Once again, this chapter contains mostly new material written during NaNoFiMo. Even so, it still contains some material originating in my early ’00s Project Notebooks: the girl-on-boy rape scenario, the dance-off during which Shira wins the Japanese national championship (though the character of Nenene didn’t exist then), and the Aya Shibata arcade battle. The character of Byron Scofield is, along with Henry Becket and Diana Shockley, one of the original three villains I created back in 1992, but the only one of the three I forgot. Now he takes his rightful place in the story I created him for.
And the seemingly science-fictiony high tech returns as the savior of the video arcades. The first two versions of the fighting-game scene involved motion capture (which I first saw used to control a fighting game at Seattle’s GameWorks) and immersive virtual reality; one is now becoming standard home console equipment and the other is better suited to MMORPGs and related environments such as Second Life (the original Metaverse in Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash can be described as Second Life plus immersive VR). I asked myself, What would be the cutting edge of Japanese arcade technology in 2014? The answer I guessed below is related to hoverboard technology.
Now featuring mid-air drunken monkey kung fu!
← ...from previous
Chaos Angel Spanner — Book 1: Rock City Blues
Chapter 12: Medium Cruel
Chapter 12: Medium Cruel
The Abrams Principle:
The shortest distance between two points is off the wall.
Grub first, then ethics.
The shortest distance between two points is off the wall.
Grub first, then ethics.
Posted by [banned user] to MyTube on 27 September 2014 at 2:26 a.m. [now removed]
The culprits blurred their faces before they posted this, but their voices will betray them. The victim: Nancy Chandler, psychotic fangirl. She knows her assailants because they have fought before. This time they have teamed up to teach the psycho girl a lesson.28 September 2014
“If you won’t get out,” says Christian Fleer, “I guess we’ll have to teach you a hard lesson.”
“Yeah,” sneers Deborah Becket.
Completely surrounded, a panicked Nancy turns to face each of her attackers in turn: Christie, Debbie, Christie’s sister Julian, their cousin Rachel Brinkman, and the rest of Pretty Team: Kelly McLendon, Lady Penner, and Lucy Wilkinson with her camera phone. Completely irrational, Nancy tries to escape by attacking Lady, whom she thinks is the weakest of them. At once the strongest of them — the Fleer sisters and their cousins — pounce on her from all sides and pummel her with punches and kicks.
In the heat of the fray, Julian trips Nancy without even trying to, and Nancy falls hard onto the wooden floor. Her head hits the floor so hard it bounces with a sickening thud. Rachel screams.
Debbie barely restrains herself from panicking. “Oh my god, we’re in deep shit!”
Christie says, “Calm down, cousin. I’ve already called an ambulance.”
“Well, if she dies on us, we’re ruined!”
The mean girls of Pretty Team are being interrogated by the cops. Diana Shockley comes because three of her nieces are among the accused.
Christian Fleer: “How could we know beforehand that Nancy Chandler would end up dead? The girl was so psycho, she broke into my family’s house just to beat me up. We thought we’d teach her a hard lesson. Then everything got out of control.”
Deborah Becket: “No, I didn’t kill her! I was trying to throw her out of my cousins’ house, and suddenly there she was lying dead on the floor. I had every right to panic!”
Rachel Brinkman: “One of us tripped Nancy and she hit the back of her head hard on the wood floor, and suddenly I realized she could suffer serious brain damage if we didn’t get her some help immediately. Christie called 911, but we didn’t know she was already dead till the ambulance got there. God, I feel so horrible about this.”
Kelly McLendon is unusually subdued. “She barged in, we tried to fight her off, and suddenly she was dead and we panicked. I almost killed Lucy for posting that.”
Julian Fleer cries so hard that she can barely speak. She is the one who tripped Nancy. She refuses to forgive herself.
Lucy Wilkinson: “Of course I shot video! I do that with everything we do! We got so into fighting off that psycho that I completely forgot I had the phone set to autopost...”
Lady Penner: “I can’t say anything. I’m speechless. Besides, my friends already said everything I was going to say. I don’t know if I’ll survive this. Our reputation’s certainly taking a beating. I bet Shira Thomas is laughing at us right now.”
29 September 2014
Shira’s bed. Shira lies on top of her bed, not bothering to cover herself with the bedsheets. Leila sleeps in one arm; Aira cuddles her from the other side. She notices that Aira is much less self-conscious about being naked than she was when she ran away to her.
“Will Mimi be all right?” asks Aira.
Shira kisses Aira on the forehead. “Well, if your best friend just got murdered even after she became your worst enemy, you’d take it hard too. I know I would. It’ll take a fair bit of time for Mimi to get over the shock, but she’ll heal. But until then, we’re hugging her as much as we can and making sure she doesn’t sleep alone.”
“I love Mimi.”
“So do I, darling. Unlike Nancy, Mimi has a lot of friends who will do everything to protect her. And the mean girls at our school know that if any harm comes to our friend, they’ll be in even bigger trouble.”
ferry terminal. Willa holds Jennifer and both of them hold Aira as Team Bremelo wait to catch the #24 bus to school. She’ll separate from them when the #26 West Park arrives to take her to the Bay Vista area (the former West Park), so she wants to steal a little extra quality time with her daughter-wife. This time she’s wearing a blue sleeveless coatdress, black knee-high flat boots which fail to make her look any less tall, sheer black pantyhose with a fashion-model stripe down the back, and geek-chic cat’s-eye glasses. Some of the people around them furtively stare at Willa and Jennifer as if some grotesque Pretty City reject turned Reality TV star were bringing a Pedobear to school.
