Posts Tagged ‘Great Crime Fighters’


Old familiar. Man, never believed there would be a time in my life when side stepping into a magical pocket dimension would ever be referred to as that. Talk about a letter to my 16-year-old self moment. But it is what is needed to coral the crazy that is over taking my replacement. Ashley, I will learn her last name later. Young teen girl, whose even little brother is the latest victim of the opioid crisis that the Alberta Government refuses to declare.

What people fail to realize in the hero that is the Bionic Knight is two souls doing a cosmic dance. The soul of the host and the PenDragon. The dragon that literally dwelt within Uther, then his son, Arthur. The hero source that has traveled down through the centuries always finding a host to stand in our world between order and chaos. Or to be blunter, save humanity’s collective ass from itself.

“I am sorry Ashley, he is dead.” I said.

ASHLEY IS NOT HERE. ONLY PENDRAGON EXISTS.”

The most annoying piece about the two souls, is that the PenDragon cannot exist independently, but if it takes primary drivers seat, well back in the day the reading of the tales of Camelot was part of elementary school English I am not sure if it still is. But Arthur, Morgan Le Fay, Mordred, Lancelot, Guinevere and Merlin quite a mess.

“Ashley if you let the power overwhelm you. You won’t be honouring the life your brother could’ve had before the darkness seized him. He wouldn’t want you to hide in the recesses of your own darkness.” Says the broken ass hero who can barely hold his own memory together. Why did I let Susan convince me that me, Rick Saturn, should play Merlin to a new age Arthur?

Though she did remind me that the super hero life was the easiest for me. Whether I was an activist, a geek, a pastor, politician or a journalist I chose to take stands for peace, human rights, inclusion, home and community. Took my lumps, my death threats, but finally got completely disillusioned with my own faith over how the supposed children of God have kept Alberta’s eugenics history towards the differently abled alive and well. How members and clergy felt they could barrage you with how the child did not belong, how they were not a person only a diagnosis, shaming you as to why you would have let them come into this world and other Nazi ass bull shit. Yeah it was an open wound, yeah it saw me fired from a few callings before I had my own kids fighting the battle of inclusion. Once I had my own, saw us sitting in an annual general meeting where I sat as the congregation effectively voted to downsize me and in another instance when a new community was to ordain once I saw their beliefs around my babies surrendered and walked out on principle.

But now here I am as the interloper in the green flame pocket dimension arguing with that which I kept at bay for over 20 years because of my own neurological issues that triggered PTSD, but hey, here we are.

NO! SHE IS RIGHT TO HIDE. SHE FAILED. WHAT GOOD IS SHE AS A HERO IF SHE COULD NOT SAVE HIM? HER OWN FAMILY. My little brother.” There. That change in voice. Ashley is still trying to assert herself, and that is what I need to touch base into. That searching for the light it is what Susan calls it, and why even with all the bull I keep trying to find that diamond in the rough faith community because no matter what I search out the light in the darkness, because as she has noted I like to believe the best in people, even the monsters and those that try to kill me. When I attempt to argue she tells me to go for coffee with Shotgun and laughs.  Sarcastic one she is.

“The hardest part of being a hero is…” Fight the crack in my voice, the tear trailing down my cheek. One name ricocheting in my brain that I kept missing each time. John. Best friend. “losing those you love.”

“then why do IT? ASHLEY IS NO LONGER HERE. ONLY PENDRAGON.”

“Bullocks Pen. You were my pen sized magic pet. Ashley will learn to control you or we all perish here. You know it, I know it. The PenDragon power either supports or extinguishes, and if I recall the last time you were in complete control was Camelot.”

then why shouldn’t I just perish with it here?”

“Part of it is self preservation, I do not want to die yet. I would like to grow older with my wife, and see our kids flourish even more.”
Selfishness does not seem very heroic.”

“It’s not, it is part of my answer. The other part is the power chose you to replace me. It chose you because you are pure of heart. It may sound corny, Ashley, but you got this. We have no control over other’s choices, lives and sadly, deaths. But….” The right words? Do I even believe what I am saying anymore? “And it is an important but, you have the choice, the moment this moment to become a hero that can make a difference.”

“Not in his life, his life is over. So why shouldn’t mine end?”

The eternal heroic question.

“Because the only life you are responsible for is yours. The only thing that matters is end of the day, beginning of the day when you wash your face can you look at yourself in the mirror.”

