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Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 14: When the Cat’s Away
Part 4: I Choose Free Will
Part 4: I Choose Free Will
3 october 2014.
principal’s office. Principal Principal, Vice Principal Falconer, and their two assistant vice principals stare down at Shira, Jennifer, Leila, Rob, and Connor with a hard face. “I have been hearing rumors that some of you girls, and possibly at least two of you boys, have been illegally consorting. If this is true, you know what the punishment is, don’t you?”
Shira steps up and smiles ironically. “There’s no punishment if there’s no crime, Major. Rumors are just rumors.”
Principal, playing Good Cop, asks, “Are they just rumors, Miss Thomas?”
“Just because it’s sensational enough to lure a few extra clicks to the scandal sites doesn’t mean it’s ipso facto true. Me, I disregard all the juicy rumors the scandal sites invent about me.”
Falconer shoves Principal sideways. “Tell me! Are you illegally consorting with the same gender?”
Leila, clear-eyed and confident, steps forward. “Yes. I am.”
The four principals gasp in horror and disgust. Rob and Jennifer try to pull her back and warn her, but she casually brushes them aside. “Why,” asks Principal through a strained smile, “would you do a horrible thing like that?”
“Because it is my will.”
The assistants are too shocked to speak. Principal sweats and twitches. Falconer growls, “This is unforgivable.”
“Who said forgiveness counted for anything? Your cause, Major, is conformity. It is what turns men in uniform into weapons, interchangeable and disposable. I serve a greater cause than yours.”
Principal narrows his eyes. “And what would that be, young lady?”
Falconer barks, “The Law will show you no mercy!”
“Unlike you, I do not worship that random collection of irrational tribal taboos you worship as the goddess Nemesis, whom you call ‘Law.’ I refuse to sacrifice myself to Society, Nation, God, Race, or Law. They are phantoms; I am real. What is good for me is right. If I will it, I will take a dark-skinned man as my lover, or my own brother, or a child; or I could slay your Rosencrantz and Guildenstern for my pleasure. I choose to love another woman. And there is nothing you can do to stop me.”
Shira crosses her arms and flashes a wicked smile at Falconer. “Major, true love has no respect for God. True love spits in the face of God if it has to. That’s why God hates true love with all his heartlessness. Allah is a jealous God; He Himself says so in his Bible, Koran, and Book of America. And from what I’ve heard, Jesus America ain’t the only one jealous of you. And I don’t mean rumors, either.” She winks knowingly.
“Are you speaking treason?!” shrieks Falconer.
“So you do think ‘reason’ begins with a ‘t’? My grandpa taught me that reason and the individual are the foundation of this great nation, not superstition and sycophancy.” The assistant principals gasp at her insult. She grins. “And the best way to serve this nation is to serve one’s own self-interest. I believe they call that ‘freedom.’ I speak as a person of enterprise, mind you.”
Leila adds, “The military concept of treason does not apply to personal emotion, Major, no matter how much you and your people try to command and control it. My grandfather tells me it is treasonous, blasphemous, ridiculous, and what not to have feelings unapproved by Army, Church, clan, or whatever. But then, he is a general, after all. He cannot recognize that I am not his soldier. Sometimes I can’t help but marvel at the limits of the military mind.”
Falconer’s jaw drops, rendering her unable to speak. So Principal speaks for her. “You children have not shown us any proper respect.”
“You’ve never shown respect for anybody. You punish, and you toady, but you do not respect. Speaking of which, Major? I request that you respect my choice of partner. If you do not, I will not respect yours.“ Leila gives Falconer a knowing smile. Falconer’s frozen gasp slowly morphs into a grimace of rage.
Shira smirks at Principal. “And what skeletons do you have in your closet? Hmmmm?”
Falconer blurts, “You’re out of line, Thomas!”
Shira hits Falconer with a hard unsmiling look. “Why, Major, do you keep drawing lines you know we’ll cross? Because it boosts your petty ego to hammer down all the nails that stand out. You think we don’t notice you crossing the line, Honey Bunny? My mama told me to beware of bad examples.”
