Posts Tagged ‘Speedster’


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…

 


Part of me wishes I could open this tale speaking of divine enlightenment. That my role currently in the city was like the Organians in the original Star Trek’s Errand of Mercy episode. Where these next steps up the evolutionary ladder types show the way through non-violence.

As my loaded deer skin work gloves shatters the perps nose sending him to dream land.

My composite toe and heeled cowboy boot mule kicks wanna be tough number two between the legs sending him into the puke and urine soaked alley way. Their mugging target is already skedaddling as I use the butt of my shotgun to knock number two out.

Stupid thing known as blue tooth allows me to call in the pick up to the local police. As I head out to vanish, there was a local store’s CCTV camera to show the crime broken up.

At least its not the `90’s when I was more machine than man. Felt like that bloody Trap Jaw villain off the He-Man cartoon. When my one arm was replaced by an actual shotgun. Thankful to James Saturn, the Ionic Knight in one of his heroic turns using the last of the magic of Gerklyn before he was finally removed from reality that finally transformed me back to full humanity.

But that left me wondering if there was more than being just a hired gun. Which is what set me on my newest path at the turn of the century after the craziness of the Y2K non-event that in the dark night of conspiracy lunacy I went inwardly to my own dark soul to move forward in a new way. Training new heroes, and finding myself on the side of light, even up until now where I am aiding in training the newer heroes.

But this city is angering. It is one with a serious case of ostrich syndrome, where the easiest way to deal with criminal crisis is to be like the allegorical ostrich and place its head in the sand. Now one may say it is because the next civic election has yet to happen to fully replace the dearly departed mayor of the city (see Speare 3 and Quest of Rick Saturn the Bionic Knight), but truly it is a city with a pattern.

When there was child sex trafficking discovered, they responded by cutting the budget to the vice unit.

With the rise of the opioid crisis, the first response was deflection or talk of it not being that horrible.

To the rise in gun violence year to year, and being unable to acknowledge the rising tide of gang violence, with one of the most violent and unpredictable being a gang like cult attached to the Bionic Knight’s villain, Killer Face, each one numbered starting at 2 through whatever they are at now, with all the interlocking layers to protect the higher ups. Like a violent/insidious organized crime version of Scientology if you will from what one sees in things like documentary’s Going Clear.

This is the city that has a team of heroes, that are still recovering from our last grand adventure. And the true hero of the town is taking a bit of a sabbatical after saving space and time (see Great Crime Fighters Together).  But there’s always time for a horrible cup of coffee at a downtown yuppie coffee shop that likes to pretend you exist in Europe.

A perky red headed college lass is taking orders. “Black coffee.”

“Venti? Grande? Light? Medium or dark roast?” She giggles out.

“You misheard my order. Black coffee, in a big cup. Strong.” I state.

She looks stumped as she rings in what comes close to four bucks for the coffee. Or maybe she is noting the shotgun butt coming out of the back holster. My face stubble is more salt than pepper, but I tug off the leather gloves and shove them in the back pocket of my jeans as I take the fancy coffee, and move to a table.

The phone is crackling in my ear. Susan Kobwash-Saturn is running for mayor. She is a solid candidate, long-time friend. Actually, believed me when I started changing stripes mid-race. James’ was confounded to, especially when he went back to the darker side of things and I continued on my path of angels. Even tried to literally chop my arm off. Wound up with my jaw wired, but he had his own thugs, as he led the Killer Faces at that time, and well, it imploded.

Then I survived the time when the heroes lost their own way and a new generation became far too blood thirsty. Thankful that taking them down like the villains they were (see Great Crime Fighters Clean up Duty). But now Susie K has a fight on the hustings for she has laid out the path of truth and justice for the city and there is many incumbents and millionaires that still want the status quo of ostrich scenario.

The coffee has that annoying burnt taste that comes from the yuppie grind on site charge you the tally of your first born to buy that craptacular cup of coffee.  As I watch the full moon take hold in the freshly minted sky. The streets can be crazy, sometimes the mo-fo’s torch folks, other times the cops catch them first. The crisis’ become too hard to avoid, and it takes heroes and leaders to step up and speak out. Never thought in a million years that elder statesman hero role would fall to me, but sometimes I do feel like that old Toby Keith Song.

