Posts Tagged ‘Rick Saturn’


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

Rainbows.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rick smirked.

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

“Wait, you are Camelot?” Lee quizzled.

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

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

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

“Wait…I…”

The colours vanished.

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

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

Meanwhile…

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

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

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

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

“Loouiee!”

Regis turned to his name…

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

 


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

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

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

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

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

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

The app’s name was simple: ENIGMA.

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

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

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

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

What to let the official record say?

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

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

Standing up, he pulls on his rumpled trench coat.

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

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

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

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

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

Green light flashes over the door.

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

The dust trail is the last scene.

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

 


 

I’m sorry Dad..I love you.

Said Johnny “Power” MacKay.

In a scroll across the screen in giant green letters.

FROM

ENIGMA.

They found a pulse. Very faint, barely audible. “Thank you, Louie.” Hate saying those words to an agent of the Agency, but Louie Regis, though appearing Columbo bumbling is quite proficient, and pro-Supra (well Pro being a decent human being). He nods to me; his greenish hued eyes say it all. He still is not sure if I am fully on the side of the angels. But he enjoys the fact that the resurfaced Enigma was wrong. Big bad monster taken out. Hero alive, if on life support. The beating “Thankfully” wore my kid out enough that his invulnerability had worn down enough due to open wounds to allow for the needed intubation and IV’s.

His body was burnt bad. He had what amounted to hopefully a temporary colostomy. Rumour he may have lost his spleen if not some severing of the vertebrae, and yes, the machines were doing the heavy lifting on breathing for him.  But my boy was here. And knowing the pain he must be in I was thankful for pharmaceutical pain killers and opioids being pumped into him. The hard part for a Supra. Always prepare for not coming home from saving the universe, but what happens when you return but almost gave all?

The Great Crime Fighters were getting through the Noro Virus. The enigmatic alien George was sill missing in action. None of that mattered. The short video I got on my tablet coming alive, I believed was the last thing I would ever hear my son say. We had fought through so much in life before the legacy power chose him. Even me being distant, his mother culminating her emotional-spiritual abuse of me and taking off with him so I lost touch until we reconnected when he got the power.

Regis taps my shoulder and nods. “Take care of him old man.”

All I can do is repeat the same phrase. “Thank you, Louie.” He leaves us in the hospital room. The slow-motion safety closure of the door stops the hard thump as it closes. A few moments before next rounds, the lights are already low.

“Tough like his pops Wil.” Said Rick Saturn. I do a double take at the voice by the window coming out of the shadowy dusk light. Rick the missing. Here. This is far to weird.

“You mofo where have you been!” Okay I may be a bit angry that the best hero—ever chooses now to pop back into reality.

The form shimmers a little. Not quite solid. Is this a weird cosmic-Camelot thing? Magic or aliens? When one holds to a belief someone will be real in their time of need, they can manifest them or something like that I remember Zed going on about, Tulpa? “I cannot help in what is coming, but I can help in the now.”

What would I need in the now? How ass backwards is this sitting with my son in ICU watching machines wondering if he will be strong enough to leave? He used to be able to bench press sky scrappers? And now, the cosmic evil that a child may pass before his father? Was Regis saving him a blessing or a curse? The doctors want to know the plan, I don’t have a plan. Super-heroes don’t plan what if they come back in this shape… they only ever come back whole or dead and then resurrect.

“Or crumble under magically induced neurological illness and PTSD.” Says Tulpa Rick. “But I am here for you, you struggle, your child is alive.”

He is right. I do struggle. At what point do I truly know my son is no longer here? Enigma rebooted to send me his “death” only to have him pulled from that fate. There is some warped interstellar thing coming. The alien who can explain it is missing. My friend and his family have vanished.

And I am here talking to the shadow of what my friend once was. Journalist-Activist-Pastor-hero, but what did he always say? “What did you always say?”

“Always the lighting to Susan’s lightning rod and…”

“Father of two amazing twins who will change the world.” I finish.

The machine beeps as it checks vitals once more. Numbers dance, lines squiggle. At one point another teammate years ago tried to explain it all to me. All I cared about was the simplicity, when does it mean they are alive and when dead? The shimmering Rick touches my hand as I sit in the uncomfortable hospital visiting chair holding my son’s massive hand. Wrapped as most of the skin has been burned off when he battled the first wave.

“As long as there’s numbers. There’s life.”

