Posts Tagged ‘Herne’

Chapter One

Posted: August 20, 2021 by Ty in Bionic Knight Pulps
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Welcome back dear reader, when last we were in the pulps of the Bionic Knight– Prologue and now we rejoin our tale…

“Penny for your thoughts?”

The Canadian penny fell into his hand. The voice he heard was gravelly. The house they had been in no longer existed. Green flame and dust replaced with…soil? Sod? Gnarly wiry trees that resembled the sketches from their old storybooks. What was that tree called? Robin Hood’s tree? No that was what the uneducated would call the known historic home and hiding place of the legendary outlaw.

“Major oak?” they gasp out, any strength in their vocal chords gone. “Sherwood Forest?”

A chortle? Or was it a chuckle? It was definately that sound of mirth between a full belly laugh and a simple snort. They struggled for their eyes to focus in the weird reddish orange moonlight. Smoke? Yet no smell of campfire? Where was this timezone? A crunch of leather soul on the ground. The outline of armour? Or rather leather breeches and chainmail with a cloak, maybe the outline of a sheather sword. Had the explosion killed them? Put them in a coma? Was this some rather twisted hallucinagonic Dungeoans & Dragons game? And why the hell did this penny keep turning up? The Canadian government had stopped making them, yet…

The gravelly voice came from a shadowy head that resembled…an elk? Or just horns of a helm? “Yes and no. My home, but not the forest of your realm.”

Realm? A shoulder roll, the middle aged body reminding themselves they were not hte villain they had once been. But this was beyond experience. But truly was it, they had after all been on of many incarnations of villainy. But that was a long time ago, when heroes did heroic things, and villains did villainous things, heroes beat villians and put them in jail, not the new era where there was no hope of redemption arcs for many villains. Mostly due to the hero being a bit anti-heroic with dealing out death.

“Who?”

Under the helm, their eyes focusing a bit better. One good eye. The eye patch, the form. Not the Bionic Knight, but familiar none the less. Is that a quiver? An end of a long bow? “Archer?”

That sound was definately a chuckle. An outstretched arm. “You knew me as Bionic Archer, sidekick of your nemesis, Bionic Knight. It has been a long time, and many realms away since I have heard that name.”

They accept the help up, and lock eyes with the good eye. An emerald green staring back from behind the helm. He pulls off the helm, revealing the scarred bald head and scratchy snow coloured beard. “Killer Face, what number are you?”

A glance away in shame. He knew who they were. “A name I haven’t heard for many years myself. I was released, declared cured. A lifepast.” A glance to the penny. Penny for their thoughts? “I’m…” what was their name? It had been so long since anyone had actually cared to ask. Let alone inquire what they were thinking? Upon release he had blended into the background at a shelter ran out of church basement, working for romm & board, some spending cash, as the on-site groundskeeper/janitor. What had pulled him to the house? Seeking answers? Confirmation? Forgiveness? Retritbution? Reconciliation? “Harry.”

“Welcome, Harry. To many in this realm I am Herne, in the next realm I am Robin. But my friends calls me John.” A fog or smoke. Now seated within Major Oak. To high backed chairs, and… “my friend, do not be afraid of the beverage, it is tea. I know you are what we used to call straight edge so no mead.” Another chuckle. The voice less raspy, the voice–

“It was your voice that came to me, calling me to the house.” Harry said.

John smiled as he sipped his tea. Crunched on a piece of biscuit with jam. “Yes, it is part of the plan of the return.”

“The return?”

John stroked his whiskery beard. “Your realm needs a protector, PenDragon or Herne we are unsure. What is sure, is that myself the Knight will not, cannot return.”

“But I am a killer.”

“There is a time for everything under the Heavens, and nothing new within the realms. Is not everyone who is humble, and seeking, allowed forgiveness? If of course you can forgive yourself?”

“Wha?”

A spark of green flame, the same penny once more in the palm of Harry’s hand.

“If I can forgive myself?”

The flame consumed the person Harry in the chair of Major Oak, as John gave a belly laugh.

The fog rolled through.

And this realm moved on

without the one called Harry.

