Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 18: White Riot in the Streets
Part 5: Knife in the Back
Part 5: Knife in the Back
14 october 2014.
telesphere. The network news presenters report the news that Admiral Alan Fleer has declared martial law throughout the State of Cascadia in response to the recent two days of rioting and property damage in Seattle. The guest political analysts rightly question the Admiral’s extending martial law from the Metropolitan City of Seattle to the entire state and sense an escalation for power over the state government. Party spokesman Peter Ross comments from Seattle, “There is no power struggle here. All Conservative Revolutionaries are united in our struggle to eliminate the plague of Communism from America. The enemy has attempted three insurrections against us in two days, and we have put them down with righteous ruthlessness and the power of Jesus America. We’re taking measures to prevent any more insurrections. God Bless America!”
All the networks end the story with these words: “Admiral Fleer refuses to comment.”
On the Darknet, the “kremlinology” discussion boards come to an unusual agreement: This is a coup d’état. Fleer is using the National Guard and the Special Forces to overthrow the Cascadia Public Management Corporation.
period 1. “Not one disagreement?” voicemessages Shira.
Deth replies, “Not, even, one.”
“The old fiend must be easier to read than I thought, then. Kremlinologists got any word on Brinkman or Everson?”
“Word from the CPMC boardroom is they’re making bets.”
“Well, let’s give ’em a big jackpot, then.”
“Luv ya babe ciao!”
Shira’s avatar kisses at him. Back in class, she catches Mr Smith in mid-sermon. She ignores him and observes the students. After Colonel Green’s attempt to invade the school, they are understandably jittery. They trade rumors in whispers and notes about potential future invasions of the school. None of them bother to pay attention to Mr Smith. They are too scared to learn.
Shira’s apartment. Hope calls her daughter by vidphone. “I heard there was another incident at school.”
“I suspect Stan Green chickened out and called his daddy, the colonel,” says Shira. “Daddy Green and his goons apparently got as spooked by me and Leila as Stan and his goons.”
“I hope you’re not about to get yourself killed, Shira. I don’t want to have to go through the hell of losing another child.”
“Don’t worry about me, Mom. Just make sure you’re safe, too. They’re not just after me, you know.”
period 2. Shira says bluntly, “We’ve already learned everything you want us to know, Mr Jones. Over and over and over. You could fit it all in a single Sunday school class.”
Mr Jones looks over an empty classroom. “B-but everybody’s stayed home. Besides, everybody needs their faith reinforced.”
“Boredom’s the worst way. Boring Sunday school classes have created generations of atheists. If the kids were learning real science, they wouldn’t be skipping class.”
“I’ll flunk ’em all!”
Shira grins. “I’m afraid they’ve already flunked you.”
period 3. Shira and Jennifer skip Mrs Turnipseed’s class. Jennifer says, “Haven’t you noticed all the good teachers are gone and the bad ones are all here?”
“Hey, those were the only ones with a high enough security clearance to leave the house. Except for our librarians, of course.”
“I’m so glad they had the guts to break the gauntlet for us.”
“It’s why we love ’em so much. Wanna drop by again?”
library. When Shira and Jennifer enter, they find Rachel putting checked-in books back on their shelves. She is not pleased to see them. “Why aren’t you two in class?”
Shira says, “What class?”
Jennifer says, “Emergency skip day again.”
Rachel returns to shelving books. “Don’t be speaking against your teachers again.”
“Rachel, we’re the assistant teachers,” Shira reminds her, “and they’re not teaching.”
Jennifer puts her arm around Rachel, raises a finger, and lectures her. “You realize, Rachel, that the only reason the teachers we’re talking about got their jobs is as a reward for faithful service to the Party. Qualifications? Unnecessary. They don’t teach, you see, because they can’t teach. All they can do is preach, and their sermon repertoire is quite limited. There’s only enough Party talking points to go around, after all. A narrowly constricted worldview is advantageous to advancement within the Party ranks, but it gets you nowhere if you’re looking for an actual job outside the Party.”
Rachel escapes Jennifer’s arm and crosses her arms indignantly. “Then how do you explain the need for martial law?”
“That actually has nothing to do with school, or even with us. It’s entirely a Party thing. We’re just all caught in it.”
Shira adds, “Underground kremlinologists tell me this can only be a sign of a power struggle at the top. Basically, the Fleer sisters’ dad is trying to overthrow your grandfather.”
Rachel drops the books she’s holding. “What?!”
hallway. “Is this true?” asks Charmian in near-panic.
“Why?!” exclaims Dorian.
Shira hugs them both. “It’s not about you. It’s personal between your father and the Governor.”
Jennifer, arms crossed tightly, grimly informs, “It’s Tournament. That’s how politics works in a one-party state. You think democracy’s bad? At least it doesn’t encourage Party leaders to advance in the hierarchy by killing their superiors.”
Charmian gasps, shakes her head violently. “No! That can’t be true!”
“I’m afraid it is. When you deprive the people of the ability to choose their representatives and make the laws in orderly fashion, all you have left is Tournament.”
