Posts Tagged ‘Johnny Power’


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.

 


2 days.

1 sleep.

Until vote day.

A new mayor.

A new path chosen for a city.

A split choice. Either Gordon Lived, Arch-Deacon of the Church of Killer Face, second-in-Command to the supreme church pontiff, K, and current fill-in mayor or, unbeknownst to the voter, the wife of the former Bionic Knight, Rick Saturn, mother of twins, Susan Kobwash-Saturn, fighter for the one without voice. Reason Rick released the PenDragon ring to choose another.

The other chosen who landed yesterday outside the church of organized crime. While 2/3 of the current Great Crime Fighters watched—Johnny Power and Speedster. The call went out to the 3rd member, old friend (and older opponent, first to sign her nomination papers), William “Shotgun” McKay drove his truck through the sanctuary wall with his name sake firing.

The siege had begun.

Until that truck drove through a case could have been mounted to dismantle the church.

The vote was tomorrow.

Gordon was pleading religious persecution, and that the heroes had gone rogue again.

The city was awaiting a statement from her.

Rick was making sure the kids go off to school with the nightmare the school board had made of special needs busing, his choice to step back (yes there was health reasons as well), but truly for this run to work and more so for her to win, he needed to make a choice to not be the investigative journalist, to not be the universe saving hero…he simply needed to be husband and dad, his two favourite jobs he said.

A love like crazy for a woman he has known since his first day in pre-school when the Harumphs adopted him after his family was massacred. To calm her nerves before going before the radio microphones, print reports and t.v. cameras on the steps of city hall. The steps where John had called for the heroes to unite.

On these steps, she would have a moment that could, no would decide her campaign.

The Lee Brice song, Love Like Crazy runs through her mind to keep calm. The love story, not of Guinevere and Arthur like the PenDragon legend parallels. In her mind it was more like Robin and Marian, or Lois and Clark.

“Hello, for those who may not be aware yet cause you were living under a rock I am Susan Kobwash-Saturn and I am running for Mayor. Yesterday a new hero decided to take actions into their own hands, actions that City Council has continually hamstrung our own police force from doing. The Great Crime Fighters entered the fray as back up. The goal is to bring down the Church of the Killer Face.” Susan pauses for effect. Stay focus, just in the back battling a hand tremor she sees Rick. Kids are safe to school. He had said that if McKay was right and K was back, he was the nastiest evil yet. A sadist, a Supra genetically designed to be a more prolific killer by the Nazi’s with extra additions over time. A Street Avenger had his family dismantled by the monster until he could finally stop him.

Rick shook with a bit of fear about this monster focusing on his family due to Susan’s stance. But like they always said, evil wins when the voice of love remains silent.

Today it was Susan’s turn to use her voice.

“I encourage all citizens to vote tomorrow and make their choice, between Arch-Deacon of church of the Killer Face’s vision of living in the darkness Gordon Lived and my own of living out of hope. More importantly today, I call upon our Provincial Government to end this farce that this group is a non-profit or a religion. The provincial government did the right thing and stripped these protections from the Klu Klux Klan. Premier and all parties we are calling upon you to remove this entity’s legal status and to name it for what it is. Nothing more than a sociopathic centre of organized crime, and full power given to the GCF to hold all members accountable and culpable for crimes committed under Common Law.”

Rick smiles over the shoulder of a reporter. She notices the tiny dragon peeking out from under his leather ¾ trench coat collar. Pen was with him trying to get him to hold together what was still happening. No medical staff could say yet.

“And please, whichever Deity or belief you hold dear, send thoughts, prayers and positivity to the heroes who have taken a stand to end evil that your governments failed to deliver on the Constitutional promise to all Canadians of Peace, Order and Good Governance. To my friends in the Great Crime Fighters—give the bastards hell!”

  • – – – – – – – –

Shotgun’s fist cracked another nose. He reloaded and pumped as he mule kicked someone else. Johnny Power flew through a pack. There was too many, no matter how fast the Speedster moved.

The new Bionic Knight was awkward. Untrained. But too powerful. The voice was booming. A sibling lost within the cult. Sirens still going off. Police were surrounding with guns drawn, not sure yet whom was the one they were to be looking to arrest, as what presented as a peaceful religious assemblage had been disrupted, yet it was the most badly hidden secret of the evil they had brought to the city.

