Saturday, October 1, 2011

Spanner 20.1: Game Over Man

I noticed enough annoying HTML errors in previous Spanner installments that I decided I need to preview them before I post them. I’ve already fixed a whole bunch of glitches so far, and there’s probably more. Oh, and the song Spanner’s horsing around with below? It’s right here (warning: earworm alert!). And of course it’s by Game Over Man. As for the new chapter title (changed from the first draft’s “Working for the Crackdown”) — I couldn’t find anything better... UPDATE 12/6/11: And I found one more in this post. Apparently I didn’t check it before I posted it...

Note: This is the reconstructed version of a finished installment deleted by a scheduling bug in Blogger. I couldn’t reconstruct it by memory, so I rewrote it entirely from scratch (except for the song lyric; that came back as soon as I started rewriting it). That’s why it posted late.

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 20: Things Fall Apart
Part 1: Game Over Man

When the people begin to think, all is lost.

I’ll be the death of you...
My Bloody Valentine


The picture distorts. The authorities are determined this time to jam the KCUF News Team’s transmissions. Suddenly the eight-bit image of Spanner appears with a one-star American flag “waving” behind him using color cycling.
Looks like Big Al’s finally outdone himself. Word from the grapevine says he’s killed his wife. She took video of his crimes of adultery so she could blackmail him. He rewarded her by torturing her to death and cutting her up into pieces, the way his daddy taught him back in fascist Argentina. You know, like this:

Play home movies of young Alan Fleer torturing, raping, murdering, and then raping attractive political prisoners.

If you can’t stop yourself from having fun at the expense of pretty girls like this, then you’re already dead. See you in Hell, Big Al.
20 october 2014.
Mudlark House.
Jennifer takes Colette’s hand. “Colette darling, please come with me.”

“Is it anything important?”

Jennifer nods. “There’s something you need to see. You probably won’t want to see it, but you have to.” She leads her to her workshop.

She turns on the lights. In the center of the room, a naked woman with ashen pale skin and hair identical to Colette’s stands motionless and straight. When Colette recognizes her, she gasps in horror. “Oh my god, that’s me—”

“Whoever got hold of your old body managed to fit it with the most advanced experimental bioprocessor they could find. Watch.”

The body’s eyes open. Unlike the goth girl DeadBot, its eyes can see. It looks around. Its eyes go wide when she sees herself in a yellow sailor suit. “Who are you?”

“Uh... I-I’m Colette. Do you have a name?”

It tries to remember. “No.”

Jennifer takes Colette’s hand. “Maybe you could help me give her a name?”

Colette takes her double’s cold hand and shudders. The double gently squeezes her original’s hand. Colette blurts, “Olivia...”

“Is that my name?” the double asks.

Colette can feel her face blush. “It was the name my mother told me she’d use if I’d had a twin sister.”

Jennifer says, “Yeah! Your name is Olivia.”

The newly named double says, “My name is Olivia.”

“That means your fully name is now F Olivia Rosewater.”

Colette looks at her strangely. “F?”

“Old sci-fi naming convention. ‘R’ for robot, ‘F’ for ‘frankenstein.’ When we retrieved a gynoid during the King Patriot robot riots and I upgraded her, I named her R Tansie Blair.” Jennifer takes Olivia by both hands. “Olivia Rosewater, welcome to the world.”

CPMC boardroom. Brinkman, Becket, Everson, and Litton watch Spanner’s piratecast on the big screen above the entrance. Litton says, “I agree with the terrorist.”

Brinkman narrows his eyes at him. “In what way?”

“Al’s fucked. I think you need a new fourth man.”

Everson grits his teeth. “And you’re volunteering yourself.”

“I’m here and he ain’t. Better yet, he ain’t coming back. Ever. So say goodbye to your former comrade.”

“I say good riddance,” says Jack Becket. “Next time I see the bastard, I’ll bite his head off for what he did to my sister.”

“I guess that means you’re in,” says Brinkman. “Just don’t do anything stupid.”

Litton grins. “I was about to say that to you.”
A rock band of five Spanners (made from polygons this time) play to the tune of the game-over song “You Are Dead” by Game Over Man. The lead singer (presumably the Spanner) starts to sing:

Spanner: You think you’re so bad, guess what, you suck,
Band: You are dead, dead, dead.
Spanner: Now you’ve run amuck and now you’re out of luck,
Band: You are dead, dead, dead.

You sold your soul for thirty pieces of gold,
You’re so so deh-head!
Now your reputation is turning to mold,
You’re so so deh-head!

Spanner: Now you just got caught cutting up your wife,
Band: You are dead, dead, dead.
Spanner: You got a pretty hostage you can cut with your knife,
Band: You are dead, dead, dead.

Repeat the chorus.

Now a cartoon Fleer head with X’ed-out eyes and lolling tongue appears, and in front of them the undulating words “AL FLEER IS DEAD!”

Entire band:
You are dead, dead, dead,
You are dead, dead, dead,
You are dead, dead, dead,
You are dead, dead, dead...

