Third Edition Update, 9/3/11: There may not be any major changes here, but they pave the way for even greater changes to come in the wake of the new developments (as of this writing) in Chapters 14 and 15. As the new Third Edition versions post, watch especially for Leila’s arc; it’s about to get a lot more interesting, especially in the leadup to the important events of Chapters 8 and 9. One addition from the original manga idea is the “character taglines”; in fact, the earliest of them, those for Shira and Leila, date back to 1994 and sum up their characters.
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Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 1: Spanner in the Works
Part 1: I Can See for Miles (Revision 3)
Part 1: I Can See for Miles (Revision 3)
spanner: Brit for monkeywrench
19 august 2014.
morning in america.
Posted by LocaFantoma99 to MyTube on 19 August 2014:
[The cheerful face of a beautiful dark-skinned redhead appears on screen. The green eyes, large sharp nose, and wild hair identify her clearly as Shira Thomas. Some records say she is seventeen years old and others say fourteen, yet she has the maturity of someone several years older. She speaks in a strong, deep, almost boyish voice.]
Hi again! [waves] It’s me, La Loca Fantoma, the teenage nuisance, back to bother you yet again. Some of you are wondering why I still get to shoot off my big mouth when so many other people are getting shut down and even disappeared. Well, like they say, it’s a dirty job, and somebody’s gotta do it. [winks] O my ever-faithful fans, I won’t shut up till They shut me up. But They know what I can do to them, so They’re afraid to touch me. At least for now, anyway.
I know you’re worried about me. We’ve all been living on the edge for the past two years. It’s been hard times for almost everybody since the war came home. Yeah, I’ve made a lot of enemies. But I had a lot of enemies before I started, and I inherited some of ’em from my Evil Stepmother.
Everybody knows how these things are supposed to go. Pretty girl starts a video blog on YouTube and Facebook, gets involved with secretive cult and sinister conspiracy, gets whacked in mid-vlog a year later, vlog gets outed as fiction. Well, I’m real, and I’ve been here for over five years now, and I’m still here.
I hear some people are saying I’m the last hope for the Reality-Based Community. Noooo — YOU are. What’s your pill, red or blue? If you can’t save the world, nobody can. Me, I just pass the word on.
On a parting note, I’ve just found out that the new rich old toy boy collected by my Evil Stepmother, the Great and Holy Prophet Drusilla Becket, Incorporated, is a dirty old dog. Evil Stepmother had better keep her Mr Albert J. Pernell on a tight leash if she doesn’t want yet another embarrassing scandal to blow up in her face. Oh yeah, and knight B4 to D5. Checkmate. [winks]
Hang in there, everybody. [waves] See ya!
expect the unexpected
expect the unexpected
dreamspace. The beautiful magical girl with long black hair tries and tries to dispel the darkness devouring the world. But the more she fights the darkness, the more viciously the darkness attacks the world, until it is destroyed. Helplessly she watches herself transform into a monstrous evil witch born from the darkness, a horror of pure entropy. For the darkness is her own despair, flowing from her like tears—
halfway house, Los Angeles. Leila Shelley, disgraced teenage fashion model, wakes up screaming, sitting bolt upright. She pants heavily as if she has just run a marathon’s distance from a serial killer. Her violet eyes are full of panic. Her bobbed black hair is pasted to her head by drenching sweat. She looks around her. She finds herself sitting completely naked among the blasted ruins of her bed. She takes in several deep breaths to calm herself down.
A beautiful red rose that once stood proudly on the nightstand now lies next to the shattered bed among the shards of its vase. Outside the window, thick smog from millions of commuting cars has turned the morning sky red.
Her two terrified roommates emerge from the closet. One black, one Mexican, they are heroin addicts here in hopes of kicking the habit. The Mexican girl says, “Didn’t you say those nightmares make you wanna die?”
The black girl adds, “So when you gonna kill yourself?”
Leila shoots a murderous look at them. They hide back in the closet and slam the door.
She hears clattering outside her door. Someone throws the door open, and several people rush in, led by the treatment center’s head nurse. The others gasp when they see the devastation.
