Shira Thomas, the heroine of Spanner, tells the tale. One of her taller ones, to be sure. But in virtual reality, anything is possible...
The Assassination of Satan Claus:
A Yule-Wrecking Supervillain Story
A Yule-Wrecking Supervillain Story
The spy looks, talks, and acts like any other spy. If he didn't, he'd lose his job. The United Corporations don't like puny humans putting their grubby hands on their holy holy holy patents. And they patent everything. Normally they send the usual Keystone Gestapo to hunt down any and all violators. But this guy isn't EuroSec. He's from the Ministry of Intelligence. These guys hunt down suspected foreign agents. If he's one of their cyberenhanced elite superspies, I've got a special trick just for him.
He rattles off my name, rank, serial number, all that command and control crap. The Synarchy have a hierarchy fetish that drives us civilians up the wall. He takes his sweet old time before he starts trying to grill me, just to unnerve me. He fails: I keep my calm.
He intones in the typical spyboy monotone, "It seems you have come into possession of something very important that just happens to be ours."
"What, did I steal your boss's mistress? I hear she's got a thing for jailbait supersluts."
"Enough with the stupid jokes, Miss Clayton-Wilder." The Cartel lords may play nasty pranks on mere humans, but their agents are uniformly humorless. "This is a matter of National Security. The penalty for selling our secrets to the enemy is much worse than death."
"Yeah, yeah, I know all your penalties by heart, right down to the legalese detail. Thing is, they won't work. You can fine me, but your funny money's worthless. You can try putting me in one of your quote-unquote 'inescapable' superprisons, but there's no way you can hold an angel of chaos."
"Our prison technology is advanced enough to hold even Satan. But if you have stolen our most classified secrets as we strongly suspect, our revenge against you shall make it look like Satan got off easy."
"Au contraire, mon frère. I stole your precious thingie from Triad couriers your agents whacked. Your secrets? You swiped 'em all from the Chinks. Once again you're claiming something that's not yours. Just Corporatism acting like the troll on the bridge yet again. If you punish anybody, just try to punish the Chinese government you stole it from in the first place. Me, I got deniability, and you people know it."
"We can revoke your—" I interrupt him with a big kiss. He stands there stupidly. Prude.
"Sorry, massa, but I'm losing points right now, so I'm outta here yesterday." I throw a self-destructing one-way portal between us and slip through it. And I'm gone.
Stupid agent. Robots are more effective. Someday I'll use some of their own bots against them. Little do I know he's slipped a HyperTracer™ on me.
But I'm not concerned with that right now. Satan Claus is out grinching again. He's on a search and destroy mission to find any holiday party online and wreck it, leaving a lot of people out mucho moolah. He's hunting down and terminating every Santabot, elfbot, and angelbot he can find. One of my avatars just happens to be a Super Sexy Santabot. I switch to it.
I trace Satan Claus' location on the server and bamf to his coordinates. There he is, giant like a monster, looking like a scrawny Satan in a Santa suit, munching on screaming elfbots. I flit under his nose. He's so busy massacring elfbots that he doesn't notice me. So I ram his giant eye with my little angel avatar. Now he sees me. He takes a mighty swing of the giant arm, but I'm too fast. I laugh at him to taunt him. He roars like Godzilla on super steroids and swings both arms at the flitting phantom in front of him. But I dodge so fast he can't even see me.
I multilocate. Two of me fly into his ears and tickle his eardrums. Two more fly up his nostrils and tickle his sinuses. Two more fly down his pants, up his penis and anus, and tickle inside his urethra and rectum. He screams, shakes his head violently, hits himself, tries to scratch the itches that torture him. The last of me flies to the ground in front of him. With an insane roar, he picks up his foot to stomp on me.
The giant foot lands on me hard, squashing my avatar. But this is virtual reality, so cartoon physics apply. When he puts his full weight on me, I fly up and raise his leg to put him off balance so he falls backward. He lands with a thunderous boom that shakes the simulation floor. His giant avatar disappears; Boy Satan's withdrawn it.
The battle is on.
He sends a thundering herd of giant Satan-Santas after me, fat ones this time, all in a straight line. I calculate the distance between the ones on the end, set points not far in front of them and draw a line between them. Apparently these avatars can't jump: they all trip over the line, all at once. I manifest bombs under every one of them. They blow up as they land, all in unison.
Spanner 2, Boy Satan 0.
Boy Satan pops right in front of me, a pixie-size demon with black leather wings and pointy red tail, making me look like the giant this time. He yells at me, "Spanner! I thought the war against Christmas was your idea!"
I raise my hand in front of my mouth, fake a yawn, and say, "I just wanted to bug Lord News and his his fascist spewbots, but they're no fun anymore. I'm bored." Suddenly I snatch him out of the air and eat him. Me 3, him 0. I think he's angry now. I hope he's just angry at me.
He returns as a giant-monster Satan Claus avatar the size of all the previous ones combined. BFG time. I manifest a giant BFG 4G and divide myself again: several of me to hold it up, one to sight, one to pull the trigger. The blast vaporizes him. 4-0. He reappears, the size of a city. I launch a local tactical nuke at him. He explodes real pretty. 5-0. He appears in the sky, planet-sized. I summon me a planet smasher and fire. 6-0.
He can appear again and again, in multiple forms, because he's multilocating too. He's just tech savvy enough to know that infinity is possible in cyberspace. So he conjures an infinite army of MIBs and has them all point their rayguns at me.
"All right, you stupid bitch," he gloats. "You got what I want, an' I'm gonna get it. You think you're so smart, Spanner? You ain't got no choice now! Give it to me, or you're wiped!"
I strike a sexy pose. I'm seriously thinking of 'giving it to him' a, well, different way. But I I reach into my bustier, extract the datacube, and hold it out in the palm of my hand.
Boy Satan swipes it, holds it up in triumph, laughs at me and the world. "Ha! I proved I'm smarter than Spanner at last! Now I have the secret to conquering the whole virtual universe!"
The MIB horde turns on him. They fire laser bolt after laser bolt at him. The laser fire scrambles his code, and he starts to melt. His scream is so horrible and pathetic I almost feel sorry for him. I pity him, anyway. The MIBs are my weapon now. The true avatar of Satan Claus catches fire and burns into ash and useless code fragments. The HyperTracer™ code deconstructs along with him. I lose myself in the huge and growing crowd of hovering onlookers and switch into a naked evil-fairy avatar with a different serial number and user identity so the MIBs can't trace me. Satan Claus lets out a final loud "FUUUUUUUCK!!!" before he vanishes.
The MIBs disperse. Then the crowd does the same. Instead of going back to my cube, which by now is probably full of EuroSec sniffbots, I bamf into McLoco's secure secret chamber and direct-message him and some other hackers (Evil the Cat and the three Cockroach Twins) to join me there.
"This is starting to turn into a regular thing, Spanner," says McLoco.
"Hey, he shouldn't have been so baka. He shouldn't have annoyed me." Five hackers roll their eyes and sigh. They know that the worst thing you can do in the AlterVerse is annoy Spanner." Five hackers sigh. I remind them, "Expect him to come back for more. He's quite the glutton for punishment."
Moon Roach, the older woman in the chamber, giggles. "Why don't you, like, use your strap-on when you get offline."
"What for?" says Evil the Cat. "To spank him, or bugger him?"
The wicked "don't give me ideas" grin on my face makes the others nervous. "I think I'll try both this time."
Everybody laughs. They know I'm just crazy enough to do it.
Copyright © 2010 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
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