Posts Tagged ‘Shotgun MacKay’


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

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

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

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

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

“He can handle it.” I said.

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

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

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

“And they are all dead.” I said.

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

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

“Damn.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To Be Continued…


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The boy fading.

                Signs of an opioid overdose.

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

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

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

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

                Though being the one to save the brother.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Going to claim the body?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“But he’s…”

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

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

“Then go.” Rick said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

                “No…I “  

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

                If you cannot save him?

How are you any good to save anyone?

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

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

I said as I left the mayor’s office.

 


There are those days when you wished you still had a vice. Outside of bad tasting-strong coffee that shelters or newsrooms serve up, there isn’t one. Drinking ended almost two decades ago. Drugs were never my scene. My wife has just been sworn in as mayor, the kids—sorry, Shotgun says I should refer to them as what they are, the newbies, the heroes of the land, are convalesced and out aiding with rebuilding hope. Even the new PenDragon, the new Bionic Knight.

My powers of the mystic are sparse and sporadic. I miss Pen, he never made the trip back that saved the universe one last time. Sadly, all I can remember is those I could not save, the deaths, the losses, the overdoses, the times I fought the good fight and failed. Not sure if it is what drives the hand tremor and the seizure activity, or the seizures and tremors have broken the mind enough that it reboots without the updates of self care. It was Susan that suggested I should talk to someone.

Which is hard, because we have always been private about keeping my heroic identity a secret. Too many leaks in the traditional path of psychology. After all we have survived over the many years, and with the retro villains coming out of the woodwork, the last thing I need is for one to discover who I am and decide to swerve to the family instead of me.

Which brings me to a trained psychologist, in the back office of a church basement that has doubled as a shelter for teen mothers and runaways, the odd rescue out of sex trafficking that no one wants to admit is a local issue not an international issue. An old ceramic white mug donation from some greasy spoon that had tanked, sipping bad coffee, sitting in a chair that is more duct tape than whatever it was originally made from.

A sip on that coffee I had grown to enjoy, but in later years would probably reveal it had eaten through my gut. With my symptoms, they keep saying with each occurrence I should go to ER where there is a standing order. What our government has failed to realize by not declaring the opioids a health crisis, what they have created in ER’s through attempts at normalization of addiction under health structures is another barrier to care. If everyone you encounter you need to argue with that you are not on something, as they retake vitals and wait on blood work just to see if you come “down” the question arises in the mystery—what happens if they misjudged based on where you live and how you look that it is not drugs and something more. But because they are hyper focused on the drug issue, the waiting game and judgment causes further harm to those who have stead fistedly proven time and again that perhaps it is not a narcotic or other substance and it is something more. Yet in the midst of judging on appearance, you have now alienated the patient who does not feel trusted or valued anymore to continue banging their head against a system wall.

Scratch the beard that since this has started has become grayer than I am used to. She is with another trying to get government pathways to open quicker. The door creaks when it opens, but this little parish has always been more focused on the person before them than the building.

“Sister Anne.”

“Richard, please, just Anne.” Says the Nun, the only one from our graduating class to join the order. Susan suggested it, because at one point and time… “we have seen quite a bit.” She was the first Bionic Archer, while John was still PinBall, but had surrendered her power when she felt the calling, the Wild Hunt wasn’t happy in the moment but there wasn’t much that could be done. “Susan said you needed to talk.”

Scratch my beard. Since returning from staring into the heart of evil that was K, and allowing the power to go to the new Knight, my left-hand tremor had died down and seizure events were rolled back ten-fold. Flashbacks were still plaguing me, and I was working with neurology but the health system still was ailing from the late 20th century early 21st century neo-con “common sense” revolution where they attempted to privatize aspects thus hampering effectiveness, efficiency and fiscal conservatism of true public health care. I await tests to see what is truly happening and what comes after for me. But since hanging up the ring if you will, life appears to be improving.

Yet there is a piece of me that cannot let he action rest.

Sister Anne freshens our coffee and sits in a chair across from me that I swear is even more duct tape than mine. “Richard, you have been through the 7 rings of Dante’s Hell, beat Milton’s Fall, and ascended through Dante’s Purgatory to his Paradise, and may I say been through the Wardrobe.”

“Seriously Anne, I am expecting a Tardis reference soon.”

“There is that. You exist as the Day of the Doctor.”

“Which one, the Doctor that regrets or forgets?”

