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The Writer’s Voice: Team Brenda #4 – COPERNICUS NERDICUS

Monday, 20 May 2013  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

Genre: Middle Grade Adventure 

Word Count: 54,000 


Thirteen-year-old gamer, Copernicus ‘Nic’ Wilhelm, has one chance to win fifty thousand dollars and prevent his dad from losing his laboratory to the devious inventor, Geoffrey Zorn–The Digital Zone video game tournament. But when Geoffrey Zorn unveils a new virtual gaming console called EVO to be used in the finals, Nic only has a week to master a futuristic robotic fighting game.

Easy enough for Nic, that is, until the game fights back.

When EVO transforms into a short-circuiting attack robot, the term video game realism takes on a completely new meaning. With the help of his friends, Nic re-programs the rampaging robot, but that wasn’t the only problem. EVO was also installed with a brainwashing microchip by the vile criminal organization, C.O.R.E (Coalition of Rogue Evildoers) in order to kidnap tournament contestants, including Nic’s best friend, and transform them into pilots for an army of kid-controlled robots straight out of the game.

With the police now controlled by C.O.R.E too, Nic and his friends must pummel their way through C.O.R.E troops using everything from stink bombs to slime cannons in order to rescue the contestants and discover proof of Zorn’s involvement in the mind control plot. Meanwhile, a fleet of robotic drones is preparing to invade Nic’s hometown of Twin Valley, and ultimately the world. Nic is in a race against time to put a stop to C.O.R.E and ensure the tournament goes on, before his gamer guile and new robot’s battery, runs out. 


The tournament room at Digital Zone felt like the inside of a nuclear reactor, and a sickening feeling lurked in my gut. I rolled up the sleeves on my Pac-Man hoodie, wiped my clammy palms against my shorts, and picked up the video game controller from the metal stand in front of me.

“I hope you’re ready to get your butt kicked, Nerd!” my arch rival, Eugene, cackled from his gaming station.

“That’s what you think.” I glared. If Eugene thought he was going to beat me, he had another thing coming.

At the opposite end of the arena, the store manager, Mr. Smiggons, leaned out from the announcer’s booth. He was stocky and pretty much completely bald, with a bristly beard that hung over his Digital Zone work shirt.

“All right kiddos, who’s ready for the video game match of the century?” Mr. Smiggons shouted over the loudspeaker. 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. If I won, I’d be guaranteed a spot in the tournament finals with a chance to win the grand prize of fifty thousand dollars. That kind of money could prevent my dad from losing his lab to that no good inventor, Geoffrey Zorn.

There was one problem. I had to beat his son first. 

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