Echo: A Dystopian Science Fiction Novel

“Can I touch this one?”  I’m in the Batmobile, pointing at a glowing red button.  “No,” Batman grunts and yanks the wheel, taking a left.  I’ve been his apprentice for three months now, and I’m still getting used to the utter coolness of punching bad guys’ faces and swinging from rooftops.  “How about this one?”  I point at another button, one that’s labeled LAUNCH.  He says, “No.”  More emphatically this time.  I give him a quick look and decide to chance it.  “This one then,” I say, pointing at a switch labeled BOOSTERS.  “I’m gonna press this one.”  Without taking his eyes off the road, his right hand flits over to my outstretched left, and does a three-move Wing Chun trap-tangle-redirect.  He stabs me under the ribs with two straightened fingers, executing a Dim Mak chi-strike that throws my intestines into chaos.  “AH JEEZ!”  I clutch my belly and bend over, trying not to poop my tights. He grunts again, and I swear that I hear a hint of repressed laughter in his voice.  Then he perks up, and rasps, “Don’t mess yourself now, Kent—plug it with a tampon if you have to.  Eyes front.”  I look up through the Batmobile’s cockpit and see an assault in progress.  Three punks with hair dyed in bright shocks of flamboyant colors are standing over a young, nerdy-looking man, raining strikes down on him.  We pull up in front of them and the cockpit slides open.  We hop out, and as our feet hit the ground, My boss says the pass-phrase that enacts the Batmobile’s autosecurity protocols:  “Diana loves Bruce.”  The cockpit slides and locks into place.  We stride toward the criminals.  Bats must be in a good mood, because he’s a bit chatty tonight.  He says, “You punks are gonna wish your daddies pulled out early.  I hope you have health care, because I’m going to forcibly widen your—”  They turn around and their victim gets up.  The victim gives us an evil smile, and suddenly we stop in our tracks—it’s a trap!  The four of them begin reciting the most meaningless spew of shit-poetry; no rhyme or reason, no connecting thread—simply a heap of listen-to-me, I-feel-left-out gibberish.  Emo-poets!  The air blurs into a noxious, psychedelic haze; blotches of mismatched color slather their way across my sight.  The bricks on the surrounding buildings morph into monstrous, insectile faces, all spiny and chittery and gross.  Batman tenses in place, trying to fight the psychic assault with his razor-sharp mind.  Despite his unmatchable willpower, it’s no use.  His lower lip trembles, then he drops to his knees, clutching his belly.  His mouth yawns open—hmmmMMMMHHHHHHHORRRGGGLLLBLAHOHGOD—and lets loose with a long gush of rancid vomit.  I’m doing the same, clutching my bleeding ears and closing my eyes as tightly as possible.  Only one option left.  I reach into my utility belt and click on my smartphone’s kindle app, opening it to Echo.  Magic flash.  My vision swims with an array of glowing green readouts, and my newly augmented datamancer brain merges with the Batmobile’s onboard computer.  My vision has now been doubled; in addition to my human eyes, I’m staring out from the forward facing cameras on the Batmobile’s hood.  With a flex of will, I activate the Batmobile’s high-explosive, nitro-cooled gatling cannon.  There’s a merciless BRRRRTTTT of automatic weapons fire, and the detonative rounds slice into the emo-poets, blowing them apart into chunks of gore and blood-washed bone.  Their mutilated remains collapse to the ground, and I extend a helping hand to Batman.  He accepts it, pulling himself up with a shaky breath.  “Thanks Kent,” he wheezes.  He looks over at the messy corpses and says, “Normally, I don’t condone lethal force, but in this case, it was totally justified.”  We get back in the Batmobile.  As we’re driving off, Bats says in a slightly chagrined voice, “Do you have any of those tampons I mentioned?  Listening to all that emo messed with my stomach and I’m close to pooping myself.  ‘Enemy at the gates,’ so to speak.”  I smile wide and reply, “I may be able to come up with something….let me press a button of my choosing and we’ll see.”

Doesn’t matter if you’re the Dark Knight; you get hit by the right dose of emo and you will poop your pants just the same as if you ate five ghost pepper burritos and Chuck Liddell punched you in the stomach.  Get Echo Vol. 1 on Kindle here:  Vol. 1 on Kindle.  Vol. 2 on Kindle here:  Vol.2 on Kindle  Vol. 3 on Kindle here:  Vol. 3 on Kindle

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