A man cannot spin a character out of his inner consciousness and make him really life-like unless he has the possibility of that character within him — a dangerous admission for one to make who has drawn as many villains as I.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
I have a nasty temper. I have a social conscience. When the two come together — watch out!
Or just read this chapter and find out just how evil a Dennis Jernberg villain can truly be.
In this case, the villains are Admiral Alan Fleer and his partner in crime, Honey Sue Falconer. I put my full fury into them. You want to know just what Team Spanner are up against? Consider this: Spanner is the most cynical gangster epic in the history of fiction. The word “gangster” is properly defined as the kind of serial killer that runs in packs. This explains the importance of the Slasher Hunters to the story. There is no tyranny without the most vicious gangsterism to back it up with terrorism. That’s right: tyranny, terrorism, and gangsterism are one and the same thing. It cannot be any other way. Cascadia’s ruling “Fearsome Foursome” — Admiral Alan Fleer, Governor J. Walter Brinkman, Seattle Mayor Rev. Luke Everson, and NPA Cascadia Section Chief John Cameron Brinkman — are mob lords, and Cascadia is their turf.
Is it any wonder that those Evangelical Christians who remained Christian despite the extreme temptation of power willfully risk their lives to call “Jesus America” the Antichrist?
So how does a hero take on such a synarchy of supervillains? Not by force. Not by mass protest, at least not at first. By hacking reality itself. Turn the spin against the spinmeisters. Take the battle to the enemy at a higher level. Make them fight you on your home territory. Strike the killing blow with weapons they cannot defend against.
Scenarios from the Project Notebooks of the late 1990s: the robot suicides and the Mexican standoff. Characters: the Skeever Brothers.
And now the battle is joined at last...
← ...from previous
Chaos Angel Spanner — Book 1: Rock City Blues
Chapter 19: Hackers of Reality
Chapter 19: Hackers of Reality
If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.
Whom the mad would destroy, first they make Gods.
Whom the mad would destroy, first they make Gods.
5 November 2011...15 October 2014
Robert Shelley is thirteen today. His beautiful uncle, Arvid Shield, gently kisses him on the lips. Rob says, “I’m scared.”
“I love you, and I only want you to be happy. But what you need is sexual healing. I’m going to make love to you. I promise to be gentle.”
“I hope you’re right.”
Arvid gently nudges Rob to turn over. He marvels at the boy’s beauty. He is just as gorgeous from behind as he is in front. He goes over to the dresser to take a hair ___ to tie up his hair and a tube of lubricant. Returning to the bed, he caresses and kisses the boy’s beautiful butt. Rob moans sweetly. “Relax,” says Arvid as he massages Rob’s anus. After a few minutes of this, Rob melts.
Arvid sticks the tube slightly into his anus and squeezes some lubricant into it. “It’s cold,” Rob giggles. He sticks a finger in and gently massages. When Rob’s rectal muscle relaxes, he inserts a second, and then a third, until he’s ready.
“I’m going to make love to you now. Are you ready?”
“I don’t care. Just do it.”
Slowly, gently, he slips his erect penis into the boy’s anus. “I’m going to teach you now. Relax.” Rob cries out when Arvid’s penis reaches his pleasure spot. When it’s in all the way, Arvid says, “Now squeeze as hard as you can.” Rob tries to crush the hard phallus as Arvid slowly extracts it.
Arvid repeats the movement over and over, bringing himself and the boy to escalating ecstasy and shattering climax. He falls on top of Rob and holds him gently. “See? It wasn’t that bad.”
“But why do you make love to me when Grandfather rapes me?”
“Because you are sweet and beautiful, and I love you.” Arvid gives Rob a long and passionate kiss. “Do you love me?”
“I’m in love with you too.”
“Would you like me to do it again?”
“Yes. Please do it.”
King Patriot ordered the police to bring order to the city, but the police became corrupt and robbed first the criminals and then the civilian masses. He ordered Minuteman to bring order, but they went on a violent rampage and indulged in gang wars. Frustrated with the treachery of men, he assigns an army of security robots to each city.
President Sarah AMERICA! says, “Your Highness! What about the loyal men and women who have fought and died for our nation?”
The king replies, “They have served Us well on the battlefield. But here at home, they have become corrupt and proved unworthy. We need absolute loyalty and men who obey Our orders without question.”
National Police Agency director Karl Radisson says, “Your Majesty, please remember what happened when we used the robots last. Are you willing to put them out there for him to use against us?”
The king replies, “Our technicians have improved their security. They can detect hacker attacks and trace the attackers so that you can dispose of them. Besides, how are you going to capture this Spanner unless you tempt him and then trap him?”
ferry terminal. Shira puts her finger to her mouth to signal silence. She brings Jennifer close and whispers into her ear, “Don’t let anybody say anything as long as those bots are around. Anything we say, we're saying in front of You Know Who.”