Citizens had come to their aid realizing their heroes were outgunned.

S.W.A.T. was on-site with tear gas at the ready to disperse.

Sun was starting to set. Smoke from forests on fire was bathing the sky red like flame.

Sweat and blood was beginning to blind McKay, when a boom sounded.

The oak doors fell of their hinges.

Arch-Deacon Lived stood in the illumination of the stain glass holding an illegal fire arm in one hand, and a sword in the other.

The new Knight turned and looked.

The voice boomed, but there was a lilt. “Where is my baby brother?”

The Arch-Deacon smiles. “Who the fuck cares?”

“I do!” The Bionic Knight shouted and swooped towards the form.

And stopped.

The roof erupted in flames.

Lived cackled.

As K floated into the eerie night air.

The Knight’s hand goes slack and the sword clatters onto the cement walk path. McKay whirls and aims.

Power drops the two thugs.

Speedster stops short.

K’s face is wrinkled. His crow’s feet have crow’s feet.

His eyes are dark black pools.

“You are a new young pup.” A shift of the molecules. “And not yet fully powered.” The helmet through telekinesis rips apart revealing the long curly red hair of the new Bionic Knight. Her face shows the scars of a life lived fighting for survival, with the slight quiver of fear.

K cackles.

Speedster moves to run.

A pipe explodes upwards eviscerating her through the abdomen. Johnny screams for his friend.

McKay hears a cop. “Screw them being supposedly legal. Light the bastards up!” And he just hopes they are on the side of the angels for a change.

To Be Continued….


The 1996 made for t.v. Doctor Who movie proves what can go oh so wrong with a less than 90-minute re-boot/re-imagine. That is they got bagged down in kitchen sinking the explanation. I hope that isn’t this type of story as we move towards election day. I made a promise to my wife that this would be come her time, especially after my last time saving the universe. The only quest, Rick Saturn (that’s me gentle reader) of the left-hand tremor and foggy brain is going on is battling the school board to see my twins with special needs as full kiddos who should be able to get to school on time and get educated.

Yup. The once great crusading journalist, and super hero…is destined to stay at home parentdom if S.K.S.’s polls are to be believed and she coasts into the Mayor’s office, I will be the spouse of Her Worship Susan Kobwash-Saturn. Only a few days left.

And I just watched the ring of power of Camelot launch out of a Husky House diner parking lot to find a new host.

Why?

William Shotgun MacKay—former villain turned best buddy (or only buddy still alive) basically stating that it is time for a new Bionic Knight, bearer of the PenDragon to stand on the front line, with the ancient evil revived.

I wipe sweat okay tear away as I leave the diner from paying. McKay is waiting by his truck.

“How long?”

“I dunno. It found me when a hero was needed, and I just kind of hung around.” I respond.

He laughs. “I guess that sums up our generation of hero, just hung around.”

I nod and begin walking home. He hollers at me. “One last thing, my friend.”

I turn to the old grizzled killer who is learning a new way. “What?”

“Get in and see.”  McKay said.

It is the least I could owe him. I still feel the magic within me, it is a dull thrumming, for the years I communed with other realms. Since my return what used to exist as a small pet dragon, simply is within me now. It feels good, not a loss, to put the power out there to claim another pure of heart.

What did Shotgun want to show me?

It had been left a smoldering wreck, but he had bought it and replaced the double wide with a log cabin. It was the new ashram, or as McKay phrased it, “Sanctuary. Figured the crew needed a place to come and get away. Also…”

“You always hated the noise of the downtown apartment.” I said.

The old guy just nodded and snorted. Leaning against his truck. Part of me wondered where the ring went to settle.  A slight hand tremor. “Do you think we will get back to normal anytime?” Mckay has new scars due to his run in with K. I know he wants me back as the Knight, but a promise is a promise. And well, damn it, there is simply a time to step back and let others stand up. Besides, with him running the Killer Face Cult, it has been low key in the city.

“Johnny and Speedster have been out on patrols.”

“And?”

“Quiet. Too damn quiet. When it got quiet like this back in the day Rick…”

“Was usually just before you and a couple of the other yokels would try something.” I said.

