Thursday, September 22, 2011

Spanner 18.4: All State Lockdown

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 18: White Riot in the Streets
Part 4: All State Lockdown

14 october 2014.
Shira’s apartment
The phone wakes Shira up. She picks it up: Sparks. “Hello?”

“Good morning to you on this lovely Tuesday.”

Shira looks out the window. Dark, cloudy, rainy: stereotypical Cascadian weather. “So what trouble’s in store for us today, J.T.?”

“National Guard’s out, for one. They’re on police duty, and regular army are joining ’em.”

“Don’t tell me. Fleer’s declared martial law, right?”

“He’ll be making his announcement soon.”

“He won’t know what hit him. Love ya ’bye.” Shira puts the phone back on the nightstand, reaches for Arvid’s card, and rolls over to kiss the groggy beauty struggling to wake up beside her.

“Mmm. That woke me up,” Leila says. “What’s so urgent?”


“Oh, great.” Leila scrambles over Shira’s body, runs to the window, hurriedly shuts the blinds and curtains.

“You’d think these guys got the sense to figure out when enough is enough.”

“I know these people. They have no sense whatsoever. Only ambition.” Leila leaps back onto the bed and Shira, then kisses her harder than usual. ”You know how much I need you. But right now you need me. When we go outside, I don’t want you to wander so much as an inch away from me. We’re together at all times once we get out the front door, okay?”

“Gotcha, babe. But why all this concern over me?”

“Fleer hates you more than any of the Foursome.”

Shira shows Leila the card in its case. “Fears is more like it. He knows I have ways of getting him. I don’t think he’ll be getting out of this intact.” She reaches back and sets the card on her phone. “This time, though, I intend to be nice to his daughters.”

telesphere. The Fearsome Foursome talk at each other in duelling press releases:
Admiral Fleer:
Since CPMC, COPCO, Minuteman, and the Moral Enforcement Crusade have failed to stem a series of street insurrections against Our Nation, it has become clear to me that only the United States Armed Forces can keep order.

Chief Becket:
The Admiral should speak. He started the whole thing by trying to reserve all civilian rations for his favorites.

Mr Becket is full of lies.

Shepherd-Mayor Everson:
Both the Admiral and the Chief are speaking impiety. They squabble and quibble over who started what, while the Communist threat persists among us and plots the destruction of America. We must get back to faith in America—

Shepherd Everson claims I am speaking impiety against America. He needs to realize that the strength of America is only in the heroic men who sacrifice their lives through service to Our Nation in our Armed Forces. America exists only because our brave military heroes gave their lives and their blood, and only their sacrifices can keep America foremost in the world and extend Our Nation’s sacred dominion to the universe.

The soul of America is those who dedicate their lives to the worship of Jesus America, the faithful men of the Church of America and the Conservative Revolutionary Party.

Chairman Brinkman:
Stop it right now, you fools! All you’re doing is breaking our unity. We need to pull together if we want to destroy the Communist threat once and for all!
Shira’s apartment. Shira and Leila save their pleasure for the shower. They take extra care to soap each other’s bodies and pay extra gratuitous attention to the pleasure zones, since it may be the last time they can shower before they get home. They dry each other off, put on clean uniforms, paint their faces carefully, and go to breakfast.

“You’d better stay home, Mom,” says Shira at the dining table. “I have a feeling there’s a big target on your head today.”

Ric gently pats Hope’s shoulder. “Don’t worry, cub. I’m sticking around to keep your mother company.”

“Don’t forget Ayla,” says Hope. They smile at the girl happily slurping down eggs and sausage.

“You think you two’ll be safe out there?”

Leila smiles. “We should be fine.”

bus. Leila directs Shira to one of the less visible seats near the back and has her sit next to the window. They notice many of the regular riders are missing, so that there are almost more soldiers than passengers aboard. Leila puts her arm around Shira protectively and puts her finger to her lips to signal they should say nothing.

The usual crowds on the sidewalks have been replaced by large armed men wearing camouflage and bearing combat weapons. At one glance they can tell the difference between the grim combat veterans and the eager and paranoid recruits. Shira and Leila communicate through voice messages sent between personal area networks.

Leila says, I can tell that some of these men don’t want to be here.

Shira says, The green ones seem to be acting as party enforcers. They got recruited straight out of church, of course.

I’m guessing the veterans got pulled straight from the front.

The soldier standing next to them says wearily, “You lovely young ladies friends?”

“Yes we are,” Leila answers unsmilingly. “Friends need to pull together and protect each other if we want to survive this crisis.”

“Well, the big guys don’t look all too together right now.”

“They’re men of ambition. When their ambitions clash, their alliances tend to not survive.”

“You know these men?”

“I regret to say I’ve been caught in the middle of their palace politics.”

Shira smiles at him. “Where have you fought?”

“Some of us are supposed to be on the Siberian front, but we keep getting called back to the States for police duty ’cuz COPCO can’t do its damn job.”

The National Guardsman in front of him says, “They should’ve let the cities keep their police forces.”

“Naw, they wouldn’t have many cops left then ’cuz they’d rather go military.”

Shira says, “Fighting terrorists and keeping predatory Chinese corporations out of our oilfields is more exciting than answering to resentful civilians.&rdquo

“Yeah, that’s about right.”

“Which means COPCO gets the leftovers and rejects.”

The soldiers laugh. “Who are they laughing at?” asks the lady in the next seat forward.

Shira leans forward conspiratorially. “COPCO.”

school. Sparks meets Shira and Leila at the bus stop. He hears the soldiers laughing. “What’s so funny?”

