Sunday, August 28, 2011

Spanner 14.5: For His Satanic Majesty

Another of the series’ most important fight scenes, so I have to make sure I get this one right. This requires more changes than last chapter’s big fight. Unlike that one, this one depends more on stealth and surprise. And whereas last time Team Bremelo tried to fend off a Challenge at their own team picnic, this time their goal is chaos.

Missing from the first draft but now restored: Oliver Thorwald, the real reason Shira and Leila are here. He, Brinkman’s plan to marry him to Leila, and his increasing insanity over Shira stealing Leila away from him will get more play in the Third Edition. New additions include a “Dark Age” (i.e. Nineties) incarnation of the public domain Golden Age supervillain the Clown, founder of the Klownz and partly based on the gang boss Joker from Akira; a Slasher roughly similar to Ichi the Killer from the infamous Takashi Miike film; and, as in the first draft, Frank Becket, a major villain from my still unfinished prequel, Bad Company: A Corporate Terror Story.

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 14: When the Cat’s Away
Part 5: For His Satanic Majesty

3 october 2014.
Ollie-Ollie’s property.
BOOMBOOMBOOMBOOMBOOMBOOMBOOMBOOM pounds Barney SATAN! like a cyborg piledriver. The guitars roar and scream and howl like demons being tortured for the Devil’s pleasure. Eddie Evil, self-infected vampire, growls and yowls in some infernal dialect of the Unknown Tongue.

They call it teknoDeth: hate metal set to 300+ bpm piledriver at volumes beyond deafening. Hate metal is the sound of the criminal underworld. There is no hate metal band more infernal than Gang: Eddie Evil screaming vocals, Elvis and Jesus Hitler torturing guitars, Sikki Sykopath on subsonic bass, Barney SATAN! on drums going BOOMBOOMBOOMBOOM.

Below them in the arena, maddened pit bulls rip each other to bloody shreds. Gangland dogfighters cram their pits with steroids, methamphetamine, canine growth hormone, and PCP to turn them into perfect killing machines they soon intend to turn against the Man. Franklin Steele Becket of Dictel, Incorporated, the beautiful and evil Prince Charming, presides over this canine Tournament like a depraved Roman emperor. For he has brought the leader of all Klownz to rally the gangs of North Cascadia to unite to fight the hordes of holy warriors protecting the King of Texas. King Patriot is his great-grandfather. Frank Becket is fourth in the line of succession but intends to be first. He bought Ollie-Ollie Oxenfree’s base of operations and is now Thorwald’s landlord. Drawing on the infinite Becket family fortune, Frank built Thorwald a Tournament arena behind the warehouse.

The canine gladiators fight to the death below as the gangsters crowding the arena scream for blood. The blood they scream for is that of not the dogs but of the goody-goody Party fanatics and their god Jesus America. Soon the priest of Satan will bring his sacrificial blade for the three beautiful naked Arab virgins now trembling in the dungeon in the arena’s basement. Once this all-dog Tournament ends, the real show will begin.

The Klownz’ excitement and Gang’s ear-shattering hate-metal apocalypse distract them from the four intruders who have sneaked beneath the shaking and thundering arena stands. Team Bremelo’s fighters all wear lightweight hoverboard helmets equipped with sound-cancelling headphones to protect their ears, hard soundproof masks to keep their communications secret, and polarized AR goggles with night vision. “Shira, are you sure about this plan?” asks Brandi. She wears the Slasher Hunters’ pragmatic uniform of black slacks, long-sleeved shirt, winter cap, and fighting boots and gloves.

To make herself invisible among the Klownz, Shira wears spiked leather biker jacket, reflector-striped black tights, buckled and spiked fashion combat boots, and visored black helmet emblazoned with the death’s head logo of Dark Side Choppers. “I’ve been keeping track of darling Frankie since ’07. Did you know he raped my sister Desiree, his own cousin? She burned down her mother’s first boot camp school trying to kill him for it. She killed several gangsters and nearly got Frankie and his Russian boyfriend too. She tried to get Drusilla herself and did get her husband du jour, who just happened to be Dictel CEO. We’ve kept our eyes on Frank Becket ever since. We know his weaknesses intimately. So trust me.” She fingers her Go-Yo impatiently.