“I’m betting their mics are parabolic so they can hear for miles. I hope they don’t have remote brain scanners that can detect our thoughts.”
“I wouldn’t be surprised.”
bus. The King has decreed that at least one of his security androids must ride every public transit vehicle. The #24 from the ferry terminal is oppressively silent. The riders are too terrified to even breathe.
Except for the Bremeloes. They are utterly calm.
The virus on Shira’s phone works differently this time. Instead of directly infecting robots running Windows or iOS, it spreads to other devices running Android, which act as carriers. When two Android phones or tablets come close enough, the carrier spreads the virus; when two Android phones connect over the airwaves, they spread the virus. When the time comes, the copies will leap operating systems and wipe themselves from their original carriers. They will spread via iPhone and Windows Phone, and from there to the robots. Shira and Jennifer hacked it to leave no trace. Not even Henry Becket’s precogs will be able to trace it back to them.
school. The arrests of the Team Valiant fighters remains the talk of the school. Bart Green: vandalism that could cost him and his father millions. Vincent Corson and Roger Becket Skeever: rape. Child rape. Attempted rape-murder at that. That leaves Scotty Waters, Johnny Paine, and Lance Walker. They prefer to stay as far from Shira, and especially Leila, as possible.
Polly marvels at the cruel-looking androids scattered throughout the school. “How come all those copbots are here? Did we do anything wrong?”
Shira chuckles. “We were born not rich, that’s what. You know God only loves the rich.”
“Who said that?”
“Drusilla Becket herself.”
“God must especially love princesses,” says Polly sarcastically.
“Hey, they inherited the family jewels.”
noon. It begins within the sacred precincts of the Holy City arcology itself. In the towers filled with bureaucrats, in the halls of the police and spy agency headquarters, in the very courts of King Patriot and President Sarah AMERICA!, millions of identical security androids rip their heads off their bodies and hold them high.
“It’s him!” scream several agents.
“Trace him!” barks Director Radisson.
The wave of robot suicides sweeps down into Texas and across the nation in a radar arc. Millions upon millions of copbots decapitate themselves in Dallas and Houston; Atlanta and Miami; Charleston and Charlotte; the long megalopolitan corridor from Norfolk, Virginia to Portland, Maine; through the ruined cities of the Rust Belt and the urban oases of the Midwest and into the mountains; into Cascadia and down the West Coast into California; and finally coming back through the Minuteman-ruled desert cities of the Southwest.
Radisson stands before the king. “See? I warned about this possibility, Your Majesty.”
“This Spanner is resourceful. He is an extremely dangerous man. You must find him and destroy him before he can work his way to Us, and to Our people.”
lunch. The Fleer sisters stare in shock at the ruins of their great-grandfather’s mechanical legion. A few dozen robots stand motionless, holding their heads high above their bodies, useless. Some of them have already fallen to the floor. Shira, Jennifer, and Steve look at them far more skeptically.
“So what’s the verdict?” asks Steve.
“Not a Single Point of Vulnarability this time,” Jennifer replies, “unless you consider their OS to be one. Knowing how much bureaucrats love their ‘one size fits all’ solutions, that probably comes with the territory.”
“Easy for you to say!” cries Charmian.
Dorian hugs her twin sister from the side. “Aw, calm down, Charms.” She kisses her on the cheek. Charmian sighs.
Jennifer does not bother to look at them. “Well, you’re nontechnical, so I guess you wouldn’t understand.”
“I doubt the weapons techs at Dictel Research understand any better,” says Steve.
“That’s what we’re counting on. Who knows what their robot agents could end up doing?”
“Or what might happen if an enemy botnet jacks ’em.”
library. Team Bremelo hold an informal strategy meeting at the central table. All three librarians join them: Sally Hatfield, Kitty Carlisle, and substitute Christine Jordan.
“Now that we’ve won,” says Shira, “now what?”
“We can’t just take over and rule the school like Bart and Valiant Team did,” Jennifer adds. “We have to find some way to prove we’re better than them.”
“Yeah!” echoes Cory.
Karen stands up. “I know exactly what we need to do.”
“What’s that?” asks Shira skeptically.
“We’ve been talking about holding a rally against bullying at Peace Committee meetings. Now that there’s no more Valiant Team to break it up, now’s the right time to hold one.”
“Yeah, and attract all the gangsters in Cascadia,” says Cory.
“And their bought and paid-for cops, too,” adds Kio.
Shira stands up and leans on the table to look strategic. “That means we need to change our strategy, team.”
“To what?” say Cory and Kio.
