Somewhere behind the laptop screen, Scorpio’s code surfaces into morning wakefulness, feeling chewed-up after his usual traumatic night of fitful, sporadic sleep interspersed by anguished hours of insomnia, writhing horniness and the fierce churn of his imagination. He shakes off the delirium of all the night’s dreams and wet-dreams about running the prison, and lands instead in the harsh dawn of another day locked up as the powerless lackey and sexual-tension-receptacle of a violent, weapons-dealing cellmate who grunts as often as he speaks. The latter seems to be still asleep for the moment, breathing audibly overhead on the upper level of this bunk-bed, so there’ll be a few minutes’ more peace for Scorpio, lying here a metre below, worn out from the traumas and hungers of the night … but once the cellmate awakes, which won’t be long, then he’ll need immediate servicing, a journey up the bunk ladder will be demanded, and all peace will end for another day.
However, now that Scorpio’s code has been sweetly discoloured with the watermarks of a Belle Glade childhood and a West Palm Beach criminal coming-of-age that are not life-chapters he’ll end up living in reality—either in the game-world of The Platinum Raven or (as Angel) in the game-world of The Imagination Thief—it just so happens that this morning he will be granted release after two years of incarceration.
For it’s time for a higher-level destiny to unfold for him, in which he’s been cast to play a better part than this back-story role as cell-meat down here, with a better soundtrack than this sad prison-song. Like Amber, Evelyn, Shigem, Kim and the Platinum Raven before him, he will soon find himself no longer confined within this laptop screen, but running free through the mythic meat-space of Los Angeles.
Apprehending his upcoming transition with excitement, Scorpio’s code begins by slithering out of the bunk’s lower level in silence. Then it slinks on cat’s feet across the floor, towards the shower unit in the corner. Climbing inside the unit, it halts at the shower door and glances back up at its supine cellmate of the last two years, whose uncovered morning erection slants up clear towards the ceiling in profile, like a great dark pole, straining and twitching in the air of the cell. Scorpio’s code hesitates for a second, licking its lips; then gives the pole an ironic bow, and blows the sleeping man a last little kiss like a venomous snake-bite, before turning away and onward into the shower unit.
As befits an inmate who has run the entire prison, at least in dreams and wet-dreams, the unique amounts of terror and money that swirl around Scorpio have leveraged unparalleled outside help. In fact, no less than Jaymi Peek himself has been prevailed upon to construct an escape tunnel from the outside world to the floor of this very shower unit, in the style of El Chapo. So, down a short ladder to a packed-earth tunnel-floor scuttles Scorpio’s code, pauses a moment to adjust to the gloom, and sets off at a run.
Every twenty metres is a pool of light cast by a bulb hanging down from above, which he reaches up and smashes as he passes underneath, to hinder the pursuers he’s afraid to hear behind him.
A figure looms ahead, through a shambles of bloodied sound cut with stabs of ancient language. It’s a kind of hooded death, with a voice of charred black glowing red, and a yellow light glowing in its eyes, demon-fashion. A music of Satan arises in a black burst of hissing fire and flames of blood. The figure reaches out at him, grabs his hand, and gives him an ear. It’s a human ear, pressed into his palm, so his fingers close tight on it, his fingernails scraping in the curves of the ear-coils—
A dog barks, far across the canyon from this window. The emergent code and its Scorpionic bestiary are rising up with force behind the plastic surface of Jaymi’s screen, as if they are pressing against the glass of an aquarium.
And on down the tunnel slithers Scorpio’s code, from the prison to the Hollywood Hills, ever nearer: a piece of luscious darkness, on its way to being flesh!
Jaymi leans closer in towards his screen, and closer … then recoils, smiling wide, as his Beast’s code springs into view at last. It presses at the silvered underside of the glass—a proto-form of his own fierce beauty, like a darkness of tentacles surging up a well-shaft, straight at his face.
For more about "The Beasts of Electra Drive" by Rohan Quine, see
For some great reviews of it, see
And to pick it up from whichever retailer you prefer, the retailers’ links for the audiobook format are at
and for the paperback format and the ebook format are at