Leila styles Sexy Kunoichi, combat quality. “Me, I’m just waiting for Ollie and his pretty new butt buddy to come out with their devil man,” she purrs. “I’m desperate to show them my love.” She caresses her naked katana.

“Between two gorgeous goth ninja, one guild-certified Tracker, the fighters and sound crew outside, and you, I think we’ve got ourselves a party.” Shira winks.

Rob wears mainly practical standard ninja gear for stealth. “Well, the party had better start soon, ’cos we’ve got a rescue mission to pull.”

The hatemusic stops. The arena crew clean up the blood and scattered pieces of dismembered dogs. The rattle and rumble of the stands add bass and percussion to the loud male roar of the assembled gangsters. Oliver Thorwald, lord of this realm, steps up to face the legions, wearing overalls over his muscled body and wielding his famous shovel, and holds out his arms to gesture them to be silent. The roar dies down, then stops. He addresses the crowd at the top of his lungs: “Brother warriors!

Thorwald steps aside, and the huge bald man covered in hideous monster-clown tattoos steps up to replace him. The assembled gangsters roar their approval like Spartans. He is The Clown: fifth supervillain of his lineage, founder of the Killen Jokerz, former U.S. Army super soldier bred and engineered to exterminate Communists, rogue since Dictel refused to give him the raise he demanded after the conquest of Iraq. He thrusts forth his rigid arm, fist clenched in the gladiators’ salute; the Klownz thrust their arms up, hands in the devil-horns salute, and chant the name of Satan. Then he thrusts both arms out to his sides and then down; the Klownz fall silent. “Warriorrrrrs! Today is our day! The day of power! First we take the city! Then we take the state! Then we take the Empire! Then the world is ours! Klowwwwwnz!” The Klownz answer with a deafening roar which resolves into the chant of “Satan! Satan! Satan!”

Brandi comments, “Their leader makes them sound like yet another revolutionary élite.”

“The purest,” says Leila. “They want power for its own sake. It’s their Ideal.”

Shira adds, “So we smash their revolution now.”

The Clown stands aside, and Frank Becket, master of this gathering, stands up from his imperial throne in his expensively embroidered white Black Jesus robe and holds his arms outstretched to the sides in an imperious gesture of authority. He crosses his arms in front of him and stretches them back out to signal the hardmen to be silent. The crew take away his throne; ten of them carry in the stone altar of sacrifice and silently place it behind him.

“My god, he’s beautiful,” coos Leila.

“He looks a lot like Debbie,” notes Brandi.

“He’s her big brother, remember?” adds Shira.

Frank preaches like a true Shepherd fallen from his Calling. “O my brothers, we are gathered here today to gather together our tribes to unite them against the forces of the Good!” The gangsters roar. Shira sneaks into the crowd unnoticed; Jennifer, Connor, Cory, and Kio join Brandi and the Shelley twins beneath the stands. Frank gestures quiet again. “The men of God pray their holy prayers and send their holy knights to destroy us. We have stolen three pure and holy virgins from the Wogs, and We have brought here the priest of darkness to send them back to the darkness that spawned their unholy race, and We shall use the magic of their race against the the men of God, and against the God who stands against Our ambition!” The Klownz roar again. The roar becomes deafening when Frank moves out of the way so that the priest of Satan can make his epiphany before them, clad in sparkling vestments woven from emerald, ruby, and sapphire, crowned with a feathered and horned demon’s mask. Several burly Klownz bring in three struggling, sobbing young beauties with long black hair: three sisters, overcome with terror at the fate that faces them before the altar and with shame at their nakedness.

Rob gasps, “The Ibrahim sisters!?—”

Jennifer replies, “All the more reason to pull this rescue, I say.”

Kio snarls, “We can’t let any more innocent girls die!”

