Echo: A Dystopian Science Fiction Novel

I’m snoozing in the War Room, drifting in and out as I listen to panicked blurts from cabinet members and four star generals.  Every now and then I drink from my sippy cup of modern-day ambrosia (I like mountain dew in a sippy cup; don’t judge—it’s part of being a Man Child) and flip through the latest stuff from next-level Batman author Scott Snyder (Death of the Family was AMAAAAZE-BAAAALLLSS!!!!).  All the top muckety mucks leave, tersely discussing Things of Great Import.  I read comics for a couple of hours, play Kingdom Rush for another few, then go back to sleep.  When I wake up, I see that a gaggle of generals, aides, experts, and top-ranking politicians are once again seated around the War Room’s main conference table.  They’re all arguing heatedly, emphatically pointing at this report or the other, saying that we have no time, that we’re under attack, that we’re all gonna die, yadda yadda yadda.  Suddenly a chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, one of those impeccable career military fellows, points an accusing finger at me and yells, “And why the FUCK is this guy here???  He has no operational experience, and he contributes nothing to our discussions but a vaguely unpleasant odor!  For chrissakes, all he does is drink mountain dew and read comics!”  One of the senators raises his hands in a placating gesture.  “Now, now Bill; Kent Wayne is our resident expert on imaginal threats.  He’s here at the special request of the SECDEF.  If it wasn’t for him, then we wouldn’t have survived the Insectoid War of—“  Bill silences the senator with an irritable flap of his hand.  “Yeah yeah yeah.  Little snot helps us out in ONE instance, and that means he gets a lifelong pass to the War Room?  Unbelievable.  Do you know how much dick I had to gobble so I could—“  Bill stops, smooths the front of his uniform, and grumpily clears his throat.  He keeps talking in a calmer—but still venomous—voice.  “Do you realize how long it took me to pay my dues just so I could OBSERVE what goes on in here, let alone participate?”  He shoots a dirty look at me.  “Jesus Christ Kent, could you at least wear a tie?  Get a haircut or something?”  I meet the general’s gaze, and because I love a strategically employed non-sequitur that simultaneously refuses to answer an aggressor’s challenge while turning the rest of the audience against him/her through the use of humor, I start beatboxing.  Then I launch into a rendition of a song I’ve been working on called “Lothar of the Hill People.”  Goes something like:  Lothaaarrrr…of the HIIIIILLLL PEOPLEEE…. (yeah you’re right; you probably have to actually hear it to get the full effect).  General Bill turns beet red as the rest of the room starts laughing.  Bill throws a ten lb. stack of intelligence reports at my face.  I catch it neatly with both hands, use the energy of the catch to swivel a 360 in my office chair as I do so, and when I come full circle, I smile at the general and say in a salesman-slick voice:  “Skills.”  Bill storms out, everybody laughs harder.  The Secretary of Defense comes in, takes one look at me, and says, “Kent, have you got a solution yet?”  I arch a brow at him.  “A solution for what?”  He places his eyes in the crook of his thumb and forefinger, shakes his head, and sighs disgustedly.  “Do you not follow ANY of what’s going on or—“  He stops himself, then looks at me with a steady gaze.  “Extra dimensional incursions have been occurring all across Earth.  We’re being swamped by an army of CHUDs, zombots, killer plants, Steven Seagals…weird stuff is your specialty, Kent.  We could really use a hand here.”  I nod at him and say, “I’m on it motha ducka.”  I reach into my pocket and open my eReader to Echo.  Magic flash.  The SECDEF gives me a puzzled look.  “What did you just do?”  My smile grows wider and more smug.  I interlace my fingers behind my head and lean back in my chair, crossing my ankles and propping them up on the conference table.  “Wait for it.”  A second later, a hot soccer mom aide bursts in, her eyes wide and her voice breathless.  “Giant robots have come to our defense.  They’re equipped with enormous swords and a comprehensive array of concussives and directed-energy weapons.  Their hands and feet are shaped like…”  Her eyes wander over to me and comprehension dawns on her face.  “Like lions,” I finish.  SECDEF gets it too; realization glimmers in his eyes and he murmurs, “Voltrons.”  I throw the aide a wink and mime her the gesture for Call Me Sometime.  She tries to hide a smile.  The rest of the War Room is staring at me, varying degrees of incredulity writ across their expressions.  My shit-eating grin widens, and I say, “You’re welcome.”

Odin’s ball-bag—when are these people gonna learn that hordes of extra dimensional invaders aren’t THAT big a deal?  All you need is a few Voltrons to even things up.  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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