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The Calamity was what it was described as in my own soul. I am one of two folks that remember it, and the only one still alive. It was when a multi-verse came crashing down into a singular reality, much like the Crisis and Flashpoint story-lines in DC Comics, and Marvel Comics (2016) Secret Wars. It was a time when I met other “me” with code names like Pirate, Arrow (John was the sidekick Poison) or went by my first and middle name as the PI Rick Tracy.

The calamity brought all this together and stripped all that away from me. The heroic identities existed but their secret identity had shifted as the primary Rick Saturn was tied to the PenDragon power and the Bionic Knight. Much like the John MacCurtis primary was tied to Herne and the Bionic Archer. Yet is should have been a sign to me that something was awry that during the darkness we fought back by bringing the Great Crime Fighters back together, it was his PinBall self that re-emerged not Herne. It meant the other entity was still existing inside him despite an exorcism that was have supposed to solve that during the Calamity.

Everything coming together as I enter the Camelot realm.

I remember John sharing during the Calamity he entered another realm as a Tulpa and wound up on a journey of spiritual pilgrimage that ended with the Ankh brand emerging on his arm and bringing the Calamity to a close. His awareness began to fade over time of it (the Thor blocking the Herne) but as the campaign heated up for mayor I am not going to lie our family’s drifted. John was up for full disclosure of his super hero past (easy when no powers still there) and could not comprehend why I did not want to unmask with him and endorse him. It was a rift that during the darkness mended mostly because of my supposed death coming into Camelot and bearing witness to Merlin’s passing, and him blessing me fully with the power of the PenDragon.

Now in the armour, with Pen having become scaled armour on my right arm, Excalibur at my side.  Here I am fully powerful. Still don’t comprehend why it does not exist within the Earthly realm, but hey that is a wonderance for another day and time. Here I am gliding through the air over the green valleys towards the…

Okay last time I was here Camelot was gloriously golden and diamonds shining.  Not a burned out hulk of a building with bodies strewn everywhere.  Bodies? But they are of mythical monsters and beings.

In the doorway a short black hair covering, claws…I know that hero. I have fought beside him years ago, he vanished believed dead, but blood is dripping from those claws.

“Badger!” Draw Excalibur and stand at the ready.

The short were-badger turns to me. Teeth bared. Flesh of a troll or a goblin hanging loose and he lets out a roar. More beast than man right now. “You shall die Arthur.”

It is a guttural growl. Seeing me as many in this realm would. As the immortal king of the unified Kingdoms, Arthur PenDragon. Yet if Badger is here, his eyes are glowing with green energy. Herne energy.  “Where is the Wilde Hunt?”

The Badger spins and I view the carcasses. Did the god go mad outside of John?

Or was the god already mad?

Is this why the power does not fully manifest for myself in the earth realms? Is this where I would become more monster than man?  Part of me is thinking I should have brought the rest of the G.C.F with me…but then I would’ve had to explain laying out of Zed to them.

I need in the castle. My arm is warming. I feel Pen’s impulse, the Round Table. Something there. But this thing is in my way. What’s that Pen? I need to release Herne?  How?

I am not killing Badger.

The thing leaps at me.

Badger was an ally.

But in this world. Can this truly be the Badger I knew?

Its claws are powered by mystic energy and I feel it slice through my armour. That’s not supposed to be possible.

Damn that burns.

I land on the grass and roll away.

Okay Pen guide me on reading this.

Eureka!

Herne needed a vessel. Badger those years ago, believed missing/dead had died, but that was when Thor took over John and cast Herne out, Herne not wanting to be dispersed into the Nexus grabbed onto any physical form and brought it to a place it could survive.

Now I need Herne released to renew this realm…no a misread of the impulse of energy. Herne needs to be released to judge this realm for in judging it…judging is wrong word? Seriously Pen what word are you trying to pass through me?

Vanishing point.

Herne needs to be released so this realm will return to pure energy.

Then what?

Get to the table.

Get the heart.

Know John.

Seems simple.

Okay Excalibur are you ready. Move the blade to my right hand.  If this is going to work I am going to have to drive the sword into Badger and??? Seriously, break it?

Exhale slowly… Badger is huffing, growling and moving fast towards me.

Fly fast.

Swing sword out.

Badger hits the grass and rolls back to the entrance.  He is scampering inside.

