What if you could become a Black Belt in only 72 hours via a Virtual Reality program?
If you became the world’s most sought-after human weapon?
Can skill without experience make you a master?
Find out in this martial arts/sci-fi/action adventure with a comedic kick! If Ready Player One had a mid-life crisis within The Matrix and served up some Hong Kong Jackie Chan-style battles!
All he wanted was a steady job…
Chronically underemployed and klutzy video game designer Brian Baldwin takes a temp job at defense contractor Kirkman Enterprises, where software engineer Humbert Cloogey convinces him to volunteer as the test subject for Cyber Fighter: A revolutionary new Artificial Intelligence-powered military training program. Brian is programmed with black belt fighting skills from 47 different martial arts, using an AI character interface in a virtual reality world, and turning him into an overnight expert.
Hong Kong Triad Boss, cloning engineer, and wannabe Hip-Hop star Lau Xiaoming hacks into the Cyber Fighter software to steal the technology downloaded to Brian Baldwin’s brain to power his ambitious endeavor, Project Starfish–his despotic plan for world domination.
International spy operatives from MI-6 collide with the FBI, Pentagon and a Triad crime syndicate as Brian Baldwin becomes the most sought-after weapon in human history.
Targeted Age Group:: 16-40
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I originally wrote "Cyber Fighter" as a feature film screenplay, and am working on producing a short film version in order to show proof of concept for the feature. After reading and seeing "Ready Player One", it inspired me to convert the script into a novel and publish it on Amazon first, in order to build the audience from the ground up.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
My main character Brian Baldwin is based on myself. The main villain Lau Xiaoming was inspired by many evil Kung Fu movie villains combined with Triad crime bosses. The other characters are military types loosely based and composite characters from folks I encountered years ago when I worked as a temp in the Aerospace Industry. Since this story is also a comedy, many of their traits are a bit over the top in an entertaining and fun way.
Brian Baldwin’s body flowed with Kung Fu expertise as the autumn breeze wafted through the mountainous forest of the Shaolin Temple grounds. Brian wasn’t your typical monk — he wasn’t even Chinese. A white American male, around 30 something, but with the shaved head and orange robes of a Shaolin monk. His forms practice was as precise as a master abbot.
One might assume that he found his way to this monastery as a child. Perhaps orphaned from his parents and taken in by a kind blind master who started his training on the path to Shaolin. That sounded more the plot from the old 1970s TV series Kung Fu, though. The oddness of Brian’s existence in this locale gave one pause, since he appeared to be the only human around for miles.
Except when five acrobatic ninja warriors dropped from the tall pines surrounding the clearing and drew their swords. With intimidating screams, the Japanese shinobi assassins took deep stances with the tips of their Ninjatō swords pointed at Brian.
The young Shaolin smirked, waving his hands in a flowing gesture. “I think you guys are in the wrong country,” he teased. “Henan province is way outside your prefecture, Wakarimasu-ka? Do you understand?” Brian hoped that they were at least bilingual in English and Japanese — that way his cocky response to their threatening posture would land with perfect verbal timing.
But the quip only triggered a mass attack at the orange-clad white monk. Blades flashed in a fury of 1980s-inspired ninja choreography. The melee resembled a video game, or choreography ala Sho Kosugi, 1980s Japanese movie star of those bad ninja movies.
Bad was right. The shadow warriors must have skipped the class on practical warfare as Brian countered their slashes and roars of rage. Though their blades were razor sharp, Brian’s Matrix-style dodging toyed with their attempts at dismembering him. One warrior stepped in, swinging his sword downwards in a straight cut intending to split Brian in two. The young Shaolin swept his body aside while planting a heavy fist to the masked warrior’s head.
This caused the ninja to pause, just for a microsecond, but enough time for Brian to strip the sword from his hands, spin, and take the ninja’s head off in a clean reverse cut. The headless body dropped to its knees and flattened out on the dirt as the masked head rolled into the trees. Brian swung the sword in a flourish, directing his attention to the remaining four.
