Welcome to another edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I'm your host, Lisa the robot girl, and today's show is all about hybrids.
Today's sponsor is the Hell Bent series from Kayla Matt. This series is a hybrid in that it includes graphics along with the narrative. How cool is that?
My guest today is Travis Malone, and he's a hybrid of human and monkey. “Welcome to the show, Travis.”
“Hi! So…it turns out that your number’s, like, one digit away from the one for a local pizza place. Today’s been one of those stressful days with a ton of customers and running around to get everything done because we’re a little short-staffed today.. But my boss is a huge fan of yours, and I’m pretty sure this would make her freaking day, so HI!”
“As a hybrid, do you find it difficult being accepted by society at large?”
“Ooh…yeah, I’d have to think about that one. A lot of the people I spend time with treat me like I’m just a normal guy. But that’s only after I get to know ‘em, y’know? Sometimes, though, I’ll meet a new person and they start pulling my damn tail and wondering if it’s real. Hurts like a bitch. And my ex-girlfriend broke up with me because it felt a little too much like bestiality to her. And there was one time where the cops assumed I had a criminal record…like, right off the bat. See, that’s kinda how some scientists deal with criminals around here. But other genetically altered types (like me) have never broken the law, and sometimes, all someone has to do to be forcibly altered is run away from home or be homeless. I’ve actually been picked up to be experimented on way more times than I can count, and that hurts like hell sometimes. But oddly enough, it’s not as bad as the weird judgmental stares I get from people, especially those from out of town. Best case scenario, they assume I’m a cosplayer.
“I understand more than most. As a robot, I've struggled all my life for acceptance. My bio says you work at a comic book shop. That has to be a fun job. What's your favorite character?”
“Batman, definitely! But I can weirdly relate to either Deadpool or Wolverine, since those two have a healing factor. So do I, actually. It was introduced to my DNA around the same time as the monkey traits. I honestly had no idea just how strong it was for a while, even with the various tests that’ve been run on it. I think it proved itself to really strong once, though,
“See, it was a few days before my friend Spencer’s wedding anniversary. He’d married my younger sister Gemmy, and wanted to get an ideal gift for her. It was sort of last-minute when he got the idea of getting her some sexy types of photos of himself for her. But we kept trying and trying to find a place that’d take us, and kept getting turned away because it didn’t fit into the “family” type atmosphere they were trying to keep. One of my co-workers was willing to help out if we had no other options. But he would’ve lent us his equipment and we were both sure we’d somehow screw that one up. And that’s when this one lady came up to us, asked to help…
“We took her up on her offer. What a mistake THAT was…See, as it turned out, she was a serial killer. One thing led to another, I think I died and came back a few times, and we put her out of business. And then? Then she started stalking our family.
“Well…as it turns out, my family’s pretty difficult to kill. My sister doesn’t have the same regeneration as me, but she does have super speed. My mom’s gifted in both genetics and cybernetics. I could swear I’ve seen her building attack robots in her sleep before. Her twin sister and their two friends work in—Actually, I probably shouldn’t mention their line of work on the radio, but it involves them having to cover their tracks and it gets a lot of unrepentant asshats out of the gene pool. Though my aunt Beast (no relation to anyone from A Wrinkle In Time, by the way) has huge cybernetic limbs and really sharp claws. Her friends, Ivy and Yvette, are psychic (in the mind reading/moving stuff with her mind) and a magic user (Ivy’s the psychic, Yvette’s the magic user), and Spencer’s really kind of a survivor. He’s been through a bunch of crap, but he’s still kicking.”
“A regenerative ability would be pretty cool. How does that work?”
“On the one hand, it’s kinda nice. Lost limbs grow back in days, broken bones heal in a few hours, cuts in seconds…But it does suck when people take advantage of it. I might heal quickly, but that shit still hurts! And after I heal, I have to eat a LOT…turns out, that healing burns a ton of calories, and I’m always hungry afterwards.”
“I've interviewed a serial killer on this show, and they're a little bit different. So the whole photography studio was a setup for her to make snuff films. With your regenerative ability, this could go all Wile E. Coyote in a hurry.”
“I know, right? It’s almost like there’s some unapologetic psycho dictating my life… Probably for their own sick amusement.”
“I get it, they're called authors. We need them, but they never make things easy. Travis, it looks like you have a caller. Hello, caller you're on the air with Lisa and Travis.”
“Hello, there. I’m Dr. Spencer Abbot, and I’m Travis’ brother-in-law.”
“So what's it like living in a family with hybrids?”
“A little weird, to be honest. It feels like I’m the only normal human in the family. My wife, in-laws, even my son–“
“Not true, Spencer. There’s uncle Nick!”
“Yeah, but he’s in the FBI and travels a lot for work, so he doesn’t quite count. Anyhow, I just wanted to see if you were behaving yourself, Trav. I know of your fondness for a certain F-word, and I figure that wouldn’t fly on the radio…”
“Yeah, Spence, I know… Don’t worry, I remembered, man.”
“Good, good. By the way, there’s something you might want to get a look at. I think someone’s been stalking around outside our house again…”
“Seriously? Ugh, if it was who I think it is, I swear I’ll kick her ass… Just stay safe for now, alright?”
“I’ll try. See you at home.”
“Well Boys, it sounds like Hell Bent, Pennsylvania is quite the place. There are many fans of graphic novels who follow this show, and they might want to check these stories out. I'll include all the links at the end.”
“Oh, by the way. There’s this convention in a few weeks, and my boss would love it if you came by, Lisa. She’s the one organizing it. It’s during the first weekend next month. Thanks for talking to me!”
“Sounds like fun. Will there be any cos-play? I could bring some outfits along with the calendars and stuff.”
“Yep! Look forward to seeing you there!”
Kayla provided us with a couple of covers. Check them out and browse through her links.
She also sent this cool page of one of the books:
Visions (Hell Bent book 1): https://amzn.com/B010YG2MMI
Retribution (Hell Bent book 2): https://amzn.com/B01387TIEU
Destruction (Hell Bent book 3): https://amzn.com/B0186GZ220
Full Arc 1 Set (in one volume): https://amzn.com/B018701YLS
Bio: K. Matt is a graduate of Philadelphia, PA's University of the Arts. Her interests in sci-fi, fantasy, horror, comics, and anime have inspired her to both write and illustrate her own work.
The books in the Hell Bent series are a combination of prose and graphic novels, and tend to be a mixture of (somewhat soft) sci-fi, urban fantasy, and horror. It is something of a pet project for her, a pet that she feeds with time, and that feeds on her sleep.
Her artwork can be found at kaylamatt.webs.com.
(Travis' Facebook page) https://www.facebook.com/TravisHalfMonkey/
Twitter: @Marie Twixie