Leila takes Shira’s hand. “Let’s get out of here, love.”
“Why? I’m barely warming up.”
She takes a good look at Falconer’s face, twitching with impotent fury. “It pains me to have to look at these parasites.”
Shira laughs. “Reason enough.” She takes Leila into her arms and plants a hard kiss on her soft lips. They kiss deeply, lustfully, open-mouthed. The revolted principals watch, helpless to stop them. Connor and Rob blush and gently nudge them. Jennifer smiles at them. Satisfied that their message has hit its intended targets, they break their kiss, turn their faces toward the principals, and smile at them in defiance and contempt. They leave hand in hand; Connor and Rob follow. Jennifer watches them leave.
Principal clears his throat. “And what do you have to say, Miss Blair?”
Jennifer looks at the four principals as if they were uncomprehending children. “Their arguments stand to reason. Do yours?” She smiles sweetly, then turns to follow her friends out the door.
hallway. “You actually think pulling an Ayn Rand can keep you out of trouble?” asks Jennifer skeptically.
Leila replies, “Actually, ‘what’s good for me is right’ comes ultimately from Stirner. He actually warned beating people up for one’s own ego satisfaction, but few people listened. And so Rand hero-worshipped a serial killer, and Mao Zedong actually became one.”
Shira looks at Leila quizzically. “Mao was a Stirnerite?”
“Yes,” Jennifer lectures, “Mao was the faithful disciple of a notorious French Stirnerite. Since Stalinism has no genuine Marxist content, Mao was able to hide Stirner behind Stalin’s pseudo-Marxist façade. That’s why it was so easy for his successors to switch their allegiance from Marx to Milton Friedman with little change in actual policy. It’s also how our conservatives succeeded in imposing Stalinism on us: by replacing sickle-and-hammer with Bible-and-Flag. ‘America Is God’ is ‘socialism in one country.’ with a Southern accent, baptized and born-again.”
“So Comrade Stalin is alive and well in Charleston,” says Leila scornfully. “Nice to know the West lost the Cold War the same exact moment the North lost the Civil War.”
Rob changes the subject. “So now we know how you manage to get away with everything, Shira.”
“Hey, you got the weapon, use it when you need to. Get the leverage, you get the power. Helps keep the dogs at bay.”
Connor puts his arm around Rob. “Rob, do you know how scary your sister is?”
Rob shrugs. “Some people just need a good scare.”
“Actually,” Leila replies, “some people just need to die.”
Shira looks at her. “You mean Thorwald, don’t you.”
“Don’t you dare kill him. He’s mine.”
Shira grins. “I think I like you scary.” She kisses Leila’s lips, not caring who sees them. Leila sighs with pleasure, puts her arm around Shira, and rests her head on her shoulder. Watching them, Rob decides to kiss Connor on the lips. Connor blushes.
library. Team Bremelo’s second meeting. Present: Shira, Polly, Cory, Brandi, Kio, Steve, Ken, the Blairs, and the Shelleys. Lunch: bento, provided by Mrs Tachibana. Kenny takes off his hat and lets his black dyed hair sweep down prettily over one eye. “You know that if you keep that up, you could get us all suspended, expelled, or even killed.”
Shira is resting her head in her hands and braces her elbows on the table. “The key to controlling your enemies is to know their weaknesses.”
Polly says, “I know you’ve got something on old Honey Bunny.”
Cory says, “If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be calling her ‘Honey Bunny’ to her face and still get away with it.”
A cockeyed smile grows onto Shira’s face. “Yeah. Her, the football coach, Bart, and his big brother too. Then there’s Charmian and her not-girlfriend Kelly, and then there’s her cousin Debbie, who’s got an older brother, as evil as he is beautiful, name of Frank.”
Leila says, “Frank Becket? You mean the drug smuggler?”
“That’s right: Franklin Steele Becket, blond bombshell and complete psychopath. Surely he’s a potential embarrassment to little sister Debbie and their cousins the Fleer sisters.”
“Conveniently,” Brandi adds, “he happens to be our next target.”
Polly gasps. “But he’s dangerous! How do you think you guys can catch him?”