Mimi is with them, her eyes still glassy from the shock of losing Nancy so sudden. Shira pulls her into an embrace and kisses her on the cheek. “You’re looking well, Mimi darling.”
“I need you, Shira. I need all you guys.”
“You don’t have to worry. We’re always here for you.”
Polly gently takes Mimi out of Shira’s arms and hugs her. Aira runs to join their embrace.
Closer to the Kitsap Conference Center building, they spot a group of clean-looking teenagers and younger twentysomethings wearing MxPx hoodies. “Just look at them,” Jennifer sneers. “They so think they’re ‘kewl’.”
“No, darling, they think they’re ‘hip,’” Willa replies. “But we know they’re nothing of the kind.”
Their little exchange catches the attention of Polly and Mimi. “What was that about?” wonders Mimi.
Willa points to the MxPx crowd. “See those squares in the bunnyhugs?”
“They all have a crude cartoon design on each side. On the front it has the name of the band, MxPx. On the other, it says ‘Left Coast Punk.’ The first time I saw that, I had to groan. Punk rock simply is not supposed to appeal to L7s.”
Polly says, “You were in a punk rock band, weren’t you!”
Jennifer goes, “Ding ding ding!”
Willa’s wink says, You’ve won the Cheezy Prize! “Technically, I still am. Technically, the Band with No Name are postpunk ’cos I’m there playing keyboards, or Keytar, or synth guitar. I wore some pretty outlandish costumes back in the Eighties, making me one of the earliest Stylers in rock. Our fans are mostly either Punkers or Stylers. I used to be Shira’s style coach before she ran away with Wild Style to destinations unknown. These days my default Style is less Wild and more Badass Librarian. You can blame the Riot Grrrls for that.”
“You look beautiful in anything, Willa,” says Mimi.
“Why thank you, Mimi. As for them...” She redirects their attention back to the kids in the MxPx hoodies. “We Punkers and Stylers call those people ‘MxPxies.’ The Punks never say the word without spitting, or at least a sneer. I gave ’em the name myself. Right now MxPx are Bremerton’s most famous band, which makes the MxPxies as much a local institution as the Bremeloes who haunt the sailor bars. The point is, there’s only so far you can push straightedge before you go over the line into lamestream square. That line is Christian punk. MxPx invented it.”
“So those punk rock fans are Christian?”
“Of the born-again kind, yes. And if they’re not Christian, they’re at least down with Jesus America.”
Steve asks, “Isn’t rock supposed to be about rebellion?”
“It used to be, till it sold its soul to Colonel Tom and Tin Pan Alley, and turned bloated, decadent, and boringly lamestream. The famous and connected rockers chose to climb the record industry hierarchy and step on those below them; some even abandoned music to go into politics. But some of us stayed underground to keep the fire burning. We’re the ones who survived with our integrity intact when the hammer came down.”
Cory asks, “So why aren’t you rockin’ right now?”
“We do, just not live. The new government decided Patriot Country would be the official American music from now on, meaning they’re at the top of the heap right below the Consolidated Media corporate bureaucrats. The lamestream lobstrosities of rock get some play as long as they brown-nose sufficiently. Other than that, rockers and hip-hoppers might as well be blacklisted. ‘Devil’s Music,’ you see.”
Mimi asks, “Didn’t President Palin invent the word ‘lamestream’?”
Willa laughs; Jennifer rolls her eyes. Willa replies, “Mimi darling, I was using that word back when I was eleven. That woman stole it from me.” She winks.
Suddenly, from the direction of the ferry landing, a Japanese-accented woman yells out: “Ai-chan!”
Aira screams and hides behind Shira. Willa and all the Bremeloes turn to see Nenene Sasakawa stomping toward them angrily, arms crossed tight; her frilly black and purple goth loli dress is fashionably ripped and soiled, her high-heeled black leather boots polished to high gloss, her face smeared with Jokerish pancake makeup, her inky black hair moussed up into a vertical psycho frightwig that would have embarrassed Robert Smith or Siouxsie Sioux and makes her look a foot taller than she is. She is seventeen, Mimi’s age. “Baka no Ai-chan! Koi! Hayaku! Ima!”
“Shira-chan! Tasuketeeee!” cries Aira as she tries to hide behind Shira.
Shira crosses her arms, shifts her weight onto one leg, and stares at her rival with a cockeyed smile that says You annoy me, go away. “Well, well, well. Long time, no see... Ne-chan.”
Polly looks at Nenene strangely. “You know this creature?”
“Ladies and gentlemen, Team Bremelo and Aunt Willa, allow me to introduce my old frenemy from Shibuya, Nenene Sasakawa. Aira used to be the pet loli she treated like shit till she ran away from her two Saturdays ago and came to me.”
“Ai-chan mine, bitch. You steal her. I come take my loli-chan back!”
“Noooo!” wails Aira. “Please don’t!”
