Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Spanner 2.2: Ghost Hunting

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 2: Sex Bomb
Part 2: Ghost Hunting (Final Revision)

20 august 2014.
fbi headquarters.
The FBI are swamped enough with mafia- and Nazi-related child porn cases, many of them snuff, that they are tempted to pass the Rebel Styles case by. But Special Agent Joseph Ogden is disturbed enough that he argues the case to Director Radisson. “Men going nuts all over the country, offing themselves, going berserk. Important men, even. And all of ’em have one thing in common, and it’s these Rebel Rebel videos. There’s similar cases in Japan too. I say we need to stop this Rebel Styles before she goes viral and does some real damage.”

The tall blond woman he has just interrupted is Special Agent Diana Shockley. “I agree with Agent Ogden. This does sound urgent.”

Radisson says in his Australian accent, “You two are the most effective agents we’ve got, so I’m putting you on the case. COPCO operatives will meet you as soon as you get to Seattle.”

seattle. COPCO’s up-and-coming vice president, John Cameron Becket, a tough-looking blond man with an eyepatch, meets Agents Ogden and Shockley at the airport. Shockley does not look pleased. “Hello, John.”

“Is he your brother?” asks Ogden.

“I am,” says the one-eyed man. “Diana, you think you can handle this case?”

Shockley glares at him. “I should be asking that question of you.”

“Hmph.” He leads them to the armoured stretch Hummer waiting for them.

At the Public Safety Building downtown, Ogden and Shockley walk down the hall of the COPCO Seattle field office. Shockley says, “I don’t know if you’re up to this, Ogden.”

“I’ve been in this business so long, I can handle anything.”

“I suspect this is the kind of case only a woman can handle. The Styles case has already destroyed some of our best male agents. From what I’ve heard, this sounds like one of those ‘brown note’ cases.”

“What’s a ‘brown note’?”

Shockley has Ogden ask Lavette Perry, a black female agent who moonlights as a jazz pianist, who tells him, “Oh, that’s a note that, when somebody plays it, makes people shit their pants. Whenever you hear it, no matter what instrument it’s played on or how hard you try to prevent it, you shit.”

“Where’d you hear that?” asks Ogden, still puzzled.

Lavette winks. “From a friend of a friend.”

Later, COPCO counterhacker agent Stuart Kowalczyk tells Ogden, “Ever heard of ‘Videodrome’? It was a signal that took over your mind and caused brain tumors when it was played through an old-fashioned CRT TV.”

Shockley sighs. “That was just a movie, Kowalczyk.”

“Well, Agent Shockley, this Rebel Rebel is the same kind of thing, only I know it ain’t the signal.”

Instead of joining the others for lunch, Ogden goes to confessional at the nearest Catholic church. The attending priest is eating lunch. Ogden speaks the traditional formula: “Forgive me, father, for I have sinned.”

“How may I help you, my son?” asks the priest.

“I am called to battle, yet I am weak.”

“So what’s eating you?”

“I thought I would be catching one last murderer in my career, yet now I find myself fighting a demon of Hell.”

“And what may be this demon’s name?”

“Rebel Styles.”

The priest gasps in horror, drops his lunch, and stares wide-eyed at Ogden. His eyes narrow as shock turns to rage. His voice takes on a low, rough, terrifying tone. “You must find and destroy this demon, Agent, before destroys everything. Find him, and destroy him!”

“Him?”

Him!

A week later, the priest is arrested for having molested altar boys for two decades; he raves to his interrogators that Rebel Styles is actually a boy who seduced him. The cops laugh at him. Ogden is not convinced he’s wrong.

Ogden crosses himself when Kowalczyk shows him his first Rebel Rebel video. “The priest begged me to kill Styles.”

“Easy to figure why,” says Kowalczyk.

“He also said Styles was a boy.”

Suddenly, Shockley gasps. “That’s a reality distortion field!

Kowalczyk grins. “Mrs. Shockley gets a clue.”

The reality distortion field is being generated by the girl herself. She is every bit as seductive and charismatic as the rumors claim. Ogden is fascinated. Shockley is disgusted. She demands, “Kowalczyk, where’d you get this shit?”

“Off the illegal Darknet, of course. You can find anything you want there, if you’re willing to put some effort into looking. Right, Jimmy?”

James Sparks, his young assistant, deadpans, “You’d be surprised.”

The four of them study the videos, looking for clues into who the girl is, who made the videos, and where. They guess that whoever made these was probably the girl’s adult lover. In the similar Japanese case of Aya-chan’s Little Loli Love Hotel, they agree to consider the rumor that Aya Shibata repeatedly raped the son of a Yakuza boss in reward for making the videos. Rebel Rebel may have come from the same source as the Shibata videos, though the two girls are subtly different. The faces and voices were obviously processed to disguise the girl’s identity; but Rebel’s blond hair and cinnamon skin set off alarm bells in Shockley’s mind.

“That’s Shira Thomas,” she says through her teeth, “isn’t it.”

Stu laughs. “That sexy teenage superslut you got such a hate-on for? Wrong-o, Princess Di! That’s Kira Thomas.”

“And how do you know this?”

“Think. Rebel Rebel stopped right when Kira did, right after the Revolution.”

