Ever since I was young, I’ve jokingly referred to myself as a “Daywalker,” (for you non-nerds, that’s a term from Blade describing a half-vampire that can putz around in the sunlight and still have all the superhuman perks). Reason being is that I’d go through stacks of comic books (all you people who loved spending Friday night at Borders—fives. No? No high fives? All right, I’ll just cry myself to sleep then), regular books, and then also pursue physical culture and modern society as well. I’m fully confident in my ability to blend in with geeks and meatheads alike…although in all honesty, I prefer geeks; the conversations are usually better. This is what I’m thinking as I go into the software developers’ break room, cracking an easy smile as I hear the remains of punchlines referring to nerdly concepts such as the Singularity and Simulation Theory. I pull up a chair and snort/laugh along with these fellows, instantly using that age-old somatic trigger to tell them that I too enjoy math, or at least the theories derived from it, and that there’s also a high probability that I—like them—am a virgin (how wrong they are to assume this, Mwahaha!). Silence falls as the last joke fades away—something about the absurdities of getting parallax wrong when you’re programming a platform game—and I choose this moment to try a quip of my own. But for some reason, I’ve got my mental wires crossed, and a dick joke comes tumbling from my lips. They all stare at me in shocked silence, then one of them jumps up from his seat and points at me with a quivering finger. “HE’S NOT ONE OF US!” The nerd yells in a shrill, just-punched-in-the-nuts voice. Oh shitfuck. “CALL THE HYBRID!!!” Before I can beat a hasty retreat, the door to the break room bangs open and I find myself staring at a seven-foot tall, hunched over monolith of a man. Sure, he has coke-bottle thick glasses, a pimple-cratered visage, and dark stains of sweat spreading from his pits, but his chiseled, burly physique—along with the sure posture and regulated breath—instantly tells me that he’s like me: another Daywalker. He grins maliciously and charges. I sidestep, then meet him in the clinch. We both struggle for double underhooks, then go back and forth trying a few sweeps and small joint manipulations. We stalemate, and our heads press together. I hiss, “You’re like me. What diabolical game are you playing at here?” I hear a faint chuckle in his voice as he responds, “Better to be a big fish in a small pond. Here I reign supreme. Legions of nerds depend on me for physical assurance and protection. All the while I rule these bespectacled dorks with an iron fist. With the power of a god.” He tries to yank my head down. When I resist, he gives me slack, making me straighten my body, leaving me vulnerable for a takedown. I check him by straight-arming his chest, stopping his shoot and allowing me to gain a few precious feet of space. We meet in the clinch again and I whisper through gritted teeth, “You’re a monster. Our gifts are not meant to subjugate these mewling poindexters; they’re meant to lift them up, to shepherd them into the realm of normal man.” His eyes narrow and he spits, “Sez you.” Through our brief exchange I see that he’s going to break me; he’s got too much mass on him, and skill-wise, a slight edge. Only one option left: I throw my head back and roar, “PALAMEDES PUBLISHING!!!” Magic flash. Suddenly my opponent is plastered with signed copies of first-run prints and collector paraphernalia: rare, signed issues of Superman, X-men, Detective Comics, Neil Strauss’s the game, as well as countless in-demand action figures. The Hybrid’s eyes go wide as he realizes what’s about to happen. “No,” he whispers. He breaks contact and backs away, wildly looking left and right, then locks his gaze back onto mine. “NO! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE??? I DIDN’T DESERVE THIS! NO ONE DESERVES—” But it’s too late. The nerds begin sniffing the air. It happens fast: The presence of collectors’ items causes them to revert to their feral form, and they fall on the Hybrid in a snarling mess. He howls under the weight of dozens of pasty fists, and I see his panicked eyes reflected from the cold, bespectacled stares of his former allies. As they bite and tear into him, I run out of the break room, casting one last glance over my shoulder. I see one of the nerds crouched on all fours over the Hybrid, craning his neck back so he can let loose a hellish screech from his blood-drenched maw. Dark Knight save us!
If you’ve been blessed with the gifts of a Daywalker, don’t rule nerds with an iron fist, as the Hybrid did. Lift them up, teach them the importance of going outside to absorb vitamin D, and also to go on dates. This has been a PSA from your favorite author (and perennial Man Child) Kent Wayne. Palamedes publishing. Check out their revolutionary Responsive Books software here: Responsive Books. Check out their poetry here: Manhattan They are currently assisting me with the process of getting Echo Volumes 1 & 2 in paperback. For now, 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