Thursday, 5 October 2017

Marlowe Kana by Joe Peacock

Title: Marlowe Kana
Author: Joe Peacock
Genre: Cyberpunk, SciFi

Marlowe Kana
Book 1, Volume 1

It's 51 years after the Second American Civil War. The 40 million citizens of the United American State are aghast to find that their biggest celebrity, Major Marlowe Kana of the Imagen Military and Security Division (MilSec), has just been found guilty of treason. Every Feed on the Net has been covering the events of her trial, and two questions remain to be answered: What will happen to MK, and what will the nation watch now that the Next Top Soldier Hall-of-Famer (and star of the most-watched Feed in history) is locked away? The answer comes almost immediately and shakes the country to its core.

This eBook contains Book 1, Volume 1 (chapters 1-10) for easy reading in your reading platform of choice. Read new chapters of the Marlowe Kana series for free at the website -- a new chapter is published every Monday!

**FREE on all platforms!**


1. A Day In The Life Of: The Millars

“This can’t be happening!”

She tore through her family’s modest two-story home, skidding when her socked feet reached the kitchen floor tile. The lights rose as she crossed the threshold. Displaying the agility of her hero Marlowe Kana, she nimbly dodged the corner of the kitchen island and barely slowing, extended her hand and reached for the door handle to the greenhouse. Cool, fresh air greeted her shorn scalp as she flung the door wide.

“Dads!” she yelled.

Brian and David Millar both looked up, jarred from the peaceful zen of tending to their plants. Before either could ask what was going on, Britany blurted out. “It’s MK! It happened! She’s… You gotta come see!”

Brian looked at David and shrugged. “I guess we should…”

“Of course,” David said. “It’s important to her.”

“Well, it’s important, period,” Brian replied. “But especially to her.”

The fathers carefully laid their gardening implements on the table and walked toward the door, removing their gloves and masks. Britany had already fled back inside, finding it physically painful to be away from the screen. As Brian and David entered, they were taken aback by the massive red bar flashing across the screen on the living room wall as it blared the word “GUILTY!” Above the text was a pair of side-by-side photos of the most famous person in the nation: Marlowe Kana.

The left-hand photo displayed a half-body shot of a healthy, muscular woman in full MilSec dress uniform, campaign ribbons and medals adorning nearly the entire top half of her jacket. She had short white hair, carefully groomed and parted in a manner befitting a by-the-books MilSec soldier. Despite the massive scar across her cheek under her right eye, there was a light and a life in her eyes that complimented her slight smile. Her expression spoke volumes. It seemed to say that, while she took her duties seriously and performed them with the gravity of a committed and dedicated soldier, she had, in fact, a truly all-encompassing love for her work. A fact that all of her 20+ million fans knew from watching her Feed, despite her seemingly constant annoyance at the fame it brought her.

The right-hand photo showed the same woman, her hair shaved to stubble and her uniform replaced with a bright orange prison jumpsuit. The smile was gone, as was the light in her eyes. They seemed dead and hollow. Her cheekbones were pronounced and her face was gaunt from malnourishment.

The NewsFeed crawl below the photos detailed that just moments ago, at 7:02 p.m., “Next Top Soldier” Hall-of-Famer, Major Marlowe Kana, had been found guilty of attempted murder, conduct unbecoming a MilSec soldier, and treason against the United American State.

Marlowe Kana
Book 1, Volume 2

Volume 2 picks up immediately after the events of Volume 1 (spoilers ahead):

Jen and Marlowe are on the run from MilSec and the contestants on United America's Next Top Solider. They have to find the evidence that exonerates Marlowe -- not just to clear her name, but to free her father as well. Help shows up in the form of the mysterious Judge and his supporters, The Sovereign. Meanwhile, the President of the United American State, Stephen Cook, has found himself at odds with the corporation his family started and he once helmed. His autonomy as President is being challenged at every turn. The entire country has taken notice and tuned in to every Feed on the net, keeping track of the events as they unfold -- and they aren't disappointed, as Marlowe her toughest opponent yet -- It's just too bad she can't see what (or who) it is...