“You are simply the War Doctor. Richard, you have always made the best choice given your point of view.”  She takes the last sip of her coffee. “And you also carry an over inflated sense of responsibility for the ripples out of those choices. Breathe.”

“Can it be that simple, breathe, and accept the destruction and loss my actions have done.”

Sister Anne smiles in the dimly lit office. “Breathe, and remember the good your actions have brought.”


 

The Original Star Trek in their second season about episode 14, Wolf in the Fold, did one about the ghost of Jack the Ripper still existing in the 23rd Century. A right old murder mystery in space. Why this thought flashes through Mystery’s mind.

Mystery’s eyes lock onto the prey only… she’s no longer there. “A mirage.” It comes out as a whispering hiss. How could he have missed that.  The Evil was not after another normal mortal but… “a supra.”  He whirls on his wing tips.

The fog turns to fire.

“Fuck me. I know this evil.”

The fog dissipates to show the prey unconscious on the ground. Her chest still slightly rising and falling. The Ancient Evil floats slightly above her. Speedster has been slowed to slow motion. A scythe. No. An arm. No, a psychic construct.

Mystery tries to form words, but something is stopping him from speaking. He flashes in his mind, get the hell out. And the only answer shaking through his brain is laughter.

Johnny Power lands behind the floating shadowy form.

Speedster goes from slow.

To fast.

To a blade slicing through her abdomen.

“No!” Power lunges at the form as his friend crumples gripping her stomach.

Mystery tries to move but the laughter gets louder. He holds the sides of his head, doubling over in the air. Floating in the fetal position.

The form whirls.

Power’s fist stops just short of the face.

He tries to punch forward.

But can’t move.

A cackle.

The shadows fall away from the head. Crimson read hair cascades down.

She smiles. “You look like him.”

Johnny Power looks at her. He feels something twisting around his neck and head. He scrambles to grip around whatever is holding him. He feels the panic rising MacKay had not covered this in training, what to do when you are battling something completely invisible.

The green flames still engulf the ground around the form.

Green flames peter out in the Ashram. Susan stands staring unable to articulate what she just saw.

        Rick side steps. Both his hands grip the helmet. He looks in the fluid motion right at Susan. “Remember I love you and I will be back.”

The helmet rips off and green flame envelops Rick and the Knight.

MacKay pushes himself back up to standing. He looks at a shaking Susan who motions for him to stay put. Zed walks up to her. “Susan, I think—“

Her fist squarely slammed into the bridge of the alien immortal entity’s nose causing both eyes to burst out with purple red bruising already rising as he crumples unconscious to the ground.

Just behind her green flame erupts up ward blasting two holes: one in the floor, one in the roof.

Susan hears Rick’s voice.

“I will be back. I promise. I love you.”

She feels the heat. Turns and it is all gone.

The look on MacKay’s face states he saw the flames too. A radio crackles in the background of the Ashram. Breaking news about the losing battle.

“We have to go.” MacKay and Susan head out of the Ashram. She silently wonders to herself if they can be faster than fire, but the thoughts rolling in her mind. Rick and her broke the Camelot curse, because she did not fall for his friend, which meant that Camelot could fall, Arthur and Lancelot could finally be at peace.

But…

The green flame beneath the floating shadow woman’s feet implodes. Then explodes upwards.

Power collapses on the ground gasping for air, but still alive.

Mystery falls from the sky, he feels his shoulder pop out of place. But the laughter is over.

The shadow woman lands hard on the asphalt.

The shimmering gold armour. Excalibur drawn.

“Ripper.” The immortal entity that was Jack the Ripper. Rick had done battle with it many times, each time it would body jump, he had never confronted the true entity with a chance to put it to rest, finally exorcise it from reality. But with how this ancient evil had haunted his career, it finally made sense.

Mystery stumbles up to his feet. He looks at the Bionic Knight. “Think it through B.K., much more than the first serial killer reincarnated.” Mystery said. A telekinetic blast sends Mystery flipping .

“Silence.” Ripper said.

The Bionic Knight raises Excalibur and looks at her. His mind races, it makes sense now, the ancient evil clicking together as he had stated earlier. “It was always you. Trying to ensure misery always followed the Pendragon. Like the sober addict’s friends from the days of usage dragging them back. Misery loves company. Isn’t that right Queen Guinevere?”

The shadow form lets out a maniacal laugh. The green flames shoot out around her.