Chase. Dodge inside. Move around the fires, leap and dodge the bodies. The were-badger-godling is moving towards the Roundtable room.

The huge oaken double doors are burned down and it bursts sending burnt wood timbers and ash everywhere. A chunk slaps hard into the centre of my golden armour darkening it.

The Badger is in the room. I re-adjust my eyes for night vision as I step inside. Trying to track it.

The chairs are overturned. There is bodies of knights strewn about. But in the centre of the table is an orb. That is new I…in the orb a face.

“Help me Rick.”

Damn it. In the centre of the heart of Camelot is the soul of my friend, John MacCurtis.

The Badger snarls and leaps onto the table heading to reach the orb.

Pen sends a shot through my arm.

Stab the orb.

Shatter Excalibur.

But the last two words cause me to move with the sword ready to plunge.

Save John.

The Badger grabs the orb as the tip of Excalibur pierces it.

Green, red and white energy burst.

But those two words flash across my eyes with the unearthly guttural scream I am not sure if it is me, Pen, Badger, Herne, John or all of us…but two words leave my lips for sure:

Live John.

As all goes black

To Be Concluded


MacCurtis’ suit fades away as the orange energy surrounds his body, his hair flames out as he launches through kinetic energy towards the form standing outside of his friends’ house. Were Rick and Susan still alive? PinBall closes the distance ready to rebound the form into the stratosphere.

The form’s massive arm straight armed with open palm catching PinBall by the throat. The hero dangled as the fingers compressed around PinBall’s throat. “Really feeble child, you were my Avatar here on earth. You are nothing.”

PinBall tried to form the words, but he felt his windpipe being crushed.

Inside the kitchen. Susan moves broken bits of table off of her. She felt the warmth of blood on her legs and arms, she tasted the iron taste in her mouth. Rick was unconscious. Laying in what was the kitchen wall separating it from the living room. His right hand was close, she could see the celtic cross ring that held his power.

Her eyes fell on a protruding 2 x 4 stud, only it had snapped and was jutting out through his abdomen. Blood was running down. Susan remembered how the change would heal him. “Damn it Rick.”

Her fingers brushed the cross of the ring. She whispers quietly “Bionics On.” And winces as the lightning comes. . .

The chopper was metres away. Agent Regis motioned to Johnny Power to launch. Johnny Power could not fly, but he could leap far distances and this was one of those moments. Speedster could move her legs fast enough to vibrate to ground and followed her godfather out of the chopper.

Shotgun hung out the side and aimed. “Great Crime Fighters Unite!”

The form has huge stag horns coming from his head. He drops the unconscious PinBall, blue energy crackles around his eyes.

Johnny Power’s shoulder slams into the standing form’s abdomen. Blue energy shoots out at the chopper vaporizing the pilot, Regis and MacKay leap out. Herne’s elbow slams into the base of Power’s neck knocking the hero to the ground as Speedster is clotheslined.

Regis looks to McKay as they land.

Herne smiles. He had just taken apart the Great Crime Fighters without breaking a sweat.

McKay levels his shotgun at the godling. “Now you die monster.”

Herne simply laughs.

“You are mistaken human.”

McKay pulls the trigger as buckshot explodes. Regis covers his ears and dives behind a poplar tree.

A sandal catches Herne in the back of the head, and a molecular shift in the air redirects blue energy back at Herne.

The godling slams hard into the ground. Johnny Power stumbles back up to his feet. McKay smiles. “Zed, Street Avenger took ya long enough.”

Zed smiles, as the one called Street Avenger straightens his gray tie. “I am Mystery.” He kisses Zed on the cheek. “The Street Avenger legacy ended with my nephew, to be healed a new trail needed to be blazed, and that trail begins today by sending this mutt back to nowhere.” Mystery shifts the air molecules more wrapping Herne in a field of telekinesis and closing it around him.

PinBall reaches out and touches the godling’s foot. It was time to see if how to send him out of the realm of this earth still worked. He gasped for air, but the kinetic energy that fuelled him was working overtime to re-knit his throat back together. This thing had killed Rick and Susan.

“Bionics on.” Barely a whisper. The lightning flashed. . .

and Herne laughed?

To Be Continued