Saturday, June 4, 2011

Spanner 1.5: The Virus Has Been Spread

The grand finale to Chapter 1, rearranged and condensed from the initial second-draft version from NaNoEdMo 2011, with new material added. These are just the initial aftershocks of last section’s big event. The real chaos is yet to come...

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 1: Spanner in the Works
Part 5: The Virus Has Been Spread (Revision 3)

19 august 2014.
“Suppress it!” commands Henry Becket. “No word must get out, period!”

Spanner’s image infects the Eye, imprinting his image onto the unnatural mind of Echelon. Wherever there is thoughtcrime, it will see Spanner. Wherever there is underground resistance, it will see Spanner. Wherever the excesses inherent in Corporatist tyranny drive desperate masses into revolt, in the colonies or in the Homeland itself, it will see Spanner. The last thing it ever sees will be Spanner.

In Washington, Homeland Security Secretary Karl Radisson declares him Public Enemy Number One and thunders the order in his Australian drawl: “Find the masked terrorist who calls himself Spanner! Sniff him out, smoke him out, tear off his mask! Find out who he is, and bring him to me at once, alive or dead! We must burn out this virus before it destroys our sacred Empire!” The official news channels carry the message: “A $25 billion reward is being offered for the capture of this terrorist. Anyone with any information about him is urged to contact the National Police Agency at once. The number is...”

The Pentagon orders all domestic counterterror units, from Delta Force to Dictel’s Strike Division, to hunt and kill the terrorist wherever he manifests himself and in whatever form. Meanwhile, disgruntled conscript soldiers and underpaid mercenaries in the occupation forces abroad and at home adopt Spanner as a shield behind which to conceal their own plots against the Corporatist régime.

In TrumpCity, the Becket brothers oversee the evacuation of all personnel, alive or dead, from Madison Square Garden to secret secure locations that Trump has scattered throughout the city he owns. Richard Becket calls the COPCO field office. Since clone resurrection is a time-consuming process, Agent 42 now stands in for the currently incapacitated Agent 6.

“COPCO Command. This is Agent 42. May I help you, Mr. Chairman?”

“Find any Trump Security video with Spanner in it after he left Madison Square Garden.”

“Sir, we’ve been trying to do that since the incident, but we have no record of him even leaving Madison Square Garden.”

“You aren’t looking hard enough!”

“Or even of him entering. Sir, I believe he’s cloaked.”


The hacker underground spreads the media virus to the whole world as fast as the transmission channels can take it. A tribe of phone hackers have found a way to piggyback their signals onto others carried by the communications monopoly AT&T without Ma Bell’s own hypervigilant spybots noticing. They are AT&T’s shadowy longtime nemeses, the Phreaks.

Before the “Spanner Incident” begins to die down, one particular Phreak codenamed Debaser leaves the COPCO lines to take his position among the Mole People beneath the empty city. Sparks forwards the tapped security video to mafia-owned servers in Nigeria, Russia, and Mongolia. From there, guerrilla hackers edit, tweak, and transform the raw footage.

Other Phreaks throughout the vast territories of the American Empire receive, in separate transmissions, a series of bootleg concert videos of DisneyPop SuperStar Minty Fresh and a Sudoku game. The number of possible solutions of a Sudoku puzzle is 6.71 × 1021, which comes out to somewhere around 70 bits binary. DES encryption uses a 56-bit key. The Phreaks use the Sudoku puzzles to decrypt the video and reveal the Spanner footage within the Minty Fresh video. The Spanner video is then posted to clandestine Darknet servers worldwide.

The time: 26 minutes.

The news spreads throughout the worldwide underground in minutes. Soon, the corporate media can no longer ignore it. Defying Dr. Becket’s orders, the networks compete to see who can swarm TrumpCity with news copters first. Hordes of reporters invade Manhattan accompanied by the networks’ own security agents and broadcast their stories to the world:
Fox: Spanner—
Sun: Spanner—
ABCNN: Spanner—
QVCBS: Spanner—
ESPNBC: Spanner—
The story gives the networks their highest news ratings since the coup. People overwhelm the phone system to spread the news. They text, tweet, and email the security video. Spanner is the subject of all conversation, the new obsession of America and the world.

The virus has been spread.

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Copyright © 2011 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
Creative Commons License

[Revision 2.1, 6/14/11: Text and continuity corrections.]
[Revision 3, 9/8/11: Final version. Two continuity errors corrected.]

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