“Don’t worry, Ai-chan,” says Shira. “She’s not your slavemaster.” She turns to Willa. “And if it turns out she is, we can always convince a talented and dangerous lawyer we know to change that for Aira’s benefit.” She winks. To Aira she says, “Ai-chan, please go to Willa-obachan,” then steps up intimidatingly close to Nenene and looks down at her. “So... Ne-chan.” Aira hides behind Willa and holds onto her as tight as she can.
“Stop call me ‘Ne-chan’! My name Nenene! Sasakawa-sama to you, bitch!”
Shira looks over her shoulder and says to the Bremeloes, “You know why I call her that, besides her name? She’s way short, and ‘Ne-chan’ means ‘mousie.’ Rabid little rodent, though, don’tcha think?” They laugh.
Nenene looks like she’s about to spit on her. Then she yells at the Bremeloes, “That not first time Shira do this to me! Back in Japan she steal gangster boyfriend!” They gasp and giggle.
“Ah, yes. Koji-kun. One night Koji-kun and I decided entirely on a whim to drop by a love hotel in Chiba; we threw off our clothes and got in bed and he turned out to be a total wash. And he told me he had this fantasy of being a cute girl having his big breasts fondled and sucked by a badass gangster girl. I climbed on top of him, laughed evilly, and you know what I said?”
Shira moves in so her nose is only a few millimeters from Nenene’s and grins evilly. “Nee-chan, okashite yaru ze!” Nenene’s eyes go wide and her jaw drops to the sidewalk. Jennifer, Karen, Seika, Harumi, and Aira all gasp; Willa slaps her forehead and shakes her head sadly; Cory whoops. Shira turns to them and says, “That means ‘Bitch, I’m gonna rape you.’” Polly and Mimi gasp and look at each other; Steve stares at Shira strangely; Kio facepalms; Leila and Robert trade an eager grin and decide they really like her now.
Nenene growls, “You didn’t.”
Shira grins. “Next thing I did, I whipped out my strap-on, slammed him against the wall, and raped him.”
“Oh my god!” squeak Polly, Mimi, and Karen all at once.
“He loved it so much, he begged me for more! He never got anything like that from Ne-chan here. Speaking of which: Ne-chan, how is Koji-kun these days? You drive him hikikomori again?”
Nenene slaps Shira. “I hate you! I no let you steal my loli-chan!” Then she goes to confront the blond woman in the coatdress and cat’s eye glasses who is half a meter taller than her, behind whom Aira is hiding. She peers up into her face and says, “Who the fuck are you?”
The tall woman smiles sweetly and says, “Willa Richter-Thomas.”
Nenene stares wide-eyed up at Willa for several seconds, then turns away and says, “Oh shit.” Then she glares at Shira again, and then she storms off back toward the ferries. “Fine. I go back Japan and find better loli-chan do what I say.” When she reaches the ferry entrance passageway, she turns around and flips Shira an angry middle-finger salute. “I come back fight you at Game Wars tonight! I whip you ass and take back what mine!”
Shira turns around, bends over, flips her skirt up to reveal her thonged butt, slaps a bare cheek three times, and taunts, “Rabu rabu naaaa!”
Nenene stomps angrily into the passageway. Aira lets go of Willa and runs back into Shira’s arms to hold her tight. Until the buses come, they hear Nenene shouting imprecations and kicking things, then yelling at the ferry terminal attendants when they try to get her to stop her tantrum or leave.
At last the Westside buses arrive and the party must separate. After the #24 empties, the Bremeloes hop on. Aira begs, “Shira-chan, please don’t go!”
“Sorry, Ai-chan, but we have to go to school. You need to go with Willa-obachan.” Shira kisses her.
Willa comes over and takes Aira gently by the hand. “It’s okay, Aira. I love you.”
Reluctantly, Aira lets go of Shira and puts her arms around Willa. Shira waves goodbye and blows Aira a kiss.
Aira waves back. “’Bye, Shira-chan! Ai shiteru yo!”
Willa leads Aira to the #26; Shira leaps onto the #24 to join the others just in time for the door to close.
Nenene’s apartment. You are Koji Mizoguchi. You used to be a badass gangster back in Japan, the son of a Yakuza boss. Then the Yakuza took over Japan and set up a badass race dictatorship for the nationalists, and where are you but in a run-down apartment on the other side of the ocean, trapped in a foreign city with the world’s most evil kogal. Nenene Sasakawa is a bitch and a half. She beats you up if you ever bother to do anything. Then she beats you up for not doing anything. You’re convinced she beats you up just because. You desperately want to escape. But every time you escape, Nenene tracks you down, drags you back to her filthy lair, and beats you up again. She left Japan for a foreign land ruled by a rival master race just so she can continue to control you. You and that sweet little loli of hers, Ai-chan.
You remember another loli. Aya Shibata was your obsession. You could not take your eyes off her. Obsessively you watched Aya-chan’s Little Love Hotel on Darknet channels the merciless American pedo hunters could not reach. At the end of every episode, she said the same thing, always in a tone of voice that hinted she was hiding something secret and special.
“Rabu rabu neeee!”
Eventually your obsession reached such intensity that you knew you had to have Aya Shibata for yourself. You sent your father’s mob soldiers to track her down, to find out where she lived and where she made those videos that became your obsession. You stalked her and you captured her and you made her your own. The Law would have chewed you up and spat you out for this. But you were Yakuza. You spat in the Law’s ugly bitch face.