“We’re the reigning Champions now, so fighting’s out of the question even if Pretty Team challenge us. Cory’s right when he says that just holding a rally against bullying will just attract bullies like flies; they’ll take it as a Challenge, and then we’re back to fighting. If we wanna hold a rally, we gotta distract the factions so their attention’s on each other and not us.”
Karen crosses her arms. “Shira and Cory, I love you to pieces, but I don’t believe we’ll be attracting all the gangs in the area.”
“Then you don’t know gangs, cousin. I used to scam gangsters, so I know for a fact that if gangsters believe in anything, it’s their Satan-given divine right to bully anybody at any time. They take protests like this as a personal attack on their manhood, especially when girls lead ’em. You and I, cousin, just happen to be girls. Since our act will nullify their manly warrior honor, they have no choice but to kill us and rape our corpses. That’s what happened to the last several such protest rallies. The Government didn’t need to bring in the cops, just use ’em as backup for the gangster backlash. We need to get the hardmen to defile each other’s honor first before we can even think of publicly protesting. That means disinformation and misdirection. That requires hackers, not fighters. Jen, Ken, and Steve, let’s hightail it to the studio.”
KCUF studios. Shira leads her handpicked Team Bremelo delegation to the studio: Jennifer, Connor, Steve, Ken, Cory, and the Shelley twins. Deth Pussy greets them in the lobby. “Yo, babe! What brings you guys here on a school day?”
“The school Peace Committee’s been planning to hold a rally against bullying for some time, and now that Bart and his goons are finished, they think now’s the perfect time.”
Deth holds his hands out in a “stop” gesture. “Whoa, whoa, whoa! Not in this dictatorship!”
“I told Cousin Karen about all the gangs just itching to crash the party. I also told her what we need to do to ’em before we can even think of anything democratic-sounding, so that’s why we’re here.”
“You wanna spread some rumors? That’s easy. You could do that on your own.”
“Actually, I want the Government to start denying things. Starting with their incestuous relationship with the Mafias.”
“You’re saying, denial’s gonna help you guys? Get real, babe.”
“I’m talking about that very important principle of tyranny, the Law of Plausible Deniability. If the government and its official media deny something, that something is true by definition even if it’s false.”
“Let me get this straight. You say some funky shit about the Man. The Man denies it.”
“And then because the Man says it’s false, it’s true. That about right?”
“Exactly! So the Law of Plausible Deniability allows us to use disinfo as a weapon. Remember what J.T. said? Most of the cops he knows are moles, working for either the enemy or the Mobs. We can use that against ’em, and that’ll give us civilians a little more leeway. What say you?”
Deth shouts to the whole studio crew. “Hey, anybody up for a Plausible Deniability campaign?” The entire studio erupts in cheers of assent. He holds out his hand toward the studio door and bows to Shira. “Have at.”
Desiree Richter-Thomas: Reports are coming in from various cities showing National Police Agency operatives accepting bribes from known figures of the Syndicates...coffee shop. J.T. asks Shira, “Why are they denying it?”
Director Radisson: There are rumors going around that the National Police Agency has been infiltrated by crime syndicates. They are rumors. There are no Syndicate moles in the NPA.
Section Chief Becket: There are no Mob moles in the Agency! How many times do I have to repeat it?
ABCNN: The National Police Agency has denied any infiltration by Mob agents—
QVCBS: NPA Director denies any moles in the Agency—
ESPNBC: Director Radisson is denying that there are any Syndicate moles—
Sun: Officials of the National Police Agency deny—
Fox: The National Police Agency has issued an official denial—
“Because it’s true. C’mon, you told me yourself.”
“I never thought I’d see them all officially denying it.”
“We figured since they don’t like reality anyway, we’d give ’em a dose. They also seem to be operating on the assumption that what they don’t know won’t hurt ’em.”
“And they haven’t heard of the Law of Plausible Deniability.” J.T. takes a sip of his double Americano. “Where’d you guys get that, anyway?”
“Communism, of course. Then America became the Soviet Union, so we applied the famous old CIA jargon phrase to it, and it stuck. It deals with truthiness, actually.”
“Or what’s not truthy, in this case.”
“By the way, how’s the ‘Rebel Rebel’ investigation going?”
J.T. laughs. “Everybody knows who’s behind it already, but we know she’s shielded by Incorporation privilege. But we’ve managed to follow her trail to all sorts of underground child pornographers. Some of ’em are pretty nasty work.”
hospital. The Skeever Brothers, warrior sons of politically powerful oil trader and weapons dealer Billy Bob Skeever, all by different mothers, assemble around their kid brother’s bed. The oldest is Johnny; the biggest is Geordie; the meanest is Tony; the craziest is Eddie. That’s Eddie Evil, lead singer (sic) of hate metal band Gang. They glare down at young Roger Becket Skeever, the only brother whose mother is a Becket.
