Whether you know it or not, our writers don't just write for Insider. For example, I have a side gig writing erotic fan fiction that imagines the Gilmore Girls are stowaways on Battlestar Galactica. It's more of a passion project than a job, but at least it doesn't pay the bills.
Meanwhile, former-Insiderer G. Xavier Robillard has written a real no-foolin' book that's being released tomorrow. It's called Captain Freedom: A Superhero's Quest for Truth, Justice, and the Celebrity He So Richly Deserves, and we're fortunate enough to have an exclusive excerpt from the novel.
In this chapter Captain Freedom and his sidekick DJ discuss how they can get hold of a time machine. Freedom's powers include strength, flight, lightning-fast reflexes and acute weather prediction.
"Gotham's time machines are all being serviced. Where are we going to get one?"
"Yellow Pages," answers DJ.
"I don’t even know where to look," I complain. "Travel? Vehicles? Relativity?"
"I’ll do it."
"It's Friday afternoon. On a busy holiday weekend. Do you actually think any will still be left?"
"We both know that you hate renting."
"Yes you do. Why don't you just buy your own? We might need it again."
We have this same discussion every time we need something we’ll use just once. We're totally at the mercy of these terrible rental companies that charge so much money, plus there's insurance, and even though they advertise low rates, it's always three times more expensive.
"Where would I put it?" I ask.
"In the wormhole."
"The wormhole is totally full of your stuff."
DJ shrugs, and makes several phone calls. "I've got one."
"That's all the way across town."
"They'll send a car for us."
"Is that what you're wearing?"
Forty-five minutes later, we're standing on the dirty industrial carpet of Enterprise Time Machines. A youngster with acne and braces makes me fill out the rental agreement, and spends several long minutes trying to figure out how to photocopy my ID, which is blank, since I will not reveal my secret identity.
"Sir, I need a photo ID."
"I'm a Superhero. Captain Freedom. You really haven't heard of me?"
The sound of gum snapping indicates that she hasn't.
"We're kind of in a rush here."
"I'll take care of it," DJ throws down his actual California driver's license. It takes several more precious minutes for the Enterprise employee to master the notion that although DJ will be driving, I'm paying with my credit card.
"We're wasting time."
DJ whispers to me. "Which is why we're going back in time. Right? We've got all the time in the world." I relax.
We sign the standard waiver after reading through the three rules of time travel:
* You must wear era-appropriate clothing.
This is especially true of synthetic fabrics that haven't yet been invented in your destination time – they could disrupt fashion patterns and create a confusing twenty-first century leiderhosen craze.
* You should not meet a younger version of yourself.
If you encounter the past version of yourself, explain it away using Dickens' Ghost of Something Future. The younger version of you won't recognize you, thinking it's impossible you would ending up looking so bad in twenty-five years, and dismiss you as some Dickens-spouting bum.
* You must not do anything to affect the course of history.
This rule is total bullshit, but you agree to it anyway, just like you agree to pay your work for any office supplies that you use for personal reasons.
We follow the attendant to the lot to find our rental.
Will Our Hero make it back in time to save the country? Will he be stuck with exorbitant rental fees? Find out in Captain Freedom – A Superhero's Quest for Truth, Justice and the Celebrity He So Richly Deserves (Harper Collins), available in stores and internets everywhere!