I look up as the setting son darkens the room naturally.

I lightly feel Johnny squeeze that space between thumb and index finger. Not much more strength than when he was first born.

But where there’s simple acts.

Simple breath.

Faint pulse.

Life…my son.

“I’m sorry Johnny, I should’ve been there.” I feel the tears begin again. “I love you.”

 

WE COME.

-Enigma


The Ashram. My front porch. The kid and me, two cups of coffee.

A plot of land I quasi-inherited, squatted upon with the demise of the immortal alien life essence that was Zeus existing as a bi-sexual Zen monastic. I wish I could say the history of life in this City got easier as the story went along, but well, it has been a journey-quest—what is more than a quest? Mystical experience of the super hero operatic variety.

The weird questions being the mentor of the new generation of hero. The Ashram is 3 double wife trailers, one is mine (that is, the home of William “Shotgun” MacKay as the papers call me, when I used to be the villain killing for a living, and for the past 20ish years being the hero). The other two are split between the young heroes that make up the Great Crime Fighters. Canada’s super heroes. They have had many incarnations, and there is the dark time, that brought back the core that then passed on their legacies before their own transitions. Our greatest hero was the Bionic Knight. He was a punk ass teenager I attempted to kill many times, before he helped me become a hero. As a middle aged man, PTSD due to a life of literally saving the universe and mourning took hold of him. He was struggling through some neurological challenge as well that we were never too sure if it was magical or electrical. The power source that made him a hero, check that, that gave him the super powers of Camelot (yes that Arthur bloke) was the PenDragon force. It found a new host. A new punk ass kid, working through her own mourning as the Opioid crisis claimed her little brother, almost lost her with that. Rick talked her back. That was his real name, Rick Saturn, the first husband of our city’s mayor, Susan Kobwash-Saturn, father of two beautiful special needs twins.

A few months ago in a McDonald’s two aliens revealed themselves, George and Dragyn, because what caused the exodus of the stars to earth was coming. A few scant weeks after that Rick vanished.

Not only him, but his family. A few months left on her term as mayor. A successful run.

“Shotgun, why me?” I take a sip from my coffee, leaning on the porch rail, Beth Venus, she’s the new punk ass with the power of Camelot. Also, very anxious and unsure of why she was chosen.

Remember it was a bit of the same conversation I had with Rick after my conversion to the light, and he shared who he was. He shared at 16 years old receiving the power scared the crap out of him, having to find his way. Thinking it was like a maze, but really it was more like a labyrinth. Only one path, however winding, to the source at the centre. A metaphor I have shared with Beth many times, but she is not used to long journeys. Like most in our technological age, she wants it now. Who knew there would be a time when I would think Johnny (Johnny Power- flies, invulnerable, super strong) and Kyla (Last name, Storm, her father Kyler was the Speedster, she is of the same super-speed, with an attention span to match, though Johnny’s can be worse).

“The PenDragon knows who it chooses, your path is to walk the inner Labyrinth to find the dragon within.” Believe that is the way Rick phrased it to me once, hopefully it sounds Yoda enough.

“Quit with the Spock crap. Why me?! Do you think I wanted to be the hero of all the multi-verse?!” Beth screams. Nights like this I am happy the Ashram is on its own little hill away from other neighbours.

Remember the argument when Susie (Susan, Rick’s wife) decided to run for Mayor. John MacCurtis, Rick’s best bud formerly PinBall, formerly Bionic Archer (of Herne and Hood variety) who gave his all had left vacant. He had started a path for a just city. Susan had the passion to complete it. Her concern was Rick stopping being a hero so she could do it, he trusted the power to find th te right host.

“Find you, and the power will co-operate.” I know great pep talk take away for a teenager. Find yourself. The purpose of adolescence.

Susan leveraged every connection she had made, John had politically and Rick had as a former journalist, politico and pastor. The Bionic Knight came out in favour of her, which also helped, and the G.C.F. backed her too. It was time to fully leave the dark, it was time to embrace the light. The Council and Administration were excited over more positivity where every person was seen as a citizen who shared the same rights of Canadians promised in our Constitution and Charter for a just society.