Click on to answer a call.

“Shotgun.”

The voice is faint. Speedster, she’s still recovering from almost being gutted. “Ashram now.”

“Why?” I can play at being dense, sometimes it’s fun, and besides, ashram means Zed, and I detest that asshole.

“Someone crucified Zed.”

To Be Continued…

 


 

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…

 

 

 


Best way to understand the new Johnny Power in action is he reminded him of the Eleventh Doctor, the one that seemed to have adult ADHD or even Hammy off Over the Hedge on the energy drink. It’s usually Speedster’s that have focus issues, but in this new duo it was the leaping over tall buildings and super strength that produced the focus issues.

The Evil was moving rapidly towards the red headed woman dressed for a night out of clubbing. He pegged her age mid-20’s if she was a day…and soon she would join the previous victim. Power is flitting about all over, thankfully Speedster he noted is trying to get a deeper focus with the rumbling skies, flashing lightning and fog.  Fog was new. The Evil was trying to cover its tracks.  He had to stop the advance upon the victim.

What the hell had MacKay been thinking sending these two out into the hunting grounds?

* * * * **

Susan turned to the words. MacKay aimed his shotgun as the dust cleared.

Zed dusted some of the splinters off him. His robes had burn holes.  The skin that was burnt began regenerating as it is what ancient immortal alien beings hiding on earth from those that would destroy them do.

Susan glanced at the immortal being, he appeared to almost be cowering behind MacKay, attempting to still look strong.  The words though kept ringing in her ears. “Bionics on.” Only two others had used that phrase, her best friend and lover, and his best friend. Who was back there?

Pen wasn’t providing any insight, he had startled awake and was softly growling.

Sheath lightning fills the Ashram (double wide) again.

Thunder cracks.

Another voice as the trailer whites out with lightening.

“The Great Crime Fighters I presume.”

* ******

The fog fills in the hunting grounds surrounding the four. He loses track of whom he believes The Evil’s prey to be.

“J somethings coming.” Speedster said.

Power attempts to leap up out of the fog that is at six feet high and rising.

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.”

 

* * * * * * *

Another flash of lightening as the dust cleared.

The armour shimmered.

The sword was drawn in a parry formation.

The helmeted eyes crackled with green flame.

“Step aside villain. The godling must perish.” A voice that resounded as a Greek Chorus.

Susan moved in front of MacKay much to his protestations. Her eyes locked on the armoured figure. No recognition from the Knight before them. But there was a pull she felt to look into the reflective helmet.

“Who are you?” Susan asked.

The figure in the armour stepped forward again. “I am the PenDragon. The one this world calls the Bionic Knight. If you stand with this thing called Zed, then you are my foe.” The sword thrusts forward. “And you shall die.”

To Be Continued…

 

 

 

 


He watches the duo that Shotgun, his old adversary, dubbed “Thunder and Lightning”- passionate kids that they are for this line of work. There were two other duos that had the names Thunder and Lightning. Legitimately it wasn’t a nick name to the first, but rather their pseudonyms in a Circus Freak Show that they used as their base of operations for committing crimes. Thunder was the bearded strong woman, Lightning was a mad scientist, she had turned herself literally into electricity. The man remembers his Dad sharing stories of battling them.

The other were young heroes like these two, run away caught up in adventures. Died far too young as a government used them on a message far to dangerous.

But the media had always dubbed the tandem of Johnny Power and Speedster with it. Confusing yes, but wasn’t the world of super heroes such.  These two had done good in their short careers. The man remembered the original Johnny Power that this one had replaced, they had shared many a beer after successful adventures, and saving the universe. This Speedsters grandfather and father he remembered fondly as well. A pretty good BBQ burger maker they were.

Now he watched as they staked out around the hunting ground. MacKay was attempting to keep them safe by giving them busy work. Unfortunately, the busy work had placed them on the hunting path. The ripples of energy were speaking to it. It was back.

He adjusted the kerchief around his face and fixed his fedora. His long trench coat billowed a bit in the wind as his feet floated off the asphalt. The air rippled with thunder, and literal lightning began flashing.  It is coming.

