Third Revision Update: Already? Yes. Adam Treece from Part 4.4 returns! And Kio and Colette resolve their relationship that was going so well in Part 5.2 yet was so brutally interrupted by a certain pair of killers in Part 5.6.
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Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 17: Power, Corruption, and Lies
Part 2: Hunting Bigger Prey
Part 2: Hunting Bigger Prey
after school. Colette drags her backpack on her way toward the front door. Only when she gets there does she bother to put it on. Kio hurries to catch up with her. Mimi follows behind him but keeps her distance.
She doesn’t face him. “What do you want?”
“I wanted to see you.”
“I haven’t been the same person since...you know.”
“We can at least...well, be friends again.”
“You weren’t much of a friend when you left me alone that day.”
“That was a wake-up call for all of us. I haven”t forgiven myself for that yet.”
Mimi protests, “But those were professional killers, Kio! They were paid to make us look stupid!”
“She’s right. Thorwald and Johnson are Special Forces assassins who mastered their skills in Afghanistan.”
“Johnny-Johnny’s dead, remember?”
Kio grins. “Oh yeah. Shira smothered him to death with her sweet ass at Ollie’s, with lots of help from Ollie and that shovel of his.”
Colette laughs. “I couldn’t imagine a better send-off. But Ollie’s mine.”
“You’ll have to get in line behind Leila. She’s the one being forced to marry the sicko.”
“Okay.” Colette opens the door to leave. Standing behind it is a tall young man with long blond hair and a pretty yet nondescript face. “Oh, this is my new boyfriend.”
The man holds out his hand. “Adam. Adam Treece.”
Kio shakes it. “Kio.”
“Yeah. You’re Shira’s coworker.”
“At Kitsap Kouriers. Yeah.” They let go of each other’s hands.
Colette cuddles Adam. “Mimi?”
Mimi looks at her without smiling. “Yes?”
“Take care of Kio for me, will ya? He’s a good person.” Colette winks.
Mimi gives Colette a huge smile. “I will! So where’s Shira anyway?”
“Off on another of her adventures,” says Kio.
The Infowar: The world hasn’t been the same since the Infowar brought down the Internet and made the Conservative Revolution of 2012 possible. Hackers didn’t bring it down. Governments did.9 october 2014.
The first thing the new American régime did once it got in power was to declare war on Iran. The Chinese and Russians entered the war on the Iranian side. The American revolutionary government, in conjunction with Israeli intelligence, used NORAD and Echelon to take over every unprotected computer system in the American Empire in an attempt to bring down the entire electronic infrastructure of China, Russia, and Iran. Predictably, they struck back in equal force.
The Internet was designed to withstand a nuclear war. But it could not easily withstand the transformation of entire nations into gigantic botnets. The last remaining freedom in most of the world was obliterated by the rising alliances of extremist factions, criminal gangs, and increasingly tyrannical and militaristic governments. The big winner was not so much the rival governments, or even the Conservative Revolutionary Party, as Echelon, Homeland Security’s paranoid Eye.
Today, computer and telephone ownership is a luxury. Only the privileged are allowed to have online communications access. Whatever they say and do online is strictly controlled by a fanatical army of vigilante trolls working for the Party.
Hackers retreated to the illegal Darknet, where they could launch a guerrilla infowar against the new world order under the name of Anonymous. They created an underground Internet where dissidents can find sanctuary from crusading trolls and the ever-watching Eye of Jesus America. Their computers and phones must by necessity remain in permanent stealth mode. But as long as the Darknet stays up, at least a thin sliver of freedom will remain. However, the rival revolutionary vanguards of the terror organizations and the Mafias have created their bases there, and from there they plot the replacement of the Conservative Revolution with revolutionary tyrannies of their own.
For the low-tech, there’s the Sneaker Net. To share information and pirated media content, they walk on their sneakers whose friction powers their personal area networks. They meet secretly like adulterers. They set up secret mail drops, or use the ones the Mafias created for the illicit trade in drugs, weapons, pornography, slaves, and exotic animals.
