I cast my gaze across legions of millennials, all curled into fetal positions. They’re sucking their thumbs and gazing blankly ahead.
“What happened to them?” I ask my CDC handler.
It’s hard to see past the crinkle of our level 4 biohazard suits, but I can still make out his face as he shakes his head. “You tell us, Kent—the President said you’re the expert on unexplained phenomena.”
I look again at the cowed masses of young, hip, beta-people. “Just ’cause I write stupid shit doesn’t mean I’m qualified to fix something like this. I don’t even know where to begin.”
“Well you better start figuring it out.” My handler nods grimly at a millennial who’s sobbing into one hand, fisting his anus with the other. “We can’t have an entire generation lose its ability to contribute to society; it’d be nothing short of catastrophic.”
“Wait.” I point a hundred yards into the distance. “One of them’s still functioning. He’s talking on his—”
An old fogey rushes toward him, swings his cane at full speed, and knocks the smartphone from the millennial’s hand. The millennial drops to his knees, clutching his wrist and shrieking in horror. I can’t help but wince; you know when Luke gets his hand cut off, and also that part in Jedi where he gets blasted with Dark side-lightning? Combine those two screams and amplify them by a factor of ten—that’s what this sounds like.
“JESUS BUDDHA KRISHNA AND ALLAH!” the millennial howls. “WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME????”
Up ahead, more fogeys knock smartphones out from millenials’ hands. I nod at our spec-ops escort.
“Give em some warning shots.”
A kitted-out pipe-hitter high-ports his rifle and cuts loose. The fogeys stop in their tracks and stare in our direction.
I step cautiously forward, both palms out.
“Why are you depriving these chinless weaklings of their glowing squares?”
Some old dude that looks like the pervert from Family Guy shakes his cane at me. “We’re sick of these entitled fuckfaces stating everything in a questioning lilt! They’re always blithering about the latest bullshit on Buzzfeed, or some viral cat video!”
I dip my head, acknowledging his point. “Just because they’ve forsaken sound logic—along with the ability to lift weights in the double-digits—does NOT give you the right to cut them off from their source of sanity.”
“Well their source of sanity is our source of INsanity!” the codger retorts.
“Hmmm…” I try and stroke my chin, but my biohazard suit keeps me from doing so. “I think I have a solution.”
The old man gives me a suspicious look. “What is it?”
I reach into my rig. I withdraw my eReader and open it to Echo, activating its reality distortion powers. Magic flash.
Techno-organic circuitry crawls across my arms, forming into a craggy, alloy-forged launcher I brace on my hip, like Sexual Tyrannosaurus in the OG Predator movie. I spread my legs and press the trigger. CHOOM CHOOM CHOOM—medium-rare ribeyes fly out from the barrel, arcing high in the air…then diving into the millennials’ mouths courtesy of a wetware guidance system. Their jaws work mindlessly. Then, as the Magic o’ Meaties courses through their system, they rise to their feet, throwing their arms back and screaming at the sky.
“RUAAAAHHHH!!! I KNOW EVERYTHING…I AM EVERYTHING!!!!”
In a matter of seconds, the millennials transform into hulking, ripped beasts that can squat 2x bodyweight, knock out 40 pullups with a 45 lb. plate, have at least a purple belt in jiu-jitsu, and are able to handle ambiguity, hardship, and emotionally charged problems with confidence and ease.
I turn to the codger. “How’s that? These guys are tough, motivated, and they’re able to use critical thought to arrive at functional solutions.”
He claps his hands in glee. “Heh heh HEH! Couldn’t ask for more!”
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