Monday, June 20, 2011

Spanner 4.2: She's Trouble

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 4: Special Delivery Service
Part 2: She’s Trouble (Final Revision)

technosphere. The rules of Gensoukyou:
  1. All the native characters are female except Rinnosuke.
  2. All of them are perfectly straight except Rinnosuke (’shippers ignore this).
Two special rules cover one specific outsider:
  1. Everybody is hellbent on killing Aya Shibata. Even Rinnosuke.
  2. Nobody can.
Aya, angel of chaos, wears nothing but savage war paint as she stands triumphantly above the charmingly amoral witch with the long blond hair whom she has stripped naked and tied to the bed, contemplating the delicious horrors she longs to inflict on her. Marisa, black magician girl, struggles helplessly against the ropes as AEGIS warily guards her witch hat. The super-deformed graffiti-art avatar of the Debaser pops in behind her, arms crossed, staring at her skeptically. “What the hell are you up to this time, Shira?” asks Sparks.

Shira looks over her shoulder to grin at him. “Careful, DB, don’t let the youkai sense you or they’ll turn you into something yummy like a glittery Sue Soufflé. Now sit back and watch like everybody else. Option! LoveRocket!”

Her all-purpose construct zips over to her and starts forming into something resembling Shira’s infamous strap-on. Marisa gasps in horror at the sheer evil of it; Debaser slaps his stylized forehead in embarrassment —

—but then Option stops mid-morph. Its mon detector suddenly activates. Now Sparks grins. “Well!”

The door flings open and Option rushes out. Shira and Sparks run out after it. Standing before them is a node of random data. Shira gasps; Sparks blurts out, “What the — ”

AEGIS bamfs onto Shira’s shoulder. “That’s the Missingno fork called Glitch — the rarest and most coveted mon species in the Technosphere!”

Shira says, “I heard about ’em, but I never thought one would seek me out.”

Sparks adds, “I heard if you capture one, you can equip it with any power in any combination.”

“But if you do,” AEGIS warns, “you risk erasing everything. At best, you would have to start all over at Level 1. But if you’re MentaLink™ connected, it could kill you.”

“I’ll risk it,” says Shira. “Option! Capture the Glitch!” Option zips over to the Glitch, engulfs it, absorbs it, and files it away in her MonDex™.

As they walk back in, Sparks says, “You think you can use that thing?”

“Why not?” says Shira. “My type is Chaos. It’s compatible.”

They look at Marisa. She stares at her tormentor in hatred and humiliation. At the top of her lungs she screams, “Tasuketeeeee!

Suddenly the walls explode to reveal Reimu, shrine maiden of paradise, descending in a cloud of razor-sharp exploding ofuda —

switch to bullet time

—activate reality distortion field — lens away incoming ofuda — cast “Shotgun Wash” at Reimu — “Option! Let’s out!” it morphs hoverboard, Aya hops on, pulls Debaser and the bots with her, casts a portal, flies in; the portal closes—

time shifts back to normal.

Even as Reimu hurries over to free the struggling Marisa, they start bickering like a married couple.

copco seattle. As soon as Shira gets off the ferry in Seattle, she finds COPCO agents intercepting her. Soon she finds herself facing a familiar and annoyingly persistent FBI agent.

“Well, hello, O Great Detective! What are you pinning on me this time?”

“You were responsible for mutilating the Director’s message,” growls Locke Holmes.

Her eyes go wide, her mouth slowly drops, she rolls her eyes. “I knew you people were, well, liberal with the truth, but this — ”

“Why were you in Fort Lee, New Jersey, on the evening of the nineteenth?”

She starts looking seriously confused. “I have no idea what — ”

Holmes stands up, leans in, and rages, “We have proof you’re Spanner!

Shira stares at him coldly. “I see. You’ve finally gotten round to the purge.”

“This is a National Security matter of utmost danger.”

“You’re talking brown people. ‘Mudbloods.’”

“Now you’re talking nonsense.”

“National Security is the blood purity of the American Remnant. Your Secretary told me himself. He also complained about your failed cases. Some Great Detective you are.”

Holmes glares at Shira murderously. Shira stares back at him with unnerving calm. They stare each other down for a seeming eternity.

In comes Lavette Perry, the black COPCO agent, tailed by Angela Coyne. “Sorry, but the man upstairs says she’s gotta go. No charges.”

Holmes spins around in shock. “What?

“Boss’s orders.” Shira gets up, puts her arm in Angela’s, flashes a smile of triumph at Holmes, and walks out.

Shockley glares at Shira as she enters, then at Holmes. “Next time, Holmes, I’m handling this.”

“Are you nuts?

“You’ve caused enough trouble already. We can’t afford you to blow yet another case.”

“I can handle it, Shockley!”