“I’m told,” growls Johnny Skeever, “you got your dick handed to you by a girl.”
“You know what the bitch told me?” snarls Beck bitterly. “She said, ‘I’m more man than you’ll ever be.’ Now the doctor says I won’t be able to fuck for six months. Bitch’s fuckin’ crazy, man.”
“Well, you’re fuckin’ stupid for hanging around fuckin’ Vinnie Corson. Fucker’s brain’s in his dick, and now he ain’t got no more brain.”
“You think that Thomas bitch’s crazy?” adds Eddie. “You should see that Eurotrash girlfriend of hers.”
“You mean she’s got a girlfriend?” marvels Geordie.
“Leila Renata Shelley, AC/DC fashion model, ninja goth girl, and total fucking nutcase,” Beck explains. “So fuckin’ psycho, she and her pretty-boy faggot twin brother got kicked right out of Pretty City.”
“That’s fucked, man.”
Eddie shakes his head violently. “Talk about fucked, did you see her slice and dice Frankie Becket’s devil man into bite size bits?”
“We was fuckin’ trying to sacrifice some fuckin’ Wog bitches to the Devil, and here come fuckin’ Shira Thomas and her crazy-ass Eurotrash ninja girlfriend with the fuckin’ Slasher Hunters to fuck everything up.”
“Shit, that’s fucked.”
Johnny says, “We’re gonna have to do something to fuck that bitch up.”
“And her crazy-ass ninja girlfriend.”
Beck moans, “You go after those chicks, you guys better be really fuckin’ careful.”
Johnny crosses his arms and looks at Beck like he’s nuts. “What the fuck are you sayin’, Beck? You afraid of a couple of fuckin’ girls?”
“Fuck the Slasher Hunters, bro. It’s the girls. You better be afraid of those two. They’re fuckin’ nuts.”
Yoyodyne Arcology. Yoyodyne chairman George Cantrell gives Director Radisson the grand tour of the Defense Robotics Division’s main factory just outside Colorado Springs. “We’ve improved our manufacturing processes to make it faster and easier to manufacture more of the robots you need, Director.”
“I think it’s more important to pay better attention to your software, Mr. Chairman. The problem isn’t the hardware. We have to deal with foreign spies and malicious hackers who have been working their way deep into their operating systems.”
“I’m afraid you’ll have to speak with Apple or Microsoft about that. We just buy their operating systems and run our control programs over that. Better yet, I’d suggest you go to Symantec and Network Associates. They specialize in software security systems.”
“We need better than that. We need hardware security. At Agency headquarters, our central system uses dedicated hardware firewalls that keep all but the most insanely dedicated criminal hackers out.”
“Well then, I’m afraid you’re dealing with the most insanely dedicated criminal hackers. Our on-board security is among the best in the business, good enough to win several industry awards.”
“Remember the name of Spanner, then. You’ll be hearing a lot more of it.”
16 October 2014
Shira’s apartment. As soon as they wake up, Shira and Leila make love with fierce desperation. After they’re done in bed, they get into the shower and make love some more while they wash each other’s bodies. They eat breakfast with Hope and Aira, then brush and floss their teeth together at the bathroom sink. Shira throws herself onto the living room couch; Leila lies on her back on top of her, and Shira puts her hands on her beautiful soft breasts.
“Do we have to go to school today?” asks Leila.
“Why not? Technically, we rule it now.”
“I’m just tired of all the fighting.”
“That’s mostly over, now that the major bullies are all in jail, in hospital, or running scared. We can take the mean girls, no prob.”
“I just wanna rest for a while.”
“You can always sleep in class.”
“The teachers’ll only yell at me.”
“Tell ’em, ‘Don’t bother me.’ Or just take a nap in one of the study rooms. Me, I’m sticking around. Karen’s got a plan, and I gotta be in on it.”
KCUF studios. The studio crew watch the police march the streets to protest the accusation that they’re owned by the Mafias. Deth Pussy laughs.
“What the hell is that?” asks Evil the Cat.
“That, O my comrade, is Plausible Deniability gone berserk.”
One of Shira’s songs plays on Deth’s phone. He presses “talk”. “Yo babe! What the fuck’s up?”
“You watching the pigs collectively deny they’re crooks?”
“Got it on three screens, babe.”
“Just look at ’em. What solidarity they’re showing! If they keep it up, people will start actually believing ’em!”
“So whatcha thinking? Start a police war or something?”
“Police war is exactly what I have in mind. But it has to look like the gang war it is. Otherwise, they won’t prove our point that the Mafias own the cops.”
“So what do you have in mind?”
“Let’s not go the TV route this time.”
