Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Page 99 -- Pepe by Robby Charters

Page 99 of Pepe
An Adventure Novel
by Robby Charters
Reprinted with Permission: © Robby Charters, All Rights Reserved

Book Description: The year is 2040. We have people living on Mars, but haven't sorted out life on earth yet. To the boy washing windscreens at the traffic signal, it could just as well be 1940.
The boy is Pepe. He doesn't know who his real parents are. His 'grandma' dies in a slum fire, and he is left to fend for himself and his grandma's biological granddaughter, Po, whom he treats like a real sister. They live in an abandoned construction site with other homeless children. With help from a young computer hacker named Raul and a mystical old man named Atsuko, Pepe discovers his true identity.

The villain: General Don Juan Clemente, who seized power from the king ten years ago, and installed himself as president for life. The General has a degenerative disease that is paralysing him. However, his brain has been linked to a computer network that enables him to control the country and destroy any threat to his power. Right now, his biggest threat is the very existence of Pepe.
on line. Raul booted his own laptop off the battery, and then hurried outside, started the
generator, ran back again and rebooted his desktop system.

By the time he was back on line, The President was already on the phone again with
the First Army commander.

"It's worse than I feared," said the President. "Primavera and the whole Northern
Army Division are attacking from the North..."

This was worse than Raul had feared. Soon the President would be ready for them.

"...Get your units out there on the double! Here's a satellite map..."

Drat! The power failure unblocked the satellite links!

"...You'll know where to go. Just hold them off as best as you can while I contact the
Southern Army Division. They've got a paratrooper battalion."

Raul was pulling his hair. We lost the element of surprise! It'll take forever for Papa to
get through! And now the Southern Army -- with paratroopers, too -- will Papa be able

A flash: Raul linked his laptop into the port that would control communications to the
Southern Army Region. Again, Elvis went to work. Then he tried to see if he couldn't hack
backwards into the President's Bin2neuro Interpreter.
* * *
Francisco was sitting on the back of his Honda at a point where he could see the
Presidential Palace about a block down in one direction, and the President's Guard
Headquarters two blocks down in the other. His helmet was wired up for two-way
communications to Romeo and Sergeant Simonez, the leader of Carlo's men.

He had already noticed all the lights go out. Policemen had been directing traffic by
hand until sirens suddenly began sounding. Then, they began directing traffic to stop
and pull off into side streets.

Francisco stayed where he was, behind some parked cars. Then he saw something
coming down the street from the Guard Headquarters. It was a procession of troop
carriers and combat robots.

"Watch Three here, are you receiving me, Watch Two, Watch One? Over."

"Watch One, here, Receiving you loud and clear, over," came Romeo's voice.

"Watch Two, also receiving. Over."

"They're on the move, going towards Dockyards. Looks like an invasion force. Over."
* * *
Pepe, Raquel, Po and the others could see the first battalion through their VR masks.

They were approaching the street that ran along the other side of the motorway from
Dockyards. They were also wired for sound to Romeo and his boys.

"Don't let 'em get a foothold!" came Romeo's voice. "Over to you bots."

"Right," said Pepe. "We start shoot'n then."

They started shooting, and the ground troops began to retreat. But suddenly, a row of
robots moved in. They were all bigger than their's.

"Where did those come from?" gasped Pepe.

"I don't know!" said Raul.

A gunfight between opposing armies of robots started.

After a bit of fumbling, Raul added, "They're not on any of our frequencies."

Even though the kids aimed at all the right places, the big bots were impenetrable.

Pepe's screen suddenly went all snowy. "Oh, God! I been hit!"

"Me, too!" said Muhammad.

Raquel's and Yakov's went out at the same time. Then Po's.

"What the heck do we do now?" said Pepe.

"We'll win without high-tech! That's what we do!" retorted Raquel.
Robby Charters once worked in a place very similar to Mercy House (one of the settings in the story), and often wishes he were back. He writes from experience with street children, computer technology, and other issues, but most of the story comes from his imagination. He, his wife and young son feel at home in both Northern Ireland and Thailand. He currently teaches at a Bi-lingual school in Bangkok.
Blog: http://bobcharters.blogspot.com
Novels: www.tinyurl.com/RobbysBooks

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