This eBook contains Book 1, Volume 2 (chapters 11-18) for easy reading in your reading platform of choice. Read new chapters of the Marlowe Kana series for free at the website -- a new chapter is published every Monday!


12. Palace Intrigue

The pre-war, antique leather chair groaned as President Stephen Cook leaned back. It was certainly a comfortable chair, despite being over one hundred years old. And at nearly twenty thousand credits per chair, it was expected to be. The Imagen Executive Lounge, the most exclusive club in the capital city of Indianapolis, had fifty of them.

Only two of the chairs held occupants, however, and President Cook wished he was anywhere else than sitting across from Alan Davis, Chairman of the Imagen Board of Executives.

Cook examined the crystal tumbler perched in his hand. He gently swirled an exceptionally rare pour of Woodford Reserve Four Grain Bourbon straight from the Imagen Board of Executives’ private stocks. He studied the glass’s reflection of the flames from the stone fireplace behind him. They danced and glinted around the amber of the drink in less of a playful manner and in more of a ceremonious rite. It was as if they were paying tribute to the bourbon’s ability to survive a civil war, decades of looting and rioting, and the re-establishment of a country whose ideals had long given way to the more immediate concerns of safety and comfort.

“It’s astounding, isn’t it,” President Cook said. “That this glass contains such a rich history. Its contents survived so many atrocities and hardships as this country ripped itself apart. And through sheer perseverance, it’s here to be enjoyed by those who are working to keep alive the legacy of what it represents. But to the uneducated and ignorant, it’s simply a glass of old booze.”

“Profound,” Chairman Davis replied, voice dripping with sarcasm. “But yet again, you’re avoiding the question.”

“I was merely admiring the beverage you so graciously provided, Alan,” The President said.

“You’ve had it before when you were on the Board. This flattery is unnecessary, as I fail to see what it has to do with the clandestine stunt you pulled this evening.”

“Clandestine?” Cook replied. “You mean in the way that someone takes an action that affects them personally without explicit permission? Like how you overrode my vehicle’s JAQi access and forced it to bring me here to your little club?”

“We needed to talk,” Davis replied. “You weren’t answering our pings.”

“It’s well past midnight and I’ve had a full day,” Cook replied. “I wanted to go home and get some sleep.”

“I think that sleep can wait a while,” Davis answered. “You have a lot to answer for.”

“Do I, now?” Cook asked. “Because if I’m not mistaken, I am the duly elected President of the United American State, and as such, I answer only to the citizens of our nation.”

“Cut the shit, Stephen,” Davis said with disdain as he leaned forward and placed his glass on the solid oak table that sat between them. “The terrorists, the jail break…none of this was ever part of the plan.”

“It most certainly was,” Cook said, taking a defiant sip from his glass.

“You never bothered to tell us about it!” Davis thundered. The room echoed his outburst.

Cook smiled. “I did, Alan. You just didn’t bother to listen. None of you did.”

Marlowe Kana
Book 1, Volume 3

Volume 3 picks up immediately after the events of Volume 2 and Volume 1, and completes Book 1 (spoilers ahead): Marlowe, Jen, and Poet find the mysterious owner of the MKFan_9999 Feed and are on their way to obtain evidence clearing Marlowe's name, when they are confronted by the entire MilSec force of the city of Atlanta! An epic battle rages and the citizens are more engaged than ever. Meanwhile, the holes in President Cook's plan are showing; his grasp on the Marlowe situation quickly loosening to the point of desperation. With no other options, he openly challenges Marlowe to compete one last time on United America's Next Top Soldier. The prize: freedom for herself, her team, and her father. It's a UANTS finale unlike any other in history! The final moments bring about a new set of challenges no one in the country has ever seen before -- not just for Marlowe and her team, but for the entire nation. It's the finale to Marlowe Kana Book 1, and it's the best volume yet!