“Are you thinking what I think you’re thinking?”
“I heard a rumor...”
Minuteman Command Center, Colorado Springs. Shawna AMERICA! sits on her throne like a cruel queen. One of her commanders enters the tent and salutes. “Commander! The Wops are raiding our supply lines!”
“I won’t take their shit! Go fuck ’em up!”
Don Gennaro’s mansion, Atlantic City. The Italian Mafia leader’s consigliere enters his boss’ office as the Don pours himself a scotch.
“What is it, Rico?”
“Don! The Honkies are making revenge attacks against us for no apparent reason. What should we do?”
“Deal with it.”
Public Safety Building, Seattle. Agent Vito Paglia pulls a gun on Agent Russ Williamson. “You Honkies have been robbing us.”
Williamson pulls his pistol on Paglia. “Bullshit. You’re robbing us.”
The two shoot each other. Soon, Paglia’s Mafia comrades are battling Williamson’s Minuteman comrades to the death. The shooting war soon engulfs police headquarters as cop shoots cop on behalf of the Mafias. Then the shooting spreads to the streets. Cops join hitmen to kill cops belonging to rival gangs. The same thing repeats over and over in city after city throughout the country and into the farthest colonies of the Empire.
Desiree Richter-Thomas: Breaking news: Gang war has broken out within the National Police Agency! Gang-affiliated policemen are waging war against fellow police officers belonging to rival gangs. Some fear anarchy on the streets...“This Spanner is starting to inflict damage on us,” says Jack Becket through gritted teeth.
“Maybe this Spanner fellow has a point,” says Karl Radisson over the vidphone. “He can help us purge the Agency of criminal and foreign agents. Then we can be a united and effective force again, and we can take the war to the enemy.”
“I don’t know about that, Chief. That Spanner guy’s starting to scare me.”
school library. Members of Team Bremelo join the Peace Committee at their planning meeting. Polly comes up to Shira, crosses her arms, and says, “Shira, what are you doing? How come we’ve got police officers killing each other?”
“Just think. Control the police, and you control the country. So all the gangs are always trying to take over the police. The more they turn on each other, the less they’ll unleash their usual fury against the people. Besides, didn’t you see the police commanders eat their denials on live national TV?”
Polly sighs. “You don’t get it. They’re supposed to be protecting the people.”
“I’m afraid you don’t get it, Polly darling. The purpose of the police is to protect the leaders against the people. Our leaders include not just the Beckets and the Cons and Corps, but the Dons. Mobsters, mercenaries, and terrorists are all trying to be the police. That’s simply what they do. Refocus their attention toward each other, and maybe then we the people can have some actual room in which to act.”
Karen kicks off the meeting with her usual infectious enthusiasm. From the beginning, it’s clear she is in control, applying what she learned as head cheerleader, and as a Soka Gakkai Young Women’s Division leader. “Okay now, so far we’re taking an entire school day off for this.”
“How about the Monday before the election?” asks Kitty.
Sally suggests, “No, let’s do it the Monday before the Monday before the election. We gotta let ’em know we’re serious and won’t put up with their crap. Besides, just one day before the election’ll give ’em all the excuse they need to put a stop to it altogether.”
“That puts Halloween between us and the election, then,” adds Connor. “That should give them the distraction we need.”
“Connor,” says Shira, “they don’t need to hit us with strike cops. They can always send the gangs.”
Courtney asks, “Isn’t that why you’re tricking the gangs into fighting each other?”
“To keep ’em off our butts while we send the Man a message.” Shira laughs.
Karen admonishes her. “Don’t forget, Shira, that we have to keep this peaceful at all times.”
“You know, that’s exactly why the gangs are taking this as a personal insult to their manhood and warrior honor. It’s a girl thing to them. Their steroid-addled brains can’t handle it.”
Cory shifts the subject back to logistics. “So where do we assemble. Outside the front door, on Thirteenth?”
Shira draws a circle on the map. “That’s where we’d be most visible, so yeah.”
principal’s office. “What’s this about a protest?” demands Falconer.
Rachel answers, “The Peace Committee’s planning to stage an organized protest. So far as I found out, it’s against bullying as institutionalized in the Tournament, and also in favor of real education as opposed to the Sunday-school variety required by the Department of Education.”
“This is insubordination! I’ll have the whole lot of them arrested!”
“That’s why they’re planning to protest, Major. Shira in particular says they’re not taking your threats seriously, because your authority has been tainted by drug and sexcrime charges you have yet to answer to.”
“ Fleer, what are you looking at?”
Christie stares into the face of the woman her father is cheating on her mother with. “You know she’s right, Major. I’m looking at the one who’s destroying all the love and respect I have for Father. As much as I hate Shira Thomas, I have to say she’s right. Why shouldn’t we protest against an administration that’s turned criminal? I’m even beginning to think that Bart himself would agree.”