“And what if I can’t?”

Time to play the card I hate to play, because to stare into my own sorrow means to let go the dread and guilt I carry about John.

“Ashley, take a breath, look into your heart. What would your brother tell you at this moment, right now?”

Silence. The green flame is getting hotter. PenDragon is trying to seize control even though the entity knows it means its own destruction inevitably.

The green flame is crackling out the eye holes in the helmet. Her gloved hands are releasing the latches, she pulls off the helmet. A child.

Maybe 16 if she is a day. There was a time I looked that young and naïve. But there it is. The flames are going out. Tears coming down the sides. PenDragon is taking form on her as she powers down, the armour evaporates and the tiny dragon is on her shoulder as she slumps to the mystery ether we hang out in.

“That if I have a chance to be a hero. Be a bad ass hero and save the world.” Ashley said.

“And that is why the Dragon chose you.” The flames vanish.

The parking lot of the hospital reforms around us.

The peace and quiet is eerie. Until the boom.

Shotgun’s gloved hand on my shoulder. “There she goes.” I said.

I watch as Johnny Power lifts Speedster and flies after. The new generation of heroes. New hearts. Less baggage. Same heroic age. Simply trying to make a difference despite and in spite the sludge of life that can pull you down.

“Rick I…”

“Your welcome old man. Coffee?”

William simply nods as we head back to his truck. I do not know what is wrong with me, but I am learning to live in my new reality. Part of the new reality will see moments when these new heroes will need their wizard not their guru. In those moments, Shotgun knows where to find me.

Finale

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“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…


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…


Some who see him from afar would say he looks like an old ranch hand. I know better than that as the old hic walks up the stairs to the entrance of City Hall. William “Shotgun” McKay (MacKay) was the best assassin of his time when I was earning my stripes as a hero.

After years of Darcey Kobwash and others employing him in their nefarious schemes to eliminate me (or rather my heroic alter ego) he switched to the side of angels. Tired of taking orders, or always living life on the run. Took a very Suicide Squad style deal with The Agency that he would work of his criminal time, in a karmic debt of heroics. He has paid that debt several times with how many times he has stood with us to save the world.

Today he is attempting the type of team up I fear. He is going to speak with my other, my soul, my lightning rod, the mayor, Susan Kobwash-Saturn- my wife. Why you ask?

I refuse to answer his calls, texts, e-mails, voicemails or other forms of social media reach out (subtle he is not). Figured he would eventually make his way here to her office, and I will see what unfolds.

                “Where’s the kit?!” Johnny Power yelled. The bust had left many of the gangsters’ unconscious, but some of the buyers of Fentanyl were overdosing. Never use alone is the government tag line. Some want you to believe it is because of wholesalers and big pharma this had made it to the streets. Others because of pill presses. Truth was probably a mixture of both.

                But what had happened was another round up bust of the Cult of the Killer Face since the siege. Johnny Power, and the New Bionic Knight, Speedster was in their ear pieces.

                But now during the clean up, B.K. had frozen.

The boy fading.

                Signs of an opioid overdose.

The same boy that had brought her to the Church of the Killer Face at the siege. Her brother.

                Johnny barked into his commlink. “Speedster we got seven overdosing, rook is frozen, need that Naloxone.”

                Kyla Storm is a second-generation Speedster. Her father Kyler Storm stood with the Agency, and ultra-secret service super hero task force of the government, and lost his life fighting the good fight. She took up the garb and was part of what the media had dubbed Shotgun’s Turbulent Trio. As the three young heroes worked to find their way as the new Great Crime Fighters.

                She grabbed the Naloxone kits and hit the lightning, 20 blocks would be a heart beat away, 911 was already dialed but she would beat the actual operator picking up.

                Though being the one to save the brother.

Would create one more self-confidence shaking moment for the new PenDragon during the team debrief. That was a conversation McKay needed to have with the kid, or better yet, the real Bionic Knight. But he was missing in action.

“Your worship.” It came out with what almost sounded like a Southern drawl, but was more of rural Alberta.

Susan stopped looking outside of her mayoral office window and turned to the voice, smiling. “Really Will, after all these years and attempts on my life?”

“Just wanted to see what it was like to actually like a Mayor.” William “Shotgun” McKay said. Susan chuckled, even though he had been friends with John MacCurtis, much like his friendship with her husband Rick, he would never publicly acknowledge liking the heroes he was formerly a villain of.  “And I bring my condolences.”

