on track. “The ring chose her, she will figure it out.” I left out the I did retort to my lightning rod.

“Yeah, but you also had John, you had Gerklyn, then Merklyn, Merlin and most recently Pen.” Susan said. Damn her logic. She could’ve gone with any host of old time heroes who provided guidance, but she knew what she was doing by specifically choosing those understood Camelot power on earth.

“And they are all dead.” I said.

“And your silence will kill her. She has the Bionics, she needs to hear from the wisdom of those that came before. She needs you and Sister Anne, Rick.”

A radio crackles from the kitchen. Police on scene at a hospital Emergency Room. Reports of the Bionic Knight acting irrationally at admitting.

“Damn.”

Susan kisses the top of my head, “Wear a toque it’s chilly out.”

I roll off the couch as the credits roll. Grab my leather coat and head outside into the cold. Susan has already shot me a text of where in the city the hospital is. Something is not right with the girl, and maybe she’s right.

I glance as my phone vibrates again. I flip it open. It is from Susan.

I love you. Remember you had you wizard, she needs hers.

Flip the phone shut, hospital is a few blocks away. Trudge through the snow. I hear the sonic boom. Thunder and Lightning better known as Johnny Power and Speedster are on their way. A horn honks from a pick up beside me.

I climb in. “Good to have you with us Rick.”

I nod to Shotgun McKay. “A wise lady said every kid needs their wizard.”

“Gotta love Suzie Q.” Shotgun said as we drove into the light show.

To Be Continued…


When most of your day is spent slept away or zoned out, knowing when to go out for air can be a bit of a challenge. My chat with Sister Anne was of benefit, but sometimes you just need to face the darkness of the past from where it finally comes to rest. In this case, that is a late-night stroll with the moon full amongst the tombstones.  The fog gives it an eerie old Sherlock Holmes movie feel, with the chill of an early winter coming which for our city means anytime before January.

Ahh Ricky what were you hoping to come here? That a vampire would pop up and you’d be able to see how much mystic magic was left in your broken ass old hero body.  Scratch the greying beard, there was a time on an investigative track that some akin me to Sisko of DS9. Y’know the badass that punched Q, for the Harumphs, he would always be Hawk from Spenser for Hire.

My hands run across her name. Shelley Kobwash. Susan’s little sister. One of the one’s that could not be saved. The one that chose drugs over her child after high school and aborted. But could not get out of the darkness regardless. Death surrounds death. She fell into the world of Susan’s father, but not in the way the old man would have approved. For she was not the queen of crime as he has been the Kind pulling strings on the distribution of debauchery for years behind the scenes. Remember it was when my brother James was in one of his side of light phases, it was his child, drove him back into the darkness for years after that repercussion.

“Why are you here Richard?” The voice. It echoes in my dreams. Those times when things would make no sense. It is the voice that used my brother as a right hand for many years in his Ionic Knight guise. The voice of the man that should’ve been at my wedding to walk my bride down the aisle, but as Susan so eloquently put it to her mother, she would have to kill her first before the bloated bastard was allowed in the church.

“Darcey, really, Richard? After all these years surely you could call me Rick.” It is one of the things that confounds me to this day. How this man had compartmentalized his life so much, for my brother had shared my identity with him. Yet…he could not bear to break his child’s heart so he never released it.

Although his emotional-mental-spiritual abuse is still something Susan is battling through not just from the narcissistic-sociopath father, but from her borderline personality mother. I am the orphan and the ones that still cause harm keep breathing air.

“Rick, after all these years, why are you here?”

James’ gave his life in a heroic venture in the end. Much to this pompous ass’ chagrin. For that heroic venture cost, him billions in ill gotten gains.

Yet even then he kept my secret.

“Same reason you are here. Shelley’s death haunts.”

“Susan had mentioned to her Mom all your years in investigative journalism had given you a rough neuro-mental go as of late.” His voice drips with sarcasm. He knows that the real cause is, but like I said, compartmentalization.

“Ever wonder if you didn’t bring the shit into this city if she would still be alive.” Or my brother your sick bastard, could be an uncle and Susie could be an aunty. If only compartmentalization always worked. No answer. Oh right. Just before James’ sacrificed himself was when he saw the file.

The one that showed the shit that killed his beloved.

That claimed his soul mate.

Drove him into the darkness deeper.

Caused him to lose his chance at fatherhood.

Showed the shipment and the dealer.

The name of the dealer was Shelley’s pimp.

The pimp paid protection to…

Darcey Kobwash.

The sword Chivalry slayed a dragon and a falling knight saved a universe.

“that’s right Darcey ya bastard. James’ one. You died.”

I wipe condensation and mud away on the grave marker next to Shelley’s.

Another demon puts to rest.

At least until the next seizure shakes my mind palace to pieces.

“Please forgive me Susan.” For the pain, I have brought into your life by answering a call.

My phone vibrates.

I flip it open to a message from Shotgun.

Need to talk kid.

I click delete and continue my graveyard shift.


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.”


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.

 


Polls are closing.

Vote counts rolling in.

Commentators in shock as the incumbent for mayor is still leading in the count over Susan Kobwash-Saturn. Despite the day starting with him being arrested and taken to jail.

“Are the people of this city this apathetic? An actual man arrested on election day is so far leading in the counts.” The reporter was of the old school variety on the television. Pragmatic not ideologue. Been through many election cycles, and seen many an upset, but has also managed to survive conglomeration and transformation into infotainment from information and critical thinking.

Susan stands on the front step.

“Starlight, star bright, first star I see tonight.” William McKay thought she was nuts not having an election night party, but she pulled the plug.
With the Siege, the arrests, the vanishing of the beacon of hope.

