In the year 4030, the United Forces of Earth are engaged in a desperate battle. All across the planet, human armies are fighting the savage Insectoids, which were summoned centuries ago by a secret cabal of Grammar Nazies: asshole practitioners of the darkest of magicks.
ON THE WEST COAST OF MID-NORTH AMERICA, IN THE PROTECTORATE OF CALIFORNIA, REGION 8302—THE URBAN ENCLAVE FORMERLY KNOWN AS SAN FRANCISCO:
Sergeant Ryker pulled the trigger on his MX90. A three-round burst of high-X ordnance flashed from his muzzle, impacting against an eight-legged silhouette and blasting apart its chitinous thorax. Dark blue blood spatters the alleyway walls.
A minute ago, Ryker had been patrolling the Mission District with a twelve-man squad of UFE Space Marines. The comms on his 300 lb. exo-armor had erupted with chaos: his other two squads, alpha and bravo, were being attacked. He gave the command for his own squad—charlie—to move three blocks north so they could link up with their sister squads, but they’d been simultaneously assaulted from the rear and their flanks. Two of his fireteams had been picked off, leaving him with just his own: a four-man element which was in no position to support anybody. In a matter of seconds, they’d gone from predator to prey.
“GET YER BUBBLES ON!” Ryker screamed. UFE exo-armor came equipped with spherical helmets—beta-amyloid enclosures that protected their heads from the acid-splash backwash that poured out from Insectoid wounds. Ryker’s was pitted and scored. As his fireteam had taken cover in a nearby alley behind some dumpsters, he’d had to use his plasma bayonet to briefly engage in a hand-to-tarsus melee with one of the creepers. He’d gotten a giant heaping of its caustic blood across his protective helmet (or “bubble,” as it the grunts called it).
Ryker loped a few steps forward, the arm of his junior-most team member draped across his neck. He laid the Marine down near the back of the alley. Behind him, his two remaining riflemen provided a steady duet of cover fire from behind their dumpster-barricade.
“Stay with me, Johnston,” Ryker hissed, applying an analgesic heal-pak onto the left half of the wounded Marine’s face. “You’ve got some splash on you, but you’re gonna be fine. A few more minutes, and you’ll be coking and joking with the rest of the jerkoffs back in the rear.”
A crackle of static arose in Ryker’s earpiece. It resolved into an infuriatingly calm voice: “All react teams are currently engaged. Sergeant Ryker, can you—”
He pressed his chest-mounted mic-key, cutting the radio operator off. “What about air support? I need a close-quarters gun run on our position. Tell me you got something, because we’re about to get fu—”
“The only available air assets are heavy-fire strafers. A gun-run on your position would be danger-close, sergeant; you’d be signing your own death warrant.”
Ryker gritted his teeth. “Son, you’re signing a warrant for me to fist your mother’s asshole unless you send me some sleet.” (“Sleet” was brevity code for air support among English-speaking UFE troopers)
A brief pause, then: “I’m sorry Sergeant—we’re doing all we can. Hold tight; help’s on the way.”
Ryker swore viciously and severed comms. He cast a quick look around. His team was dug in—between the the alleyway walls and the dumpsters at its entrance, they had solid cover—but it was only a matter of time before the Insectoids climbed on the roof and attacked from above. When he’d gotten a brief glimpse of the enemy’s numbers; there was no way they could hold out for much longer, not without an ammo resupply…
His eyes locked on a lone dumpster a few yards away. On its face was a cryptic message:
HERE LIES THE SCI-FI AUTHOR AND MAN WHORE KNOWN AS KENT WAYNE.
Ryker glanced down at Johnston; the Marine was unconscious. He murmured a brief prayer of thanks for small favors, then sprinted over to the dumpster. A strange magic came into play, lifting the dumpster’s lid up from its edge. A glowing tutu floated out from its depths. On its belly were written two words:
Ryker experienced a brief moment of cognitive dissonance—he was a man’s man, and the hardcore identity of UFE Space Marine was stamped onto his very soul—but it quickly fell away. His team was dying; he was ready to try anything.
So he keyed the seven-digit code into the wrist interface of his exo armor, unlocking its haptic clasps. Its joints hissed open as its torso-plating retracted, allowing him to step out in his skivvy shirt and underwear. He slipped on the tutu and it took over his body, making him spin in place with his arms positioned in overhead curves, fingers arcing toward the dome of his head. His right leg cocked and bent like a professional ballerina’s.
The magic took control of his voice, causing it to break into song without his consciously intending it:
“I NEED A HERO—I’M HOLDING OUT FOR A HERO UNTIL THE END OF THE NIGHT…HE’S GOTTA BE STRONG AND HE’S GOTTA BE FAST AND HE’S GOTTA BE FRESH FROM THE FIGHT…I NEED A HERO…”
And then his team’s salvation—clad in nothing but booty shorts, bow-tie, and a balaclava—came flipping out from the dumpster’s cavity.
“Whoa!” Kent Wayne exclaimed, landing in a half-crouch, arms cocked like a wrestler’s at the start of a match. “What’s going on here?” He cast a quick look around, then locked his gaze onto the chaos at the other end of the alleyway. “Holy crap-oly!” he exclaimed, straightening in place. “Insectoids! Only one solution for this!”
Then he reached into his booty shorts and opened his eReader to Echo, activating its reality distortion powers. Magic flash.
The front of his shorts began rippling…then a few seconds later, his giant, mushroom-tipped hog erupted through the fabric, roaring like a pissed-off T-rex. Kent proceeded to charge past Ryker’s two remaining Space Marines, who gave the author astonished looks as he chopped the air with his hands and sprinted at full speed toward the oncoming horde of enemy Insectoids.
Wayne executed a kick-jump off the wall, superman-punching a dirty creeper right in its mandibled face. At the same time, his cock snaked through their ranks, coiling around dozens of enemy in the space of a second, squeezing viciously down and causing their bodies to burst apart into slimy goo. He continued ripping through Insectoids, beating down scores of ’em with his big ol’ nuts and his towering penis.
Ryker dropped to his knees, sobbing in a mix of gratitude and embarrassment. He was grateful he’d saved his team, but was well aware of the fact that he’d never live down the story of having had to don a magic tutu and summon a prodigiously endowed, muscle-bound half-wit by singing one of Bonnie Tyler’s most enduring ballads.
’Cause that’s how Kent Wayne rolls! Mwahahah! 😀
Have you volunteered to be a UFE Marine, and are now caught in dire straits? 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 Echo Vol. 1 & 2 Combined Edition here: Combined Edition
Hold on! I just got approved to be an Amazon affiliate! If you’re going to buy ANY product from Amazon, and you’d like to support my efforts for absolutely free, then simply click on one of the Echo links I’ve provided—they’ll send you to Echo’s Amazon page—and THEN buy whatever product you wish. Amazon gives me a small referral fee each time this happens! In this manner you can support my books, musings, upcoming podcast, zany ads, or my adventures along the noble path known as The Way of The Man Child WITHOUT spending any more money than you were already going to! Should you do this, I vow to send you a silent blessing, causing your genitals to adopt the optimum size, shape, smell, and death-ray attachment of choice that paralyzes your enemies with fear and envy! Entire worlds will bow before your nether parts! 😲💪 😜
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