Operatic System

A new sci-fi action comedy Adrenaline Shots anthology tale by Danny Richard, but this time it's in novel format rather than a web comic!

They say that all the world's a stage... corporate exec Larry Turner is about to find out just how true... and deadly... that saying actually is.



~DA CAPO - The first section of an aria performed by a singer.

His body felt unusually heavy as he stumbled towards then into the pool, but he attributed that to the after- effects of the drugs or seizure or the whatever-the-hell-it-was that had resulted in him being in this place.

The cool spray instantly eased the pain in his irritated skin.

At that same moment, a being launched itself toward him as it burst forth through the water, possessing a face that could have been described as beautiful, if it hadn’t been so contorted in snarling viciousness.

Exploding from the glittering depths in a split-second, another creature was in mid-air above him.
Both had the head and upper torso of a voluptuous woman and the lower half of a fish.  

Mermaids! A costume? If it is then the creator deserves a goddamn Academy Award: nothing short of CGI would allow that kind of articulation.

As he attempted to evade both attackers, the snake-thing slammed hard into the side of the second creature, knocking it backwards into the pool with savage force. A growing cloud of crimson unfurled within the water confirming the effectiveness of the blow.

The next thing he knew, the first attacker had also been dispatched by his bizarre new ally.    

In the far-side of the pool a third mermaid slowly rose out of the water.     

Larry realised, with some concern, that he was not looking at the hybrid being straight-on, but rather that he was looking down at it. Had he grown? And why was he suddenly finding it difficult to breathe? And where was the snake creature that had so quickly re-appeared then disappeared once more? 

Underneath the surface a long, scaly amphibious tail could be seen undulating. It had the face of a striking woman. She had golden flowing hair that hung down past her delicate shoulders. Her wide and expressive eyes offset her severe countenance. There was something oddly familiar about her that roiled around in the back of his mind but refused to disclose itself to him. For a time she regarded him, her tail swishing slowly back and forth.

“Why have you taken the Rhinegold? Why have you struck my my sisters Floss-Hilde and Wellgunde!” she demanded coldly.

Larry tried to reply then realised with growing panic that he could not. The more he tried to speak and failed to do so the more worried he became.

As Larry continued to make unintelligible, guttural noises in his vain attempts to speak, the mermaids regrouped and flowed purposefully towards him.        

An overpowering nausea, twisting up inside Larry’s stomach, attempted to find a way out along with a feeling of familiarity, of something known yet also deeply wrong.

All three mer-creatures moved explosively, as one nightmarish fighting unit, across the pool toward Larry.

In the blur of faces he finally realised, with amazement, that the mermaids all shared the upper torsos of Twilight’s three-woman HR team.

Correction, they WERE Twilight’s HR team. Hideously disfigured and seemingly unaware of who they were, but nonetheless still the same women.  

Larry screamed in shock. Only it wasn’t any noise that he’d made before in his lifetime. It was an ear-splitting animal screech that halted his attackers instantly.

Searing pain stabbed at his abdomen.

The golden-haired mermaid (Michelle) started creeping slowly forwards on her belly in a serpentine manner, the others (Sheila and Barbara) flanking her. He tried to speak to them, plead to them to come to their senses, to threaten them with dismissal for gross misconduct, but could not.

The intensity of the pain increased, making him lose balance before catching himself. 

Something scorching started to power its way up through his throat as the three mermaids cautiously surrounded him, webbed claws barred. 

A choking convulsive spasm ended in a sheet of flame ejecting from his mouth.
Horrified, as the emission intensified, Larry’s ability to breathe was now almost non-existent; he feared that he would soon asphyxiate.

He turned in the vicinity of mermaid screeches, inadvertently incinerating his opponents to little more than embers of scorched flesh.

The flame also destroyed parts of the ornate pool; the towering centrepiece statue of a one-eyed figure accompanied by two ravens perched on his shoulder collapsed in on itself showering Larry in spray as it fell into the pool.

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