She moved beyond tweet policies, and quick solutions. She pushed for solutions that worked for the individual in community. Moving the conversation from simple accessibility and inclusion to belonging. From housing to homes. From work to vocational purpose. From debt to actual living wages and thriving. From reaction to pro-activity in building a world. Reconciliation and restoration not vengeance. Not looking at integration or reintegration for those who are coming from institutional life whether it be medical, mental health, addiction, corrections or shelters but true connectivity, belonging and living. She pushed hard (and had the death threats to prove it) to all levels of government that any relapse, recycle, recidivism or re-housing/re-shelter rate that was not absolute 0 had to be re-framed for what it was:

A RE-TRAUMATIZATION rate of the person and community.

Susie got the we were all in this together.

Beth is nervous because the council is pushing forward her agenda of transformation and other levels of government are working it as well with her missing. But the forces of darkness and hate are brewing.

“Fuck Will. Incels, Alt-Right, Whiteass sympathizers, So-Cons, its going back to the non-heroic age. We can’t keep the keel.” I love Beth’s passion for nautical movies.

The non-heroic age was a time when heroes rose up based around vengeance, where they played at being judge, jury and executioner. Where it was fuelled by institutional hate, misogyny, and more money makes right, privatization over public good… and every problem could be solved by the taxpayer paying low taxes, and when hit with a road block of any variety by bucking up and pulling themselves up by their boot straps. For you see we are not connected at all, we are all only individuals swirling in this world.

“And why does it matter to you girl? Just toss the ring, let it find another then.” I say.

Beth looks down at the Celtic cross ring on her righthand ring finger. She had ben through the ringer. She knew why her brother succumbed to drug use. The constant emotional and verbal abuse he had endured, and the non-heroic age, non-just society answers peddled onto him. The lack of belonging sapped him to the point of being nothing more than the chemicals that remained in the body after his soul had long crumbled into the darkness.

 

“Because I see through the political correct titles placed upon bullshit movements that basically mean, bully, abuser, Nazi asshat.”

“And?”

“And…I want the world we are building not the one we deconstructed.”

I simply nod. It’s coming, and these kids, may all the gods be with us, for what ever is coming looks to have taken the big guy off the board.

–and that scares the piss out of me.


Stories are a slice of life. A set time span in the character’s existence. That is why characters can exist for so long with minor or major aging all dependent on when the writer wants them to exist. As I have shared previously, my Bionic Knight character was the first super hero character I created circa 8 years old. 31 years on he still is starring in pulpy hero adventures.

Recently over the past 6-7 months the story has been laid out of his struggle through health issues, and PTSD symptomology caused by his exposure to environments, stimuli and circumstances in his life in religion, journalism, outreach, and super heroics. It has led to him being “shelved” as another hero took up the mantle. In the lingo of super heroics, a legacy character stepped in.

Mostly it is the youngster that take over, as we have noted with new Johnny Power, Speedster and Bionic Knight within the transformation of the Great Crime Fighters. With the “Weird Tales of Rick Saturn, formerly the Bionic Knight” (for this and other arcs enjoy the Bionic Knight Pulps category); two new aliens were introduced. But these five characters are not the thrust of this point in Saturn’s lifespan. It is the interplay between William “Shotgun” MacKay and Rick Saturn.

For it is the closing on one chapter in the book of one’s life journey, and officially opening oneself up to what is possible to come with the new chapter starting. Literally an epilogue to one life, and the chapter one of a new book. For when folks ask why I put this four-part story together that did not have much action, it was simply showing that transition and acceptance can happen. Hope can spring forth.

Or in the observation of Rick at the end of part four:

Shotgun stepped back into the restaurant towards George and Dragon. “Look, we have a need to fill on the team with a few more members. Since you both appear to know of this imminent threat, how would you consider joining the newbies?”

Rick had to grin as he heard his friend extend the “offer”, how often he had those conversations over the years. The best conversation to have with a new or old hero, to find belonging and community. To become part of something bigger than themselves.

The world was in good hands. Rick knew it was about more than simply him, it was about taking his new life. His new book of life, one chapter at a time.

Simply a new chapter, watch for future adventures/mysteries as Rick transitions into who he is meant to be now in his life. Who knows where the stepping stones have led, and where the new chapter…new first word will lead him.

 

 

 

 


Saint George is a military saint/martyr that is known across many different countries and religions. Very many patronages. Foremost a protector (and that whole patron saint of England, but moving on) … the most famous story of this Crusader involves a little tale of a dragon.