“Can you handle Rebel Styles?” He says nothing. “Thought not.” She turns and walks away.

underground city. On the floor of the Talisman they dance wildly, swing like monkeys, shake like they were demon-possessed, even mosh. They wear strange fashion, patchwork, body paint, feathers, whatever they can find. They are Stylers, independent-minded fashion rebels, florid anachronisms in defiance of a dull dark world on the march to self-destruction.

The coup sent pop culture into a tailspin. The MIAA claimed perpetual monopoly, sued countless independents into bankruptcy and debt slavery, marketed the “family friendly” stuff for itself and licensed the rest to the Fashion-Industrial Complex, then tried to suppress the rest by paramilitary force.

They only succeeded in driving it underground.

The band play mutant metal disco, half edge half wave, walking bass and wandering melodies signalling their refusal to conform to the martinet beat of the catwalk. They wear baroque masks to hide their identities so the Melodia headhunters can’t build idol cults around them. But the frontwoman dancing like a maenad refuses to mask herself. Her bad reputation is all the mask she needs.

Charlie Richter-Thomas, prodigal daughter and mortal enemy of Chief Shepherd Drusilla Becket, styles her hot curves in Pollock-pattern body paint, olive-drab combat boots, and mobster fedora. When personal hatred fuses with political resistance, every word she sings burns with righteous fire, and the Darknet transmits it to the outcast world.

Over breakbeat drums, dirty bass, deathray synth, and roaring guitars, Charlie seductively threatens in her beautiful sharp voice:
With your weapon
I will slay you
With your weapon
I will flay you

Your blood’s so pure
But your heart betrays you
You say you’re always right
But your lies decay you
The dance floor swarms with Style Tribes: Wild Stylers, Dark Stylers, Freak Stylers, Dirty Stylers, Cyber Stylers. Black or white, gay or straight, masked or warpainted: they don’t care what you are as long as you Style. On the nearest pillar in the blacklight spotlight, polychrome body glitter sweat-glued to bare tawny flesh, shimmering Shira, clown princess of the Wild Stylers, defiantly dances in high-heeled leather lace-ups for all to see, unhibited and heedless, shaking hips ass breasts and maenadic head masked Carnival and crowned in glowing fluorescent ostrich feathers. All the pillar dancers unite in body dialogue of call and response; the crowd on the floor follow their lead.

Outside the dressing room after the show, Shira strikes risqué poses in full costume and dazzling smiles to distract the camera-wielding hordes. Inside, Charlie showers off her body paint; outside the curtain Angela warns: “You girls better start watching your pretty asses more. I’ve been hearing rumbles about an Empire-wide MIAA crackdown.”

“They’ve been plotting that for decades,” says Charlie. “Only question’s when. Just be ready.”

Shira declares to the paparazzi, “Okay, you’ve had your fun, party’s over, go home.” Ignoring their petulant protests, she slips through the door and locks it. She finds Charlie hurriedly putting on civilian clothes.

“Your turn,” says Charlie. Shira drops the feathered mask and headdress on the table before the mirror, unlaces and strips off her boots, leaps into the shower, turns it on cold.

Angela says ominously, “The Governor knows about you and Leila.”

“Wally had a cow yet? He gets stupid when he’s irrational.”

“They’re talking IP Defenders.”

“Interesting. I’ve been scouting ’em lately.”

“Shira, those maniacs are far more dangerous than you think,” says Charlie. “Desi and I can’t Shield you from afar, you know.”

“You know what they’re into right now? Full extraction of nervous systems, wired to the MIAA mainframe for maximum torture.”

Angela reaches in to shake Shira’s shoulders. “Shira, we’re trying to keep the bad guys away from you.”

“Only a matter of time. I’m ready. Are you?”

dictel park. A teenage girl in her Bangor High school uniform runs for her life into the woods. The most dangerous part of the park, plagued by brutal gangsters — but the blood of three friends is on her. They sneaked into the park for a secret smoke. Now only she is left alive.

The killer stalking her in beige trenchcoat and floppy hat, face hidden by black goalie mask, holds in front of him a GPS unit connected to electrodes under his hat to boost his inborn precognitive ability into full-blown Becket-like Tracer power. Unlike his prey, he is in no hurry. He stalks her patiently. He slips into the woods far behind her, picking his path for stealth.

Thinking she has evaded him, or at least put at least one gang between her and the hunter, the girl stops and leans against a tree. She catches her breath. She sighs in relief, believing herself safe.

Suddenly he appears right in front of her — no escape — he raises his big butcher knife — she screams—

motel. Late night off the freeway. This sleazy place would remind her mother of the Bates Motel, but Lucie is too young to know it. Even so, she recognizes it as the favored nighttime hideout of whores, bandits, and serial killers. And child molesters.