Aya-chan was a mutant. Even at only nine years of age, she was insatiable. Three years of exploiting the Lolita complex for profit made her a sexual expert. She could not stop. She was the ultimate drug; you could not get enough of her, ever. She exhausted you. You could not handle her.
You started to get insanely jealous. Aya-chan was a free spirit and would not tolerate your possessiveness. Before she left you, she beat you up. You were seventeen then; she was only ten. But you were Yakuza; you spat in the face of reason. But little Aya-chan spat in the faces of Yakuza, and still they came back for more.
Four years later, she came back. This time she claimed to be an exchange student from America and that her name was Mirai Shiratori. You groaned at her pretentiousness when you heard her new name. “Mirai” is Japanese for “Nefertiti,” which in turn means “the beautiful one cometh” in ancient Egyptian. Nefertiti was the name of a great queen of Egypt. Aya-chan was no longer the sweet, perverted video loli of your dreams. Now at fourteen Mirai-chan was a woman, and she looked as regal as the name she chose. Currently she was making millions of yen selling her body to salarymen in love hotels.
You had already fallen under Nenene’s spell. She too was different then. She was eighteen but had the aura of an innocent yet strong-willed princess. The goth loli style she preferred then was white and lacy. She was a video dancer, beautiful and evil. You could not resist her. But Aya Shibata was the goddess of loli, so when she returned in the now womanly form of Mirai Shiratori, Nenene became insanely jealous. She knew the absolute power Aya-chan had had over you. She would not allow Mirai-chan to regain the power she once held.
But Mirai-chan had other plans for you. She lured you to your favorite love hotel, where you had spent many a satisfying one-night stand making love to schoolgirls and then making them cry. She knew you had become obsessed with fantasies of being an innocent and large-breasted young girl, raped by Yakuza such as you, just like in the hentai manga you were so addicted to. She laughed at you, strapped on an evil-looking black dildo, slammed you face first against a wall, and raped you with the kind of wicked glee possible only to the evil seme of yaoi manga. You were Yakuza, but she was badass far beyond mere gangster level. You could not get enough. You begged her to rape you again.
When Nenene found out, she challenged Mirai Shiratori to a Style War in a fit of irrational rage. Her mistake proved fatal.
No goth loli kogal could have withstood Mirai-chan’s Wild Style. She looked psychedelic. She mixed and matched colors and styles that deliberately clashed with each other and assaulted your eyes. She bared whatever she could get away with. Mirai was a sleek and flamboyant cat, and Nenene was the mouse she preyed on; she even called her “Ne-chan,” meaning “little mousie,” “like Koji-kun’s penis,” she said. Nenene was so enraged that she challenged Mirai-chan to a dance-off on Japanese national TV. She had been the video dance champion of all Japan the year before, but Mirai-chan so outdanced her, danced so wildly and beautifully, that she dealt Nenene a crushing public defeat. She declared herself the future made flesh, for mirai is also Japanese for “future.”
Nenene never recovered. She mourned her defeat ever after by wearing nothing but black, deliberately ripping and dirtying her dresses, slathering on that hideous makeup, and kicking you into a whimpering mass of self-pity with her new high-heeled, steel-toed leather boots. By the time Mirai-chan returned to America, Nenene had become completely insane. She kidnapped Ai-chan, then fled with her and you across the ocean to America, indifferent to the glorious empire of the Yamato Race being restored by your own Yakuza. She wanted to beat you up and make nonconsensual love to Ai-chan as much as possible, and she didn’t want any interruption from the eugenics police even if they were Japanese.
Nenene was a bitch squared. But she was no Yakuza. She spat in your face, not Fate’s.
Little did Nenene know that the cat had lured the mouse into her lair. In her native Seattle, Aya-chan’s real name was Shira Thomas, and “Shira” (she explained) is Persian for “tigress.” Suddenly you realized that she was the feminine manifestation of Shere Khan, the king of tigers. In the videogame palaces of Seattle, she fought and danced under the name of Aya Shibata. And you found out that just as Mirai Shiratori was simply “Shira Miranda Thomas” partly respelled, Aya Shibata was just another name behind which the infamous Rebel Styles hid.
One day Ai-chan saw Mirai-chan on pirate TV. Mirai-chan had made love to Ai-chan once back in Japan; Ai-chan worshipped her ever since. Now she found out that her adored Mirai-chan was here! She found out Mirai-chan lived with her mother in a cute little ferry town across the water under the name of Shira Thomas; she stole from Nenene several thousand Confederate dollars, worth no more than a yen each, and bought herself a ferry ride to Bremerton to be with Mirai-chan. Now Ai-chan is free.
But you’re still a slave.
You are Koji Mizoguchi. You were once Yakuza. You used to spit in the face of all human decency. Now you are merely a hikikomori trapped in the corner of the spare closet in Nenene’s filthy apartment far away from home, doing nothing but play games on your Nintendo 3DS-X when she’s not beating you up for every reason and no reason. Little does she know that you managed to install the Google Maps app on your 3DS-X without her knowing it. You know where Shira Thomas, the tigress, your lifelong obsession, lives. You installed the Foursquare app; she loves to tweet her location when she’s on the prowl, so you know where she’ll be on a Saturday night. You plan to meet her. You plot your escape.