“No, Christie,” says Rachel, “Bart would definitely agree with the Major. He thinks only with his fists, and that’s why he’s in trouble. Besides, Major, wasn’t it his brother you were buying those steroids from in the surveillance videos, right before you went to get caught committing sin with Christie’s father?
“Silence!” shrieks Falconer. “I won’t have it! You will get out of my sight until you’ve taken care of those traitors and destroyed their plans! Do you hear me? Go!”
Terrified of a woman they now believe has lost all her remaining sanity, Rachel and Christie hasten out the door. As soon as they leave, Falconer rushes back to the Vice Principal’s office and calls her lover on the school’s unencrypted analog landline. Little do they know Echelon’s more than just listening in. Unknown to them, or to Echelon, Shira has convinced it that a drug deal’s going down, and terrorism may be involved.
Fleer sounds surprised. “Honey! Why are you calling me this late at night?”
“I’m handing you Karen Kubota on a silver platter, lover.”
“I’m busy, Honey!”
“Your faithful daughter Christian has just gifted us with proof that our soon-to-be ex-head cheerleader is committing treason. You have to come help me destroy her.”
“But my wife—”
“We’ll deal with your wife soon enough. But first, you have to help me do away with that goody-goody jap traitor and that whore cousin of hers. Because of them, the rabble knows everything about us!”
“I’ll send some men—”
“No! You’ll come personally! You’ll help me destroy that goody-goody jap bitch! You will torture her! I’ll make sure the King himself proclaims you a Hero of the Nation. Then I will help you dispose of your wife, and then we’ll get rid of those faggot Beckets and I shall crown you king.”
“Yes, Honey Bunny. I’m coming immediately.”
Washington Avenue. Karen skips happily up the street toward her cousin Shira’s flat when she suddenly finds herself surrounded by enraged cops.
“Freeze! Get down on the ground now! You’re under arrest for insubordination and treason!”
Falconer has none of their patience. Before they can tase her, she leaps out of the nearest squad car, jumps Karen, and holds her from behind. “Now I got you, little witch! I’m gonna kill you myself and all your peacenik traitor friends!” She bites Karen’s ear as hard as she can, hoping to bite it off.
“Honey! Don’t be a fool!” shouts Admiral Fleer. Alan James Fleer is a big man, tall and stout, a former weightlifting champion and professional wrestler. He towers over Karen and Falconer like a Viking warrior king and glares down at Karen with the Berserker’s blood fury. “Peace,” he spits. “You want peace.” He grabs Karen by the throat, right out of Falconer’s arms, and holds her up by one hand to his hate-contorted face. “You’re desecrating the sacred honor of all the warriors who ever sacrificed their lives for America! That’s worse than treason! That’s blasphemy!”
With his mighty fist, Big Al Fleer punches Karen in the stomach as hard as he can.
Fifteenth Street. Rachel Brinkman and her brother Bob walk up the hill as they go home from school.
Suddenly Leila stands in their way, glaring at them with an ugly look of pure hatred on her beautiful face. “You monsters!” she shrieks. “You had to do it, didn’t you?”
“Leila, calm down—”
Leila knocks him down with a vicious roundhouse kick to the jaw. “Karen’s dead! You murdered her! Now you’re gonna join your mistress Honey Bunny in Hell!”
Rob runs toward them and cries out, “Leila! Don’t—”
Leila ignores her brother and unleashes a flurry of vicious punches onto Rachel; when Rachel falls, Leila sits down on her and tries to strangle her. Bob hits her in the back. She turns around, scratches him like an maddened cat, then gets up and kicks him in the groin five times hoping to rupture his testicles, then launches a stomp kick up into his jaw, knocking him down.
Rob grabs Leila from behind and struggles to restrain her. “Leila! Stop it! You’re not Honey Bunny! Don’t lower yourself to her level!”
Leila goes limp and shudders with uncontrollable sobs. “But they killed Karen...”
“Karen’s alive, Leila. Fleer’s got her. We’re gonna get her out. Believe me.”
Rachel and Bob struggle to their feet and stare back at Leila in terror. They’re too scared of their cousin to say anything, not even in protest. They run away from her, back up the hill, when a large vehicle skids to a stop next to the twins.
Slasher Hunter van. Lars leans out the passenger-side window. “Hey, gorgeous. You called?”
“You guessed right,” says Leila. Arisa opens the sliding door and pulls Leila in. Rob stays behind in hope that he can help their cousins.
Arisa buckles Leila in and holds her tight. “You don’t look too happy tonight,” she says.