One is on top of her, thrusting into her, drooling like a fat kid allowed to gorge on sweets. She detaches her consciousness from the body he is abusing so carelessly, but she does not stop him. As long as she lets him have his will, he will remain her slave.

technosphere. FBI Director Karl Radisson stands in the center of his own virtual room as if he were the one being interrogated, He faces down the Constituent Members of the Media Industry Association of America (MIAA), one of the most powerful cartels within the United Corporations. Huge terrifying logos surround him: the spinning globe of News Corporation, the Comcast C swallowing its red dot, the Viacom “V of Doom”, Time Warner’s All-Seeing Eye), and Sony’s infamous “S from Hell.” Corporations not being human, the logos are their faces. These are not the CEOs, not the human Board Members, but the corporations themselves.

Radisson addresses the Corporations personally. “My announcement was supposed to be live. So why was it hacked?”

Sony replies, “We do not interfere with your directives, Mr. Radisson.”

News adds, “We believe the terrorist is playing with you.”

“Then you did not protect yourselves from Spanner’s cyberterrorist assault,” the Director warns. “If you are not careful, he will make fools of you, and that will compromise Our Nation’s security.”

Viacom approaches dangerously close. “Then you deal with the terrorist, Mr. Radisson.”

Time Warner stares down threateningly. “That’s your job, Mr. Radisson.”

Comcast puts its huge mouth uncomfortably close to Radisson’s head. “That’s why we hired you, Mr. Radisson.”

Radisson stands, crosses his arms, raises his voice. “Then give me the use of your legal enforcers!”

The Corporations twitch in surprise. Sony hovers huge over the Director. “We cannot spare them, Mr. Radisson!”

Viacom snaps, “They are needed to protect Our sacred Intellectual Property from pirates like Spanner!”

Radisson’s face grows hard with cold rage. “Which is why the Nation needs them more than you do. Bring me at least one IP Defender, at once. This is a Direct Order!

copco seattle. Roland A. Leggett, Intellectual Property Defender of the MIAA, arrives in the FBI office less than happy. “What do you want me for, Agent?”

Locke Holmes explains, “You worked on the Styles case recently?”

“Yeah. What of it?”

“She’s here.”

Leggett looks at him strangely. “Uh-uh. She’s in L.A.”

“Really?.” Holmes gives him some photos of Shira.

Leggett flips through them and hisses. “Got a name attached?”

“Shira Thomas.”

“Bitch is over.” Leggett sticks the photos into a pocket inside his business jacket. Then he takes his Beretta from its concealed shoulder holster, takes out a clip with his left hand, jams it into the gun, and cocks the gun. “Just give me the muscle, and I’ll take care of the rest.”

copco headquarters. Just a short plane ride from Holy City is Phoenix, where the Prison-Industrial Complex operates the world’s largest prison factories and COPCO has its headquarters. CEO Brendan Sparks gives the Becket brothers an audience in his opulent boardroom. “So Harry, have your precogs sensed any trace of our terrorist?”

Henry Becket replies, “Not a trace, I’m afraid.”

“A pity.” Sparks turns to Tom Becket of Dictel. “I hear, Tom, a bunch of terrorists made a break from one of your facilities.”

Tom Becket glares at him. “We had better security than even yours. We also happened to suffer a cyberattack from Rebel Styles.”

Sparks twitches in surprise. “Well! So the child demon finally got bored with us.”

“Don’t be so certain it won’t happen to you.”

“I’ll make sure to let Jack know.”

Richard Becket paces slowly behind Sparks. “Brendan, have you seen the latest security futures?”

“You know I don’t pay attention to National Security things like that.”

“You should. They’ve skyrocketed since the Spanner incident, which raises the chances of insurrection.”

“What does that have to do with me?”

“You’re one of the most important parts of our National Security apparatus. Your primary mission is to eliminate counter-Revolutionary elements. It has everything to do with you.”

“Did you find your gospel, Richard?”

The Chairman freezes in shock, then runs over to spin his chair around. “How did you know about the Gospel of the New Genesis?”

“Your prodigal niece has made an open request on the antiquities black market.”

The Becket brothers surround Sparks and stare down at him. “Ariel Shield is a foe too dangerous for even your entire company to handle.”

“What’s so special about her? Amazing superpowers?”

Richard leans over Sparks threateningly. “Exactly.”

Tom says, “She can project a perfect and unbreakable Repulse field with which she can use any projectile against its user. She is one of the most powerful Supers in the Empire.”

Henry adds, “She is nearly as strong as the Proletarian himself, and a very determined enemy of our Revolution. Do you understand?”

Sparks stares back up at them. “So what do I do, then?”

“Keep looking for the ones behind Spanner.” The Becket brothers walk away.

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

[Revision 2, 6/20/11.]
[Revision 3, 10/22/11: Added a reference to the events of 3.1.]
[Revision 4 Final, 7/27/12: Scenes from 4.1 R3 moved here and heavily revised; opening Leila nightmare now begins 3.1, closing Shira videoblog now begins 4.3; new scenes added.]

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