Friday, January 02, 2009

Worlds Apart. Excerpt 1 - Introducing Maverick

Remember Stewart Brand's Last Whole Earth Catalog: Access to Tools? Hippie bible of the 70's? It contained an entire novel written in the margins of its 400+ pages -- Divine Right's Trip by Gurney Norman.

Good enough for Stewart Brand, good enough for me. I'm going to start excerpting Kyle Crocco's fantasy novel, Worlds Apart, in my blog. I probably won't print the whole thing 'cause it's also still in the process of finding a traditional publisher, like his other books Heroes Inc. and Heroes Wanted. And publishers are still a bit leery of first rights and all that good stuff. So I won't publish the book here. Just excerpt it. It deserves a preview audience.

Read it. It will make you laugh. Or at least chuckle inwardly. We need all the humor we can get, as 2009 takes off with the world in its usual somber mess.

And sorry about the indentation problems. I had a heck of a time transferring between file formats.


Worlds Apart

by Kyle Crocco

1.

“… he knew he was going to have to hurt someone …”

As soon as Maverick arrived at the Parking Authority he knew he was going to have to hurt someone. Maybe it was because Chief Grady had interrupted his morning workout regimen to tell him he had to get here on time, or maybe it was the fact that this new position was his fifth reassignment in two years and the next reassignment would be on the employment line if he didn’t shape up, or maybe it was just that this pencil-necked guy in front of him, wearing the blue suit, was saying that he was now Maverick’s new boss? No one was Maverick’s boss, least of all some pencil-necked guy who worked as head trainer for the Parking Authority. No one was Maverick’s boss, except maybe for Maverick, and then even Maverick didn’t let Maverick boss Maverick around. Oh, and sometimes, he let Chief Grady pretend she was Maverick’s boss, but you had to humor the ladies. Not that anyone would call Chief Grady a lady.

The pencil-necked trainer guy in front of him was talking and saying his name was Eric Merri-something-or-other, and then went on in an excited voice to explain the various duties, responsibilities, and paperwork associated with being a parking authority officer. But as soon as Maverick heard the word paperwork the lights went out upstairs. The rest of the words flew by his ears like so much background music.

“So when do we catch criminals?” Maverick broke in.

“What?” Eric Merri-something-or-other asked.

Maverick pulled out his hand blaster. “Do I need to repeat myself?”

“Now, now Mav … Maverick,” Eric stuttered, eyeing the weapon. “We don’t use hand blasters in the parking authority.”

Maverick suggested, “Rifle beamers?”

“No.”

Maverick couldn’t believe it. “Stun grenades?”

“No. God no.”

Maverick flexed his muscle-bound torso, straining the fabric of the staid-looking, standard, dark blue, parking enforcement uniform that he had been issued and reholstered his blaster. “Then it’s to be hand-to-hand combat then?” Maverick cracked his knuckles.

The pencil-necked man shook his hand. “No. No hand combat. We wr … we write tickets, Maverick.”

“What!”

The pencil-necked trainer flinched, holding out his electronic ticket-writing device.

“Tickets. We write citations, Maverick.”

Maverick stared hard at the black plastic, palm-sized, electronic device in the trainer’s hand. “I don’t get it.”

The pencil-necked trainer, Merri-something, puffed up his chest and went on in an excited tone, “This is ticket writer 300, or TW300. It’s the latest innovation in ticket-writing gadgetry.” Eric pointed at the holographic screen. “If you look closely, Maverick, you’ll see what we do is—”

“Forget it,” Maverick said, flipping the TW300 into the air. He brushed past Eric and alighted into the driver’s seat of his baby blue convertible. “I drive.”

“Wh-what?” Eric said, bobbling the TW300 in his grasp. “That’s not the standard issue vehicle, Maverick.”

“What is?” Maverick asked.

Eric pointed to an electric, golf-cart-type vehicle, covered in a plastic bubble.

Maverick shook his head. “I don’t think so.”

Eric puffed out his chest again. “As senior parking authority training off …”

Maverick gunned the engine of his convertible, shooting up dust and gravel into the trainer’s face. “Senior what?”

The trainer coughed. “Senior parking …”

Maverick gunned the engine again, drowning out Eric’s voice. “Well, maybe that’s what you drive, Mr. Trainer, but this is what Maverick drives.”

The pencil-necked training officer, Eric Merri-something-or-other, stared as Maverick pulled away in the convertible. It was then that he suddenly remembered the angry, vivid features of Chief Grady, yelling at him this morning on the holograph phone, warning him that it was Eric’s personal responsibility to look after Maverick, and to make sure that he didn’t get in any more trouble. Especially to stop him from harassing Hydra.

So Eric ran after the convertible, and leaped into the passenger seat, barely making it.

“Hold on tight,” Maverick said.

“Hold on what?” Eric asked, pulling up the severed end of a seatbelt. And then his head was flung back against the seat as Maverick peeled out of the parking lot.

- to be continued...

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