Susan simply shrugged. “She died, cholesterol and cigarettes official story, unofficially the fall of the Church of Killer Face she was collateral, can’t say as I will miss her much, more the loss of the habit of her being around poisoning my and my family’s mental and emotional health continually.”  Hela Kobwash was the perfect partnering foil for her father, Darcey. They never got her and Rick’s connection. Tried bribery, threats to break them apart.

Even took the stance once Darcey was out of the picture of choosing between her and Rick, when she stated bluntly that it would not be a hard choice to cut her out, her Borderline Personality Disorder took over and she started playing more games. Even cost Rick an unpaid leave from one job due to allegations of abuse Hela had alleged Rick had done to the children.  It was Rick that had ensured the type of gutter trash her mother and father hung out with stayed away from the family and the children, whether that was druggies, abusers, paedophiles.

Each time they moved ahead in the right side of the law away form the shadiness of her family her mother tried to find some way to sabotage it, usually playing a “trauma” card by super imposing something of her own life over top of the existing relationship because in her mind there was no way an abject failure like Susan could find happiness and goodness for a lifetime like she had.

It was bitter sweet, but it was now left with Mayor Susan Kobwash whether she would claim her mother’s body from the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee or not, because there was no will, there was no shadow that there was a tie that she needed to claim. Unfortunately, the story had broken in the media, and she had asked for privacy.

Will knew, well, because no matter what side of the fight he has been on since Rick and she were 16 years old, he was part of what Rick has dubbed, the family.

“Going to claim the body?”

“Yes.” Susan answered. Rather matter of fact. “Not because it is the right thing to do, just want to make sure…”

“After all the bull shit, she actually is dead and buried?” McKay finishes the sentence.  Susan just nods. “Have you seen your husband?”

“Every day. He lives in a world of frustration because he is not who he used to be. Things he used to be able to do mentally, physically, response times aren’t there anymore.” Susan stated trying not to crumble.

Shotgun nodded. It was not where one wanted to see a hero. They had great fights against one another, but even better when they chose to battle back the darkness together. McKay just wanted to have coffee with his old friend, and be present in the now, unfortunately that presence was being blocked and he was just an old man who did not get the emotional crap of the 21st century.

“Susan, god help me, when Rick was pastoring he suggested I watch a movie to understand community.”

Lars and the Real Girl.” Susan smiled. It was the story of an awkward man working through life traumas through purchase of a sex doll, and no not like that. It was about taking the doll in as a person, living a life of companion until healing was complete and where and how the community responded to Lars and his partner through the healing journey. “He always spoke of the Women’s group showing up with knitting and casseroles.”

“to sit, and be. Just want coffee with my mate like I used to.”

“But he’s…”

“In the doorway. What the hell are your brats doing Shotgun?” Rick asked.

McKay smiled. “Glad you asked, we have a wee confidence issue that they need to hear from the old man about.”

“Then go.” Rick said.

“I’m not the oldster they need.” McKay said.

Six overdoses. 15 arrests. Police and EMS everywhere. The park used to be a gathering place for families. Johnny stood next to the Speedster. Thunder and Lightning is what the media has called them. The Bionic Knight looked at them. True heroes in her heart.

                Johnny remembers Shotgun waxing poetic about the old days of the drug trade, when the dealers gave a damn about repeat business. Now with the new breed, it was highly predatory, Naloxone was designed to save lives, but secondarily to also save the mental wellness of first responders from bagging too many bodies. Shogun would joke that the new breed of dealers learned the predatory don’t give a damn nature from governments that shifted to funding models based on gambling/casinos as it was one of the most nefarious of addictions. No real signs until there was nothing left for the person but destitution or sadly in most instances, taking of their own lives. Kyla’s dad had shared in his work in social work some of the only real ways to aid a gambling addict out of the cycle was to set them up with a financial administrator or trustee to ensure all the necessities of life were taken care of before the remnant of monies given over to be used as the person saw fit.

Both wondered if the world of a mere 5 years ago may have been an easier world to be a hero in, than the crazy that existed today. Where politicians and groups were too entrenched in ideological camps to be pragmatic and place the person and the community ahead of the needs of the ideological base. Where the 99%’s voice actually shaped policy because they used their voices in the polls as a mediating and mitigating factor to the extremes that existed within.