You vow to be Shira’s sex slave forever. But first you have to get free of Nenene’s claws.
You lean against the corner of the closet and gradually work your way up to standing position. You open the closet door. You force your feet to move one after the other until you leave the closet. The bedroom door is open. You hear no one.
“Nenene-san?” you ask. No answer comes back. “Nenene-san?” Again, no answer. Nenene’s gone. You guess that she’s taken the ferry to Bremerton to harass Shira and try to take Ai-chan back from her.
You run into Nenene’s room to steal some money and a suitcase. You return to your own bedroom and hastily cram clothes and games into it, then force it shut. You know how Nenene takes her time, so you rush into the shower for the first time in a week and a half. You dry off, slap on some jeans and a Hawaiian shirt and leather laceless shoes without socks, drop your Nokia into your shirt pocket, and rush out the door.
Soon you’re on the ferry to Bremerton, where Shira lives. You don’t know that Nenene is on the ferry passing by on the way back to Seattle, but you’d be overjoyed if you did. Nenene will not be happy when she finds out you left. But you don’t care anymore. Nenene is nothing to you now. You pray to the Yakuza demon gods whose terrifying images were painfully tattooed onto your skin that Shira will spank you and rape you again and again and again.
before school. Shira and Jennifer escort Mimi into the school building. Before they reach the other side of the cafeteria, they find themselves completely surrounded by the nine fighting members of Pretty Team. They take their positions on either side of Mimi and lower into fighting stance.
Shira says, “That was a mighty fine act you girls pulled off. You’re all pretty good fighters, but your victim couldn’t hold her own for one round against a karate white belt. Obviously you don’t realize she tried to kill her own best friend, and now you’re attacking her? Harm one hair on her head, and I’m calling Gang Rules. If you want her, you’ll have to go through me first.”
Rachel, Kelly, Lady, and Lucy flinch and fall back. The four Fleer sisters and their cousin and enforcer Debbie form a tighter circle around Shira, Jennifer, and Mimi. Jennifer slips out with Mimi. The sisters let them and face down Shira.
Shira does not move. Realizing what she’s about to do, Jennifer takes off her glasses and watches carefully. Shira intensifies her aura slowly. At first it seems she’s likely to strike first and will go into fight mode the instant any of the Fleers move. But soon they realize that Shira can strike out randomly at any moment. When her fighting aura reaches its highest intensity, the Fleers start to sweat and lose their confidence; Debbie panics and takes two steps back; Lucy and Lady run away. She makes them believe that she can massacre them all in a single blow. First Julian leaps back in a panic and collides into Rachel. Dorian loses her nerve and steps back. Charmian feels her resentment disappear, sighs in resignation, and turns away to join her twin sister. Suddenly, Christian finds herself all alone against a far superior fighter. She looks around, sees the rest of her team staying away from Shira, and screams in frustration. She throws a punch that Shira easily dodges, then stomps in a huff to Debbie and slaps her. Shira stands up.
“Deborah Becket! Why in God’s name did you chicken out?!”
Debbie smiles at her and giggles nervously. “Uh, I didn’t wanna kill her.”
Christie stares at her strangely, making her giggle even more nervously. Then she says, “Debbie, I wanted to kill her. Don’t tell me you like her...”
Charmian shouts, “Christian and Deborah, knock it off!”
Incredulously, Christie shoots back, “Charmian, that creature sexually assaulted you!” They stare at each other, then back at Shira, who regards them with an indecipherable look. Christie storms off, and the others follow.
When they’re gone, several dozen other students come out of hiding to give Shira a standing ovation. Mimi runs into Shira’s arms and sobs, “Thank you!”
Jennifer comes up to Shira and says, “You sure put on quite the show at their expense, cousin.”
Shira grins back at her. “Now Pretty Team know what those big Mokes felt a couple weeks ago when they broke in to beat up a kid and found me instead.”
Polly comes by, looks down the hall in the general direction Pretty Team went, and says, “Why won’t they arrest those evil women?”
Shira sighs. “Think of it this way. Would Admiral Fleer arrest his own daughters or nieces? Would Governor Brinkman arrest his own grandchildren if they’re not named Shelley? Would Mayor Everson allow the police to even get anywhere near his stepdaughter?”
after school. Shira holds Leila tight and kisses her gently on the lips. “I’ve got late business I’ve got to take care of, love. See ya at my place.”
“Do you still love me? Even after all this... business?”
“Don’t worry, darlin’. I love you more than my life. But there’s some times when you gotta do it out of something other than love. You should already understand that, given what you’ve been through.” Shira kisses Leila again, then winks. “Trust me.” She walks away, into the darkened school, as Leila watches near the front door.
Mr. Smith’s office. The Confederacy-loving history teacher is staying after school, he told Principal Principal, to do some very important business to do on his workstation. He led him to believe that he would be grading papers and recording the scores into the school mainframe. Actually, grading papers is easy for him; fortunately for him, the principal is none too bright and the vice principal is too obsessed with strict discipline to suss out his real agenda, which is on not his school workstation but his personal laptop. He is reviewing Rebel Rebel videos on the laptop as we waits for her alter ego to arrive. His business is with her.
A real Cavalier mixes his business with pleasure. The ungainly Edgar Olney Smith may not look like a Cavalier even in his Confederate grays, but he is enslaved to the romance of Confederate aristocracy. He did not take it well when the insolent Shira declared in front of the whole class that he was forever trapped between the covers of Gone with the Wind.
