Ahhh….a hot summery day. The perfect excuse to hang out at my buddy’s and flip burgers and those oh-so-delicious frankenmeat hot dogs on his backyard grill. Suddenly, the sky dims and the sun winks out. A swirling, frosty mist cyclones around us, snuffing out the flames in the grill and darkening the briquettes. The earth cracks open and below us, we see a blasted, torturous vision of hell. The air fills with every bad guy song you could think of: Sauron’s, Vader’s, and Carmina Burana’s “O, Fortuna” to top it off. My buddy points at the sky with his spatula and screams, “THE EXES!” Gargoyle creatures fly down from above, swiping at our faces and trying to decapitate us with cruel, orcish-looking blades. I look to the pit and I see evil lava-creatures crawling up from the earth. Their bodies look charred and molten. One looks me in the eye and hisses like a snake. I close my eyes, harking back to the word of my ninja master that trained me when I was a kid (get a group of guys drunk and bullshitting; there’s always someone that was ostensibly trained by a ninja master when they were little). “Kent,” he told me. “One day the Exes will flood the Earth, and on that day, you must contain their evil just like in Aliens, when Ripley nukes the entire infestation from orbit.” I open my eReader to Echo. Magic flash. A holographic console appears in front of me. Geometric readouts swirl around a light-woven lever. My buddy knows what it’s for. He gives me a heart-rending look and screams, “DO IT!” before he’s snatched screaming into the sky. I clench my jaw, grip the lever, and ratchet it down. A brilliant singularity appears beneath me, sucking all of reality into it like colored paint swirling down a drain. The Exes are screaming, cursing my name as they dissolve into yawning whorls that tear apart at the atoms. I’m going too, and as my body dissipates into an endless spectrum of elongated light, I breathe a sigh of relief, for I have saved the Universe from the Exes.
There will come a day, when just like Ripley, you may have to burn the earth to thwart the spread of evil. On that day, be ready. Get Echo Vol. 1 on Kindle here: Vol. 1 on Kindle. Vol. 2 on Kindle here: Vol.2 on Kindle