Shotgun laughed. “And here I thought only the Flash talked about his Rogues so fondly.”

“It was a different time man. Too many saved universes. So many deaths.” It’s a pregnant pause over what is left unsaid. We had outlived so many of our friends. One of the things I believe could be wrong with me is PTSD. Maybe therefore it was so easy to step back and place house parent and let Susan shine even thought I know new evil has arisen. “John couldn’t change the city.”

“those demon aliens took him down, but in the end, he tried.” Shotgun said.

A crackle from inside the truck. A scanner. Police scanner. So old school. But clear as day.

No code.

Just an exclamation.

“Bloody hell the Cult has exploded. Bionic Knight on site! GCF inbound. Need all hands!”

McKay smirks.

“I can get the bus man. Get going those brats need ya, you old bastard.”

To Be Continued…

 


Speedster called, but she’s still laid up at home and Johnny Power is playing nursemaid. That left the mysterious, Mystery to float down to the ashram to investigate. I know he likes to play off that he is this living enigma, but truly that is for those outside of the know. Not ol’ Shotgun have you though. This was a Street Avenger. It appeared the villainous K (a Nazi super-killer) had done him in, but left him in the sewers with amnesia for years. He finally regained his memory, a Kevin Katz. But still hiding from his true self. A tri-kinetic, low level, part telekinetic, telepath with flickering’s of pyro kinesis.

I stand at the gate. The ashram has seen better days, burnt out, by my old eyes, from the inside out.  The metal burst in such a way to look like a tormented lotus in bloom. At the centre, pipes twisted into an upside down cross.

Puff intakes as I light a Cuban and begin walking towards the floating man in the billowing trench coat and fedora. Rumour had it that Zed was some ancient alien entity that our ancestors in Greece called Zeus, in Rome, Jupiter. His latest form to survive he had taken on the monastic form.

But here he was stripped to the skivvies, upside down like tradition tells us they did St. Peter. The glimmering fires I can see the scourge marks on the back. But his throat is slit. Who knew alien-godling-immortals bled chartreuse. If I wasn’t processing information to spot some clues I am sure I would laugh.

“Will.” Mystery’s voice sounds like a bad impersonation of the Shadow radio voice.

“Mystery.” I know who he is. He still won’t admit it. Not worth the oxygen having the same argument over and over again. Wonder though if he remembers the many times we tangled back in the day. Ah the bad ol’ days, sometimes it is hard to not want to take that path again, so comfortable like a worn pair of Levi originals they used to sell with Harley’s. The new path still takes breaking in of the new jeans creases.  But breaking in is the way to repay my karmic debt, as Zed once intoned it to me.

Now I am looking at—friend is to strong a word—colleague? Bit more, teammate just hanging there. “Any idea when rescue gets here to cut the poor bastard down?” I ask.

Mystery softly lands before me. “Rumour has it, Rick called in a favour to allow me to attempt to see if I could capture anything from his essence.” It is a telepaths trick, for those a bit stronger, that they sometimes if they respond quick enough can grasp a bit of synaptic energy and replay the last moments for clues. “Sadly, we were too late.”

I nod slowly, but my eye catches a blinking green light. Mystery’s eye slit (only thing visible between fedora brim and black kerchief) moves to the blinking light. I take a puff on my cigar as I move and squat. I go to click the flashing button on the cube, reminds me of that asinine power saving power bar the government gave me for free a few months back.

Mystery uses a telekinetic push and holds my hand still. “What if it’s a trap?”

“Well, I either press it and it goes boom, or we wait till the flashing stops and its goes boom, either way boom.”

I actually believe Mystery laughs as he releases my hand and I double tap (yes I loved Zombieland too) the button.

The blinking stops.

I exhale a little, didn’t think I was holding my breath.

Mystery looks at me, I give him my best Han Solo grin as the box pops apart and a beam opens wide with a whir. Hologram. I really hate this sci-fi shit. Not as much as the godling-alien murder crap, but its in the top 20 things I despise (though surprisingly not as high yuppified coffee bevvies).

The image is simple.

How did they manage to pull of murdering an entity whose twin existed and required literally the Son of the Devil to exorcise?

Mystery exhales. “Killer Faces.”

To Be Continued…