Leila stares through the bleachers at Frank and the priest with renewed hatred. She caresses the hilt of her katana.

The Klownz tie eldest sister Sharifa, struggling and screaming, to the altar. The crowd rabidly chants, “Satan! Satan! Satan! Satan!” Beneath the stands, the Bremeloes sneak toward the stage; Leila and Rob then slip into the shadows of the corridor behind the stage, in position to strike at the masters of darkness.

“I curse thee, sovereign Spirit of America!” chants Frank. “I curse thine accursèd race! I curse thy God, and thy holy Flag, and the Nation for which it stands, and I bind thee and banish thee and cast thee down to the Hell for the eternal torment thou and thine deserveth!”

The priest raises the sacrificial knife. Sharifa stops struggling, closes her eyes, and silently prays for God to save her with a miracle. The criminal crowd pump their fists and chant Satan’s name louder and faster. The priest, amplified over the arena’s PA system, intones, “Virgin of Allah, I offer thee in sacrifice to the powers of Hell, to curse the Leper Messiah and GUCK!—” A katana blade suddenly emerges blood-drenched and dripping through his chest. He looks down in shock at the ninja blade now drinking the blood from his heart.

His assassin draws the sword out of him with equal suddenness. Dying, he spins around to see his murderer. Standing there, wielding the dripping katana left-handed, grinning at him in the blood warrior’s wicked triumph, is Leila Shelley, her helmet’s mask open. He stares down at her in horror and weakly protests: “You?”

With a sweep of her sword, Leila cuts off his head and upraised arms. Head, arms, and blade fall to the stage floor; the corpse spurts a stream of blood, gurgles, collapses twitching till its remaining life drains away and it moves no more. She licks the blood off the blade of her sated sword. Thorwald’s jaw drops in horror; Frank glares at her in cold rage. She throws them a beautiful hateful smile full of murder. Thorwald runs for his life as Frank shields him.

The crowd of Klownz storm the stage to try to kill her. Rob runs up behind her, tosses her a Tec-9, and throws a pair of grenades into the raging horde while she shoots into them. Shira sneaks to the altar to pick open the handcuffs binding Sharifa to it. Frank’s praetorian guardsmen try to shoot the other girls only to be mowed down by rifle-wielding Peck and Brandi, entering the corridor at the head of a small force of Bremeloes and Slasher Hunters. Shira unshackles the girls; Brandi, Cory, Jennifer, and Connor whisk them out to the waiting vans.

Frank wrestles his Colt 1911 .45 from its holster to try to shoot Leila. She reaches for her utility belt and flicks a swastika-shaped shuriken into his hand. Kio grabs him from behind and backdrops him hard onto the wooden floor.

The surviving Klownz and Satanists flee in mortal panic. Shira, Leila, and Rob go down to the pit bull pens and shoot them open. Drug-maddened fighting dogs speed out the gates and rip at anything that moves. Behind the pens, a long-haired and winter-capped slacker girl cries out, “Help! Get us out of here!” She and her two male companions are bound seated with duct tape; the men are reduced to helpless grunting by the tape holding their mouths shut.

While Shira runs back to Frank, Leila shoots the lock off the gate. Cory and Kio run in to replace her. The four rush in to untape the prisoners and take them out of their cage. Suddenly a man bursts through the wall, a huge man powered by PCP and lusting for murder. The boys pull out the prisoners through the excretion and stench of the dog pens, and out of the building. Leila stays behind to face Thorwald’s new point man, a Nikoniko Gumi slasher called Koroshi Oniroku. He charges her with bloodcurdling kiai to tear her to shreds.

In a single movement, she whips out her katana, cleanly cuts off his head, sheathes her sword again. The headless bleeding monster slams into the opposite wall, bounces off, lands on the floor thrashing like a gasping dying fish for over a minute until the body realizes its head is gone and falls still.

