Title: COPERNICUS NERDICUS
Genre: Middle Grade Light Sci-Fi Adventure
Word Count: 58,000
Thirteen-year old inventor, Copernicus 'Nic' Wilhelm, has one chance to win fifty thousand dollars to help buy back his dad's laboratory from the devious inventor, Geoffrey Zorn; The Digital Zone Battle-bot tournament. But when his arch rival, Eugene Zorn, destroys his robot in the preliminary rounds, Nic only has one week to build a new one. And what better way to test his new battle-bot than by using a fifteen-foot-tall, short circuiting attack robot in the mall as target practice.
With the help of his ultimate battle-bot invention, Einstein, Nic blasts the mechanical monster back to the scrap heap with a rocket-propelled punch. But a rampaging robot is the least of Nic's worries when he sees his best friend along with the battle-bot tournament contestants being dragged away into the mall by a legion of mega mechs.
Nic discovers that the vile criminal organization, C.O.R.E (Coalition of Rogue Engineers), has been using a new video game designed by Geoffrey Zorn to brainwash the tournament contestants into becoming pilots for an army of kid-controlled battle-bots. Since the local police have been turned into mind-controlled, segway-riding mall security guards, Nic must rely on his ingenious inventions and Einstein’s brawn to break into their hidden mall base and rescue them.
As Nic and Einstein pummel their way through C.O.R.E soldiers using everything from stink bombs to slime cannons, a fleet of battle-bots led by a mechanized Eugene Zorn is preparing to invade. Nic is in a race against time to put a stop to the mind control device and ensure the tournament goes on before his inventions, and Einstein’s battery, run out.
“I hope your robot is ready to get its butt kicked, Nerd!” my arch enemy, Eugene, cackled from across the battle-bot arena.
“That’s what you think.” I climbed the stairs to the combatant platform.
The tournament room was starting to feel like the inside of a nuclear reactor and a sickening feeling lurked in my gut. After rolling up the sleeves on my hooded sweatshirt, I wiped my clammy palms against my shorts and picked up the controller in front of me.
“All right kiddos, who’s ready for the battle-bot match of the century?” Mr. Smiggons shouted over the loudspeaker.
Mr. Smiggons’ burly frame leaned out from the announcer’s booth beside the plexiglass enclosed arena. He was balding but made up for it with a bristly beard that hung over his Digital Zone work shirt. He waved his arms wildly and the crowd responded with a booming applause that shook the stands.
“Now that’s what I like to hear! Let’s get this match underway!”
Keep it together, Nic. It’s only one match.
But it wasn’t any match. It was the final matchup of the preliminary rounds for the Digital Zone battle-bot tournament. If I won, I would be guaranteed a spot in the tournament finals with a chance to win fifty thousand dollars. Fifty thousand dollars that could help my dad buy back his laboratory before it was sold to that no good inventor, Geoffrey Zorn.
There was one, small problem. I had to beat his son first.