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  • Writer's pictureJeff South

Book Excerpt: FAQs

I'm plowing through edits and revisions for the next novel, Someone Else's Book Club. The chapter I'm currently working on is when the book club members have their orientation session hunting the extraterrestrials known as Herpezoids. The book club's leader, Kevin Raulston, has been tasked with leading this orientation and put together a little FAQ for his trainees.




Exposure to the existence of Herpezoids likely invokes questions about them. This FAQ addresses the likely most common inquiries. 

  1. Where do Herpezoids come from?

We don’t know.

  1. How long have Herpezoids been on Earth?

   We don’t know.

  1. Why are Herpezoids are here? 

We don’t know.

  1. What other extraterrestrials walk among us?

We don’t know.

  1. Are Herpezoids dangerous?

Yes, very dangerous. 

  1. Has a Herpezoid ever killed a human?

                        I know of two confirmed killings of a human by a Herpezoid.

  1. What is the best method for killing a Herpezoid?

Our mission is not to kill Herpezoids, but to study them. Why are they here? Where are they from? How long have they been here? For this reason, Herpezoids should be shot using the P-47 Electro-Photon Multiblaster. This weapon is specifically designed to liquefy a Herpezoid into a sea green ooze. 

  1. How does a Herpezoid grow from a sea green ooze to its reptilian-like form?

We don’t know.

  1. How does a Herpezoid develop a human form? Are they shapeshifters?

Herpezoids use a synthetic drug known as a DNA Morpher to adopt a human identity. This drug gives them all the characteristics of a human being. 

  1. Where do the DNA Morphers come from?

             with Herpezoids. Part of the job is to disrupt and disband this network. How DNA Morphers originated remains a mystery.

  1. Who designed the P-47 Electro-Photon Multiblaster and how was it tested?

The Multiblaster was invented by Simon Tybalt, a scientist, inventor, entrepreneur, and founder and CEO of Corporate. Simon Tybalt studied Herpezoids after capturing one during an encounter after a college kegger. His years of independent study in research in the field of xenobiology and astrobiology led him to discover the precise combination of chemicals needed for a serum that would “liquefy” Herpezoids so that their biological makeup could be studied.

  1. What is the biological makeup of a Herpezoid?

We don’t know, but I’m willing to bet it is a combination of ignorance, putrid pond scum, and rancid paint.

  1. What is Corporate and what does it do?

Simon Tybalt embarked on his vision in his garage building computers and creating software. From there, he transformed that small operation into a massive tech empire and holdings company that maintains controlling stock in many of your favorite quick service restaurants like Taco Haus, Mother Clucker’s Chicken, Burger Bag, and Caligula’s Pizza, as well as popular food brands such as Cocoa Quarks, Fruity Quarks, and Honey Comets cereal, as well as Kwench-Aid drink mix. Eventually, Corporate also expanded its impressive and diverse portfolio into real estate holdings. Corporate leases office retail space around the world in shopping plazas, business centers, and industrial parks. All properties and brands under the Corporate umbrella are referred to as Corporate Entities. A portion of the revenue generated from all Corporate Entities is earmarked for this a Rube Goldberg Protocol?

14. When I encounter a Herpezoid, what is my first course of action?

Shoot it with your Multiblaster.

15. What is a Rube Goldberg Protocol?

Imagine a mundane or menial task which would normally require little to no thought or effort. For example: opening your refrigerator because you want some cheese at 3:30 in the morning because you can’t sleep because you can never sleep and at least you can eat the cheese. Sounds easy, right? Now imagine your refrigerator is a sentient being who asks you a very specific philosophical question or commands you to perform a random task before you can open the refrigerator and if you don’t answer the question as is specifically scripted or perform the task as intricately choreographed, your refrigerator will likely self-destruct or, at the very minimum, lock itself from you and you can’t have your cheese for 24 hours. It sucks, but it keeps other people from stealing your cheese. Corporate uses Rube Goldberg Protocols to protect their cheese.


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