The story of a little-known village tormented by a dragon, where sheepily sacrifices were offered up to keep it satisfied, until the livestock ran out and the dragon’s insatiable appetite persisted. The ruler came up with a lottery to offer scrumptious offering of human sacrifice. The only problem was that the King’s daughter “won” (if one could call becoming the dinner of a Dragon winning). Hence the chaining to the rock probably, for the Dragon to come and have dinner to save the township.

A crusader night, humbly named George as the legend goes came up on the scene, and with his lance (that some say Churchill dubbed a bomber after in World War II). The fight was on …

Legend says he vanquished the dragon, saved the town, and rescued the princess…

What if the dragon was not the evil that needed to be vanquished?

 Rick stood up from behind the high bench table, why any design team though that was comfort was astounding. “I think you missed a space memo.” He stepped forward walking towards the croc-hunter. “I am no longer the heir, there is someone new.”

                The smoke in the thing’s nostrils began to glow, almost a flame. Rick focused on that, the stabbing added to the temples as well as the top of the head. The feed back sound became a white noise which started to trip his brain out.  He froze in place fighting in the void of darkness unable to move. The croc-hunter leveled his weapon at Rick.

                “You are a coward to hide behind a child as heir. Good Knight.”

                The trigger squeezed…

Pieces of tempered glass crunched beneath a tasseled loafer. George was out of shape, showing the middle-aged spread, and a bad comb over. All in all, a very good alien camouflage job. How else that many centuries ago would a simple crusading knight have been able to defeat a dragon?

“Dragon put the damn gun down.” George said.

Rick’s eyes fluttered rapidly, as his head slumped forward. Slowly he chewed his lips as his brain rebooted. The weapon—some would call a blaster or a phaser dependent on whether you were a Star Wars fan or Trekkie leveled at him. Rick fought through brain fog and re-focused on George. “Aren’t you Dragon?”

George chuckled. “I have allowed it to become my last name, but we were more partners.” George said.

Shotgun pushed himself up to a standing position and stumbled forward. He felt the bruising coming through in his back, and was sure he had probably broken or the very least bruised a rib or two. His hope was for a break, at least those had a healing time frame, bruising was a pain that lingered over time.  Unfortunately seeing the weapon trained on hi friend, and sadly the only person appearing able to stop the vaporization is an old alien.

“Dragon.” George stated.

“Yes, George.” Dragon said.

“The Knight needs to die.”

“No, like they misunderstood our name, we need this Knight to be ready to rise again.” George retorted.

“Wait, you’re St. George from the legend?” Said Rick.

“What did you think the S. before my name stood for?” Rick shrugged at the response. “You were the reincarnated PenDragon and this is causing a confused facial expression?”

“The legend says you killed the guy with the blaster on me. What was up with that princess…”

George laughed. Shotgun just looked confused, the sirens were there. Dragon looked at Rick. “Why do you think the town had to chain her up?”

If it was a cartoon, a light bulb would’ve appeared over Rick and Shotgun’s head. “The Princess was the monster.”

“Yes, she was eating others in the township. They chained her up and…” Dragon paused, searching for the words.

“Hired you, because you are some sort of bounty hunter.” Rick said.

“He’s a hired assassin, but you make it sound so heroic, Rick.” George said.

Shotgun chimed in finally, “so the big intergalactic bad coming back is the princess.”

“Bingo cowboy.” Dragon said as he released the trigger and holstered his weapon. “We just don’t know when.”

Shotgun walked to the gaping hole and motioned to the police. Rick watched as Shotgun did what he used to do in the armour, sort out the issues.  Shotgun stepped back into the restaurant towards George and Dragon. “Look, we have a need to fill on the team with a few more members. Since you both appear to know of this imminent threat, how would you consider joining the newbies?”

Rick had to grin as he heard his friend extend the “offer”, how often he had those conversations over the years. The best conversation to have with a new or old hero, to find belonging and community. To become part of something bigger than themselves.

The world was in good hands. Rick knew it was about more than simply him, it was about taking his new life. His new book of life, one chapter at a time.

The New Beginning…

 


The world of comics has become a world of reboots for the super heroes as publishers’ experiment with legacies not getting to long in the tooth. Characters aging, and living life…or worse yet experimenting with keeping up with other mediums their characters appear in so there can be cross sales. What is left is a product that can become too over controlled from the top that does not allow for creative passion. Which it is the creative drive that creates stories that stand the test of time, and the new meta-narratives of our time. For whether we want to admit it or not, super heroes are the new heroes of ancient myth today.