                They saved her brother. Something even she was unable to do as the addiction seized him deeper and deeper. Hoping each day and each time she did what was necessary to save him it would mean he would take rehab and detox seriously. More and more each time realizing she was being played.

                Kyla’s hand touches her shoulder, she startles back to reality as the gurney with her brother leaves for hospital. “You okay B.K.?”

                “No…I “  

She flies faster than even Johnny can catch her in the air. The PenDragon screaming in her mind. If you cannot save your family how will you ever be worthy?

                If you cannot save him?

How are you any good to save anyone?

Susan watched the two’s banter, and softly chuckled, 23 years ago the same banter would happen while trading blows of sword and shotgun shells. Now they were navigating a conversation of who is the best mentor for the next generation.

“But you are the one they have, Will.”

I said as I left the mayor’s office.

 


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.”


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…

 

 

 


To my friends in the Great Crime Fighters—give the bastards hell!

-Susan Kobwash-Saturn, Mayoral Candidate 2017

 

Hours until voting polls open.

Media coverage going crazy.

K rips underground piping to create a weird looking pentagram and crucify the young new Bionic Knight to it.

Johnny Power’s stamina is running low. His coat shredded, his t-shirt. Face and fists bloodied.

A rallying call went out to extremists of all stripes to join with the Church of the Killer Face with Susan’s challenge to the provincial government to strip them of official religious and non-profit standing.

Overnight an extended emergency session of the Provincial legislature was held to debate an all-party motion and bill.

Shotgun with bowie knife in one hand, double barrel sawed off in the other (that is no longer firing rubber bullets).

S.W.A.T. and riot moving in. Tear gas everywhere.

The province refuses to postpone the city vote.

Blood and sweat sting his eyes as he gets the paramedics to the crumpled form of Speedster with piping through her abdomen. Shotgun looks at them as he provides cover fire. “Get her out of here. Start sealing that wound, her speed will save her.”

“She’s almost dead.” One young paramedic bellows over the explosions and gunfire.

Shotgun raises his knife. “The lass dies, I will forget I am one of the good guys, capeesh?”

Both paramedics nod as they begin to cut the pipe.

Arch-Deacon Lived looks out on the carnage, glances at his watch. None of this will matter in a few hours when the citizens re-elect him. It is after all civic politics and no one cares enough to vote out incumbents, he just had to live through this. But he knew that K would not allow him to die.

Shotgun drops some crazed church member or other extremist as the paramedics’ load Speedster and speed away.

Choppers and cameras are everywhere.

When the word’s reach his ears.

“The government has voted to repeal the religious and non-profit status of the Church of Killer Face. Citing they actively work against human rights, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The members are at the very least culpable for organized crime, and at the worst terrorists. Full authority has been given to the Great Crime Fighters to bring all members into custody by any means necessary.” The reporter was young and hiding behind the police line, but the words were music to his old ears that were getting deafer by the minute.

He noted the advancement of Power. Getting closer to K. If they could take down the monster the rest would surrender.

_ _ _ _ _  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

I hear the radio softly playing Toby Keith good as I once was as I walk the house. Ancient naval tradition before a battle, to walk the ship and know that the captain may not come back. My twins slumber, in past life I was a pastor. It was saner to be an investigative journalist and continue with my super heroics.  Did not matter where on the theological-political spectrum the church fell we ran into battles over inclusion. Battles that I gloriously fought when I was not a father, and had allies stand with me to ensure inclusion would happen, at least for a time until the religious found a way to fire me or drive me out.

But when it came to my own children. No allies stood with us. Public firings followed. Shunning where we thought we had friends that would no longer talk to us, hell they would actively run from us when seen in super malls. The more progressive the religious the more harm they actively did against us.

Yet we persisted seeking community. Needed a place to rest and renew after walking through the valley of death daily. A life built beating the odds, rescuing the oppressed, bringing down the oppressor. Within and without costume walking in the darkness. Having my life and limb threatened. Being exposed to God knows what in the midst. Watching my friends die, being unable to save family when addictions and the darkness seized them. And asking myself why bother? What good am I when I cannot even save them?

My hands tremor now.

There is shooting pains in my brain.

My brain in different areas have shooting pains.

The flashbacks are the worst.

Those moments…

When power did not matter.

When magic could not solve.

When I was not fast enough.

Good enough.

When death rode victorious anyways.

