Red Penny Papers will release Superpow Oct. 27, 2014, and they’ll also be celebrating the re-opening of RPP. I’m pleased to be a part of this fine anthology, which also includes authors like Fox Lee, Corinne Duyvis, and William Vitka. Superpow includes unconventional superheroes, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy the read. Below, I offer you a sneak peek at my Superpow short story, Unsuper Translator.
Be sure to stop by the official Superpow site: http://redpennypapers.com/superpow/
And check out the official announcement here: http://redpennypapers.com/2014/09/14/superpow-for-everyone/
Many thanks to KV Taylor and everyone involved with Superpow for all their hard work. And congrats on the re-opening of RPP!
Excerpt from Unsuper Translator
The underground parking garage now served as a dwelling for earth stragglers. When Roger emerged from it, he squinted against a washed grey sky until his eyes adjusted to the weak light. Did that snot-nosed Sector 4 prince have a hunter on his tail yet, he wondered, and how would the hasty punch to the prince’s face effect his job options? It wasn’t the first time he’d lost the Elites’ favor, but he was getting too old to play their games anymore.
He heard a metallic whir, and then a low level blast from a matter scrambler knocked him on his ass, stealing his breath and making his heartbeat erratic. A booted foot pressed into his back as he swallowed sand. Next came the melodic beep of a G9 Comtracker, and the distant purr of a patched through connection. Roger tried to squirm from beneath his captor, but the matter scrambler blast had temporarily paralyzed him.
“Yup, it’s him. Picking him up now,” a woman said. Someone on the other end squalled loudly in reply. “What? No way. Remember what happened last time I went through that town?” Silence from her. Screams from the speaker. “Fine, but it’ll cost you fifty more gold pieces.” A beep ended the caller’s caterwaul.
“Can you feel your legs yet?” she said to Roger. “We need to get moving.”
“You know, we could’ve done this face to face.” His words came out a dust-choked croak. “You didn’t even read me my rights. I call hunter brutality here.”
“Sorry,” she said, but she sounded less than sympathetic. “I’ve been contracting for those elite bastards too long.”
The boot left his back. His legs and feet tingled with the return of feeling, so he flipped over. A winged woman, her profile silhouetted by the sun, trained a matter scrambler on him while she offered a hand up.
She was about his height, and her features and sky blue skin indicated some Venush genes. A well-muscled woman who had no scalp, just a translucent dome, through which he could see the snaky pathways of her brain. Glimmering wings the color of dying sunlight jutted from her back; they were mechanical, which surprised him. Wings were usually a natural birth trait of any Venush/human hybrid.
She shook her head and squinted at him. “Roger Mantus, the great alien translator. Gotta admit, I never thought I’d be hunting you.” With the matter scrambler, she motioned for him to face forward and walk.
Roger shrugged. “Not the first time Sector 4 Elites have sent a hunter after me, or stripped me of my super hero status when I didn’t fulfill their agenda.” He looked over his shoulder, sneered at her. “Besides, if you had a conscience you’d let me go.”
“Look, I appreciate your motives, but it was still a stupid move.”
He spoke through clenched teeth: “All that snot-nosed sector prince had to do was answer the lady’s question. Then I wouldn’t have punched him. Where is she gonna get her medicine if that bastard closes the free clinics, eh? You know those private hospitals charge an arm and a leg–sometimes literally.”