My loyal buddy and genius 10 lb. terrier, Bitefighter, swerves the steering column to the right, causing our techno-enhanced dumpster-home to take the turn at 200 mph.
“Goddamn!” Gary Busey yells, hanging on to a ceiling grab-handle. “You guys sure know how to outrace the forces of evil!” Once we settle onto the road, he claps a hand onto my shoulder. “Thanks for rescuing me, Kent. I was close to ending my life—being part of the freak show exhibit in Martha Swift’s Odditorium is about as bad as it gets.”
“Think nothing of it,” I reply. “She’s caught me like a dozen times and put me in various zoos and exhibits. I’m not sure why she does it, but—”
Bitefighter looks back at us, his right-eye covered by a glimmering data-monocle, and shouts, “ARF ROWF ROOF!” (Translation: “Incoming! Get down, you stupid humans!”)
On the dumpster’s external cams, I see a quartet of next-generation, air-to-surface missiles screaming toward us. A burst of lens flare slices across the screen, backlighting the winding gray of the missiles’ exhaust.
I translate Small Dog into English: “GET DOWN! GARY, GET THE FUCK—”
The missiles detonate under us, and despite the Bitemobile’s gyroscopic shock absorbers, we fly around in the dumpster like hot specks of grease in a cast iron pan. The bottom of our ride lifts briefly off the ground. Our thermo-diffusive armor does its job; I feel a mild bloom of heat come through the walls. If not for the armor, that heat would have seared our flesh straight off the bone.
When we clank back down, I curse loudly and rub the back of my head. “Everybody okay???”
“Urrrghhh…” Gary Busey blinks dazedly and looks around. He starts laughing. “I can’t…I can’t believe we’re alive!”
I grin at him. “Theoretically, the Bitemobile is capable of withstanding a low-yield nuclear weapon. The armor and rad-weave should be able to repel all hostile energies. Bitefighter hasn’t perfected the impact diffusion yet, but—”
Without glancing back, my genius terrier gives me a furry little middle finger. I can’t help but laugh.
I cup my hand around my mouth to ensure he can hear me. “Bites!” I yell, “Clear-light the walls so I can moon these fuckers!”
He gives me a thumbs-up and toggles a series of holographic switches floating by the right side of his face. The walls of our dumpster turn transparent. I’m treated to a stunningly clear view of San Francisco traffic; our dumpster’s weaving in and out of lanes on the 101 as if it was being piloted by James freakin’ Bond. Gary lets out a yelp of fright, then looks around in open-mouthed amazement.
I point to our rear. Some fifty feet up, concentrated sunlight reflects off Martha’s fleet of drones. I’d guesstimate we’re being pursued by 20 to 30 of them. I get to my feet, yank down my booty shorts, and press my buttcheeks against the dumpster’s see-through wall.
“Get a load of this, fuckers!” I half-yell, half-laugh. I slide my Hams back and forth. My flesh makes a squeaky window wiper noise as it rubs against the walls. “Eat my ass!”
Gary roars with laughter, caught up in the sheer adrenaline of the moment. He fumbles with his fly, apparently about to follow suit.
And then it hits me: I can’t let him do it.
My face turns from amused to horrified. “WAIT!” I yell, stretching an arm out toward them. “DON’T SHOW YOUR ASS, GARY! IT’S TOO FUCKING UGLY FOR THE LIGHT OF DA—”
But it’s too late—one of the grossest-looking people to ever grace the silver screen exposes his hinie, and its sheer fugliness rips apart the fabric of space-time itself.
The reality-breach opens under us. Before it sucks us in, I can see that it resembles a demonic maw. The entire Earth is vacuumed into a hellish dimension of eternal spaghettification; every piece of matter which once comprised our planet is strung out into a long chain of atoms, then quarks and electrons, then ideas, then…
I don’t even have a body, and yet I’m somehow able to retain an individual consciousness. I reach deep into my psyche and piece together my sci fi epic, the one called Echo, and tap into its reality distortion powers.
Time rewinds, and I find myself back in the dumpster with Gary and Bitefighter. I’m just about to yank down my pants and moon the attack drones. Gary’s staring intently at me. I force a cheery smile onto my face.
“Um…you know what? Why antagonize them, right? No need to be crude.”
He laughs heartily, telling me that it would have been worth it. I force myself to laugh along, but inwardly, I shudder in fear; I can’t help but think of how he ripped a hole in existence through his keister’s sheer fugliness.
Some things you can’t unsee.
God help us all.
Some things you can’t unsee.
Have you accidentally triggered the apocalypse through the negligent use of some ugly-ass pressed hams? 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