“COPCO’s a joke,” Shira answers.

“A bad joke. Where’s the terrorists?”

“In their bunkers, plotting. Y’know, like terrorists do?”

“Gotcha.” He takes both Shira and Leila into his arms and kisses first Shira and then Leila.

Carpenters, masons, and electricians are busy at work reconstructing the front door. A new batch of guards let them in. Inside the lobby, they meet with Rob, Jennifer, Connor, Courtney, and Colette. Together they look at the door to the principal’s office and make a silent agreement. Sparks joins them in the office.

principal’s office. Principal Dean Principal’s smirk is permanently fixed on his face, but everyone can read his annoyance. “And what brings you young ladies and gentlemen here without a request from me?”

“The crisis, of course,” Shira answers. “The financial experts are saying that if this continues, everybody here may soon be out on the street.”

Falconer stands up, points at her, and shouts, “You liberals started this! It’s all because you hate America!”

Shira smirks. “I’m afraid to inform you, dearest Major, that the liberals had nothing to do with any of this. The epicenter of this earthquake is at the top. Four ambitions are colliding, exactly as I predicted. Besides, everybody knows that liberals are spineless wimps.”

“Shira, you don’t know these people,” Leila protests. ”They’re still fighting the Cold War over thirty years after it ended. They don’t see liberals, they see the ghost of Joe Stalin.”

Spiekerman barks, “And who, young lady, are you to be speaking against the people defending America?”

“You’ll never know,” Leila replies scornfully.

Shira says, “Comrade Spiekerman, it seems that Admiral Fleer himself has called you Party defenders of America incompetent and unprofessional. That’s why he put soldiers on the streets just one day after your failure, as he puts it. As our official Party rep, what do you have to say about that?”

“Is this what you came to tell me, Miss Thomas?”

“Yes it is.”

“Are you so hellbent on breaking the unity of Our Nation?” accuses Spiekerman.

“Me? I only found it broken. It broke in Salem two days ago. The Quadrumvirate of Cascadia, it seems, has turned into a Tournament.”

I will punish you for your insolence, young lady!

Shira takes out her phone. “And I’ll call my lawyer.”

Don’!” snaps a nervously sweating Principal at the Party rep. “Do. not. provoke. her lawyer. Angela Coyne is a Challenge you can never win.”

“Very well,” Spiekerman growls. “Just don’t y’all make trouble.”

Shira smiles ironically. “Make trouble, Comrade? Trouble’s already here. You’re as deep in it as we are.”

homeroom. Mr Whitmer rubs the bump on the back of his neck. “Are you prepared yet?”

Shira taps the top of her head. “As ready as I’ll ever be.”

Leila looks at them, worried. “You mean sleeper agents.”

“Controlled by botnet, even,” says Jennifer.

“We saw some of the code,” Shira adds. “Standard Russky stuff, only translated into Ada and obfuscated for, they said, security reasons.”

“It’s nowhere near as elegant as our own MIRV Griffin.”

“Which we designed for multibot-class robot fighting.”

Polly enters with Cory and Kio. “I hear they’ve got the whole state under martial law!”

“That’s the Admiral’s doing. Right now he’s accusing the Party, the Church, and COPCO of being incompetent and unprofessional ’cuz they failed to stanch the riots right here in Seattle. Of course, everybody denies responsibility and blames the liberals. It’s the American way.” Shira sighs.

library. They check classroom after classroom, only to find them mostly empty, so they decide to meet up in the library. All of Team Bremelo are here despite the statewide lockdown. Joining them: Karen, Colette, Debbie, Sylvia, and the librarians. Shira says, “Looks like everybody’s skipping school today. Almost feels like a week ago.”

“Plus there’s a mandatory assembly after school for those of us unlucky to still be here,” Jennifer adds, “just like on Patriot Day.”

“Anyway, we called this emergency meeting because of the crisis. Don’t be fooled. The breakup is happening at the top. The Quadrumvirate are blaming each other for King Patriot’s death, and they’re taking it all out on us.”

“Just to remind you, the Conservative Revolution established a strict hierarchy based on corporate and military models. At the bottom, of course, are the civilians, who are not the chosen ones and therefore are expendable. Those who advocate for civilians are called liberals, humanists, traitors, Communists, and so on, all of which are synonymous. The liberals are by definition to blame for everything bad that happens, even natural disasters, because their desire to help civilians allegedly proves their manhood to be lacking. Or to put it differently, compassion is a sin that causes large flocks of blackbirds to fall out of the sky. Right, Debbie?”

Debbie twitches out of her bored reverie. “Huh?”

“Didn’t your mother teach you that liberal acts of kindness to the undeserving cause blackbirds to fall out of the sky dead?”

She blinks. She stares at Jennifer. Suddenly she remembers her mother preaching:
The day that alien Muslim liberal usurper signed that bill into law and allowed fags to desecrate our armed forces, two hundred thousand blackbirds fell out of the sky! Dead! For that crime, God will strike all the liberal traitors dead!
She frowns. “Why, yes she did. And now she’s tryin’ to turn me into a civilian too.”

Jennifer dashes over to Debbie and hug her from behind. Debbie sighs happily and melts into her arms.

Shira scans for bugs and control chips. She makes sure she’s synced Marina’s chip. She scans Colette and finds one. Figures. The bastards can’t be satisfied to rape just her body. She syncs the chip. This afternoon’s going to be interesting indeed.

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

[Revision 2, 9/22/11: All new material.]
[Revision 2.1, 9/29/11: Changed Nicole’s name to Colette to fit Third Edition continuity.]

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