This eBook contains Book 1, Volume 3 (chapters 19-30, completing Book 1) for easy reading in your reading platform of choice. Read new chapters of the Marlowe Kana series for free at the website -- a new chapter is published every Monday!


21. Too Many Cooks

The sound of splintering wood was the high note in the chorus of chaos as a colossal, armored Secret Service soldier crashed through the door of the Presidential bedroom. The sudden explosion of noise caused President Cook to jerk violently, shoving deeper in the shard of glass that he was attempting to extract from the sole of his left foot.

“FUCK!” Cook shrieked.

“Perimeter sweep!” The soldier barked. Three other soldiers barged in and began checking the room through the sights of their rifles. “Are you okay, sir?” The first soldier queried as he approached Cook.

“What the fuck does it look like?!?” Cook slurred. “No, I’m not okay! I have glass buried in my foot and I’m bleeding and what on earth are you DOING in here!?! And why do you have rifles? They don’t even work! Haven’t you seen NewsFeed?”

“We heard a commotion, sir,” the soldier answered as he stood within a hair’s breadth of the President. “We thought your safety was compromised.”

“What…get away from me!” The President shouted, drunkenly attempting to shove the soldier aside. Physics being what they were, Cook instead only succeeded in flailing backward toward the bed. He instinctively slammed his feet to the ground to regain balance and the glass embedded in his foot penetrated even deeper.

“Fuck! Christ!” Cook shouted. “NOW look what you did!”

“J.A.Q.i, medical team!” The soldier barked.

“No!” Cook countered. “J.A.Q.i, don’t send anyone, I’ll be fine…”

The Secret Service leader grimly surveyed the wreckage littering Cook’s bedroom. Most obvious was the glowing rainbow sputtering behind a spiderweb of glass that was once the wall-sized screen. The distinct red bar of a NewsFeed Breaking News tag could barely be made out in the upper-right corner. Broken pieces of a chair that had held many former Presidents’ posteriors as they worked at the Resolute Desk (once the centerpiece in the original Oval Office in Washington D.C. – now a writing desk in the President’s bedroom in Indianapolis) lay in splinters and chunks underneath the screen, as did the remnants of several shattered whiskey tumblers. A drink cart sat overturned in the corner of the room, chunks of whiskey-soaked crystal lay in a soggy pool on the carpet. The audio from NewsFeed was staticky and faint as Amanda Stokes recounted once again the highlights of Marlowe Kana’s single-handed defeat of over one hundred United American State Army Soldiers — an event she’d since dubbed “The Massacre At Maple Lane.”

This soldier had seen his share of violent wreckage in his various tours over the years…but this was by far the best story he’d never be able to tell anyone.

“Room’s clear, sir!” One of the secret service soldiers barked.

“Stand down. Assume guard,” the leader ordered. The soldiers lowered their rifles. Two of them assumed posts at the doorway and the third maintained watch over the main window.
“Sir,” the leader said as he returned his attention to Cook. “It seems you’ve been consuming alcohol and that you are bleeding profusely. You need medical attention.”

“It seems you didn’t get the memo that I am the fucking PRESIDENT of the United American State, and I need you to leave me the FUCK alone!” Cook screamed.

About the Author:

Joe Peacock is an author, screenwriter, producer, web developer and culturenaut. His latest book is the start of the Marlowe Kana series, a three book, fifteen volume story borne of his love of cyberpunk, near future sci-fi, anime and vaporwave. 2017 has seen a massive resurgence of Peacock's work. He wrote and produced the critically-acclaimed documentary series Screenland (on Hulu and RedBull.TV), released the new Marlowe Kana series, and consulting on the new tour of the Art of Akira Exhibit (which he owns and curates). Previously, Peacock wrote two books of hyperbolic autobiography, both called Mentally Incontinent, and Everyone Deserves To Know What I Think, which collects from his work from CNN, Huffington Post, AOLNews, PC Magazine, and his blog. He also worked for, which if you know what that is, I'm sure you're very impressed with.

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