Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 18: White Riot in the Streets
Part 2: Fight Club City Smashers
Part 2: Fight Club City Smashers
12 october 2014.
telesphere. Soon, Valiant Team are joined by others like them. The official news networks are quick to report the new riots. They report not the story, but CPMC’s official spin on the story, blaming the people in general for the riots, because they perversely (the company’s flacks claim) persist in holding onto the humanistic heresies of democracy and liberalism.
Desiree videomessages KCUF. “I never can get myself to believe these people would say such stupid things.”
Shira shrugs. “Hey, darlin’, a Party’s gotta have its Line.”
“Well, it makes ’em look like they’re made of straw.”
“Hey. Poe’s Law.”
Desiree looks down at the new chaos below. These new rioters are better dressed than the food rioters. They have no desperation. They treat it like a party. She knows at once exactly what to say. “Put us on,” she tells Scope.
Desiree:The official networks report on Desiree as the story. They scramble for official sources to retort. The official sources do not answer Desiree so much as yell past her.
Down below us, a new riot has started. The official media can’t tell the new one from the old. They can’t see through the party line. The new rioters aren’t crying for help. They’re helping themselves to every luxury they can find.
These are the gilded youth of America, the heirs to the glory of the greatest empire in history. They have decided that now is the time to take what they believe is theirs — as much of it as they can get their hands on. And then they’ll sell it on the black market for as much as they can squeeze out of it.
If greed is indeed good, if wealth is the true measure of virtue, this is what you do. If business is war, this is what it looks like.
Drusilla:Suddenly the broadcast is interrupted. Spanner (or at least the man in the insignia helmet who punched out Litton’s impostor) has a man in a business suit over his lap. But instead of spanking him, he makes him scream by pulling dollar bills out of his overstuffed pockets, one by one.
How dare that insolent woman slander the virtue of wealth! Wealth is the reward one receives for good living and faithful service to God. These are parasites! They’re stealing what the virtuous have earned only because they have no virtue of their own and envy us ours! Parasites! [face twists in hatred] And that is not my daughter! Nobody like that could be my daughter!
[Desiree (grins): Took you long enough to finally agree with me, old hag.]
[chides the viewers] You fools! This is what your precious humanism has led you too! You hate morality because it comes from God — [points at the Flag] from Jesus America only! Look at what you’ve done to our children! Your moral cannibalism has corrupted them! We will have—
Spanner:The official news presenters return mid-scream. The embarrassed network programmers interrupt the interrupted news with patriotic music videos of the military marching bands playing Sousa.
Greetings, TV Land. Right now all the Corporate kids in Seattle are stealing everything they can get their hands on. They’re partying in the streets, drinking while underage, calling their fences who will pay for their ill-gotten merchandise in cocaine, preferred drug of the decadent rich. [plucks out a dollar bill; the “victim” screams and writhes as if being spanked] They’re practicing the lessons they learned at daddy’s feet: Take what you can get. Take the money and run. The money is the life. He who dies with the most toys wins. [plucks another dollar bill; “victim” screams again] They’ve seen the example of their fathers, and they’re following those examples as only youth spoiled rotten by infinite wealth can. [another dollar bill, another scream] What daddy does to other companies and to the people generally, the sons are doing to expensive merch. [ditto] It’s about time the victims started spoiling the fun. [plucks another dollar bill; piratecast ends mid-scream]
the ghetto. In the squalor and degradation of the slumtowns, among the periodically ruined shanties, the gangsters watch the news broadcasts on their own purloined televisions and collectively decide their manly honor has been slimed. We’re getting owned by girly white frat punks! Time to go black on those posers and show them who’s the real men in this stupid town!
With one mind, a mind possessed by Tournament, they crowd like clowns into their moonshine-powered chop-shop SUVs, twenty or thirty at a time. In drunken boosted tweaked-out recklessness they speed race bolt up the tollways and arterials to converge on downtown; some crash, burn, kill comrades, die. They play chicken with big trucks, race against angry cops.
As soon as they get downtown, they fall out of their vehicles and launch themselves at the rich white looters. Both sides take it as a Challenge. Rich white, poor colored, boys throw themselves at each other and fight each other for the right to call themselves men, smashing windows and merchandise and vehicles that get in the way.