I feel her hand on my shoulder. “I didn’t mean to wake you.”

“The Premier just called.” My soul, my lightning rod, Susan said.

“And?”
I already can feel the answer in her. She knows sadly the voters won’t vote out the Arch-Deacon, but…” They did the right thing.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be, it is about time you stepped out.” Susan said.

I told her on this journey when I came back from my last quest I would be what I vowed to be. There were others. Now the city is staring into the void of evil and the soul of evil is holding the heart of what is good and squeezing. “I…”

She kisses me tenderly on the neck. “Hun, I will see you afterwards. We will sip coffee and discuss what is right with the world. We will put our kids on the bus for school, and we will make love.”

I gently kiss her hand. She was always the strongest of us. I feel the blue energy flicker in my eye. Pen is stirring and moving to my coat.

“And then we will go vote, and this city will have a new mayor.”

She kisses my lips gently, I kiss back hard and long.

Grab my bomber jacket on the way out.

_ _ _

 

K lands on the charred ground.

Johnny Power looks at him. He is tired. He is sore. His invulnerability is not Superman levels, it is tied to his stamina, which is depleting.

“Ah. You are not the one I know. Like the runner, a legacy. There was a time the Street Avenger’s were the only ones. I ended them.” K said.

Johnny’s fist swung and connected with the villain’s jaw. A lip splits. K licks the blood.

“No, you didn’t, they beat you, and we will too.”

Flames erupt around Johnny, he feels his skin beginning to blister. The screams escape his lips.

The shotgun pellets slam into K.

The flames vanish.

Johnny collapses trying to get the smoke and searing out of his lungs.

K laughs openly as he looks at the broken down former villain, who he once called ally. “Some old cowboy thinks you can kill me?”

“Like the song says ya Nazi ass, should’ve been a cowboy!” McKay leaps with his bowie knife out.

K forms a psychic knife in his right fist and swings out towards the older man’s left temple.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Susan and I had always used music to calm out nerves. We also used it to connect to pieces of our story. Walking into traditions that have harmed us and finding belonging is hard to process. But there’s a song by Brad Paisley, we held to. As I step onto the road behind the police line, Pen resting on my left shoulder watching the scene.

Shotgun being heroic. Saving the kid, Johnny Power.

Bodies.

I hate death.

I hate evil.

I lowly whistle Me and Jesus have it figured out. Two separate constables try to stop me from crossing the line. I drop them with a stun bolt from my pet dragon the size of a—well his name sake—Pen.

I watch McKay’s Bowie Knife hit K’s forearm deflecting the psychic dagger.

My friend hits the hard ground and groans as he rolls out of a blast of fire.

K is a sociopath.

K was a supra. A tri-kinetic (pyrokinesis, telekinesis, and telepathy) who was genetically engineered by the Nazi’s during World War II to be a key piece of the last solution.  What is happening today he was built for. Glorious chaos and death of hate.

Shooting pains in my brain.

Flashes of images of friends dying. Those I couldn’t save. Smells. Voices. Sounds.

I freeze slightly.

My eye catches the child who the ring found. Strapped into a pentagram.

Not much older than me when the ring found me.

Her words that started this ring in my ears. “Where’s my brother?”

Seems like a fair place to start.

“Where’s her brother K?” My voice has a tremble in it. The boom of the Bionic Knight is gone. I regret those I could not save, I strive to forget those dark times.

I stand staring at evil.

I feel the pain of those around me.

The hatred that keeps driving the battle.

The dualism that one must be right, one must be wrong.

I remember history reading of the vote for World War II in Parliament where the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation could not vote as a whole, not because of not seeing Hitler as evil that needed to be stopped, but rather the complexity of war to do it.

J.S. Woodsworth could not fathom the loss to the poor who would be used as the front-line troops, the millions made by munitions manufacture. While Douglas and the rest of the party held those fears, but they feared more of the evil mounting in Europe crossing the Atlantic.

Complexity. Critical thinking. Holistic. Seeing all sides of an issues. Discourse.

But then, there is times when one must simply look at evil and go.

No more.

K laughs. “The broken Knight believes he can stop me.”

Susan called it my cheeky grin that would cross my lips when folks would tell me that I couldn’t and I would just to prove them wrong. I believe that is the grin on my lips now.

“Not broken. Bionics on.”

The blue energy rips through my very being….

To Be Continued