Posts Tagged ‘Susan Kobwash’


 

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…

 

 

 

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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….


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….


Susan’s finger tapped the front page of the paper. A clear helmet cam shot of the potato sack covered head and the headline clear as day “Bionic is Back!” I admit I dropped the secondary name to go for the more Stan Lee style flare, but a by-line with a freelance cheque goes nicely for a start to the sabbatical. A fuzzier picture pulled from someone’s twitter feed of me blasting back off into the air.

“I thought you were on sabbatical?” Not sure if she was implying the super hero shenanigans or from the journalist perspective. Her dirty blonde hair was highlighted by white hairs, some from being a mother, some from being a caregiver to her aging parents in the first steps of dementia, but mostly she credits to me and the vocations that chose me.

The paper was on the kitchen table, kids were already on their buses to school (both our children were differently-abled, which sadly meant in Alberta Education and the Calgary Board of Education we could not choose our schools, they were designated for them. Upside great support in the school, downside because of ablest parents out there bitching had to pay for busing because it wasn’t fair that parents that chose to send their kids to school not their designated had to pay—end soapbox).  Took a sip of my morning coffee. Her green eyes would be flaming if she had magic to go with her medium-ship. Yes my beautiful wife can easily feel and converse with the energies of the other realms. She was the silent third partner in John and I’s duo.

Which with where the weird adventures Gerklyn then Merlin took us through, was a good thing to have someone like her on our side. It was one of the earliest adventures that gave her the permanent blue flame hair streak down the middle. “You said sabbatical to sort things out, I mean since your supposed death there has been no clear `evidence’ if you will that the Knight was active again.” A loud snore from Pen on the counter followed by two short puffs of smoke rings.

Another sip, she is geared up this morning and not much I can say about having saved a life is going to save my hide from a night on the sofa. But truly, a Killer Face resurfacing is a sign of something. Not sure how it fits in with the maybe spirit of John that visited me in the graveyard.  “I am sorting things out.” Wonder if I should tell her about John, it would peak her curiosity, just like in the old days, and especially since his final exorcism and death she is still shocked he has not come to say hi, not even to our twin daughters that share their mother’s gifting.

“By playing underwear outside your clothes again? You said full well after nearly dying to end the darkness, that was it. A few favours for John and that’s…” She pauses, damn it I can’t hide much in my cow eyes from my soul mate, my lightning rod, and after John’s name tumbled from her lips bingo. “that’s what this is about, putting John to rest finally?”

I gulp what’s left of my coffee. She is going to kill me. “Partly. Putting him to rest, and finally discovering what wielding this magic realm here and now is all about.”

“Fuck you Rick Saturn, you are not allowed to have a mid-life crisis.” Mid-life crisis? This isn’t about a run of the mill mid-life crisis? It is about finding out if my friend is finally at peace at the very least, or at best… “Ah me Ricky, don’t go after the big R on this one.”  But she doesn’t get it. If it was her I would. “We know how purgatory works, and that with his death all that was tormenting him here was finally sheared away.”

“Yada yada yada. So, he is the pure energy-cosmic being as part of the Cosmos, I get it babe. Trust me, enough of my mates have gone to the great beyond and not returned. But there is precedence for the return, and what if?” I leave it dangling, what more can I say.  So many have appeared dead to the world yet returned. So if my friend died due to being possessed/controlled by an alien force masquerading as a demi-god dubbed Thor…then why could he not have survived and just need his corporeal self pulled back together?

Susan’s green flame eyes pierce into mine. One of those rare moments in our lives when I know she is staring deeply into the depths of my soul. She finishes her porridge, and her coffee. Picks up the paper, and walks over to me.

Silence is deafening.

She kisses the top of my head and drops the paper in front of me.

“If you truly believe you can bring him back, then quit pissing about with this bull shit.”

She kisses me again on the cheek and leaves for the day, she is going to be an art therapy volunteer at the kids’ school. She leaves me in the kitchen of our bungalow as she heads out for the day.  Time for a refill on both porridge and coffee. The front page does haunt me as I sit back down. Just the coincidence of starting a sabbatical to discover myself a new, and one of the first villains I faced is there trying to be a ne’er do well.

Cell vibrating. Click open. “Hello?”

“Rick, we need to talk about John. Come to the ashram.” Zed Said.

To Be Continued…


Prologue:

Sabbatical

 The words of my editor ring in my ears as I look down at my best friend’s grave. “This is not the time as a journalist to take a sabbatical. With conglomeration, it spells career death.” Not sure if the answer I retorted with about finally writing my new book is true or just wanting to get her off my back.  Truth is I have not been enjoying my role in the media for quite sometime as I have watched friends downsized, and more of our vaulted opinions become centralized. Sure, the crime beat wasn’t as overly run, but the time was coming.

