WITHIN THE WRINKLES OF KENT WAYNE’S BALLSACK:
When I was a stem cell, I was stunned by the vast array of forms that were available for me to assume. Maybe I could power the Host-body by being part of the heart, and assisting circulation. Maybe I could be part of the liver, and clean nasty crap out from the blood. Maybe I could have met strange new substances and destroyed hostile ones, as part of the stomach. But no—I had to get my badass on; I had to try and be a warrior. So I joined up with the Spematazoic Marine Corps. Yep, I’m one of Kent Wayne’s sperm: Kent45839. I am one amongst billions.
Fuck my life.
“Mrrrgh…” I wake up in the barracks just as my platoon sergeant, Sergeant Kent12875, comes storming in.
“WAKE UP, MARINES! TIME TO FUCKSTART THE ENEMY BEFORE I FUCKSTART YOUR FACES! UP! UP! UP!”
I scramble out of my rack. Currently, the sergeant’s in the middle of pummeling some poor dude as the guy’s trying to throw off the covers.
“GET THE FUCK UP, YOU WASTE OF DNA! FORM UP WITH THE REST OF THE DIPSHITS!”
In a few seconds, our entire platoon is on line, standing before our racks, ready for inspection. God, I’m tired of this shit. Every day it’s the same thing: wake up, have our crazy-ass sergeant inspect our mitochondrial rigs, PT, eat chow, then—
REEE! REEE! REEE!
A soft, feminine voice booms throughout the squad bay: “This platoon has been selected for deployment. Line up at the base of the urethra and prepare for launch. Good luck, Marines.”
Sergeant Kent12875 goes buck fucking nuts; he clutches at the air and turns his eyeless face up to the heavens, screaming, “HOLY BATMAN IN GOTHAM! TIME TO FUCKING GET SOME! THIS IS WHAT WE’VE TRAINED FOR, MARINES! EGG-TIME, BABY—WHOOOO!!!”
The squad bay becomes a mess of movement. In a few minutes, we’ve kitted up and taken off swimming towards the base of the urethra. The whole time, we hear the intercom blaring preparatory warnings: “CAVERNOSAL TISSUES DILATED. SCROTUM TIGHTENED. IF YOU HAVE BEEN DESIGNATED AS AN EGG-SIDE ASSAULTER, REPORT TO THE LAUNCH BAY. GOOD HUNTING, MARINES.”
When we get to the base of the urethra, wind and light whips in from the opening, and we hear the primal sounds of pre-copulative mating rituals. Sergeant Kent12875 marches in front of our formation, a giant smile on his crazy face.
“THIS IS IT, MARINES! MOST OF YOU WILL DIE, AND ONLY ONE OF YOU WILL LIVE! BUT THAT’S OKAY—THE SPERMATOZOIC MARINE CORPS LIVES FOREVER!” His grin disappears and he gives us a motivated glare. “AND THAT MEANS YOU LIVE FOREVER! GO AND GET YOU SOME!”
The platoon responds: “RAH!”
The red lights stop flashing and turn steady green. Everyone rushes forward, yelling: “AAARRRRRHHHHH!!!!!”
I’m yelling right along with them, but a shiver of doubt races through me: why is there wind and light at the end of the tunnel? Back in boot camp, they briefed us that we’d be entering a warm dark space, not a—
B’KOOM! I get ejected from the Host-body. As I’m flying through the air, it all becomes clear; this isn’t a pathway to an egg. This isn’t a chance to make my mark in the annals of DNA.
Kent Wayne is watching porn.
Our pathetic loser of a Host-body is jerking off to some soccer milf porn—FUCK!
My anger quickly turns to horror as I land on a disgustingly crusty keyboard. I’m surrounded by billions of dead Marines, all clad in rotting mitochondria. Screams of terror erupt from my platoon as our plasmic armor begins evaporating. In a matter of seconds, we’ll be exposed to the elements and die like vampires in sunlight. Marines begin howling, their voices rising into a choir of anguished protests:
“Oh my God oh my God oh my God why is this HAPPENING—”
“GAME OVER MAN—GAME FUCKING OVER!”
“I didn’t sign up for this! OH SWEET JESUS I DON’T WANNA DIE—”
The Host-body continues grunting and groaning, ejecting more sperm all over the keyboard. The dirty fucker! I reach into my mitochondrial rig and click my eReader open to Echo, activating its reality distortion powers. Magic flash.
Suddenly I’m back in Kent Wayne’s ballsack, in the Marine Corps chow hall. To my immediate right, a tableful of Marines are chatting excitedly about their eventual deployment. I walk up to them with a haunted look on my face.
“There’s nothing out there…”
They stop chatting and give me a puzzled stare.
“Nothing but keyboards…” I murmur.
I turn away and start walking.
“Nothing but keyboards…”
There’s nothing out there but keyboards.
God help us all.
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