“We found her corpse on the Mall after the Revolution,” Sparks adds. “Our medical examiners were about to perform an autopsy on her when the Wilder Foundation bought it right out from under us. We’re told they’ve been doing experiments on it ever since, but they pulled trade secrets over it. Personally, I think they tried to bring her back from the dead.”

Suddenly Ogden exclaims, “She did it!” Kowalczyk, Shockley, and Sparks peer at him skeptically. “She made these videos herself!

Sparks freezes the video, reverses it several frames with the trackball, and zooms in on Rebel’s half-hidden hand at the left edge of the frame. Even though the frame is blurry, the black rectangle she holds in it is clearly a remote. “Like that?”

“Yeah! Like that!”

A window appears: Kira in her last known photograph, beaming beautifully. “Rebel doesn’t have the Thomas twins’ big nose and red frightwig, as you can see. Aya’s ‘moé loli’ with a ‘peach girl’ tan. If that’s Kira Thomas, she got completely Resculpted. Twice.”

“Then whoever it is,” asks Shockley, “why would she inflict such a horror on the world?”

Sparks shrugs. “Beats me. For the lulz, I guess.”

Kowalczyk slaps his forehead and laughs. “But of course! Exploit pedophiles’ perversions and get easy money by the millions! She’s even more cynical than I am! Rebel Rebel, I like you!”

Ogden stares at the screen like a zombie, even after Kowalczyk turns the monitor off. “Uh-oh,” says Kowalczyk. He and Shockley have to drag Ogden out of the building and into his car.

Rebel Styles appears to Ogden in a dream, emerging out of darkness. She is totally nude, and she is coming closer. “Please come and play with me, Officer.”

“No!” She is only a child, he warns himself. Remember, she is only a child.

Slowly she comes closer, holding out her arms to embrace him, entrap him. “I want you to make love to me.”

“Away with thee, demon!” he shouts. He tries to run away from her, only to find he cannot move. Her image becomes ever clearer and more intense. His eyes widen in horror yet burn with unwanted desire. “Dear God and Mary, help!” When Rebel comes close enough to touch him, he screams and wakes up in a cold sweat.

Ogden angrily barges into Kowalczyk’s lab and demands, “How come you’re not affected by this Rebel Rebel shit?”

Kowalczyk grins and shrugs. “I’m Charmproof.”

At lunch, Shockley tells Kowalczyk, “I bet your hacker cousin ‘Deth Pussy’ may be in on this, Stu.”

Kowalczyk grimaces at the name. “Let’s go find out,” he snarls.

When Ogden, Shockley, and Kowalczyk raid Steven Ragoczy’s house, they find no trace of Rebel Rebel on hard disk, flash storage, nor pirated BD-R. Ogden roughs Steve up and demands to know where Rebel Styles is. Shockley and Kowalczyk pull him off to restrain him. Once Kowalczyk has a firm hold on Ogden from behind, Shockley screams in his face: “What the hell are you doing, Ogden? You just ruined our piracy case against him with illegal police brutality!”

Back at the COPCO field office, Radisson stares disapprovingly at Ogden through the big monitor. “I can see the stress of this case is starting to get to you. I’m afraid I’ll have to take you off it for as long as it takes you to recover.”

“But—”

Shockley interrupts, “Ogden, I told you this is the kind of case only a woman can handle.”

“I agree,” says Radisson. “Agent Ogden, I’m taking you off this case for your own safety.”

Ogden spends the following week away from the office, doing nothing but watching Rebel Rebel videos. The case is now on him. He is too obsessed to sleep. As the sun sets one last time, he tries to go into the screen so he can rape Rebel Styles. He knocks over the television; it falls on him; the plasma screen explodes.

He dreams that Rebel Styles is raping him. She laughs at her victim as she rides and whips him like an abused horse. Crucified on Christ’s cross, he screams the torments of the damned.

He wakes up in a pool of his own blood. Not bothering to clean himself up, he takes his gun to work and shoots up the COPCO field office. He kills no more than two people only because Shockley is quick enough to shoot him down.

The agents visit the hospital where the ruin that was once Special Agent Joe Ogden now screams and moans incessantly. “That pain’s not from the bullet wound,” the nurse apologizes.

They try to visit Ogden at the mental hospital. “I’m afraid it’s incurable,” says the psychiatrist.

Home from the madhouse, Shockley stares at the video seductress who destroyed Ogden. Her Patriot Country singer husband is out on tour, and who knows what he’s doing with whom after and between shows, so she feels she has nothing else to do. Repulsed, she gathers all her will to resist the urge to murder her by shooting the screen. She vows to hunt down Rebel Styles and destroy her.

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Copyright © 2011, 2012 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
Creative Commons License

[Revision 2.1, 6/22/11: Text corrections, especially <em> tags from the NaNoEdMo ’11 version missing from the original version of this post.]
[Revision 3, 9/9/11: Final version. Corrected text and continuity errors.]
[Revision 3.0.1, 9/12/11: Publication version. Corrected text errors to match text of ebook.]
[Revision 4 Final, 7/5/11: Final corrections, additions, and condensations made to the original scene. Final two scenes (Shockley’s dream plus the scene at her house, the subsequent scene with her and Jack at COPCO Seattle) have been moved to the next two sections.]

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