Her press conference announcing to get the vote out, but then to go home, hug your loved ones, and live into hope.

The old nursery rhyme tumbled from her lips as she looked up. The twins asleep. “I wish I may I wish I might.”

“Where ever you are Rick, know I love you and the porch light is on always.” She pulls the oversized hoody of her husband’s around her more as she watches the stars of the sky.

She twitches the corner of her eyes for she swears she sees the darkness ripple

In the pocket universe.

The darkness has wrapped itself around the form of the Bionic Knight. Rick feels it seeping through the seams of the armour, and clawing through to his orifices.

Mordred the living darkness cackles. The light of hope that his father wielded at Camelot finally being snuffed out. The great return prophesied for some many centuries by the Welsh crumbling.

Much of what history stated as they had abandoned the body of the field of valour.

Rick feels his left hand begin to tremble.

His eyes rapidly flutter.

The solid darkness filling his ears,

His nostrils,

His mouth.

He can taste the decay of death.

A faint voice breaking through.

Barely audible.

Something about a porchlight.

The voice.

Feels like it should be familiar.

But the darkness stripping away.

Why await. Why struggle. Simply give in and let it win.

A glimmer of light…like on a front porch.

“As more polls report in there has been a change in the wind. We were expecting 4/14 ward councillors to be new because incumbents were not running, but it is looking like what social media has hash-tagged Vote Hope has caused a massive shift in which we are seeing incumbents falling behind in all but the mayoralty race.”

                The reporter just shook his head. Trying to hide his astonishment that a mayor actually arrested on the morning news could still be leading in votes.

Susan watched the rippling darkness. The voice of the newscaster had become white noise, it was not looking hopeful for her chance to become mayor. Although maybe this is what Rick had been talking about as the PTSD set in.  That the heart may have hope, but the brain trips out and brings in hopelessness.

Which can the soul cling to?

“Follow the light my Knight.” That’s what she said.

The light.

Eyes flickering slowing.

Tremor in left hand slowing.

Gag reflex as the blackness goes down.

The words begin to ring in his head…waiting on a woman

Front porch light

His kids dressed like Superman…the song rings anew from when Christopher Reeve broke, by Hal Ketchum. Hang in there Superman

#VoteHope

Rick closes his eyes. He sees Pen move into his heart.

The energy surges.

The darkness ripples

As the light rips through.

Susan watches the sky as light bursts out of the dark.

The old grizzled newscaster’s voice reaches her ears. “Quite a shock, with the final votes counted… The city voted for hope.”

The voice is raspy behind her with the scabbed hand touching her shoulder. “I love you.”

She turns

Blue energy sparks

As their lips touch.

Lightning rod.

The Adventure Begins Anew…

 

 

 


Suggested listening while reading Brad Paisley’s Love and War

The siege.

Blue energy.

A city about to awaken to a vote.

One that literally had a yin-yang decision to make. Could apathy overcome and overthrown the corrupt incumbent?

Could his lightning rod pull off the upset?

Gone from the fray into the unknown where the heart of the PenDragon took him and the heart of evil.

A pocket dimensions.

But a new trap for himself.

A flood of memories.

Where victories should be what he holds on to.

But within the heart of evil he comes to realize… it is not K or Mystery. It is something more sinister. The darkness that Morgan le Fey used to destroy Camelot.

Mordred.

The bastard son.

That is the heart of evil.

The pope of the Church of the Killer Face.

The heart of darkness pocket dimension that the PenDragon heir was now trapped in. Slowly humming the last time for everything

Trapped in the darkness.

Reliving each defeat.

Each life left unsaved.

Each one that died in his arms.

The family he watched executed from his hiding spot under the picnic table as a child.

As a reporter, a pastor a super hero…the lives lost. The battles that were launched, yet undone by those he thought was allies.

Those wounds were the deepest, those that were supposed to be allies, that he trusted yet when the time came to live into and destroy the shadows with the light, the other lights went out.

His hand tremors. His eyes move rapidly as his lids are closed. His body jerks. His head weaves. He cannot focus.

Memories flashback into reality. Conscience clicks out. Brain reboots.  The healing work done…does not always reboot.

The Mind Palace’s foundations are cracked in some spots, rotting in others.

As the pain moves from mental to physical to emotional.

Tears should heal, but not when they come on each time with nothing left to dam up the emotions. The old scar tissues that were fading are freshly gouged and bleeding.

The Heart of Evil cackles. The PenDragon is breaking.

The bastard son is on way to victory.

Rick rolls into a fetal position in the darkness whimpering and trying to roar.

But the crush of emotions is devastating.

The goal was to make his corner of the world a little bit better.

Unfortunately, those who march in the light tend to eat their own.

Battles for equality, death threats, assaults, deaths.  Suicides unable to stop. Friends lost.

John.

Can’t even get a province to move completely from its eugenics past in seeing children with complex learning needs as fully deserving of getting to school on time, and having a full day of school that meets all their needs including educational. His twins.

His wife.

“Die father.” The Heart speaks.

The blackness crushes more.

500.

That is the known losses that he has celebrated lives of personally.

His eyes see back into the siege.

The collapse.

Amid despair.

One word rises in his heart.

A tiny dragon crawls around his neck.

The word swells a bit more.

The word is still there.

His ears here the voice of his true soul.

Words more true never spoken.

“For hope.”

That word rings in his heart.

Hope.

Mordred, the heart of evil laughs as his darkness overruns the heir of the PenDragon.

“Live the loss Rick Saturn.”

To Be Continued…