“I see you don’t know much about the Slasher Hunters yet. We’ve tracked, fought, and caught worse killers than Frank Becket.”
Shira grins. “The answer, Polly, is dogs. Fighting dogs. Our boy Frankie likes to cram his pit bulls full of lots of bad drugs, all highly illegal. And when his dogs start losing, he executes ’em. He loves to electrocute and strangle his losers. He’s not just a professional serial killer of humans. He’s also a recreational serial killer of dogs, which is why Ollie loves him so much. And his pits are fighting tonight in a great big canine Team Challenge. Gangland’s finest are bound to be there if they don’t wanna be square.”
“I’m in,” says Leila.
“You can handle these guys?”
“I’ve got a few skills.”
Polly shakes her head. “You guys are crazy.”
“We’re only exercising our free will.”
“What about his?”
Shira says, “Even more than Ollie, Frankie’s the kind of extreme Egoist who believes that doing his will requires doing it at the expense of somebody else. Always. So whatever he does, he ends up leaving victims. So as much as I love you, Polly, this time I don’t agree with you. This ain’t crazy at all. It’s a no-brainer.”
“Shira,” says Connor, “back in the office Leila was at least trying to be scary like Frank. How do we know she won’t turn on us and join him?”
Leila answers, “Because I hate him. He had his will at my expense.”
“You mean — first Bart raped you, now Frank?”
“First Frank, then Oliver, and then Bart. My revenge is justified.”
“Speaking of which,” Shira adds, “the whole thing’s goin’ down at Ollie’s big squat! He’s so big on Tournament, he’s even built his own arena.”
“Now that the whole city’s pretty much empty,” explains Jennifer, “Frank has decided he wants to get the gangs together so he can get back at his great-grandfather the King, who’s disowned him for being such an absolute douchebag. So he’s called a meeting at Ollie’s arena to plan their attack. Since they want to save their slashers’ bodies for the assault, they’re holding a dogfight to see who gets control over the mission. The losing dogs get sacrificed to Satan.”
Polly gasps. “Oh my...”
“That’s not the worst of it,” Shira says. “Remember, this is Frank Becket. Pay close attention to his last name. He’s a member of our Empire’s ruling vampire clan, meaning he was raised in their religion. And the first tenet of their religion states, ‘The blood is the life.’ So when you have several rival tribes of warring Klownz getting together, and Frank Becket as their leader, that can mean only one thing. For us, that means a rescue mission.”
“Rescue mission? Who are you guys rescuing?”
“Human sacrifices. Beautiful naked virgin devotees of Allah and Jesus America, offered in blood sacrifice to Satan the eternal Enemy, by a Satanic priest who happens to be Frankie’s good buddy. And not just devout virgins, either. From what my sources tell me, he believes that Conservative Revolutionary militants and active priests of the Church of America carry the biggest magic payoff. Build up his power by drinking virgin blood, and he might very well be able to take over the Party by force, and with it the world.”
Polly shudders. “Oh my god, you’re already giving me nightmares!”
Jennifer adds, “And his father just happens to be COPCO’s Seattle Area section chief, who’s in charge of security for his grandfather’s invasion, I mean friendly visit.”
“Wouldn’t that be an unpleasant surprise,” says Rob, “to see Frankie at war with his own father.”
“Which is why we need to take out the Klownz first,” Shira concludes. “We can count on the left-wing nuts to defeat themselves, the only thing they’re good at. But to have all the gangs in the city declare war against CPMC right when its top management’s here, just to bag the Imperial King of Texas? Once the Corpos and Klownz have their rumble, there won’t be a city left to come back to. Frankie wants to out-terrorlord Bram Rodchenko and King Eco at the same time? Catch him, and we’ll be set for life.”
“And if Ollie’s there,” adds Leila, ”we can take out two birds with one stone and put that man out of my misery.”
So far, Kio has been content to listen. Now he speaks for the first time. “So what’s the plan?”
Shira leans forward, flashes her trademark cockeyed smirk, and looks into the eyes of every single one of her fellow conspirators. “It goes like this...”
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Copyright © 2011 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.