As soon as the thought of Shira assaults him, the office door opens. He turns to see her framed like a painting in the door frame, bracing herself against it with her hands, her weight on her left leg so that her hip juts out. Lit by not just the office’s half-light but her Charmer’s charisma, she looks spectacular. He takes a sharp deep breath and tries not to faint. “Mr. Smith,” she asks, “may I come in?”
He giggles uncontrollably like a girl with a crush. “Please do,” he says. “And please shut the door after you.” She spins to take the doorknob, pulls the door shut, and spins back to skip over to him smiling and embrace him from behind.
She looks at the laptop on his lap and sees a familiar dark child silently pronounce her seductive call. “So this is what we’re meeting about?”
He clears his throat and tries not to stutter. “If the rumors are true and this here was you, are you really capable of these kinds of things?”
She leans over and turns his head with her hand so she can look him in the eyes. “Want a demonstration?”
He blushes and sweats as a lascivious leer forms on his face. “Sure. Try me.”
Shira plants a hard kiss on his lips and plunges her tongue into his mouth. His eyes go wide and he flinches and whimpers like a virgin. He does not know that Shira has set her Droid to autosync with his laptop and take control of its camera.
thirteenth street. In the Slasher Hunters’ van, the scene plays out on Lars Ulquiorra’s netbook while he, Brandi, and Peck watch intently. Shira strips off her clothes, then attacks Smith’s. “You know this is illegal,” comments Lars.
“That’s the entire point,” replies Brandi. “She says we’re doin’ this for leverage.”
“Blackmail, you mean.”
“Confederate re-enactors like him gain connections,” says Peck. “It’s how fannish men like Gar Smith show their devotion to the Imperial régime. Once we gain leverage over Smith, we can use it to gain access into some of the higher levels of the régime, where the roots of corruption have sunk in much more deeply. We need a weapon, and Gar Smith is a suspected pedophile.”
“Well! Bait the pedo hunters and use ’em as your weapon, I see. The girl’s clever. So who are we using good ol’ boy Gar to get?”
Brandi answers, “She says she’s aimin’ one level up, at the school administration.”
“But one level up also leads to his pastor,” adds Peck. “Smith attends the Church of America branch whose Shepherd is none other than the woman Shira calls her ‘Evil Stepmother,’ the notorious Drusilla Becket. Most recently, Miss Becket has been relentlessly promoting her latest celebrity Prophet, one Byron Herbert Scofield, who has lately been revealing some major political ambitions.”
“And what does that have to do with Gar Smith?” asks Lars.
“Scofield first became famous before the coup as one of the more ruthless pedo hunters. Gar Smith has long been one of the more ardent supporters of his cause. It is well known that highly religious people tend to oppose most fanatically the vice they are most vulnerable to. The case of Shepherd Ward Tremayne is a perfect example.”
“And Madame Dru herself was nearly destroyed by a notorious child rape scandal that almost brought down Dictel, involving her own daughters... So the strategy’s supposed to be this: find the pedo among the pedo hunters, sic Rebel Rebel herself on him in the flesh, then use this [Lars gestures at his netbook] as a bomb against ’em...”
“That is the strategy. Like Sun Tzu said, don’t fight your enemy where he is strong, but find his greatest weakness and attack him there. That way victory lies.”
“Damn.” Lars catches his breath. “I get the feeling that if we hadn’t found and recruited her in time, she could have been our most dangerous target. This is ruthless.” He directs the Hunters’ attention back to the netbook screen, on which Shira howls and screams in wicked ecstasy as she sexually attacks a helpless Gar Smith lying naked on his back atop his desk like a dying pig.
Game Wars. They called places like this video arcades back in the late twentieth century. But when PlayStation and Xbox conquered the videogame world, the arcades went extinct and their games, which devoured millions of quarters during their lifespan, now circulate as emulated bootlegs on the Darknet. Gamerooms only thrive when they can offer something not possible on the Xbox at home. Once this means the full-body virtual reality controllers that cannot fit in a home living room and which wags compare to giant hamster balls. When they found their way into the last surviving arcades in Japan, the industry bounced back from certain doom by offering live tournaments that eventually achieved massive ratings on national television in Japan and Korea. Now they have ditched the “manster wheels” and gone full-blown antigrav. The dominant game genres there are fighting and dance. The name of Aya Shibata reached the lips of everyone in Japan last spring when Shira used that character to defeat 2013 champion Nenene Sasakawa in one of the most spectacular dance fights ever.
Shira has a strong suspicion that her victory provoked millions of angry gangsters and racists to overthrow the democratic Japanese government and enthrone Japan’s most notorious eugenicists as dictators to protect their tribal ego from further humiliation by gaijin such as her. The Yakuza-dominated régime is flirting with the destruction of their nation by baiting the much larger rival master race in China, but right now she does not concern herself with things like that. She’s back in America now, and the videogame arenas now disappearing from doomed Japan are now proliferating across the Pacific. A new one is holding its grand opening tonight in downtown Bremerton, and she intends to steal the show. After she finishes her underhanded business with Gar Smith, she hops on a bus downtown in hopes of getting there early enough to get in.
