I’m woken by a grating BEEP BEEP BEEP. BEEP BEEP BEEP. I wipe my eyes, sit up, and grumble, “Deactivate alarms. User authentication code: Dark Knight pwns Krypton.” The braying ceases, and I stagger out of bed. Probably some raccoon or coyote wandered into the yard, or something along those—wait a second. My eyes lock on the bank of monitors I’ve set up in the corner of my room. I scrabble over to them, my eyes flicking to and fro over the black-clad four-man “stacks” appearing on my security screens. I can tell by the way they’re moving that they’re pros; complete silence, muzzle discipline as second nature, and that surety of movement that tells me they’ve done this countless times. I key up the in-house mic and whisper furiously to the two other nerds I’m sharing rent with: “We’ve got assaulters at our doors. Grab whatever bug-out gear you’ve got and get the hell out of here!” There’s a sleepy, phlegm-filled hock as my roommate clears his throat and says, “azzlters? wht are you talking about Kent? Imma go back to sleep.” I swear viciously and run to my closet, grabbing a small backpack filled with Man Stuff: Spare nine mil, stimulants, medical kit, loaded clips, folding blade, a wad of cash, one set of clothing, burner phone, and a ruggedized laptop that’s filled with highly illegal, infrastructure manipulation apps. I’m in my undies, about to drop the rope that I’ve rigged to fall out my third story bedroom window, when I see the teams make entry on my monitors. All throughout the house I hear the claps of flashbangs, and: “DOWN! GET DOWN YOU DISGUSTING NERDS! WHERE IS HE? WHERE’S THE WRITER????” My roommates are screaming and crying. I’ve got one leg out the window when the door busts open and I hear boots clopping on hardwood. An inhumanely strong hand grabs the carrying handle on my bug-out bag and yanks me back through the window. I hit with a thud, mentally trying to recall my cover stories and interrogation resistance techniques. Before I can do anything, the lead assaulter flips up a set of four-lensed night vision goggles and pulls up her hood. Underneath the ninja-style head cover is none other than…MARTHA STEWART??? She grins and lets her primary—a futuristic FN P90 sub-machine gun—drop across her chest. She cups her hands by her mouth, lights a cigarette, and closes her eyes as she takes a drag and exhales a long stream of gray. After a second she says, “Bet you didn’t think I’d come for you, did you, Kent? What did you think would happen? Did you think The Powers That Be would let you keep writing subversive ads and do NOTHING? Get real.” At this point the other members of her team pull up their hoods, and I see Giada, Rachael Ray, and Padma Lakshmi staring at me from behind the barrels of their P90s. I have no desire to be forced into a How To Be Proper internment camp or whatever hell they have planned for me, so I trigger my emergency contingency: I open my eReader to Echo. Magic flash. Suddenly, a kitted-out Jessica Rabbit busts through the window wielding two telescoping batons, laying the team low with a dizzying array of Jason Bourne style maneuvers. She disarms Martha and uses her as a human shield, ditching the batons so she can hold a Glock up to the infamous alpha mom’s head. “Get back,” she hisses at the commandos by the door. Martha is holding her hands up. “Do as she says.” She tries to keep her voice calm, but I hear a slight quiver in it. She cocks her head slightly over her shoulder so she can address Jessica. “Perhaps we can come to some sort of agreement.” Jessica snorts and says, “Wayne is mine, cow. Find another gorgeous phallus to wrap your liver-spotted hands around.” Martha arches an eyebrow and says, “ALL yours?” Jessica’s eyes flick back and forth over Martha’s face, then widen as she interprets what the food guru is getting at. At first they kiss softly, then it’s all tongues and slobber. After a minute of this, the rest of the uber-hot team joins in. Another minute, and they all stop and give me a meaningful look. I’m not gonna say what happens next, ‘cos a gentleman never kisses and tells. But I’ll leave you with this: Jessica Rabbit? Of COURSE I would! Martha Stewart? Get your minds out of the gutter—she’s over twice my age! (But to answer your question: Yes—I let her use me like a cheap Costco pie crust).
Turn a terrifying urban assault into the greatest fantasy of your life! 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