Time. Susan kept telling me it was passing me by. When we oldsters (God I am not even 40 yet and I am an oldster in this game) took a stand, and took down the more black and white capital punishment types a few years back. John was mayor, things were looking bright, when the darkness crept back in, and his life was lost.

The armour’s shine was dimmed a little. Been a while since I have called upon the full power of the Pendragon, but I kept doing what I was going to keep the city safe. My pen crawls out of my pocket, a little pen sized dragon, a reminder of the magic I can wield in my other life, that manifests in my day to day to help.

Susan is wondering how with the rising affordability of life we will make it as a family if I was not working (sole income an all that) …but there’s investments, savings, that will be cashed in as I figure this out. She is still as beautiful as the day we met in elementary school, and when we fell in love in junior high, and when I rescued her from Killer Face VII in high school (hey it was the 80’s villains weren’t creative just copy cats).

The flattened plaque stating John’s name, the dates, the dash where he did so much good, and then some not so much good that would eventually return karmically to cost him his life. “I miss you man. Thought we would have years more adventuring to go.”

A twig snap behind me, a more paranoid man would whip around, transform and put whatever in its place. I simply let my Pen hiss. “Would like some privacy mate.”

“Even from an old friend, Ricky.” John said.

To be continued…


It is a question that is 30 years in the making. Okay not really, but that was a great intro line not to have used it.

But it is 30 years since a type writer first typed out the words “The Adventures of Rick Saturn: The Bionic Knight.” and history was made in my fiction writing as a whole super hero universe was birthed that in junior high became known as the Tyverse (Raganverse following the Reagan era of politics just seemed to pretentious). It saw a plethora of heroes and villains created with literally tens of thousands of pages written over the past 30 years on pulp adventure yarns. Some greats like the Agency, Street Avenger, Johnny Power, Speedster and the Great Crime Fighters and some not so great like Rock Dude, Tigorr, and the Rubber Guy (hey not all can be winners).

Yet the first was a hodge podge origin creation, the story of a teenage orphan being raised by an elderly foster parent couple, the Harumphs. A blonde girlfriend, Susan Kobwash, with a nerdy best friend from a wealthy family, John MacCurtis. Yes, this was Rick Saturn, the dweeb, the bullied who one night while escaping tormentors would stumble into a dump, and have Gerklyn the wise (Merlin’s crazy cousin) bestow upon him a ring of power.

What can I say, it was the late 1980’s. I was a child of the 6 Million Dollar man made for t.v. movies; a passion for knights in shining armour and the Arthur/Robin Hood legends; loved Spider-Man (n0te the story of the group); and a time of cartoons of the Bionic Six and Visionaries. It all became boiler plate for a teenage hero who with the “magic mantra” of “Bionics On!” was replaced with the golden armoured knight hero of Calgary…the Bionic Knight. Added a few years later to some angst of his back story was that his family was actually organized crime, killed in a rival shoot out.

But I digress. This character’s sidekick was John MacCurtis, who too would get a magic gift and become PinBall, and eventually Bionic Archer. As well as other identities…but Rick Saturn would centre on the B.K. identity throughout his career. At times a teenager, who aged, in other moments the elder statesman role of the superhero set like one would read in the Justice Society comics. But always holding to a code of a simpler time. Do right, no killing, good always wins.

A light in the dark. As bionics lost favour, I would drop it, and Knight would become his code name, later it would evolve into PenDragon, and the idea of Gerklyn would recede, to Merlin being his patron as the lineage tying directly back more to the mystical side of Arthurian legend reincarnated would become stronger.Perhaps it was due to tracing matrilineal lines back to Uther that led to this clarity. Each year, regardless of other writing there would be a Saturn story produced.

Which is unique, because in the creative process it was MacCurtis I tended to resonate with more. The sidekick, probably as a younger brother. Even to a time when MacCurtis on the page would act as a Tulpa to journey through a spiritual labyrinth.

Yet here I am re-introducing the Bionic Knight to the reader. For you see, part of the journey as well, is to realize that even though the sidekick may assume the helm (think Wally West as the Flash, even Dick Grayson becoming Batman for a time). There is a point in our own journeys, when it is no longer the younger or the sidekick that our life role identifies with.

There comes a time, when where we are in playing mentor to others we realize, we are not Wally (West, Kid Flash, Flash III) or even Barry (Allan, Flash II) but have become in our own journey Jay (Garrick, Flash I) and perhaps are a sidestep away from being Max Mercury (a sage not affiliated with role).

So this year, 30 years on, I begin to plot a new adventure of an old friend. The hair a little thinner and grayer, with a wife not a girlfriend, a family, mourning the loss of a close friend as seen in the last Speare adventure…

So it is time not for a rebirth or reborn moment for a hero. But a grail quest moment.

Watch closely over the next little bit, for it may not be an old manual type writer pecking away at keys, it may be a netbook onto a blog.

But soon…

the question of Who is the Bionic Knight? will be answered, here…when…

The Quest of Rick Saturn: The Bionic Knight debuts.