“It was the drugs again, wasn’t it,” says the nurse, annoyed.
Leila gets up without bothering to dress. “No. What I used to take the drugs for,” she says in a soft Irish accent. “They didn’t work.”
“I don’t believe you.”
“I don’t care.”
“That furniture was expensive! If you cost us any more money, we’re sending you back to you’re grandfather to do to you as he wills!”
“No you won’t.” Leila and the head nurse glare at each other. The other residents, concerned for Leila, start cleaning up the mess.
Suddenly the door flies open. “Mum!” cries Leila joyfully. Three women burst into the room, two of whom look like Leila: her mother Taylor Brinkman, a tattooed gothpunk singer in black Sexy Kunoichi gear; her cool elegant aunt Ariel Shield; and her redheaded younger sister Fiona Shelley.
The head nurse tries to keep them away from Leila. “You are not authorized to be here! Leave the premises or we shall call the cops! Guards!”
Taylor shoves her sideways across the room into a wall. Ariel gets between her and Leila; she coldly commands, “Don’t interfere.” Fiona takes Leila by the hand and pulls her to her feet. Leila’s fellow residents throw clothes to her; she quickly slips on a long printed T-shirt and flip-flops. The four women rush to the door. A small army of guards find themselves confronting two scary beauties in all black.
The security chief barks, “Stop! or we’ll have you arrested for trespassing, maybe even kidnapping!”
Ariel snaps, “Get out of our way.”
“You are not supposed to be here!”
Taylor glances back at Leila, then retorts: “Neither is she. Now let us through.”
The guards look at each other, then at the women. Then they let them pass through. Taylor, Ariel, Fiona, and Leila walk away down the hall to the front door and out into the ominous rush-hour smog. Wanting to get in the last word, the security head fires an ineffectual parting shot at the unheeding women: “Don’t think you’ll get away with this!”
Leila Renata Shelley
kiss the razor’s edge
kiss the razor’s edge
the streets, Washington, D.C. In the imperial capital of the world, two warriors in battle uniform are on a mission. Oliver Thorwald, tall and lean, a young Corporate scion turned special forces soldier, and his short clownish point man from the old Confederacy (now the Holy Christian People’s Royal Republic of the Confederate States of New Israel), Johnny-Johnny Johnson, stride confidently up the sidewalk, searching for their target. The Honorable Senator George C. Ryder, a prominent leader of the Conservative Revolutionary Party, has been caught sexually corrupting a child, yet he has used his Party connections to get away with baby rape. As soon as they came back from the oil war in Siberia, Drusilla Becket, Supreme Shepherd of the Church of America, summoned them to purge him with extreme prejudice.
From the other direction, U.S. Marshal Gloria Wright and her assigned COPCO agent, James Sparks, track the same prey. Homeland Security Secretary Karl Radisson commanded them to bring the Senator back alive to stand trial. Wright, one of the last African-American female agents remaining in the National Police, intends to prove herself once and for all by catching this predator. Sparks’ pale face, half-hidden behind bushy dark hair, has the anonymous beauty of the surgically Resculpted; he merely hopes a successful mission will get him his long-promised raise at last.
Down the street, high-volume Party sound trucks scream to a Patriot Country soundtrack that America is God and unfaith is treason, while police sirens warn any traffic in their path to get out of the way Or Else. The people on the sidewalks crowd their way to the curb to gawk. Senator Ryder’s pursuers struggle their way to the front. Sparks finds himself distracted by the excited squeals of teenage fangirls that point his attention toward a tall young woman with cinnamon skin, beautiful green eyes, a large sharp nose, and a wild shock of unmanageable red hair, sporting a midnight blue MMA Force baby tee, Sexy Catholic Schoolgirl microskirt, and cyberpunk-fashion augmented-reality goggles perched over her eyes. She adjusts her mirrorshades with the long slender index finger of her fighting-gloved left hand. Wright yanks him away by the arm. “You know her?”
He shrugs. “Who doesn’t?”
“Well, get back to work, fanboy. This mission is way too urgent.”
Johnson stands next to the girl and snarls in revulsion at the ugliness he perceives in her dark skin. She gets a horrible chill that tells her he’s not quite human.