Flying above on their hoverboards, Desiree and Scope capture the scene.
Desiree:COPCO Seattle. Brinkman’s giant bearded face takes over the entire monitor bank and makes Jack jerk awake. “What the hell are you doing, cousin? Tell your men to get the hell off their fat lazy asses and get right downtown right this second!” Then he disappears.
There’s a new development in the riot story. Street gangs are swarming in from slums all over the city to loot the looters. Downtown has become a giant fight scene between the gangs and what looks to be school fight clubs. They’re abandoning their stolen goods and just fighting. Ladies and gentlemen, we may be witnessing the largest Team Challenge in the history of Tournament!
Now the monitors show scenes of fighting in the streets between tattooed street gangsters in shabby gaudy costumes and burly young fight clubbers in half-buttoned high school uniforms. Gangsters and fight clubbers throw punches, kicks, heavy objects, and stolen merchandise at each other in their steroid-maddened fury. He recognizes his nephew Beck Skeever and team among the mob, gleefully beating up street thugs and ripping up their colors. He sounds the klaxon and speaks the command.
“Attention all personnel! There’s a huge riot going down right here downtown! All strike agents get directly to the scene, right fucking now!”
All strike cops in the Public Safety Building rush to their vans and helicopters, slip into their armour, crowd in. The vans race out, the copters take off, reinforcements come in from elsewhere in the city. They leap out among the fighters, and suddenly the fight is three-way.
Desiree:Spanner’s eight-bit avatar takes over the broadcast screens.
COPCO strike troops have arrived in an attempt to suppress the rioting and fighting. [takes gas mask out of hoverboard’s cargo compartment, puts it on] They’re releasing tear gas and bringing out the truncheons and rubber bullets. The gangs and some of the looters are attacking the cops! Ladies and gentlemen, this story has officially gotten interesting.
Spanner:Desiree’s report resumes:
Attention, investors: Now is not too early to start selling CPMC and COPCO stock. Sell it off. Sell it short. Sell it now.
Desiree:KCUF studio. The building rumbles and monitors shake with deafening cheers and thunderous applause. Deth exults, “Jesus H. America, guys, that girl’s spectacular!”
It’s only been one week since King Patriot’s fatal visit and the ensuing riot of angry Party activists, COPCO agents, and security robots. Seattle has not yet recovered, yet it’s taking another blow from the most violent elements of the city, the school fight clubs and the ghetto street gangs. The authorities will surely blame this latest disaster on their usual scapegoat, the liberal public, in order to deflect any blame from themselves. You, the public, are not to blame for what these elite youth, the criminal élite and the gilded youth of Corporatism, are inflicting on the city they both hate. If you are still not awake to the danger you face, then you are already dead.
Simon climbs up on the table in front of the monitors, pumps his fist, and shouts, “This is the female Edison Carter, and she’s exclusive to us!” Cheers shake the studio again, then turn to chants: “Desi! Desi! Desi!” Shira leaps onto the table beside Simon and leads the chant.
Amanda leans against Sparks, he holds her tight, both stare at the monitors in amazement as Desiree becomes what Amanda fought so hard to become before the coup broke her and made her its bitch. “How does she do it so easily?” asks Amanda.
“You heard her,” Sparks answers. “She’s a Method nazi.” They both laugh.
downtown Seattle. Into the fight, the Party’s Minuteman militias and the Church of America’s Moral Enforcers drive their own crowded vans and military transports to reinforce the COPCO strike agents. Black-masked anarchist fighters and many of the terrorists who survived the previous Sunday swarm in to fight the strike agents and Party militants alongside the gangsters they normally fight. Terrified by the now deadly intensity of the fighting, appalled at the wanton destruction of merchandise they only wanted to steal, the fight club boys flee the riot they themselves started and leave the battlefield to the real warriors now rampaging where King Patriot died only a week ago.
The blonde talking heads warn everybody in Seattle to stay in their homes and stay away from downtown. For once, their enemies Desiree and Amanda can find nothing to disagree with.