“I’m afraid she’s right,” says Dorian. “Father hasn’t been the same since he got caught in all the political infighting in the Party.” She starts to cry. “He just hasn’t been himself lately.”
“But we still love him,” says Charmian. Dorian nods. They embrace within Shira’s arms, hold each other tight, cry together.
Back toward the library, they hear Rachel scream. Julian yells, “Stop it, Christie! Please!” Shira, Charmian, Dorian, and Jennifer look over toward the library door. Christian is pulling Rachel’s hair. They run over to try to stop her. Leila, Courtney, and Schuyler meet them there.
“Christian, stop it this instant!” commands Charmian.
Christian gets into her sister’s face to challenge her. “Charmian, why are you being such a wimp,” she snarls.
“I will have no infighting within the Student Council. We must preserve unity at all costs!”
“Father told us to struggle against the Brinkmans. He has personally purged them from the Party. That means they no longer belong to the Council as of right now!”
Everyone stares at Christian. Charmian gasps at her in horror. Leila helps Rachel up and holds her protectively from the side.
Charmian says numbly, “You can’t be serious.”
With absolute self-righteousness, Christian replies, “I am deadly serious, Charmian. And if you do not purge the Brinkmans from the Council and commence struggle against them, then Father will appoint me Student Council President.”
Dorian, Charmian, and Julian Fleer stare at their sister, shocked that she would betray them. Rachel collapses in her cousin’s arms and cries on her shoulder. Courtney and Schuyler each put a reassuring hand on Charmian’s shoulder. Leila asks, ”Can anybody tell us what the hell is going on?”
Shira smiles ironically. “Congratulations, Christian Fleer. You just pulled off what the Student Union couldn’t in our wildest dreams. You destroyed the Student Council!”
cafeteria. The morning and afternoon tutors sit together at the same table for lunch. The lunchroom is loud with gossip about the Student Council’s collapse. Everybody notices that the Council members are now sitting apart, in two hostile groups: on one side, Christian, Lucy, Lady, and Valiant Team; on the other, the other Fleer sisters and Bob and Rachel Brinkman. Leila looks at Christian and comments, “Looks like Vivian has finally found her true successor.”
Schuyler says, “This has everything to do with the martial law situation, doesn’t it.”
Dorian sighs. Jennifer replies, “It’s obvious now that the martial law has nothing to do with the riots. It’s personal now. From what Christian said, the feuding patriarchs are determined to bring their clans into it. It’s basic kremlinology.”
“Apparently when you combine egoism with a one-party state,” Leila adds, “what you get is this.”
Shira grins. “Conservative Democracy. Gotta love it.”
Bart comes by, grabs Shira’s shoulder, and pinches as hard as he can, making her shriek in pain. She takes his wrist and puts painful pressure on it till his hand comes loose, then pries it backwards till he grimaces as she stands up slowly. She puts her knee into his groin, then sends a roundhouse kick into his jaw, making him stagger back until he falls.
Furiously, Shira yells, “You psycho bitch! Are you trying to rape me in front of everybody?” She puts her hands to her mouth to amplify her voice and shouts at the top of her lungs, “Barty Green’s now fighting for Team NarcoKlan! His daddy says so!”
Debbie runs over to Bart, holds her hand out rigidly in the infamous legionary salute, and gleefully shrieks, “Sieg heil!” Other Team Bremelo fighting girls surround him, throw their arms out, and yell, “Sieg HEIL!” Charmian hides her face with her hands.
Bart gets up against Shira’s body and screams into her face, “It’s all your fault, you goddamn mudblood bitch!” He struggles to restrain himself from punching out the girls around him.
Shira puts her hands on his shoulders, leans seductively into him, and purrs, “Hey, Champ, aren’t you gonna Challenge me?” He storms away; Valiant Team follow, and Christian’s Pretty Team remnant leave after them.
A worried Polly hugs Shira from behind. “Oh my god, Shira, we almost thought he was gonna kill you!”
Shira smirks. “Nah. He’s not afraid he’ll lose control and rip me to shreds. He’s afraid he’ll lose.”
Charmian shakes her head in embarrassment.
gymnasium. Less than half the students have made it to the emergency assembly. Spiekerman shouts at the ones who stayed home, “All y’all who ain’t here! You cowards! Y’all betrayed Jesus America! You’re guilty of treason! We’re gonna punish y’all when you get back!”
Major Falconer steps up to the podium and taps the microphone. Principal Principal sits behind her, sweating nervously but still smirking. Falconer says, “You are here because we have a very important announcement to pass on. All hail your new Governor!”
The puffy, terminally angry face of Alan Fleer appears on the big screen behind the stage. The students stand up and clap out of obedience. Fleer holds up his hand to signal silence.
Admiral Fleer:The Fleer sisters stand up and scream in unison; Christian faints. Falconer stares at the screen in horror. Spiekerman yells, “Lies! Lies, I tell you! All lies!”
