“OOOOOH SHNAP! WAZZUP MOTHA DUCKAS!” I prance through a grassy field in Virtual Reality Metascape 313 (colloquially known as Warriors n’ Warlocks), holding my arms out in a welcoming gesture, my armor and weapons jangling across my super-yoked, digitally instantiated body. The rest of my gaming group is up ahead—Darkfear, an Elder Mage; Felisela, Thief and Psi-sorcerer; and Helgrim, an Elvish Bladesinger. Darkfear (who I think of as Dorkface ‘cos he’s so uptight) presses his eyes into the crook of his thumb and forefinger. As I get up close, he gives me a weary look. “Is it too much to ask you to stay in character, Kent?” I straighten up and mutter, “Well met, Dickfart. May the sun-goddess Eluthia imbue your ballsack with magically enhanced cosmic energies. Geez.” He shakes his head and sighs in exasperation. “For the thousandth time, it’s Darkfear. And we’ve called this meeting to inform you that the rest of us have come to a decision: You’re no longer in the gaming group.” My eyes widen. “WHAT?” I level a finger at his face. “Not fair, Duckfuck! This is BULLSHIT!” Felisela (who I’ve always had a crush on) turns to Darkfear and says, “Come on, Humphrey, that’s not quite—” Darkfear screeches, “DARKFEAR! WHEN WE’RE IN-GAME, MY NAME IS DARKFEAR, GODDAMMIT!” He smooths the front of his robe and tries not to cry. I take the time to turn to Felisela and smile at her. “Oh hey Felisela, would you like to meet up and—” Her eyes roll upwards. “In character, Kent. When we’re in Warriors n’ Warlocks, PLEASE stay in character.” I clear my throat. “Right.” I scramble for the right words. “Um…wouldst thou care for a…a…um…a meeting of the genitals?” (Best I can manage at the moment). “Wouldst thou grant me a blessing by allowing me to insert my thoroughly soaped and perfumed member into thy—” She wrinkles her face in disgust. “EEWWW!!! NO! Just—just stop talking, okay?” By now, Darkfear has regained his composure and says, “Sorry Kent. You are hereby banished from the group. All treasures and experience points from our last campaign are now property of the group. You have no right to them.” I’m stunned. I look at each of their faces. Felisela and Helgrim are looking off to the side, in apparent shame. Douchefire has crossed his arms, and is giving me a smug grin. “But…but…” I stammer, then mutter, “Screw it.” I instantiate an in-game version of my eReader, and open it to Echo. Magic flash. Suddenly my inventory fills with not just the gaming group’s spoils, but top-tier weapons and items from ALL the virtual metascapes—rail guns, lightsabers, Roland Deschain’s revolvers, full suit of mithril—and on top of that, a cyborg-limbed velociraptor that instantiates in a flash a dozen yards away from me. Darkfear wrinkles his brow in puzzlement, then his eyes widen in shock. “He’s taken our treasure!” he screeches. “That shit is MINE, KENT!” He balls his hands up into fists and his face turns beet-red. I walk over to my velociraptor (who I’ve decided to call Scaly Nuts), and hop onto his back. I wink at Felisela, who’s now gaping at me in amazement. I wink at her and say, “Care for a ride?” Then I click my tongue three times. Four X-wing s-foils spring out from Scaly-nuts’s flanks. She gasps in awe. “Yep,” I crow in an oozy voice, “My v-raptor comes with X-wing mods.” Felisela brushes a lock of hair behind her ear and smiles at me. “Sure,” she says, “I wouldn’t mind flying around for a bit.” She climbs on behind me and we take off into the skies. I make sure that as I soar away, I instruct Scaly Nuts to drop a load of poop right onto Darkfear, engulfing him in a horrid wash of guano.
Are there uptight nerds in your gaming group that try to take all your stuff, boss you around, and force you to talk in old-timey speak? Well there’s an answer for that: 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