The man floated towards the two standing around the cathedral where the last victim was struck.  The night was falling, and the clubs were opening.

The hunt would begin.

These two would try their best but they are not fully trained, he needed to keep them in sight.

The red head fell behind her group of friends due to the heals she wore. If you could see as he saw, you would see the white teeth glittering from the shadows.

  • * * * * **

MacKay adjusted his worn beaver hide cowboy hat.  The silver highlights in Susan’s hair shimmered with the sheath lightening through the window the trailer dubbed the Ashram. Zed had disappeared into the back bedrooms.

Susan studied her old friend’s face. The crow’s feet were deeper, and the graying whiskers were more salt than pepper now. “This was easier when I was the one playing the villain.”

Susan looked at the haunting in the man’s green eyes. He wasn’t lying to anyone, he had been cast in the role of mentor for this new generation. Not the role he was comfortable in, the old villain turned hero still struggled with the code of villainy in his new reality. But without John and Rick, he was what they had. Hopefully J.P. and the Speedster were up to the challenge of battling the ancient evil.

Pen rested nuzzling her neck. “Probably was, but you wear the white hat well kemosabe.” Susan said. A creaking sound from the back room in the double wide. MacKay’s hand picks up his 12 gauge and he motions with his finger for quiet. He slowly pulls back the triggers. Zed had been levitating, he wouldn’t be creaking.

“Zed?!” MacKay shouts.

Door splinters and an ancient godling alien fly down the hallway with two simple words in a burst of lighting inside.

“Bionics On!”

To Be Continued….


And the game begins anew.

-Neil Gaiman, Norse Mythology (2017)

It was the ending quote of a re-telling narrative of the Norse Myths. For the uninitiated, the Norse Myths are the stories of the Vikings Gods. Thor, Odin, Balder, Loki, Freyja, Frey, frost giants, Dwarfs, trolls, Fenris Wolf, Midgard Serpent and the litany goes on. They are stories of beings that age, can be injured, die…and yes with the story of Ragnarok tell the end of everything, and it begins again. I encourage anyone who loves legends of old to pick this up. This is the closing (beginning) quote after Balder & Hod with children of other gods pick up the pieces (images of the gods that have died in Ragnarok) and place then on a new chess board.

But why does it matter in a post about the Great Crime Fighters? For you see as I read through these tales of very human deities. It struck me. Unlike what Morrison would say with the Justice League of America that it reflects the Pantheon of the Greek-Roman Olympus. The heroes in the Tyverse, with their foibles, humanness, and yes, legacy characters (ala the ending/beginning of Ragnarok) show that these are the myths that really informed shaping the pulp adventures backdrop.

The Great Crime Fighters were a coming together of heroes to make the world better. The acronym came out of elementary math class of Greatest Common Denominator, and how my mind plays with such things. Much like Thor with other Asgardians on journeys. Here we saw many groupings over the past 30 years in the G.C.F., some awesome (if I do say so myself), some not so awesome. But what held them together was a sense of adventure, even during the “government years” that saw under the umbrella the “Prophets” which were the heroic team for public eye, and the “Martyrs” a wet works-Task Force X version of anti-heroes to do dirty jobs.

Then they vanished, and the time of the non-hero, vigilante took hold. But in the stand of City Hall with the Bionic Knight and PinBall, the heroes of the Great Crime Fighters returned…Johnny Power, Speedster, Zed, Shotgun. Older but willing to be heroes.

Yet were they all older?

Remember what was said about legacy characters?

In the Quest of Rick Saturn, the team was alluded too as those that would support Rick in his journey for his friend, John’s, resurrection. Yet he turned down Zed hard.

So who are the new G.C.F that will be bounding onto the screen without warning?

William “Shotgun” MacKay – a former hit-man/super-villain, now a grizzled veteran that works to train new heroes in heroics. His nickname comes from the fact his left arm used to be a shotgun but during an unknown mission in Afghanistan, his gun arm was destroyed and his arm actually regrew.