Two elderly church ladies in American-flag headscarves, proudly flaunting their immunity to reason in the name of Jesus America, accost her. One screams, “Young lady, what in the holy name of Jesus America are you doing prancing around naked like a whore!”
Shira leans down intimidatingly. “Why are y’all doing throwing Sharia in my face? Ain’t burqas the Muslim thing?” The old ladies gasp in horror at her blasphemy.
The fangirls discover their idol in distress and run over to confront her tormentors. The confrontation becomes a screaming match and then a fistfight in quick order. Shira uses the distraction they provide to vanish from sight.
No one can hear their own thoughts over the deafening sound trucks as they boom past. Johnny-Johnny resists the temptation to slash the insolent bitch right now. He has God’s work to do first.
Then the police cars pass, followed by a convoy of armoured black stretch Hummers. Most of them contain Secret Service agents. Only the last carries the political VIP they guard. Prophet Drusilla assured Thorwald the Secret Service will not interfere with his mission and promised dire consequences for those who do. Secretary Radisson sternly informed Marshal Wright that Ryder is a key figure in a child sex-slave ring that threatens the integrity of the American Empire, so she must catch him for brainscan interrogation.
At last, Senator Ryder’s transport approaches. Wright gestures to give the signal. A squadron of cops appear; guns drawn, they surround the transport and order it to stop. Wright and Sparks join them, hoping to arrest him.
Suddenly, Thorwald whips out a handheld sound cannon and blasts out the stretch Hummer’s windows. Several cops go down writhing, trying to hold their ears, screaming in pain. Johnson fires a shot pistol into the terrified Ryder’s head to obliterate it mid-scream in an explosion of blood. The little blond girl behind him faints at the horror. Mission accomplished, they turn to congratulate each other, only to hear the cocking of guns. “Freeze!” yells Wright. The cops are surrounding them.
Johnson raises his shot pistol at Wright; Sparks pulls her away so that Johnson’s blast misses. Thorwald drops his sound blaster, whips out a pair of Glock 9s with thirty-shot magazines, fires wildly into the cops, dropping eight. Four pretty headshots: four cops are dead. Johnson tries to yank the unconscious girl out of the car. Thorwald pulls him away by the arm and barks, “Now’s not the time!”
As the hitmen flee the scene, Sparks shouts into his communicator, “Senator and eight officers down! Sound a Terror Alert at once! Condition Red! I repeat, this is Condition Red!”
A chorus of air-raid sirens emits a deafening scream citywide. The hitmen slip into the nearby slum. Thorwald sneers, Johnson giggles; they shoot down every bum, hippie, drug dealer, and gangster they come across. On a whim, Johnson shoots down two black bystanders. Thorwald glares down at him. Johnson grins submissively and says, “They was just niggers, bubba.” Thorwald yanks him by the arm, and they run away.
Wright, Sparks, and a small army of enraged cops follow the gunshots and the trail of dead. “Keep running, we’ll catch ’em!” yells Sparks. “When they stop for their fun, they’re ours!”
“Eat justice, parasites!” war-cries Thorwald as he sprays bullets into a group of screaming prostitutes. Johnson jumps one survivor and giggles while he stabs her to death. “Johnny, you idiot, save the fun for later!” scolds Thorwald. Johnson quickly hacks a breast off the corpse and crams it into his mouth.
“Freeze!” Wright and Sparks behind them, pointing their pistols—
Before they can get off a shot, Thorwald flips his rifle up and fires once into Wright’s chest. Open wound — armour-piercing shell—
Suddenly two sneakers slam into his face, knocking his brain haywire, sending him stumbling backwards. Johnson swallows hard, spins around, and finds himself facing the dark-skinned redhead from the street. He screams, “Bounty hunter! Shit!”
