Echo: A Dystopian Science Fiction Novel

I’m standing in line at Starbucks, watching one coffee dilettante after another order their slug o’ mud.  I’m one of the rare remaining few who still takes it black—no sugar, creamer, agave, caviar, shredded platinum, pickled heart of infant or braided mane of unicorn, thank you very much.   Every so often I try to dip my toe into the math behind quantum mechanics or astrophysics, but invariably, I always get stumped and go back to perusing the theory—screw the math.  That’s the exact same feeling I have as I hear the privileged socialite in front of me order a ginormous monster of a joe:  Mocha latte frappe ccino gatto tretto fecta WHAT THE HELL IS SHE SAYING!!!  I squinch my eyes shut and rub my forehead, desperately clinging on to my will to live, which she’s assaulting with every new exclamation she utters, each request moving her coffee a step closer to becoming a blessed nectar that could pass as a distillation conjured from the anal musk of the entire Olympian pantheon.  The baristas behind the counter are scrambling—eyes widened, pit stains growing—as they struggle to keep up with this lady’s order.  They kinda remind me of Indiana Jones as he dodges occultist Nazis, boulders, poisonous snakes, and/or giant creepy crawlies.  When one of them informs the lady that they’ve run out of ground pegasi wing (one of the ingredients she’s requested), her face goes beet red.  She takes a series of deep, gulping breaths.  “I.  can’t.  EVEN!!!!”  She throws off her designer coat, revealing dozens of armaments strapped to her body.  She reaches into her purse, and in the blink of an eye, assembles a fully functional M60 machine gun from the glut of parts that she’s stowed in her bag.  She points the pig up at the ceiling and screams in fury, emptying a drum into the lights above, causing shattered fragments of glass and drywall to come raining down around us.  Everyone is yelling and shrieking, flooding out the door of the Starbucks.  I’m picking people off the floor, guiding them out.  As I shove the last person through the door, I hear the gunwoman behind me say, “Stop.  You with the beautiful, squat-thickened hammies.  Where do you think you’re going?  Turn around—nice and slow.”  I raise my hands and slowly face her.  “You’re my new barista now,” she jerks the barrel to her right, indicating I should get behind the counter.  I traipse cautiously behind the dust-covered remains of the Starbucks setup.  Smoke drifts lazily off the end of her gun.  “Finish making it.  And God take mercy on your gorgeous, perfectly mushroom-tipped, award-winning hog if you can’t come up with some pegasi wing.”  I cock an eyebrow in puzzlement.  How did she know I’ve been a six-time anonymous award winner for most beautiful genitalia in the western hemisphere?  Then I mentally smack myself:  No time for that crap now, Kent; your life is on the line!  I start stalling, pretending I’m putting her drink together.  Pegasi wing, pegasi wing, pegasi wing…how the hell am I going to—oh screw it.  I dive to the ground, simultaneously reaching into my pocket and opening my eReader to Echo.  Magic flash.  Kim Kardashian comes walking in, and the M60-toting socialite drops to her knees, shaking her fists in giddy excitement.  I think she screams “Kim,” but its impossible to tell between her blubbers and gibbers.  Kim maintains a cold, stony face as she clops over to the socialite, and then W’BAM!  Punches her right through the face, sending a toned arm rocketing through the socialite’s mouth and out the back end of her skull.  Kim pauses for a second, letting the gore runnel past her knuckles and drip onto the floor, then withdraws her fist with a wet SPLUTCH!  The socialite sways, leaaannnsss….then collapses on to her side with a heavy-sounding THUD!  Kim unzips her face, all the way down her torso, and Batman uncontorts himself from the yogic posture necessary to fit in a Kim-suit.  He rubs his lower back and mutters “Christ, how does she manage with those balloons on her chest?  I just feel like I competed in the Crossfit Regionals.”  He takes in the horrified look on my face and shrugs.  “Yeah I know I’m not supposed to kill, but I just can’t stand Coffee Krazies.  Fives.”  He holds up a hand and I look at it in disbelief, still disoriented by the dichotomy of a mid-morning coffee run that suddenly turned into a war zone.  I weakly slap his hand and he nods.  “Come on bro,” he says.  “I heard Wonder Woman and Selina Kyle are about to get in a pillow fight, and that the only rule they’ve agreed to is that they both have to do it in lingerie.”  I shrug and follow him.  For your favorite author (and perennial Man Child) Kent Wayne, I believe that firmly fits in the category of a “no-lose scenario.”

Ever feared that your frontal lobe might explode in a shower of ichor due to the Good Will Hunting-level coffee demands by your local Starbucks patrons?  Well there’s an answer for that:  A Mortal Kombat finishing move delivered by the Dark Knight himself.  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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