Eventually, as the drugs wear off and the warriors grow weary, the fighting diminishes in intensity. COPCO and the Party militants capture many terrorists, street gangsters, and anarchist fighters; they in turn capture several enforcers to trade for their fighters while sabotaging several strikers’ power armour. Eventually, night falls and the streets clear of fighters and enforcers. For the second time in a week, downtown Seattle is left in ruins.
The talking heads spin the usual party line more perfunctorily than usual, once again blaming the usual suspects (liberal Cascadians) for what the real culprits (fight clubs, street gangs, terrorists, and the Party and COPCO enforcers themselves) did. But the real story turns out to be the redheaded beauty who emerged from scandal to scoop them so boldly. Whenever Desiree appears in their reports, the ratings skyrocket. So many people download torrents of her reports for KCUF, they slow down the Darknet’s bandwidth to a crawl, something that hasn’t happened since the original Spanner Incident last August. Old pictures of her in fashionable clothes, in bikinis, in the nude, find their way onto every computer connected to the Darknet. Pre-coup sex tapes of her and her sister-wife Charlie making sweet passionate love resurface from hidden archives and spread. Like Spanner before her, Desiree Richter-Thomas has become a meme.
The blonde presenters ask themselves, what makes this redhead so fearless, so heedless of danger and potential death? An expert on super soldiers called up by ABCNN gives a plausible explanation: as daughters of Drusilla Becket AMERICA! and members of America’s superheroic first family, she and Charlie have inherited her electrokinetic powers and ability to project force fields that repel projectiles, themselves inherited from her own mother and down through the maternal line. Drusilla once bore the superhero codename Livewire; it now belongs to Desiree herself (Charlie is called Pulse). The presenter jokes that it might also explain the sisters’ powerful attraction to each other, like magnets. Her male partner protests the joke, but Desiree laughs and admits to Scope that the woman might be right.
KCUF studio. Desiree and Scope are greeted on arrival like conquering heroes. She makes a beeline toward Amanda, sweeps her up in her arms, and kisses her long and hard on the lips. They spin and hop around happily together, keeping their lips locked. They break the kiss and gasp for air. Desiree asks her, “How did I do?”
“You were great!” gasps Amanda.
“I did it because I worship you.”
“Can I worship you too?”
“Oh please do! We can be each other’s heroes now!” They hug and kiss again; their embrace quickly grows into an all-female group hug as Shira, Jennifer, Leila, and Charlie jump them and trade kisses with them. Then the girls let Desiree go so the guys can carry her on their shoulders and declare her KCUF’s official resident news hero.
CPMC boardroom. The Fearsome Foursome fly away from Seattle as quickly as they can and reassemble with Drusilla Becket AMERICA! and Brendan Sparks at CPMC headquarters in Salem. In the chairman’s throne, Brinkman says, “That’s twice things have gotten completely out of hand now, and in the same big city. Let us not make this a Sunday tradition, shall we?”
Everson turns to Sparks and Becket. “Gentlemen, this demon who calls himself Spanner is making a complete fool of us. You guys got any detectives on his trail?”
Jack protests to Brinkman, “You wanted us to focus on fighting terrorists and liberals, Wally! You never said you wanted fucking detectives!”
Sparks says to him, “We’ve got detectives, Jack.” To Brinkman, “Well, Walter, are you going to pay us to do some actual detective work, or are you content to let him make you look like a complete fool? Which is it?”
Drusilla stands up, leans on the table, and snarls, “We don’t need detectives, Brendan, we need exorcists! We need to banish this Spanner back to Hell whence he came, and do it now!”
“What about your daughter?”
“I’ll deal with the little traitor myself. You can’t handle her.”
Admiral Fleer stands up and fires his service pistol upward. “Silence!” Everyone falls silent and stares at him. “You have failed! Twice! We’ll do things my way, or not at all!”
“And what do exactly do you have in mind, Alan? Your usual martial law thing?”
“That...” He glares at Brinkman “...and I’ll be taking over control of the government until you, Walter, can prove that you can govern this damn traitor state.”
Brinkman glares back. After a pause, he growls, “Alan, I don’t think you can.”
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Copyright © 2011 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
[Revision 2, 9/20/11: All new material.]