For the truly dedicated, there’s the Pony Express. Thrill-seekers eager to risk their lives work as couriers who deliver the mail personally. They deliver it by car, bus, bicycle, gypsy-cab taxi, and hoverboard...
Sea-Tac Corridor. After school, Shira rides the storm’s air currents southward high above the parallel corridors of Interstate 5, State Highway 99, and the railroad and light rail tracks, her cargo secured behind her feet on her hoverboard. Her intuition informs her that this particular cargo may be very important indeed. But all she cares about right now is getting it to the man who is paying her to send it. He seems rich and connected enough to buy an order to keep the sky-darkening flocks of black TSA drone aircraft from interfering with her flight. Right now he drinks an amphetamine-spiked milk drink at Loco Moloko and waits.
The rain washes the Tacoma Aroma out of the air as she approaches the city. From above, poverty-stricken and crime-ridden East Tacoma looks vastly different from prosperous trendy downtown. She crosses the I-5 barrier between them, locates her destination, makes ever narrowing circles in her descent, and lands in the alley behind the door. Carefully she unfastens the cargo box from her hoverboard, then extracts the leather pouch containing the cargo from the box. The RFID reader at the door detects her courier company ID, and the Russky doorman lets her in.
All eyes fix upon her when she removes her helmet and shakes her copper-red hair free. Shira Thomas has a heavy rep in the underworld. Some of the mobsters there fear her uncanny ability to turn their own weapons against them. Some fear her unpredictability. But the ones who fear her most have seen her, or her blond alter ego, in Rebel Rebel and in Aya-Chan’s Little Love Hotel. Rebel Styles haunts their nightmares. Shira opens her wet jacket to reveal the skin-tight courier-firm tank top that flaunts her fabulous figure. She walks up to her client like not a messenger, but a herald of the gods.
He has Russky muscle. The Russky is Maxim Rodchenko, amoral son of Shepherd Peter and brother of Socialist Revolutionary war chief Bram. He notifies the client that his courier and her cargo are here.
Leonid Stroman walks in to meet his visitor personally. “I have heard that little Rebel Styles has grown into a spectacular young woman. But I need to see you with my own eyes.”
Shira turns to him, strikes a ravishing pose, and looks at him with both suspicion and curiosity. “Seems I’m the most famous person here.”
“And the most beautiful. You’re definitely a sight for sore eyes.”
The client clears his throat to catch her attention. A tall elegant man sporting long black hair and a black trenchcoat conceals his face behind a noirish black fedora. He spins around in his chair and reveals himself as”
Shira gasps. “You?”
“Indeed,” he says in his sexy Irish purr. He puts the hat on the table before him and shakes out his beautiful long black hair to its full length.
Shira crosses her arms and peers suspiciously at him. “So what’s this about?”
“I watched my great-grandfather’s little city-clearing Sunday revival and saw you hijack my father’s expensive robot police force. I knew it had to be you. Any ordinary cracker would have just turned his bots into Terminators. You had them arrest the cops. Watching them pound each other into scrap was priceless. You proved to everyone that it was a complete waste of too much taxpayer money and foreign tribute. My regards to our friend Spanner for returning great-grandfather to hell.”
“So what do you want with me?”
“Remember the last time we met?”
“You were trying to kidnap the Shelley twins back to Pretty City, if I remember right.”
“No. I came for you.”
“I had heard that Leila had fallen for the legendary Rebel Styles. I came to test you. I wanted to enter your presence and feel your power. The moment you got in my face, I knew you by your Charmer ability. You’re as shameless as ever, Rebel Styles. Leila deserves you.”
“So where’s the money?”
“Money is useless. I offer an equal trade.”
“And what does that mean?”
“What you’re carrying is very precious to the government, and very dangerous. What I offer you in exchange is the means to destroy my father, the entire Fearsome Foursome, and CPMC.” He holds up an SD card. “What is on this card will not only end my father’s power, but his life.”
“Who’d he rape?”
“It was before the Internet, so he recorded his crimes on videotape. Years later, I found the tapes. I digitized them and copied the files to this card. If the media get hold of them, he’s as good as dead. I’ll enjoy watching him destroy himself.”