Two more ninja stepped in, blades twirling at Brian like helicopter blades, ready to chop him into ground meat. But Brian wielded the Japanese sword with expert deftness, his blade clanging against his attackers’ steel. Before they could react, Brian cut them down with the acrobatic showmanship of a Shaw Brothers Kung Fu movie.
The remaining two shinobi realized that they would have to change tactics. Re-sheathing their swords in the saya scabbards strapped to their backs, one stepped forward, reaching into the pocket of his black jacket. He pulled out a stack of flat, star-shaped shuriken, the infamous throwing stars of ninja lore. The ninja fanned them like a deck of cards and flicked them at Brian in rapid fire. But Brian’s skills were unmatched. Dodging the small missiles with his body, he knocked them out of the air with his commandeered blade. That left the ninja with one star that he would try to embed into the Caucasian Shaolin.
In Babe Ruth fashion, Brian stepped back into a deep stance, sword raised like a baseball bat. He pointed at the ninja who raised his arm and cocked the star back, ready to send it hurling into Brian’s face. With a huge roar, the ninja thrust his arm forward, releasing the star with a snap of the wrist. The small metal pinwheel screamed as it sought its target. Putting his weight into the swing, Brian met the shuriken with his ninja blade. A high-pitched clang sounded as the throwing star rocketed back in a line drive trajectory. The projectile buried halfway into the ninja’s forehead, creating a small steel mohawk that split his brain in two and ended his life.
Panic crossed the last ninja’s eyes as Brian took a Japanese style sword stance. From his robes, the ninja produced a swinging kusari fundo, a weighted length of chain he twirled around in a figure-eight pattern. Brian hauled off and threw his Ninjatō sword like a javelin to spear the last shadow warrior through the chest, rocketing him back, nailing him neatly to a pine tree.
Brian wiped the sweat from himself as he heard the sound of clapping. Turning, he saw a young Asian woman with long black hair in an ankle-length blue Chinese silk dress with sides slit up to the tops of her thighs. Her sarcastic applause ceased as she tilted her hip to one side and placed her hands there.
“Your ninjas’ skills suck, Chun Zhiyi,” Brian quipped as he stood up out of his strong stance. He knew well this woman’s reputation as an assassin level boss.
Zhiyi’s eyes narrowed. “I thought Buddhists didn’t kill,” she snapped back in perfect American accented English.
Brian grinned. “Who said I was a Buddhist?”
The young woman stepped forward; her long leg revealed from the slit in her dress. She reached behind her back and produced two large Chinese fans. “You’ve passed the first test. But you cannot defeat the Lotus Fan Technique!”
Spinning round in a beautiful twirl of silk and black hair, Zhiyi dropped into a low-seated posture. The edge of her fans pointed at Brian. The click of a button released a series of bladed knives, turning them into deadly weapons. Spinning out of her flowery seated stance, she twirled the fans in a deadly dance of razor-sharp mayhem, directing the edges at the young monk.
Brian cartwheeled towards the tree decorated with the last ninja pinned to it. With a quick yank, he freed the ninja sword from the tree and the body slumped to the forest floor. Brian sprung back to meet her bladed fury with an intense combination of his own. Clanging metal caused sparks to flit off the blades as they clashed. “Looks like we create sparks together,” Brian flirted at his attractive assailant.
But Chun Zhiyi wouldn’t have it. She growled as she folded her fans with a flick of the wrist. The beautiful silk weapons became bludgeons which she used to check Brian’s sword blade. Jabbing him in the ribs with the back end, she swung her arms in wide arcs. The warrior woman unfurled the fans, and WHOOSH, sliced through his robe jacket and pants leg, creating bleeding lacerations on the monk's toned physique. She dropped back, demure, holding one fan below her eyes, and blinked at him. “Uh oh, looks like a wardrobe malfunction!” She cackled. She punctuated her joke by rising into a tall crane stance, balancing on one leg and holding her fans out to the sides like large wings.
Brian stuck his fingers into the wound on his chest and tasted the blood. “Wardrobe malfunction, huh?” With an angry fury, he lunged forward, attacking Chun Zhiyi with an endless combination of cuts and slashes that the young lady deflected with her fans. It looked as though Brian’s attack would hit home, but her beautiful choreography prevented all of his cuts from drawing blood. Brian disengaged from the melee. He flicked his blade and held it down as he stood taller.