Why these thoughts enter Rick’s mind as the green flame bursts through the glass and sending the two old fighters flying across the restaurant and breaking the fountain pop machines, slumping into the mess of carbonated water, syrups and ice on the floor. Rick notes that William “Shotgun” MacKay is unconscious. Moments like this as the dagger like stabbing of pain hits his brain a new, he misses having Pen, the little dragon of power with him. Moments like this where he wonders why he left re-watching Star Trek, to meet with George Dragon in the alley.

Rick’s tremoring left hand finds the chunk of space gem, it is glowing. There is something moving through the smoke, alarms are ringing, sprinklers have kicked in. People are screaming and running. One text away from back up, and Rick curses himself. “Silly old bastard.” He had sworn this nuts life off, time to be a Dad and leave saving the world to the younger set. Only problem being that many times those in most need were chronic and would not go to the new faces. They would seek out the old guard for advice and aid regardless of health conditions.

The person looks reptilian. Not trying to hide, if this was a Star Trek episode possibly a Gorn, but truly looked more like a mutated crocodile ala Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Rick’s eyes narrowed as he attempted to breathe through the pain. Now would not be the time to take a seizure, could end very badly for him. This was an intergalactic bounty hunter. George had mentioned him before many years ago. The harbinger, the one that pre-dated those that drove them away. An immortal jerk out for blood.

The croc-hunter steps through the shattered glass and blown apart booths. His eyes narrow and smoke comes from his nostrils.  Was the green flame not from the gun he held in his hand? Could this actually be a…

“Richard? Where for art thou heir to the PenDragon?” The snarl made it hard to be made out, but Rick picked it up. There was also a burst of purple noise blocking out many other electronic forms of hearing. The government would be able to create a cover story for this issue.

Will began stirring. Rick tapped his friend’s shoulder “stay down. I got this.” Will rolled onto his stomach to be able to push up a little. He cursed under his breath for leaving his gun in his truck. Two old fighters, facing some space monster.

Rick stood up from behind the high bench table, why any design team though that was comfort was astounding. “I think you missed a space memo.” He stepped forward walking towards the croc-hunter. “I am no longer the heir, there is someone new.”

The smoke in the thing’s nostrils began to glow, almost a flame. Rick focused on that, the stabbing added to the temples as well as the top of the head. The feed back sound became a white noise which started to trip his brain out.  He froze in place fighting in the void of darkness unable to move. The croc-hunter levelled his weapon at Rick.

“You are a coward to hide behind a child as heir. Good Knight.”

The trigger squeezed…

To Be Continued…


Chimeras—mythical hybrid creatures’ ala Centaurs, Minotaurs, Nephilim, that where two species become one. Some would call it false flags, a word for something that does not exist. Others for the possibilities of when alien technology used with/upon our ancestors is understood today. Rick sipped his double-double McCafe slowly as he watched the parking lot. George Dragon had raised questions that he needed answers to. His left hand slightly trembled, his head had a dull throbbing, but all in all it had been a good past three day.

Rick knew he would pay for that later.

Dragon was one of the many hiding in plain sight.

Not something the new kids needed to be drawn into, but something Rick needed to give a heads up to an old friend about. The beaten-up F-150 pulls into the lot and Rick watches Shotgun MacKay gets out and heads towards the McDonald’s.

A black coffee later and McKay is sitting across from his old friend. There is fading bruising, and fresh scarring on the whiskered face. Years ago, they had been adversaries, with many of Rick’s rogues paying to have the hired gun on side to try and assassinate the then Bionic Knight. Slowly the transformation of the mercenary to mentor began. Will (Shotgun) noted it was small kernels that Rick’s super hero alter ego had laid in his path. Eventually to the place he was now mentoring the new Great Crime Fighters, so this new legacy batch did not turn out like the last blood thirsty judge-jury-executioner types.

“So let me get this straight. What caused the intergalactic exodus to earth is now…” MacKay let the statement dangle.

“On its way, here. Dragon says we could have a Chimmering Chimera.” Rick stated. MacKay looked puzzled by the statement. Rick stated what a Chimera was, “The entity that eventually spliced into John.” Rick had to say no more. If the taking over of John by the alien entity had led to procreation of a new species with the same dark intent. But instead John MacCurtis sacrificed himself to end it.

“You want the kids ready?”

“I think I may have a way to stop this without needing to risk their lives.” Rick said.