Speedster– Kyler Storm was the Speedster that fought along the Bionic Knight, during the City Hall throw down it was believed he had come out of—well being missing… the truth is it was his daughter, Kyla, stepping into her father’s running shoes. Power: Super speed.

Johnny Power- Strong. Able to fly. Darn near invulnerable. Johnny Power has been dubbed the Thunder to Speedster’s lightning in the press. The original Johnny Power was almost immortal, and if not for a contained implosion linked to a singing thong on a downed mad scientist robot, he would be guiding his friend’s daughter. The Power part of Johnny came from the Djinn that merged with a human host. At the death of Johnny Power the first, an essence of the Djinn escaped and found itself connecting with John Jackson, a teenage run away that came to know Shotgun after attempting to pick his pocket.

Mystery –  Like his name implies, he is an enigma. No one knows where this telekinetic who shows glimmers of pyrokinesis and possibly telepathy came from. Rumours have it that he was the son of a Street Avenger, uncle to another Street Avenger, and himself served in the role until “dying”. Yet Mystery, is simply Mystery.

Zed- Zed is simply Zed. Shotgun does not trust him, and Zed does not trust Mystery.

What questions arise when an ancient evil comes a calling? One that before could only be silenced by the power of the PenDragon—a power lost in the Camelot dimension as seen at the end of the Quest of Rick Saturn the Bionic Knight…

Great Crime Fighters Together!

Coming Soon.


-A Mayoral Interlude-

The Dodge Caravan. Dogs in back—one for each kid, and each adult don’tcha know, his son and daughter dozing while Brad Paisley sings about Me and Jesus having it all figured out. His wife laughing at his side over some silly joke he had made. The darkened highway on the road suddenly appearing out of the darkness of the high way.

                John’s eyes readjust when his wife motions. Coming back from time in the mountains with Rick and Susan, a nice respite from the mayor’s office. Johnny and Kyler had left alone. Zed was a mysterious monastic that had called them together for the BBQ but then wouldn’t say why the reunion of the Great Crime Fighter’s needed to happen over burgers and dogs.

                From the billows of blackness the form moves, a girl, MacCurtis’ eyes refocus again, he knows the form- a girl.

                “Good Night PinBall.”

The night sky is lit blue with flames.

“Fuck!” sweat pours down the mayor’s body, the flannel sheets were to be a comfort at this time, not a trigger. But the dream—night terror proved the trigger.

A reminder the night his family were killed months ago.

He knew the woman, but who was it? Who could light the night sky blue with fire that destroyed his family and left him with new scars? A flame that vanished with the form as quickly as she had appeared.

Vibration from his night stand. A quick swipe and tap to activate speaker mode on the Smart Phone. “Mayor MacCurtis here.”

“Hey boss update, Speare was here.”

“That’s not an update Shades, your father was Captain Obvious, what does that make you Commander Oblivious?” He knows he shouldn’t be snarky, this is a weird time for the city, and something ominous is about to be let loose. Why is the woman haunting his dreams? Rick thought she was a demon from Gerklyn’s dimension, but that did not seem to set well with John’s soul, even after putting his family to rest. There was something all too familiar about her, and the fact that she knew one of his heroic identities.

“Look Mayoral Asshat—Sorry boss, that was uncalled for.”

John’s eyes go to the clock, 2 a.m., he clicks off the television in his bedroom, a Spenser dvd is droning on replay he had fallen asleep watching. “Look Shades, it’s late or early depending on when one’s day starts. So what is Speare up to?”

Speare was a new player, unfamiliar, a supposed private detective who had done some good in the city, how had he gotten caught up in all the Supra dramas? That is what concerned John, these high level games already killed far too many.

“Natan called me, Sax dropped the Prophets and Martyrs on him, he was in the bookshop asking about…”

“Reesa.”

A woman with darkness billowing around her. John’s eyes refocus as he can in the night on the darkened highway. His heightened hearing hear’s the name she whispers—“PinBall.”

                The voice so familiar, from a time when he tried to play Professor Xavier…working with youngsters who were gifted by the Effect.  The blue flame crackles, his wife screams. The name in his mind gets caught in his throat as he attempts to scream for mercy, but the words—“Reesa please God not my family.” Never clear his mouth….