Spotlight — End Zer0

Today the Book Ninjas are spotlighting End Zer0 by D. J. Morris!

A lab grown clone escapes after horrible learning experiments that nearly drive him mad. The world he finds on the outside, however, is beyond imagination. The Earth we know is extinct. Welcome to the 'Globe', a world of giant floating plates kept aloft through antigravity generators. It is a crime ridden and class based society and each of the eight 'tiers' holds its own mysteries. The real question remains, 'Where do they come from, and what is the real nature of reality?'

Join 26 and his new friends as they explore the plates floating within the enormous crystalline globe. True freedom is only achieved through use of an airship, which only a lucky few have access to. Can 26 survive the forces that control the plates? One thing is for sure, he needs to learn the way his world works fast.

Questions From the Ninjas

Do you have any ninja writing tricks you can share with our readers?

Imagine the most interesting part of the story you wish to write and start there! It doesn't need to be the start of the story per se, but if you write the best part of the story down everything will flow from it and be as good as it could be!


Chapter 1

White Light

My name is 26.

I am a clone.

My number is tattooed on the back of my right hand. It is a reminder of what I am. All the clones have them.

New clones are stupid. They know nothing. I was that way once. But, because of a machine called the M. I. B. T., the Mass Information Brain Transfer device, we have become semi-functional creatures. We like to refer to it as the ‘Brain Scrambler’. Just a few days ago, it taught me how to read and write.

I should write down how it works even if it does bring back the pain.

The Brain Scrambler ‘learning sessions’ are held in a large, brightly lit room. Looking down on us from a glass enclosed balcony is a group of white coat wearing overseers. Cables run everywhere, connecting many computers to a big cylindrical mainframe. Clones are forced four at a time into metal chairs, wrists and ankles locked in. Our eyes are secured open by thin strips of tape. Electrodes are stuck to our shaved domes and a type of helmet with thick wires coming out the top is lowered onto our heads, securing it in place. Inside the helmet is darkness. The men on the ground, also in white coats, (we clones call them percies) can be heard tapping away at keyboards, getting the program ready.

A series of muffled beeps can be heard while we sit in darkness.

Then comes the double beep.

That is when the horror begins.

An electrical shock from the helmet grinds through our skulls, inducing seizures. After a few seconds the pictures begin, filling our sight with sharp images.

The pictures are different, depending on what we are to be learning. They come slowly at first. That is not so bad. Just a weird bunch of strange images and words.

The pictures start coming faster and faster, until it is a confusing blur. The headaches set in. The eyes begin to sting. Just when you think you cannot take being shocked anymore, the current is cut off. A cool mist wets your aching, dry eyes. And thankfully the images stop.

But the relief is followed by something terrible. Something you are never prepared for.

Needles whir to life inside the helmet, piercing the temples and top of the head. The worst of these is the one that pierces the back of the neck. The pain overwhelms you as they dig deep into your skull.

Then the pictures come again, rapider than before. Fluid can be felt pumping into the brain. It is akin to the worst nightmare you can imagine.

But, then something strange happens. The pictures and words being shown, too fast to see, begin to make sense. You become a learning machine. A world of knowledge is crammed into your head all at once, and there you are ready to accept it.

The nosebleeds start. The wet, sticky nosebleeds. You can feel the blood streaming down your lips and into your mouth, tasting like metal. Breathing through your nose is difficult, but opening your mouth just causes more blood to get in there. It runs down the back of your throat.

After an endless while, which is probably only minutes, the vids end and the needles retract. It is over, but not before one last electrical shock. The helmet is brought up and the straps on the chair pop open. There is nothing to do except fall to the floor in a weakened heap. The guards have buckets ready for the inevitable vomiting. A wet rag is given so you can wipe the blood off your face. Guards then force you to your feet as you are handed a drab, but clean, folded shirt. Then, you are dragged limply off to your cell to recuperate.

The Brain Scrambler is not safe

At least ten clones have gone insane or died from it. At least they won’t be tortured anymore.


About the Author

D. J. Morris was born in 1985 in Bend, Oregon. From an early age, it was obvious he had a talent for the creative arts. Always drawing something, eventually he began to make up stories to go with the pictures he drew. By third grade, he had begun to write and draw entire complex stories, featuring fantastical characters with diverse personalities. A voracious movie watcher, by sophomore year of high school he had landed a job at the local cinema. He fit right in, loving the atmosphere. The constant talk of movie plots and characters led him to start writing a zombie horror movie script that was sadly never completed. Going to school and working late, he eventually made Assistant Manager, and was given access to the projectors.

Since college he has written two books, Reign of the Sword and End Zer0. Reign of the Sword is a medieval fantasy novel, while End Zer0 is science fiction. To come up with ideas for these stories, he greatly enjoys hiking among the amazing state parks nearby, especially Silver Creek Falls.

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