The crowd at Game Wars is huge. Most of the people there are vidgame fanboys who camped out all weekend and skipped school today just so they can be the first to get in. But when one of them spots her, he cries out “Aya’s here! It’s really her!” The name of Aya Shibata overcomes the crowd, and Shira finds herself being sucked through the mass of gamers toward the front door. If Aya herself is here, they reason, she needs to be the first one in. And when the doors finally open at 7:00 sharp, they push her in.
They try to get her to play first, but she declares, “No. I take winner.” Immediately, the management and the elite gamers organize a Virtual Tournament; within half an hour, the Tournament is on and the fighting is being projected over the mid-air players by the arena’s huge holovid system. The flying fighters use nearly every character from every fighting game ever released and dozens of original characters from various MMOs and unleash superhuman wushu and atmosphere-scorching magic attacks against each other to earn the right to become Aya Shibata’s next victim. Meanwhile, Koji spots the rapidly growing crowd outside Game Wars and tries to push his way through, while Nenene curses the ferry’s slowness as it snakes through the narrow Rich Passage on its way back to Bremerton.
The packed Game Wars crowd gets so involved in the holographic pyrotechnics that the end of the Tournament hits them unexpectedly. By then, Stan Green arrives with a horde of Jesus America-loving bullyboys, and they’ve started fighting with the crowd outside. Beyond the crowd, a stretch Stryker parks mid-street and opens; a man in a MIB suit and a top hat steps out like a king; he vaguely resembles a young Steve Jobs with his black mop top and round John Lennon glasses. This is Byron Scofield: he is the real leader of the crackdown attempt.
Inside, Shira steps in front of the camera and her image appears on all the huge vidscreens lining the Game Wars walls. The place erupts in thunderous cheers. Outside near the door, Koji screams in helpless adoration like a fangirl and Nenene screams in helpless rage. Shira absorbs the crowd’s adoration. At this moment, she is a goddess. She will use the power they bestow on her to transform herself into their anime superheroine. For an endless moment, she simply stands there with a smile and makes them suffer with anticipation. Then with deliberate suddenness, she violently discards her yellow school uniform and everything else she’s wearing to reveal skin that is — blue-gray? The crowd grows quiet with disappointment. But then she holds out her arms in a gesture of victory and her painted skin lights up with images from a thousands pirate television shows, and once again Game Wars explodes with a deafening roar as Shira’s fans witness her apotheosis. She throws her head back and lets out a long fierce howl. When she feels she’s given them enough, she climbs into her form-fitting datasuit that extinguishes the diode light, zips it up, and launches herself into the air cushion of the Game Wars arena. Circuit-lit flesh is replaced by a giant figure of light, with her skin and hair but the long ears of a dark elf, wearing a loincloth and strategically decorated with luminous body paint. The assembled masses scream and roar and greet her like a rock star as she completes her transformation — and Aya Shibata is reborn!
Her opponent is a Navy man from Wyoming who calls himself Harley Davidson and fights semiprofessionally as a Ken so hacked he is no longer recognizable except as what his nonfans call an animated Chuck Norris joke. His manager warned him to always be careful fighting Aya because she is so notoriously unpredictable; he brushed it off by telling him he’s a professional and he’s prepared for anything. She floats in front of him, one leg cocked. The announcer roars “Fight!” and the fight begins.
Davidson launches a series of fireballs at Aya, his customary gambit with which he tests his opponents. He expects her to dodge them, but she deflects most of them in various random directions and three right back at him to score one hit. She flies around him like a whirlwind and lands four punches and three kicks before he hits her with a psychic sword special attack and sends her speeding back toward the wall — but she stops in mid-air. The crowd roars.
She flies past him, bounces off the wall, spins around him. He throws out a series of attacks but hits only air. She pops up right in front of him, then disappears right in front of his eyes. The whole arena gasps. (She disappears from the techs’ view as well; one says in shock, “Where’d she go?”) Suddenly her whirlwind special attack hits him out of nowhere, she follows it up with a brutal combo, and puts him down with her infamous Electric Boogaloo attack that completely disorients him before his energy runs out and he falls. The roar is deafening as she spins around, points down at the crowd, and lets out her triumphant taunt: “Next victim!”
But soon the fight inside the arena itself begins to overwhelm the crowd. Stan Green and his fighting Americans try to bust up the entire operation with their steroid-boosted fists. In the escalating chaos, Koji manages to claw his way through, dodging flying fists and feet, till at last he climbs up on the platform, grabs the mic, and yells, “Aya-chan! I am your next victim!” He leaps into the arena without changing, manifests his character Tattoo Ryu, and does not wait for the announcer to give the signal before he rushes her.
Aya hits him with a massive spin kick combo. She smashes him against the far wall, then the near wall, and then the floor. He peels himself off the floor and concentrates all his energy into one special attack: he activates his Lightning Force, launches himself at her, and screams, “Aya-chan! Suki daaaaa!”
She counters his attack with her Spirit Mirror and then unleashes the full Electric Boogaloo attack on him; Tattoo Ryu disappears and Koji Mizoguchi falls barely conscious to the floor.
Stan finally grabs the mic and declares, “This game is over! In the name of Jesus America and all that is moral, we’re shutting this place down now!”
