After centillions of incarnations, I have finally, FINALLY made it to that glorious plane of existence that goes by many names: Nirvana, Heaven, the Elysian Fields, the hidden Bonus Level in Kingdom Rush….take your pick. I’m lazing on my bed (mounted on the back of a T-Rex that wears jet-boots), doing my best to make Joan of Arc giggle and succeeding at it. A beautiful deva—an F buddy o’ mine named Shildana—flies by on a golden surfboard and says, “Kent, you’re scheduled to entertain a bachelorette party in four hours. Looks like…” she flips through her notebook. “A dozen nymphs and fifteen elves. Will you still be able to dance for em?” I give her my trademark Man Child thumbs up. “You betcha!” Then, because Joan of Arc and I are some down-ass homies (and ‘cos this is MY ad), we simultaneously give Shildana a lewd wink, which she returns with a blown kiss. Wow! Could Paradise get ANY better??? A second later, I see an assemblage of clouds speeding towards me. Three stern looking figures are standing on top of them. As the clouds come closer, the occupants become recognizable: Yeshua, Krishna, and Siddhartha. They halt in front of me, and give me A Look. I return it with puzzlement. “What?” I ask. Yeshua coughs into his fist and glances sideways. “You’ve been chosen, Kent.” Joan whispers that she’ll call me later. I nod distractedly, and she floats off into the ether. I sit up straight and level a suspicious stare at my three visitors. “Chosen for what?” They don’t say anything; they just look awkward and stare off to the side or down at their toes. It slowly dawns on me, and horror blossoms through my mind. “No,” I whisper. Siddhartha gives me a pained grimace. “Come on, Kent; everyone has to do it. You can’t pretend you’re a deviant pervert and get out of Savior Duty like you did on Earth with jury duty all those times.” “NO!” I yell. “ I am NOT gonna reincarnate as an angry ape-thing. I am NOT going to—“ Krishna purses his mouth, and a hypnotic string of sigils emerge from his sky-blue lips; they’re all vibrating and buzzing with a transcendentally keyed sequence of extra-dimensional notes. I lunge at him, screaming, “WHY YOU LITTLE—“ But his spell takes effect immediately, and I begin plunging down to earth, howling and flailing like Chris Farley in Beverly Hills Ninja when he goes astral. My essence is yanked through a chain of mandala-threaded portals, each one more fantastic than the last. I fail to appreciate them, however; the whole time I’m screaming, “SHIIIIIIIIIIIITTTTTTTTTT!!!!!” and then I forget everything as I plop out of some female genitalia. Decades pass. I live a miserable, quiet existence, following the road most travelled: average joe in high school, knock out some generic degree in college, and then get to work for a soul-sucking corporation. I am sullen and bitter without knowing why. On my 29th birthday, I’m sitting on the toilet enjoying one of the few pleasures left to me in life. As my bowels vacate, knowledge comes flooding into my psyche: I’m on Savior Duty! Crapskies! After I’m done in the bathroom, I run to my eReader and open it to Echo. Magic flash. The machinery in my house begins flying at me, ensconcing me in a radiant blue glow. Chains of circuits morph across my body, entwining with my flesh, making me into more than just machine or man; now I’m a cybernetically enhanced, super-sexy engine of death. Outside my apartment the earth bursts open, and a head that is half scales, half chrome-bright alloy bursts from the ground. My mount Bitefighter (in this incarnation he’s also a cyborg, but a t-rex instead of a terrier) throws back his head and lets loose with a deafening roar. Then he locks eyes with me and goes, “bucaw!” (no reason for that other than I find chicken noises funny). I hop on his back and in the coming years we lay waste to all corrupt governments and corporations, all dickheads and douchemasters, and a golden age sweeps across the earth. I’m declared Robo-King of Elithia (that’s what I change Earth’s name to, ‘cos it’s way cooler), and I guide humanity through many perils: The Insectoid war of 2088, three incursion attempts from the five-species alien alliance that comprise the Entradi Dominion, as well as countless other crises. My name is writ into legend, and wherever I go, I’m greeted by wide smiles, open arms, and hot soccer moms that want me to write “Robo-King Kent” onto their cleavage. Who says that Savior Duty has to suck balls?
Just ‘cos you got world-changing work to do doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. All hail the Robo-King! Huzzah! Right now I’m in the middle of reworking Echo 1, trying to get all my noob mistakes out. If you refrain from buying it due to my amateurish writing style, a product of my first ventures into fiction, then I totally understand, and I’ll announce when I re-upload an updated version. If you buy it anyways, then many thanks! 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