Thursday, August 22, 2013

EleMentalist (Excerpt 1) by Steven O’Connor

Book excerpt: MonuMental: The Hack’s Back

Though this is the second chapter from MonuMental (third, if you count the intro), it is in fact the very first part of the book I wrote. And I love every bit of it! I hope you enjoy it too.

–Steven O’Connor

PS: MonuMental is the follow up to EleMental, though it can also be read as a standalone story.

PPS: Note the bad guy hacking into the chapter right at the end. He does that a fair bit during the climactic chapters. Needless to say, I had a ball writing those scenes.

Chapter 2: The Age of the Pigs

Willis, Arizona and Zeb stood in the new multi-pink piggy v’space. Juicy fat letters that looked like stringed-together pork sausages bumped across the pale-pink sky.

The Age of the Pigs

Expansion sesqueal pack.

A squealion more pigs for you to battle.

More pigs esqueals more fun.

We hope you have a pig of a time.

Pig out on us.

Onwards and pigwards.

Pig olay olay olay!

A bass voice riding on a wave of orchestral strings boomed from nowhere and everywhere, accompanied by more porky words, this time smaller in size. Willis read the words while they listened …

‘Long, long ago, in the days before the world wars, in the days before elaborate machines of death were constructed, in the days before humanoid apes worked their magics, rubbing sticks or banging rocks together, or plowing the virgin soil, before the he- and she-apes stood tall on two legs and shouted “Hey yeah, man, I so rock!”, in those deeply unknown days after the demise of the dinosaurs and before the rise of said humanoid apes, there was another race of contenders for the everlasting ownership of all lands and seas. These creatures, pink in color, would rule the world today if it were not for an extraordinary thing – the accidental dropping from the sky of a passing inter-universe ship. This ship was operated by an intensely curious race known as The Who?-mans. These newcomers challenged the old, pink race for the ownership of the lands and seas. And, as history so teaches us, once beating them, The Who?-mans went on to teach the humanoid apes a thing or two, until eventually the apes and The Who?-mans grew in semblance and could not be told apart. But that’s another story (Apeman? Who?-man? A strategy v’game of who’s who, what’s what and what’s not – out soon on all Plush Pluses), for now, the outcome of the deadly battles must be fought again – by you. We have gone back to the time when the fate of all lands and seas remains unknown and things could just as easily have gone the pinkier way. These, my friends, are the ancient days of great trotter power, and this is … The Age of the Pigs.

The last five words were spoken with extra emphasis and the letters shook.

The pigs lined up in rows, standing straight on their twiggy hind legs, elbowing each other and clutching an assortment of weapons. Their names were emblazoned on sashes or belts they wore across their ruddy chests and waists. Willis checked out the first row: Spark Pig, Acid Pig, Stink Pig, Immortal Pig, Super Pig, Bonnie Prince Pig, Hell Pig, Psycho Pig, Killer Pig, Splinter Pig, Squirty Pig and Big Mouth Pig.

‘Attention game,’ Willis said. ‘Pause action.’ He glanced at Arizona, then faced Zeb. ‘I’m not a wuss.’ Arizona present or not, it was still bugging him and he needed to say something.

‘Oh God,’ Zeb said. ‘Not again. Forget I said anything.’

‘What’s going on?’ Arizona asked.

Willis kept his gaze on Zeb. ‘Promise me you’ll stick to normal weapons?’

‘Guys,’ Arizona tried again. ‘Fill me in.’

Zeb ran his fingers through his shock of hair. A mannerism he’d developed that partly showed he was annoyed and partly that he was fighting to keep his annoyance in check. ‘Willis is just worrying again, nothing new.’

‘Zeb’s only gone and discovered he can summon up gameblur, that’s all,’ Willis said. ‘He’s using it like a weapon.’ He could feel his face reddening. Still, he knew he was right. ‘It’s dangerous. Gameblur … blurs everything. And creates things that should never be created.’

Zeb rolled his eyes. ‘Who cares what I do in this pig v’game?’

‘I care!’


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Genre – Young Adult / Science Fiction

Rating –PG

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