Battle fire in those pretty green eyes, cockeyed smirk on her big sensuous lips — she’s a Tracker on the warpath in battle gear exposing her taut abs and powerful legs. She bobs up and down like an impatient boxer. Lust-crazed men join their howls to the fangirl squee. Their roar energizes her. Johnson grabs her tee, brings down the knife; she twists so all his blade cuts is fabric, and she vanishes. When she pops back up, her firm hard-nippled breasts mock him. He grabs her skirt’s elastic band and slings his blade at her breasts; she falls backwards so his grip yanks her skirt down and breaks her G-string, and she rolls out of them and back up, revealing fashionably hairless pubis and large tight shapely butt. Now she wears Nikes, ankle socks, fighting gloves, AR goggles, wicked grin, and nothing else.
“Now try catching me, boy,” she mocks.
Thorwald grabs her from behind. She slams her head back to shatter his nose and slips her sweaty body out of his grip, then sends a rising back kick into his jaw. Johnson rage-rushes her, hammers the knife down; she slips between his arms, headbutts his jaw knocking back his head; he falls, twitches, moans, rubs his head where it hit pavement.
Thorwald shoots at a ghost. She reappears up against him, elbow rising into his jaw, bends his gun arm backwards, slips around him to ease the arm out of its socket. Butt him sideways, slip through his legs, stand on her arms, double kick upward into the jaw so he flies backwards and she handstands for a second before twisting back onto her feet and upright.
The cops swarm the killers. Sparks runs to Wright. Her wound coughs out blood.
“Wright! Are you — oh my God—”
“Shoot those bastards before they get away,” moans Wright. “They’re too dangerous...” The Marshal dies.
While cops shoo off all bystanders and zip up Ryder’s headless corpse, paramedics rush the little girl away on a stretcher. Sparks slowly stands up and turns away from the fallen agent, but cannot avoid the sight of four more fallen cops. Slowly he spins, almost dizzy, till suddenly he finds himself in the redhead’s arms. His body jerks from the surprise.
“You okay?” she asks.
“Me? I’m just glad the girl’s all right. But five cops died just to save one little girl from a rapist, and the pedo hunters were even worse...”
“That giggling psycho? He was trying to eat her.”
Sparks pats Shira’s left buttock and touches fabric. Her skirt is back on. She doesn’t flinch; she seems to like it. He puts his hand on her back and feels her shirt. He looks at her face and sees a beautiful smile.
He narrows his eyes. “You were fighting naked, weren’t you.”
“Clothes have traction. Much harder to hold onto wet skin.” She winks.
He grins. “I like you already. What’s your name?”
“Yeah. And you’re...”
“Sparks. J.T. Call me Jim if you like.”
Shira looks at him skeptically. “You changed your face.”
“Lost it with my partner and K-9 in a case two years ago. Didn’t want the bad guys to see my father staring out at ’em, so I took the Pretty City route.”
“Tell me the real reason.”
He shrugs. “Just didn’t wanna see his face staring me in the mirror every time I look.”
She smiles mischievously. “Good enough excuse.”
He slips his hand beneath her skirt to caress her soft bare buttock. Their lips come dangerously close to contact when his boss interrupts them. “Sparks! No fraternization!” He slaps Sparks on the top of his head; Sparks winces in pain.
Two uniformed COPCO agents grab Shira by the arms and pull her away to try to arrest her. “ID, you stupid oafs!” They stop and stare at her. She stares back at each of them in turn, then looks down at the ID card hanging from her “What Would Scooby Do?” neck strap, hoping they’re just smart enough to notice.
“I’ll do it,” says Sparks, bringing an ID card reader. He takes her card and laser-reads the barcode. “Well, well, well. Looks like she checks out.” He lets go of the card and shows the screen to the uniforms. “Not only that, she’s got a Exception from the dress code nazis, bought and paid for by the Trackers Guild. Let her go.”
The uniforms look dumbly at each other, then her, then Sparks. After a pause, they bark “Yes sir!” in unison, let Shira go, and grumble away. Sparks shrugs. Shira winks.
James Tiberius Sparks
love is stronger than justice
love is stronger than justice
apartment, Seattle. Keenan Sasser, once-trendy litfic auteur turned low-paid pulp hack, replays the vision in his mind. He thinks: how come the Civet timeline keeps terminating this way? There’s got to be some anomaly. He gets out of bed, stumbles to his desk, and opens up his laptop. Ada Paulette Wintergreen, his artist wife, brings the coffee into the room. The first one up gets coffee duty; this time it’s Ada’s turn.