Rick feels the heat within the armour. His sweat stings his eyes as he lands in front of Guinevere. She smiles at him. “Ah Arthur you are right. I should have always just killed you myself.”

“Except Arthur is already dead. I am Rick.”

Green flame shoots from her hands, forms into a spear.

Rick screams as the flame spear tears through his armour and lifts him off the ground.

When he hears her voice.

“Bitch drop him or I swear this 12 gauge is going through you.” Susan said.

To Be Continued…

 

 

 


Pen spits out a spark of fire. Susan dive rolls, feeling every year and the time of being a mother reminding her she is not the teenage adventurer she once was. Back when Rick was of the brilliant gold armour, now she’s a mayoral candidate. Shotgun fires and the pellets vaporize as a metal gauntlet backhands the old scoundrel across the trailer.

The sword raises again swinging towards Susan’s carotid artery.

Things go swirly.

A leather gloved hand shoots under the sword arm grasping at the elbow and stops the sword mid-swing.

Susan let’s out a gasp.

It can’t be possible.  Susan thinks as she watches the new form that had stepped out of the swirling mists of the floor push the sword arm up and away.

A leather first delivers a quick jab between the chinks of the helmet and the armour, where there is a chain mail space to the throat causing the Knight to stumble back.

A steel toed combat boot sends a round house to the gauntleted sword hand. The sword that was/is known as Excalibur skitters out of the Bionic Knight’s hand and clambers to the ground. MacKay picks up his shotgun, reloads while the knew combatant has his former teammate staggered.

Susan pushes herself up and moves to where Excalibur landed.

It is legend that only the once and future king could lift the blade. But truly it is the one of pure of heart as well. Susan grips the ancient leather on the hilt.

The Bionic Knight looks at the new intruder. Green flame crackles from the eye slits.

The new fighter stands a bout a head and a half to two heads shorter than the armoured form. A slow exhale of breath, as the green flames crackle more around the armour. The breath begins to become visible as the temperature inside the “Ashram” begins to drop.

Zed gets up and stares at the two. He looks to MacKay who is bringing his shotgun up, but the immortal alien entity shakes his head. It would not work as well as the last time, or go worse than before.

Susan’s hand grips the hilt fully. It wasn’t possible what she was seeing before her eyes could not comprehend. How could they be separate?

But the more her eyes came into focus as she lifted the sword and looked at the two. She had lost faith he would find his way back from his quest…yet he had returned. Only changed. As any quest into the next life would do to a person.

But the strength he showed saving her life. Causing the PenDragon/Bionic Knight to drop his sword. The power all those years ago had chosen an adolescent who was meant to be, much like the sword in the stone centuries before had chosen an adolescent. Yet back then the absolute power had corrupted, and Camelot had fallen.

Yet here, the power had not corrupted. Despite every challenge laid before. That was at the core of the PenDragon cycle, there needed to be the ancient evil, and yet the ancient evil could not tear apart this friendship, and this love.

Even when the essence-archetype that had been Lancelot found its way into Rick’s long lost brother James, and led to the villainy of the Ionic Knight, in the end James found redemption and gave his life to save the universe.

It appeared the PenDragon-Arthur had finally been redeemed and that corruption would not come. But this last quest something had changed, for here in the trailer’s living room, the heart of the Ashram of Zed stood the corruption.

Pen hissed at the armoured figure as he landed on the shoulder of the other.

Susan lifted Excalibur and swung at the Knight.

The blade slammed hard across the chest plate.

The Knight screamed as the blade shattered and the chest plate cracked.

He dropped to one knee.

“I will destroy.” PenDragon said.

Susan dropped the broken sword as more green energy seeped out.

The intruder held up his arm.

She slipped under it.

There was a rattle from within the chest of the Knight.

The man that saved her life, his salt and pepper stubble. He lightly kissed the top of her head. “I love you Susan.”

“I know.” Susan said.

Rick Saturn let his arm slide down her back and squeeze her tight once more before stepping fully squared before the Bionic Knight/PenDragon/Arthur entity. Green energy swirled around. His leather gloves he used to straighten the old oil slick duster. It was interesting what clothes he wound up landing in the Ashram in at this moment.

Susan was the anchor that brought him back.

John knew he needed to come back to her, and to save the world from the ancient evil.

A quick scan of the room showed that the youngest members of the team where out, which meant they were more than likely in contact with the ancient evil that would be hunting tonight.