“Rick be real, you have given more than most. If this risk is real, step aside, let us step up for a change.” MacKay said.

“Dragon came to me. It will start covertly, if I can find the source and shut it down there will be no risk to anything else.” Rick said. He took another sip. “It will be played out like a Trojan Horse. I just need to find the horse and burn it down.”

MacKay nodded. His friend had saved the world even the universe many times over. But those were times he had been imbued with the power of Camelot. Now he was as normal as can be described fighting the health effects those many battles had brought onto his holistic self. “What did Susan say?”

Rick closed his eyes slowly, trying to push the dull throbbing aside. His wife, his lightning rod. The one that keeps pulling him back from the darkness of death. A death that some days he would happily succumb to. But there is more than just him to consider, a balance with the life and the darkness. Each day consciously choosing life.

“Haven’t specifically had that conversation, but she has encouraged my writing and investigative work more.” Rick said. Which was true, she just was unaware where the investigative work may be leading.

MacKay had known his friend a long time. He noted the slight tremble in the hand. The twinge at the crow’s feet where he was fighting back pain within his mind. Dragon was an associate who rarely showed up, but if he was coming out of the shadows to speak then what was coming was true. He looked squarely in his friend’s eyes. A glimmer of green energy sparked. Maybe Rick was as done as everyone believed.

“We are one text or call away for back up.”

“thank you.”

The green flame hit squarely the centre of the parking lot shattering the window the two sat next to sending them careening across the restaurant.

To be continued…


“At least four different species of aliens have been visiting earth for thousands of years…. Some of the extraterrestrials look like us and could walk down the street without anyone noticing.”

-Paul Theodor Hellyer, former Defense Minister of Canada and 22-year member of the Canadian Cabinet (as quoted by Erich Von Daniken in 2018’s The Gods never Left us).

It always amazed Rick how people could accept some things, but then still quibble over the most mundane. They could accept that there was Supra’s in the world. Those with extra human powers, and that they could be good or evil. They could accept his former alter-ego, now passed on to a legacy, the Bionic Knight came from another dimension and was part science, part magic.

Yet, folks like those that stood in the shadows of the alley speaking with him were of another planet, now as he fought to keep the left-hand tremble under control. Silently cursed the flashbacks he knew were coming with stepping this far back into the field. Much like the comic book John Jones, who was a green martian in DC Comics known as the Martian Manhunter, his secret identity put forward a humble human form. That was George. From a distance if you did not know better you would swear he was Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons come to life.

George was not a malicious entity like Thor that had dragged Rick’s friend John into the darkness and eventual death. He was like many immigrants and refugees from the cosmos, just looking for a simpler existence. Sadly, his connections with the Supra set had narrowed quite drastically, he did not know if the kids running with McKay could be trusted. Rick told him they could when he called the house line, Susan pushed, she remembered George and how big of a problem could he be in. Last time he had reached out it was because he had misfiled his income tax.

Why they couldn’t meet for a McCafe coffee Rick did not know, or even Perkins for some pie. The Dragon chose here. Only upside was hopefully it would not bring on the worst of the seizures as actually being on Ashram soil and with the team, like it had in the past. But the alley was across from city hall, Rick looked up, his wife’s office light was still on. Which meant by this moment with Uncle Shotgun the twins had him tied up or convinced that sundaes and colas were part of the night time routine. The thought caused Rick to smile a little.

George moved closed, pulling up the collar of his trench coat. His family were interstellar refugees that settled shortly after World War II and the Bogart look stayed true regardless of the generation. From inside he pulled out what looked like a fossil. Rick’s eyes moved over the greenish tinge.

“Jade?” Rick inquired.

“Possibly that or Emerald. If this was some comic book, I would quip Kryptonite.” George said.

Rick took the rock, there was etchings he had a hard time rendering in the dimming evening light. Every so often what the role of super hero had neurologically taken on him would cause his vision to almost go shadowy tripling. That effect was happening, he squished his eyes closed, and took some slowing breaths to correct before opening them again. Ensuring the stone was still in his right hand, the reasserting of breathing rhythm was bringing the left-hand tremor to control. “Not of this earth.”

“But of this cosmos. It’s a message.” George said.

“Message of what?” Rick asked, feeling very tired of the tedious crime noir novel back and forth, but it was the price one paid when people learned their language from Marlowe novels.

George pointed to the darker green etchings. “That which caused my people to run is coming.”

To Be Continued…


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