“The world blew up on you yet again?” says Ada.
“Still trying to figure out what the anomaly is.”
“Who turned left at Albuquerque?”
“Might as well be.” Keenan scans the scene lists for his five cancelled Civet novels on the screen. “So where could it be?”
“I think it was back in Book 5, when Dr Forster got whacked and his nanites got stolen. Then everything unravelled for eighteen volumes after that.”
“Then the publisher stole our copyrights and told the hacks to ruin everything.“
“Keenan, they cancelled your series because no one reads science fiction anymore.”
“More like the future’s politically incorrect, like we’re trapped in a pocket universe permanently set to 1955. Now let’s see, where is that scene?” A notification appears on screen to inform Keenan that James T. Sparks is calling. “Excuse me.” He clicks the popup, and a dark-haired young man in dark sunglasses appears in a new window. Shira, her arms around him, smiles at them from over his shoulder.
“Heya, Keenan. The world blow up on you again?”
Keenan chuckles. “How’d ya guess.”
“I checked that timeline you sent me.”
“Turns out Dorinda got lucky. Back in our reality, the schedule just got sped up.”
“Make way for bad ending number two,” Shira adds.
Ada gasps. “How could that even be possible, Jim?”
“Yeah, J.T.,” adds Keenan, “tell us.”
“I’ll take this one,” says Shira. “Word is, terror fuhrer Doc Becket had the CIA snatch some nanotech from Japan, and he wants a replicating doomsday device in just two years. Not 2112, but 2016.”
Keenan and Ada suddenly feel cold. “You’re kidding,” says Keenan, “aren’t you.”
“You know,” adds Ada, “like the Doctor’s supposed to be slaughtering dissidents?”
Sparks does not smile. “Do I look like I’m kidding? It even gets worse.”
Keenan sighs. “How much worse?”
“Just got leaked intel about a secret project out in the asteroid belt. Big defense bucks on that one. They got crews from GE, Boeing, Yoyodyne, and Dictel out there. Turns out they’re building a nuke-powered sun gun.”
“What would they want a ‘sun gun’ for? Sounds like science fiction to me.”
Shira shoots a You’re so clueless look at them. “Why else? To blow up the sun, of course!”
Keenan looks back at Ada; her eyes and mouth are wide open. She says weakly, “Bad ending number three...”
He looks back at the screen in wide-eyed horror. “Oh. shit—”
on to the next... →
Back to Chapter 1 index...
Back to Chaos Angel Spanner table of contents...
Copyright © 2011 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
[Revision 2.1, 6/14/11: Fixed text, added one line of dialogue, and added a few Corporations to Sparks’ bad news.]
[Revision 2.2, 7/30/11: New first paragraph (Leila’s dream) added along with a new final paragraph in 9.6 as bookends for a major arc.]
[Revision 2.3 part 1, 8/5/11: added new introduction of Shira in the second half of a new middle section, a fight scene. Shira’s now in section 3, and the “bad endings” theme, derived from videogames and Scott Pilgrim, begins here.]
[Revision 2.3 part 2, 8/7/11: added new second half of first scene, introducing Leila’s mother, aunt, and sister on a rescue mission; and first half of middle section, a shootout that raises two villains to major status and introduces a new hero alongside Sparks.]
[Revision 2.4, 8/8/11: revised Shira’s first appearance to introduce her “detect evil” power.]
[Revision 3.0, 9/3/11: Added Shira’s fangirls (you’ll be hearing more from them later) and character taglines (added to the original comics idea in 1994). Made Shira’s blog post the opening, as in the first draft. Developed certain passages, tweaked events to maximize “WHAM!”, improved foreshadowing, and corrected many text and continuity errors.]
[Revision 3.1, 9/28/11: Publication version. Made text improvements and added one missing detail (Shira’s neck strap from Chapter 3).]
[Revision 3 Final, 10/5/11: Added to Shira’s introduction the description “wild shock of unmanageable red hair” first given to her in the early Project Notebooks from the mid-1990s. Final version.]