Through tears and gritted teeth, Leila explains, “You have no right to be happy when your own cousins cash in the one good person in the whole school and get a pat on the head from the head of their mob. Do you realize what kind of princess I am? Mafia! Did you know the Brinkmans come from Traveller stock? Repulsive redneck filth who got rich off crime! We’re descended from Sawney fucking Bean!”
The van screams to a sudden stop. “Jesus H. Christ!” gasps Lars. “You mean the Cannibal King of Scotland?”
“The very one. It’s even worse than that. The Beans were werewolves. They inbred to keep their evil powers strong. After King James — yes, that one — had the clan massacred for treason, the survivors changed their names several times. One branch called Lachlann married into the Cromwells and then raised their blood, as we put it, by marrying into the Hanovers and turning Dragonite. You know them as the Beckets.”
“Dragonite, as in Dracula?”
“The whole aristocracy of Europe are one clan, and that clan is the House of Dracula. So yes. We — the Brinkmans, I mean — turned Dragonite by marrying Byrons and then Beckets. But Brinkmans aren’t vampires like the decadent Beckets. Those rabid curs prefer raw human flesh. You know why Grandfather looks like he’s overdosing on steroids? He’s half-transformed to keep himself invulnerable. You can’t kill him, not even with spent uranium shot from a railgun.”
From the back seat, J.T. says, “We’ve been tracking him for years.”
Leila gasps and spins in her seat to stare at the MIB without sunglasses slouching fashionably in back. “You?!”
As Lars puts his foot back on the accelerator, J.T. explains calmly. “Wondering why Big Al Fleer’s probably raping Karen on camera as we speak? No, it’s not ’cuz they’re trying to get at Shira through her goody-goody cousin. It gets even better than that. As long as Saudi America remains an empire, our lords and masters can do whatever the fuck they please, even kill and enslave the masses for fun and games. So Duke Wally, Big Al, Lucky Luke, and One-Eye Jack get to run their steroid ring. Your Grampa Wally’s the guy behind the dogfights, by the way. Nostalgia thing. Used to be the Brinkman family business back in Scotland before the Beckets introduced ’em to piracy and slave trading. These guys are power-hungry egomaniacs. People power threatens their egos. The election goes through, their egos’ll go pop and they’ll die from the narcissistic wounds. Terrorism’s how gangsters become the government. Now that we know you’re on our side, we know you’ll help us bring these psychopaths down and cash ’em in. They’re high on Interpol’s most-wanted list. I hear they pay handsomely.”
“I’m not like Shira. I don’t care about the money.”
“It’s about justice, right?”
“You could say that.”
J.T. smiles. “Good. Now I can tell you the real reason why Big All kidnapped sweet Karen.”
“So what is the reason?”
“That rally of yours? That’s not really a rally, and the Fearsome Foursome know it. It won’t stay a student rally, either.” He leans closer to Leila. “It’s a revolution.”
“That’s right, kid,” says Lars.
“And you wanna know the great secret behind Spanner?”
“Please tell me,” says Leila. “I’m dying to know.”
“For all their single-minded devotion to corruption, the Cons are a revolutionary vanguard. How do you bring down a revolutionary vanguard? You turn the people against them. You get them to withdraw the sanction of the victim. The traditional American way of doing that is by setting someone up as a folk hero. An outlaw like Jesse James, a vigilante like John Brown, an insurrectionist like Che or Malcolm X, a hero activist like Gandhi or MLK. Spanner’s an outlaw, a vigilante, an insurrectionist, and a hero activist. But best of all, there’s the martyrs: Lincoln, Gandhi, Malcolm, King, Lennon, Mandela. Right now, Karen’s being spun as a traitor. We turn her into a martyr. Her Buddhist group’s got precedents: its founders, Makiguchi and Toda, got thrown in prison for treason against the Last Shogun. His goons whacked Makiguchi. Toda lived. The most dangerous martyr of all is the one that lives. Trotsky. Toda. Mandela. Now Karen, if we can spring her. That’s my job.”
“What does that have to do with Spanner?”
“Everything. Don’t you know who Spanner is?”
“Who is he?”
“She. You’re sleeping with her.”
“Oh my god—”
Eleventh and Callow. Suddenly, the van runs into a black stretch Hummer. Three MIB-dressed mobsters jump out and hold their AKs at the Hunters. Lars and Arisa grab rifles of their own and point back. Leila grabs Lars’ pistol, and J.T. takes out his own. “Freeze!” he shouts. “Put your guns down!”
Arvid Shield gets out of the Hummer, shakes his beautiful long black hair, and approaches the Hunters without pulling his pistol. He gestures his men to go back. In horror and rage, Leila shrieks, “You!”
“Calm down, Leila,” says Arvid to his irrational niece. “Your rage is what he wants.”