Greetings to our loving subjects. We hereby declare the Cascadia Public Management Corporation guilty of treason against America. We are now Governor of the State of Cascadia for life. Martial law shall be made permanent. All liberals are guilty of Communist treason and will be summarily executed.
The eight-bit avatar of Spanner replaces Fleer on screen. The students fall silent out of fear of punishment.
It is now official. Big Al Fleer just promoted himself, Klingon style. That means, he intends to kill his boss, Wally Brinkman. Here’s how he intends to govern treasonous liberal Cascadia.
Secret-police home movies of the Argentine genocide of the 1970s play on screen.
Big Al’s got some experience, you see. Forty-some years ago, the generals took over Argentina and attempted to purge the country of all its liberal traitors. They managed to kill at least fifty thousand or so. Or rather, quote-unquote ‘disappeared’ them. [Scenes of the young Alan Fleer raping young women, murdering them, raping their corpses] They taught Big Al well. His father was one of the generals. He molded his son into a true gangster. As of now, he is the new king of crime.
[Eden Fleer’s adultery videos play out]
For Godfather Al, anything goes. There is no law. The law is Godfather Al. All women in this state belong to him. He has the right to do to them anything he damn well pleases. He is the Mack. [The video of Fleer having sex with Falconer plays; several students gasp] It doesn’t matter to Jesus America if he screws his own subordinates... [Fleer has sex with Vivian] or commits abominable sexcrime with his own daughter—
Suddenly, three teachers and ten students — among them Marina, Colette, and Mr Whitmer — go into convulsions, then stand up rigidly. They surround the stage and form a line in front of the students. They are quickly joined by the guards (including Adam Treece), who give them weapons, and several security robots. They all shout in unison, with a single voice: “I am Jesus America your God! There is no god but Me! Bow down before me in worship! All who do not worship me are traitors and shall be destroyed!”
Shira stands up. “Jesus America!”
“What do you want, blasphemer Styles?”
“Why are you allowing disunity in your Party?”
“In Me there is no disunity! Only faith and patriotism in Me, and treasonous unfaith against Me!”
Shira intensifies her stare. “The ruling Quadrumvirate of the Conservative Revolutionary Party of Cascadia are fighting amongst themselves. I repeat, why are you allowing such disunity in your Party?”
“Disunity is treason!”
“The Quadrumvirate are men of ambition! They’re letting their ambition override their faith! Their ambition causes them to accuse each other of unfaith and treason — and they’re right, all of ’em!”
“Speak not against me, Styles!”
“Luke Everson is selling false salvation for profit! John Becket hires mudblood criminals and commits fornication with robots! Walter Brinkman is sellingout your Holy Land to the Chinese enemy for profit! Alan Fleer is trying to replace you and make himself God in your place!”
“Styles! Traitor! You lie!”
“The Fearsome Foursome are committing treason against you in your name!”
“No! This cannot be!”
Shira unleashes Sparks’s iOS virus into the mind control chips of Marina, Colette, Whitmer, and Treece. They fall to the ground and convulse, followed by the other bodyjacked humans. The security robots jerk upright and stand motionless. Several students rush the unconscious out; the rest crowd their way through the doors. Falconer and Spiekerman flail in frustration and try to order them to stop, but no one can hear them and everyone ignores them.
hallway. Charmian suddenly finds herself alone in near darkness. Just as suddenly, she finds herself in Shira’s arms. They stare at each other for an endless moment. Then Shira presses her lips to hers. She gives in to her desire and kisses Shira with all the passion that overwhelms her.
Behind her, Leila says, “Shira, what are you doing?”
“Come here,” says Shira. Leila steps into her arms, holds her tight, and kisses her as hard as she can.
Charmian screams, “Stop it! Please stop!”
Shira takes Charmian in her arms again. Her smile is full of love.
“I thought you loved me,” Charmian sobs.
“I love you with all my heart,” says Shira. “I always have.”
“No you don’t! You love her!”
“I do love her, every bit as much as I love you.”
Charmian stares at her in shock, then at Leila. She struggles her way out of her arms, then slaps her. “I hate you, Shira.”
Shira smiles. “You love me, Charms, as much as I love you. You always have.”
“I hate you,” shrieks Charmian, “because I love you!”
Shira embraces Charmian as hard as she can. Charmian kisses her as hard and passionately as she can, loving and hating her in equal measure, letting her tears flow freely. Leila stares at them stunned. But their passion is contagious to her; she finds herself intensely turned on. She joins them, holds Charmian from behind, says “I love you too,” showers her bare neck with sweet kisses.
Desiree:on to the next... →
CPMC CEO J. Walter Brinkman has just ordered COPCO to arrest Admiral Alan J. Fleer on charges of aggravated adultery. Fleer had announced today that he would be replacing CPMC as Governor of Cascadia. In conjunction with the arrest, Brinkman has ordered the lifting of martial law, effective immediately.
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Copyright © 2011 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
[Revision 2, 9/23/11: All new material, except for Charmian’s final line, taken from the ’00s Project Notebooks.]
[Revision 2.1, 9/29/11: Changed Nicole’s name to Colette to fit Third Edition continuity.]