An idea hits her. She rearranges the room’s rigged lighting to resemble a fashion shoot. She rearranges the security cameras to her liking. She strips the clothes off the corpse like a reptile’s superfluous skin and throws them away. She takes out her phone, takes control of the cameras, and then poses the corpse like a woman bending over backward. She picks up his head, pins it in his hands, puts it on his crotch to make it look like he’s fellating his own corpse, and shoots.

On the stage above, Frank struggles to sit up and tries to look into the chaos, only to see a black-helmeted figure standing over him. “Oh, fuck,” he mumbles.

Shira flips open her helmet’s faceplate. “Hiya, Frankie. I missed you terribly.”

He leaps up onto his feet, points at her accusingly, and stutters, “You — y-you — you’re Spanner? Why the hell are you saving them?!

“What do you do when you assume?” She snaps the helmet shut, takes it off in a flourish, shakes her copper hair out, and says almost casually, “In Tournament, no team’s different from any other. Rule number thirteen? Beat the man, and you are the Man.”

Frank throws himself at her to try to strangle her. Laughing contemptuously, she kicks him in the groin and uppercuts him with her helmet. He falls hard onto his back; his head bounces off the floor; his vision blurs and swims. Shira straddles him and bends down, hands on knees, to stare down into his face. Rob, Arisa, Brandi, and Peck assemble around her. “Frankie darlin’, it ain’t just personal anymore. Now that you’re the Man, your bounty’s risin’ like a red-hot stock. Greed is indeed good.” Bremeloes and Slasher Hunters mob him, gag and hogtie him with duct tape, and carry him out the door.

Thorwald bursts into the holding pens; finding Leila taking perverted pretty pictures of his headless naked second, he spins his shovel into spear position and contorts his face in irrational rage. “Fuckin’ piece o’ shit whore,” he snarls, “you fuckin’ ruined fuckin’ everything!

Leila holds her katana in strike position and smiles ironically. “Ollie darling,” she purrs, “I only did it because I love you so much. Now shut up and die.”

Brandi clocks Thorwald with a backfist to the back of the head; he falls onto his face unconscious without letting go of the shovel. Kio and Lars pry his fingers off while Arisa ties him up with a found roll of hemp rope. “No time for lovers’ spats,” Brandi says, “we gotta go.”

The Bremeloes and Slasher Hunters leave their tied-up prisoners at the front gate for the arriving cops and rush to the vans without Shira, who stays behind for the debriefing. When all the raiders and rescued prisoners cram into the vans and shut the doors, they speed down the driveways and spin out westbound onto Northeast Eightieth toward Seabeck as a COPCO antiterror force rushes in from the east.

His plans for gang domination ruined, the Clown escapes into the woods.

Bangor Police. While Angela Coyne watches on, Shira slams a packed folder onto the table of the interrogation room in front of Diana Shockley and her Navy SEAL brother Will Becket, who have banned all COPCO agents from the building because their nephew Frank, son of COPCO’s Cascadia section chief, makes a huge one-man security hole. “Princess, this is what your nephew’s been doing behind your back. Drugs, prostitution, dogfights, devil worship, human sacrifice, serial thrill killing. If you let him get away with any of it, the sacred honor of the House of Cromwell Becket is bound to take a big hit, and with it the power of the Empire. Which, of course, is his exact intention.”

Angela adds, “Agent Shockley, Commander Becket, are you willing to give the Chinese and the Caliphate a victory right before your grandfather the King comes right to town? It won’t look good in the history books.”

Will takes a long slow drag on his cigar. Diana watches him blow out the smoke in rings. He says, “It certainly won’t look good for our brother.”

“I’m really starting to worry about our brother, Will,” says Diana.

“It doesn’t look good on a police chief’s résumé to have a rampaging psychopathic gang lord for a son. Jack will have to publicly disavow and disown him if he wants to keep his power and position.”

Will Becket and Diana Shockley stare back at their clan’s flame-haired nemesis and her dark-skinned cousin. The cousins have the upper hand in this game. Diana says, “So what do we do with them?”

Will smiles enigmatically. “We pass on their warning, pay them their full reward, and prepare for their next move.”

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Copyright © 2011 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
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