“What about the others?”
“It’s an open secret that Fleer is a notorious philanderer. Like so many men of power, he has a weakness for women who have a weakness for powerful men. Edie wanted to blackmail him so that she can control him, so she set up a secret camera and recorded his adulterous liaisons. There’s two or three that might be of special interest to you. John Becket is supposed to be the chief defender of the public morality in this state—”
“But then he goes and sets a bad example for the sheep with that ultra-kinky sexbot collection of his.”
Arvid smiles. “Exactly. And the revered Shepherd Everson has an unfortunate fondness for children.”
“Like his predecessor, the martyred Shepherd Tremayne, who died for sweet little Rebel Rebel.”
“Who could prove a valuable ally indeed.”
Shira holds up her cargo. “So what about this?”
“Open it up.” She takes it out of its pouch. She finds a miniature sonic disruptor. “This is the new generation of sonic weaponry. The weapons designers at Dictel Research have found a way to miniaturize the sound processor to create a more destructive weapon at lower cost. This is the sonic equivalent of a briefcase nuke.”
“Your nuke for mine?”
He holds the SD card out to her. She takes it and gives him the sonic disruptor core. “You now wield a weapon even more destructive than this. Sonic disruptors can kill people. The weapon you hold can destroy governments and powerful men. Be extremely careful with it.”
Shira’s apartment. While Shira is away, Leila and Amanda sit nude together on the couch. Leila caresses Amanda’s body to comfort her. Amanda rests her head on Leila’s shoulder. “Why are you being so nice to me?” she asks.
“I dreamt that if we continued to hate each other, our despair could destroy the world,“ Leila answers softly, “so I decided to love you. That’s why I forgave you after all the horrible things we’ve done to each other over the years.” She kisses Amanda and holds her tight. Amanda lets out a soft sigh.
Someone knocks on the door. “I’ll get it,” says Leila. She leaves Amanda on the couch. When she gets to the door, she looks into the peephole and smiles. She opens the door to find Sparks. He double-takes when he finds Leila in the doorway, completely nude. She flashes him a beautiful smile. “Hello, Jim. We’ve been expecting you. Come in.” She embraces him, leads him inside, quietly closes the door, and gives him a long gentle kiss on the lips. He notices a figure in his peripheral vision. Leila lets him break the kiss. He goes stiff with unpleasant surprise when he finds his old flame Amanda Currie standing naked in front of him.
“Hello, Jim,” Amanda says. She dreaded this encounter, but she makes no attempt to hide herself. Leila slips Sparks’s black duster and hangs it on the coatrack near the door.
Sparks looks Amanda’s nude body up and down while Leila unbuttons his shirt. “You’re as beautiful as I remember.”
“It hasn’t been that long.” She gently caresses his face. “What happened to your face?”
He smiles. “It’s not your fault.”
“It is my fault.”
He shakes his head. “No. I did it for you.” Leila unties his shoes.
“I didn’t want to burden you with my father’s ugly mug.”
“It’s still my fault.”
“Don’t blame yourself for what my father did. He hated both of us.”
Amanda unzips his slacks and lowers them off his body. He steps out of shoes, socks, pants, underwear. He is now as naked as Amanda and Leila. Amanda slowly runs her fingers the length of the scars on his chest and starts to cry. He takes her into his arms; they kiss with the fury of lovers forced apart by hatred and despair. She lowers herself to her knees, kisses all the way down his chest, slips her mouth over his penis, fellates him hungrily. Leila drops to her knees, holds his buttocks tight, puts her face into them tight, inserts her tongue into his sensitive anus, holds the base of his penis hard with her index finger to prolong his ecstasy. Sparks stands between his two lovers as they drive him helplessly to the kind of extreme orgasm he has experienced only with Shira...
North Seattle. Arisa Saionji used to walk Aurora Avenue, disguised as a teenage prostitute, stalking the serial killers who prey on whores and luring them into the Slasher Hunters’ traps. Now she walks beside the younger but taller Shira and gives her the tour. Tonight they do not bother to disguise themselves. Tonight they stalk bigger prey.