Chun Zhiyi assumed her own elegant feminine warrior posture in opposition to him and laughed in his face. “Ha! You’ve failed! I am too fast for you!”
The monk stuck the sword into the ground next to him, undaunted by her taunts. Without warning, the beautiful satin dress that Chun Zhiyi was wearing split along its sides. The dress fell away from her body in pieces, flopping to the forest ground around her and revealing her underwear. As Zhiyi looked at her body, her face flushed with embarrassment. She covered herself with her fans and glared with rage at Brian. “Damn you!” She exclaimed. “That was a Vera Wang!”
As a final insult, the silk fabric of her fans disintegrated, dissolving into shredded flaps of cloth that fell around her, as if from a scene in a Japanese Anime. Her face blushed as she ran off, screaming.
Brian watched as the woman vanished from sight. He chuckled to himself. “I need to remember that character sprite for the next game build.” At the moment he uttered those words, Brian had an epiphany relating to his real identity. He was not a monk. In real life, he didn’t even know Kung Fu! No, this was… a game. Yes, a game… a game he had designed! No wonder everything was familiar to him.
“AHEM!” Startled, Brian whirled around to see two gentlemen directing their attention towards him. The one who cleared his throat was tall, wearing a suit, bowler hat, and carrying an umbrella. He looked like an English banker… or John Steed from the 1960s TV show The Avengers. But he had a wild mad look in his bulging eyes, more a Monty Python character than a posh Etonian action hero. The second man looked familiar… and after staring at him, Brian realized why. He was a younger man, with a 1970s style shag hair and a suit and tie from the era. But it was his face, the complete mirror image of Brian, that struck him. It was his doppelganger—and that instant of recognition caused Brian to freeze in his tracks, unable to move a muscle.
He fell backward stiff as a board. A hospital gurney materialized to meet him as he lay supine. Brian stared up at the blue sky beyond the tops of the pine trees surrounding the temple grounds.
The two eccentrics leaned into view as Brian’s mind raced with panic. “I can’t move!” he screamed in his mind, as he could not use his vocal cords.
The tall man with the bowler hat produced long calipers which held a microchip that looked like the kind Brian had seen in books. It was an Intel 8086, Brian thought. But that was over 40 years old.
The younger man who was Brian’s doppelganger put his hand on Brian’s face and spoke to him gently, with an English accent. “Son, you’re about to fulfill your destiny. Please forgive me.” A slight look of regret wafted over his face for a brief instant as Brian lay there, eyes bulging in panic, paralyzed by an unseen force.
Bowler Hat raised the calipers with the chip towards Brian’s face. “Right," the other man said, with a similar British tone, "he should be numb now. Open him up.”
A masked surgeon in light green scrubs appeared, holding a circular bone saw. He turned it on and it screamed to life. The surgeon brought the spinning blade closer to Brian’s head.
Bowler Hat smiled. “This may feel a little strange.”
Brian realized what was about to happen. They were going to cut his head open! While he was conscious! He couldn’t move or resist—sheer terror flooded his mind with horrific thoughts of the pain about to hit him. It was too much for his brain to handle. His consciousness suffered severe overload, and he cried. Cried like an infant, in fact. The sudden recognition that he was bawling like a newborn shocked him.
Why? Why was this happening to him? Then it hit him. He was a newborn. Did he travel back in time? Was it a false memory implanted in him somehow? Was he reincarnated? It was a peek into infinity. Time ceased—all was clear to Brian—the answer to life, the universe and everything. It was not 42, despite Douglas Adams’ assertions. There was no Brian… no existence… only… a high-pitched scream.
Links to Purchase Print Books
Buy Cyber Fighter Print Edition at Amazon
Links to Purchase eBooks – Click links for book samples and reviews
Buy Cyber Fighter On Amazon
Have you read this book? Tell us what you thought! All information was provided by the author and not edited by us. This is so you get to know the author better.