Echo: A Dystopian Science Fiction Novel

The Justice League is holding auditions on its moon base (the Watchtower) and I’ve been invited to try out.  I don’t know why they’ve asked me to apply—I’m just some doof who runs around dressed in nothing but a bow tie, booty shorts, and a ski mask.

Bitefighter (my loyal buddy and 10 lb. Terrier Extraordinaire) and I are currently sitting in one of the Watchtower’s waiting rooms.  I see some dude who can make fire with his mind, a fella who looks to be half-human, half-lizard, a lady that has blank white spaces for eyes and whose skin is completely purple…

What the hell am I DOING here?

An intercom declares, “Kent Wayne—you’re up!”

Bitefighter and I rise from our seats and enter the main conference area:  a large, window-walled room with a giant, Arthurian style table smack in the middle of it.  Arrayed around the table are the original seven.  I meet their eyes and utter a silent prayer of thanks:  I had the foresight to wear black underoos.

(You can’t help but dribble a bit when you stand before the Justice League.  Just a bit—it’s a natural reaction.)

Flash goes first.  “So…can you tell me why we should hire you?”

I shrug.  “I honestly don’t know.  I write stupid shit and I have horrible fashion sense.”

Hawkgirl snorts and crosses her arms.  “Who invited this idiot?  He isn’t fit to polish my mace.”

The Martian Manhunter holds up a hand in a let’s-keep-things-cool gesture.  “Remember—we’re sworn to protect people like him.  We’re sworn to protect the weak and feeble-minded.”  He looks me up and down, his mouth working soundlessly.  He looks like he’s trying to find the appropriate words.

Finally, he settles on:  “And this one looks like he could use more protection than others.”

Batman clears his throat in a loud harrumph, one that sounds suspiciously like a laugh.

Superman, looking all dumb and handsome and stupid, casts his gaze around the table.  “But who DID invite this…this Man Whore, is it?”  He gives me a quizzical look.

Before I can nod, Diana—Wonder Woman—clears her throat.  “I did.  He may not look like much, but his dog has an intellect that could rival Braniac’s deadliest iteration.  And he also has a secret power; one he is yet unaware of, but it could conceivably—”

Aquaman stands up and loudly bangs the table with his stupid golden trident-hand.  “This half-wit land-dweller has no POWER!”  He points his trident-hand at me.  “Show me what you can do, weakling!”

I look under the table and see Batman’s hand slide up Diana’s leg.  I swear he’s smiling…but it’s hard to tell with him.  She clears her throat—her only acknowledgment of their under-the-table contact.  My eyes widen as I see her reach beneath the tabletop, grasp his hand, and slide it further up her leg.

Yep—he is DEFINITELY smiling.

“A CHALLENGE!” Aquaman roars.  “Show me what you can do, you moronically dressed imbecile!”

SHIT!  My life flashes before my eyes as the roided-out fish-man leaps straight at me, his stupid trident-hand pointing right at my face.  Superman rises from his seat.  He extends a hand and shouts “WAIT ARTHUR DON’T—“

In the midst of my panic, I reach into a hidden compartment inside my booty shorts and yank out my eReader.  I open it to Echo, activating its reality distortion powers.  Magic flash.

Suddenly, my piece snaps free of its harness and uncoils from around my waist.  It lets out a triumphant roar, rips free of my underwear, and blatters Aquaman right across his dopey, square-jawed face.  The force of the strike causes him to spin through the air and hit the ground in a violent barrel-roll.  My dongs snakes up in front of my chest and looks from side to side like a hunted animal.  It begins barking out an aggressive series of chicken noises.

(I think it’s telling them all to back the fuck off.)

Hawkwoman—during the course of conversation she’s adopted a bored, feet-on-the-table, hands-behind-her-head-head, lean-back-in-her-chair posture—now stares dumbly at me, mouth gaped open.  Everyone else is in more or less the same state of amazement.

Everyone except for Wonder Woman.  She’s smiling and nodding.

“POSEIDON’S NETHERS!” Aquaman gasps, rising to all fours.  He hacks and sputters for a full minute, then manages, “HE SMELLS LIKE ROTTING JELLYFISH!”

My face turns beet-red.  “I clean it every day, I swear!  It must be part of my superpower!  I don’t usually—”

Wonder Woman holds up a hand, still smiling.  “No explanation is necessary, Man Whore.  We welcome you to the Justice League.”  She casts a measured gaze around the table.  “Unless anyone has an objection?”

Hawkgirl claps her hands and laughs raucously.  “Hell no!  Imma get me some a’ THAT!”  She fixes me with a perverted stare and licks her lips.

I reply with an uncomfortable laugh and look at Batman, who’s raised his index finger like he’s about to say something.  His gaze flickers over to Hawkgirl and Wonder Woman (who are both nodding absentmindedly along and staring at me with dreamy smiles), then he slumps back into his chair.  He glares at me with narrowed eyes.

My membership is voted on and approved.  As we all leave and make our way to the commissary, most of them have nothing but kind words for me.  Flash says that the Justice League has never hired a male prostitute before, and that this is a historic first.  Aquaman claps me on the shoulder and says he wants to buy me a beer; it’s been over a month since someone’s been able to knock him on his ass like I just did.

But as the rest of them pass through the commissary’s doorway, Batman pulls me aside and slams me against the wall.  He emphasizes each of his next words by poking me in the chest.

“Diana.  Is.  MINE.  Understand?”

I brush his hand away and lock eyes with him.

“You may be good at moping in darkened rooms and scaring the pee out of criminals, but I’m a professional Man Whore, Bruce.”

I throw him a cocky smile.

“May the best man win.”

The best man DID win, but that’s a story for another day.



Are you applying for a prestigious job, but the hiring committee is being run by a bunch of bullies and jerks?  Never fear!  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  #kindle #kindleunlimited #sciencefiction #scifi #books #novel #book


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