Aya Shibata disappears, revealing Shira Thomas hovering in her place. Her datasuit’s circuit pattern grows bright; two energy balls (real this time) glow in her gloves; she glares down defiantly at Green and yells back at him with a Challenge in her voice: “Oh no, you aren’t! The fun’s only just begun!”
She spins around and unleashes a barrage of zap balls that hit their muscled targets with uncanny precision. She flies at Stan; he tries to knock her down with a massive hammer strike, but she dodges it and hammers him with a flurry of 3D spin kicks from all directions. She flies erratically and chatters like a drunken monkey while he reels and flails and hits only rising air. She grabs the platform railing, spins on it like a gymnast, and lands a double rising kick into his jaw to send him backward, out on his feet, till he slams the wall and slides down to the floor. Staring wide-eyed and slack-jawed, Nenene watches Shira crush the bullyboy with deceptive ease.
Shira’s help allows the crowd of players to beat their attackers all the way out of Game Wars and onto the street. The Game Wars owners call their insurers. The crowd slowly dissipates, realizing at last that the game really is over for the night and perhaps the next few as well, depending on the damage. Shira puts her school clothes back on and exits through the back door into the alley. Nenene shouts at her: “Come back, you chicken! I still beat you ping pong!” — but her voice is lost in the noise and chaos.
Shira looks down the alley to see the man in the top hat staring at her. Shira and Scofield stare each other down for a minute that seems like an hour. Scofield says nothing. Shira goes “Hmph!” She turns away from him contemptuously and walks home.
Shira’s apartment. After Shira washes off the night’s sweat and paint in the shower, she throws herself into the living room’s plushest recliner and lies back as far as the chair can go. She takes a slow deep breath and lets it all out in a sigh. She puts her hands behind her head, closes her eyes, and tries to think.
After a few minutes, Shira’s undirected reverie is interrupted when Leila decides to lean down and kiss her. “Heya, gorgeous,” Shira purrs. “Whatcha thinkin’?”
“There’s something special I want you to do to me.”
“Hmmm. What’s that?”
“Will you spank me?”
Leila takes the mischievous look that comes over Shira’s face to mean yes.
In her bedroom, Shira sits at the edge of her bed, Leila’s naked body draped prone over her legs, and spanks her bare butt with undisguised glee. Leila shouts and whimpers, but begs her to hit harder. After Leila’s cries of pain transform into cries of pleasure and she’s about to reach climax, Aira bursts into the room in a panic, runs over to Shira, and grabs her hand to stop her from spanking. “No!” she sobs. “Please stop it!”
Leila shoots a look of annoyance back at Aira. Shira laughs. She strokes Aira’s head. “What’s wrong, darling?”
“Why are you punishing her?”
“What?” says Leila incredulously. “Nobody’s punishing anybody for anything.”
Shira winks. “Ai-chan, we’re doing this strictly for pleasure.”
“Nobody spanks people for pleasure!” protests Aira, confused.
“Leila, will you get up? Aira and I need to talk.”
Leila sighs. Reluctantly, she gets up. Shira stands up to kiss her. Leila says, “I’ll go pleasure myself while you two talk.”
“Okay.” Leila leaves and shuts the door. Shira gestures for Aira to come to her, holds her tight in her arms, and looks deep into her eyes. “Just so you understand, I want to talk about me.” Aira nods. “When I was half your age, I got in trouble in school and the teacher spanked me so hard that she ended up giving me a monster orgasm. I found I loved it so much, for years afterward I got in trouble just so I could get spanked, and I thrashed around and screamed just to make them angry enough to spank me harder, all the way to orgasm. Of course they were trying to punish me. But I turned their punishment into my pleasure. That’s why Leila and I were spanking each other. We’re doing it strictly for fun because we love to be spanked.”
Aira stares at Shira, wide-eyed and open-mouthed. Then she says quietly, “Sugoi.”
Shira laughs and kisses Aira on the lips. “Does Nenene punish you by spanking?” Aira nods sadly. Shira smiles at her. “The only reason I would spank you is for your pleasure. That’s why Leila asked me to spank her. Would you like to try it? Just for pleasure?”
Aira looks at her for a few seconds, not knowing what to think. Then she blushes, smiles, and nods.
“Okay!” Shira helps Aira onto the bed on her stomach and caresses her naked butt. “But first, I wanna kiss your butt before I spank it, and then I’ll kiss it again after I spank you. Okay?” Aira giggles as Shira showers her bare butt cheeks with soft kisses for a minute or two. Then Shira gets up onto the bed and caresses Aira’s butt again, and asks her, “Are you ready?” Aira looks at her with fear and anticipation, but nods. “The first time, you’ll probably still feel like you’re being punished. Let yourself cry all you want. Ready?”
Shira slaps Aira hard on the behind. She slaps her again and again. Aira screams, sobs, and squirms, but does not beg her to stop. Shira spanks her until she shudders and then collapses in exhaustion, stunned. Shira bends down to kiss her now red butt again. Suddenly she senses a presence; she turns her head to find Leila staring at them from the doorway.
“You were spanking Aira, weren’t you.”
Shira smiles sweetly. “It was her first time.” She looks back down at Aira. “How did you like it?”
Aira looks up at her. “Will you do it again? Please?”
Leila jumps onto the bed. “Can I do it too?” Aira nods enthusiastically. Shira and Leila happily spank Aira together.
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Copyright © 2010 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
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