Recently the pimps who purvey child sex have fallen on hard times. The sexbot brothels of downtown and Bellevue have become all the rage. Upstart enterprisers like sexbots because they don’t run away, talk back, go on strike, or get hooked on drugs. They’re more hygienic because more easily cleaned. If they break down, they can be fixed; if they glitch out, they can be reprogrammed. The godfathers don’t like this. They send bought cops to destroy their mechanical competition. In response, the bot pimps buy guard robots to defend their merchandise. Under Corporatism, business is war.
So is politics.
Shira and Arisa march up the parking lot of a shabby strip mall and enter one of its storefronts. There is no sign because the business is illegal. Two burly and surly cops in uniform confront them. “What are you doing here?” asks the bigger one menacingly.
Shira reaches into her jacket and flashes out a sheaf of bills. “Business.”
The big cop tries to take the money away from her. She jerks her arm back; he grabs only air. He laughs and then growls, “Ladies, we have a right to know your business.”
“Sorry, but this is on a strictly ‘need to know’ basis, and, frankly, you don’t need to know.”
The owner walks in behind them and moves them out of his way. He looks like a Respectable Businessman. Shira and Arisa aren’t fooled. “May I help you, ladies?”
Shira subtly exposes her bounty hunter’s license. “You have a client we want. If you let us have him, we will reward you handsomely, and no one will know anything ever happened.”
“And if we do not cooperate?”
She smiles. “We’ll be more than happy to ruin you.”
“Well then, I’ll be more than happy to help you ladies.”
He buys dark-skinned girls of tween age from war-torn Third World countries and prostitutes them. In the Confederate tradition the Corpos revere, slaveowners have greater rights than mere freemen like the Richter-Thomases, precisely because they own slaves and freemen don’t. The respectable pimp chooses a girl he thinks his client will like, strips her naked, has her bathed, and puts her on the bed of the room the client always reserves. No one notices Shira and Arisa sneak into the room and hide there. Shira switches on the flash on her phone’s camera.
The target arrives on time. The darkened room grows bright and then dark again as the door opens and closes. This man clearly possesses the respectability the pimp lacks. He exudes money. Slowly he removes his expensive clothes. The hunters hear his low scary laugh. The slave girl fears him but knows she cannot resist. Once he is fully naked (Shira resists the urge to voice her disgust), he stands above his intended victim and stares down at her. He does not notice the two women watching him from the shadows. He jumps the girl and starts raping her.
Arisa flips the light switch on. Shira leaps out of hiding to the edge of the bed and whips out the phone. He looks up at her in shock and terror. “Say cheese!” she coos. Arisa takes out her camera, and the two women take pictures.
Blond lady reporter:KCUF studio. “What happened to our Amanda?” asks Deth Pussy.
This just in: City council president caught in clinch with child prostitute! Full story after the break!
On their monitor screen, Shira looks at her watch. “Right now, Jim and Leila should be happily fucking her brains out. Girl needs some serious sexual healing. I’ll be joining ’em again later tonight.”
“How’d the delivery turn out?” asks Simon Sez.
“Turns out my client decided not to pay me with money.”
Deth grimaces. “Ooh, babe, I hurt for you.”
Shira smirks wickedly. “He had something better.”
“A vendetta.” She puts on a serious expression and commands, “I want you guys to dig up all the dirt you can on CPMC, COPCO, and the Foursome. That city councillor was just the tip of the iceberg. And call Charlie and Desi; they got even more stuff we can use against ’em. Because, dear boys” — she waves the SD card in front of her phonecam — “we have officially got our hands on a nuke.”
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Copyright © 2011 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
[Revision 2, 9/13/11: Hoverboard/Loco Moloko, North Seattle, and KCUF scenes modified from original chapter along with Infowar section and news report; everything else all new material.]
[Revision 3, 9/14/11: Added new opening scene to reintroduce Adam Treece (important in later scenes) and resolve Kio and Nicole’s interrupted relationship.]
[Revision 3.1, 9/29/11: Changed Nicole’s name to Colette to fit Third Edition continuity.]