An evil he did not want to be reminded of that existed.

One that Zed had hidden the true essence of, but he was prepared for.

Check that, he had been prepared to face it as the Bionic Knight, but coming through the portal after the collapse of Camelot.

“Why are you outside of me?” Rick said.

The Knight gasped like a smoker’s death rattle. “You will die at my hand.”

“Possible, but let’s be honest it won’t be tonight. But why the wanting to kill me? And for the second ask, why the hell are we able to even fight?” Rick asked.

The Knight picked up the hilt with the broken sword, and looked at it. Green energy swirling as he struggled to be on one knee.

Rick looked down into the eye slits, the green energy had enveloped what ever creature truly existed within the armour. But the raspy voice emitted once more. “You defeated the ancient evil of Lancelot, but still you needed a quest so Camelot would collapse.” Rick thought it through, in the story it was Lancelot and Guinevere had been true love, the King was left out, to lie with his sister Morgan le Faye, and to produce Mordred who brought down Camelot.

Yet, it was the quest to bring back a hero this time that led to Camelot’s final demise in the multi-verse. “But Lancelot wasn’t ancient evil. He, with my brother, made the ultimate atonement sacrifice to save everything.”

The Knight roared. Confronted with a new twist it could not comprehend on an ancient story that should continue to play out. “And as for John, unlike your friend, he never stole my love.” Rick stopped, paused on the thought letting it hang in the air. “Guinevere was the seeker of power. It wasn’t Morgan, Mordred or Lancelot.” His mind kept racing. The ancient evil that came around reincarnating in new forms, Rick had always believed it came from the remnants of Mordred, or more precisely La Faye. But those were just chess pieces. What truly shattered Camelot was the lack of “an anchor.  You never had an anchor to bring you back, and the story kept playing itself over and over again.”

“No, you lie Rick Saturn.” The Bionic Knight said.

“No it is true. If you had truly seen what evil had ripped out the heart of Camelot originally you could have save Camelot and the world may have been different. Now we are at a new beginning and it needs to be different. Your queen was the one that absolute power corrupted absolutely, and she was the cause.”

“No. You die Rick Saturn.” The Knight screamed and lunged with the broken blade.

Rick side steps. Both his hands grip the helmet. He looks in the fluid motion right at Susan. “Remember I love you and I will be back.”

The helmet rips off and green flame envelops Rick and the Knight.

To be Continued….


Susan’s fingers glided across the tablet looking for information. It had been a few years, but she remembered what her sister would always say about these weird sideways adventures with Rick.  Julia, before she became another victim of the ancient evil in its last manifestation. This thing had made it personal coming back now.

MacKay was off to try and gather the troops up.  She was sitting in his old beat up F-150 with 3 million kliks if there was one. MacKay was in the trailer that Zed had dubbed the ashram. The last person that had seen her husband alive, but William didn’t think it would be good for her to confront him. She had to shift those thoughts, Rick was still alive out there somewhere.  Someday, this twisty turvy city seemed like Riverdale or Twin Peaks, not a run of the mill Sherlock Holmes mystery.

Susan’s finger taps the shut down. “Screw it.” The G.C.F. always had this idea of pushing out the spouses/romantic entanglements. The big bad hero club, and in her heart she believed that could’ve been what caused the dark time of heroes that were less than heroic or anti-hero as the media would say. Her fist slammed into the door hard.

The golden goggles were Kyler’s, but the teenage girl’s face was… “Kyla.”

“Mrs. Saturn.”

“It’s Susan, Kyla, been a while since I changed your diapers.” She hears William’s voice hollering her in. A muscle-bound man on the couch must be the new Johnny Power. Zed rose from a cushion and walked over to her.

His lips curling into a sneer.

“Madame soon to be Mayor.”

“Fuck you.” It was only the second time in her life she had ever decked anyone, the first had been John MacCurtis when it was believed Rick had given his life to save him, this time it was she was done with the immortal alien-godling playing Buddhist. Her knuckles hit his chin and he had spin as he went falling back into William.

Who side stepped and let the entity hit the shag carpet of the trailer. His second visit recently by a Saturn ending the same way. As he pushed up, lightning crackled in his and the air around him swirled with a black hole opening.

A small green dragon about the size of a pen flies out.

And rests on Susan’s shoulder, purring slightly in her ear.

She looks right at Zed.

“What did you do?”

To Be Continued…