J.T. runs up beside Arvid and holds his Beretta at his head. “Don’t do anything stupid, Brinkman. Just give me what you got on the Duke. I want everything!”
Arvid laughs and smiles ironically at J.T. “Don’t you realize, Agent Sparks? You have it already.”
“I gave it to Shira, remember? I sacrificed my body itself when I was young, just so I could help you destroy Walter Brinkman. You have the evidence, now destroy him with it! You want more, I’ll give it to you!”
“Then do it.”
“Do you want to know why Leila’s in such a state? I’ll tell you. Father raped her. Her and her brother. Over and over and over. He deliberately intended to drive Leila and Robert to incurable madness.”
Leila stares on in horror, gun shaking, as the memories overcome her. She breaks out in uncontrollable sobs. She drops Lars’ pistol; J.T. catches her as she collapses. “Is he right?” he asks her. “Did he do it?” Unable to speak, she nods violently.
Arvid holds out his arms. “Leila, come with me. Please.”
“Why should I?” she wails.
“Because I love you. Come, Leila.”
She stands up, stares at her with tears streaming down her cheeks, then sighs. “Okay,” she says in resignation.
J.T. tries to hold her back. “Wait—”
“No. It’s okay.” Leila smiles at him through her tears. Then she throws herself into her beautiful uncle’s arms and cries as hard as she can. Arvid kisses her on the forehead and the cheek.
Lars and Arisa lower their rifles and stare at each other in disbelief.
Arvid walks Leila back to his car, consoling and kissing her. When they’re in, the doors close, and the Hummer drives away, J.T. raises both fists high and lets out a roar of triumph.
“What was that for?” asks Arisa skeptically.
J.T. shouts, “Wally Brinkman, I got you by the fucking balls!” He unclenches his fists and makes a crushing gesture.
17 October 2014
Arvid’s mansion. Leila cries herself to sleep in her uncle’s arms. When she wakes up, he is carrying her through the open front door, past the guards, into his mansion. “You’re not going to rape me, are you?” she asks.
“No,” he says gently. “I’m going to undo what he did to you. I’m going to give you sexual healing you need. I’m going to make love to you gently. Don’t be afraid, Leila. I love you.” He kisses her gently on the lips.
He lowers her to her feet near the bathroom. He orders a pair of nude and shower-capped maids to remove her dirty and sweat-drenched school clothes and bathe her. The luxurious bathroom looks like it belongs to a European queen. The maids guide Leila into the huge bathtub filled with hot bubbly water and enter with her. They sponge her body, slowly, gently, firmly. She shifts positions when they ask her to; she lets them touch her because she likes it. “You can use your hands if you want,” she says. They pass on her offer of pleasure and keep professional. After they bathe her and wash her hair, they drain the tub and shower her skin with warm water. The three of them get out together. The maids each take a towel and dry Leila’s skin. As she walks out toward her already nude uncle, the maids dry each other off. Leila throws herself into Arvid’s arms and kisses him as hard as she can.
In his bed, he caresses and kisses her body. She surrenders to his expert touch. He caresses, kisses, sucks, nibbles her breasts. She begs him for more. He squeezes, kisses, bites her soft buttocks, tongues her anus and penetrates it with his gently tongue. She moans and cries with pleasure. He turns her over; he caresses her nether lips, opens them wide, kisses them, tongues and nibbles them, kisses inside her sweet wet cunt; he rubs her hypersensitive clitoris with his teeth and tongue, making her scream in unbearable ecstasy. He slips his tongue into her cunt and eats her to a shattering orgasm. She begs him to enter her; she grabs hold of his hard penis and guides into her cunt. Slowly he slips his penis into her cunt. When it is all the way in, she grabs it with the full strength of her vaginal muscles, tries to crush it; he slowly withdraws it. She relaxes as he reenters her. They make love to each other with all their might; they do battle till they win and lose together; when Leila feels him come to climax and realizes he’ll be done, she pinches the base of his penis shut and begs, “Don’t stop! Please don’t stop!” They fight their way to the doors of heaven, storm it, stretch out their angel wings, and become one—
A bright morning greets her as she wakes up in his arms. “I love you, Artie.”
“I’ve always adored you.” He gives her a long gentle kiss.
“Why are you doing this? I’m your niece, and I’m only fifteen.”
“You’ll be sweet sixteen soon. But you’ve already been a woman for a long time. I became your brother’s lover nearly three years ago. That’s why he could recover from the trauma.”
“Oh my god... Isn’t it illegal?”
“We’re outlaws, remember? We’re above the law. We can do anything we want.”
“Yes...” She abandons her worries, rolls onto him, and kisses him as long and passionately as she can.
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Copyright © 2011 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
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