Sorry, Big Al. You blew it! You were gonna take it all. You had all those wimp-ass liberals trembling in fear! But then you had to blow it. Y’know, if you’d just kept your cool, you wouldn’t be in this situation. Now your wife is dead, and everybody knows you did it. Sucks to be you, Al. Have a nice death.

You are dead, dead, dead,
You are dead, dead, dead...
21 october 2014.
“Stop it!” screams Charmian at the monitors playing the Spanner piratecast. She hits them with her fists in a futile attempt to stop it herself. Her equally hysterical sisters try to pull her away.

When she sees Shira, Charmian runs at her and tries to beat her up. Shira deflects and parries her blows. Charmian finds herself trapped in Shira’s arms. Shira holds her tight. Unable to escape or resist her, Charmian gives up, lets her head fall onto her shoulder, and cries, her whole body shuddering with grief.

principal’s office. Angela and Willa flank Shira protectively. Falconer glares at her with open hatred. “This is your doing, Thomas!”

Shira smiles ironically and shrugs. “I have no idea what you’re talking about, Major.”

“You’re behind this Spanner atrocity, aren’t you!”

“Not my reputation on the line here, Major. You’re the one whose lover’s wife caught you on tape with him. That’s the real reason your lover decided to hold my cousin hostage, as if by doing that he could force me to stop Spanner. Problem is, he can no longer stop himself. And that’s your problem now, Honey Bunny, since you’re the one who stuck a cattle prod up his ass on national TV.”

Angela warns, “You have no legal case against my client..”

Spiekerman snarls, “We have ways of dealing with people like you.”

Willa says, “If anything happens to Karen, or to any of us, it’s coming down on you, not us.”

Shira tugs on their sleeves. “C’mon, let’s go.” She leaves; they stare at Spiekerman and Falconer, then follow her out.

Principal Principal giggles nervously. Outside, they can still hear the strains of “You are dead, dead, dead” — until glass shatters, and the music falls silent...

school lobby. Roaring ferally, Bart smashes the monitors with his bare hands, heedless of the splinters shredding his hands and uniform. Charmian begs him to stop. He throws her aside and resumes his destruction. Debbie watches them from a distance.

Shira walks over to Jennifer. “Honey Bunny’s having a cow right now.”

“That’s nothing compared with what the Fleer sisters have to go through.”

“At least Bart’s taking care of our unwanted-advertising problem.”

“Don’t worry, the company’s probably sending us replacements as we speak.”

Shira rolls her eyes. “Shoulda figured...”

homeroom. Dorian, Charmian, and Christian Fleer sit silently together in each other’s arms in one corner of Mr Whitmer’s classroom. In another part of the room, Shira, Jennifer, and the Shelley twins move their desks, put their chairs together, and speak quietly. “They’re sure taking it hard,” says Leila sarcastically.

Shira says, “You would too if you were in their situation. For that matter, so would I. Be glad you’re not, but don’t knock them for it.”

“Let’s not worry about them,” says Jennifer. “They don’t need our help. Let’s talk about Karen.”

“Yeah,” Rob adds. “How do we get her away from their crazy dad?”

Shira shrugs. “I’m afraid it’s out of our hands. We’ve done all we can. The only thing that can save her now is chance. It all depends on how long the Admiral can last before he self-destructs.”

admiral’s house. Karen wakes up to find herself tied up and gagged in a dark basement. At first she thinks this could be the rural lair of a serial killer, possibly Oliver Thorwald’s property that Shira and Jennifer helped the Slasher Hunters raid in Bangor. The pain slowly returns to her. It reminds her who gave it to her.

Admiral Fleer himself has stashed her away in his own basement. She is on base, hidden away from the civilian world altogether. Her friends cannot get to her here. Not even the cops can help. But then, the cops helped him kidnap her in the first place.

In Greek, the word “martyr” means witness. Karen Kubota’s body bears direct witness to Alan Fleer’s crimes. She has already earned her martyrdom, and Fleer knows it. She realizes that she is now in the same position that the fascist Japanese authorities put Soka Gakkai Presidents Makiguchi and Toda in during World War II. Makiguchi-sensei died in prison without breaking, reciting the Lotus Sutra. Toda-sensei outlasted the fascists themselves and managed to get released from prison at the end of the war. She has the same resolve as theirs, as that of Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King. She swallows her fear and regains her calm.

The door at the top of the stairway creaks open. She can see a long shadow come down, step by step. When Fleer comes into view at last, he holds torture implements in his hands. He expects her to squirm and try to scream. She does not. Her look of calm adds insanity to the rage already on his face. His father, one of the generals who ruled Argentina in the 1970s, was executed for genocide. He sees his father’s fate in her eyes.

Another shadow follows his down, accompanied by the clomping of high-heeled boots. His daughter Vivian appears, jealousy contorting the harsh beauty of her face. She points his own service pistol at him and cocks it, ready to shoot him. He grabs the gun and starts to wrestle her. They retreat up the stairs.

Will Becket calls base security when he hears the shot. Security cars and vans rush in to the base commander’s residence from either end of Decatur Road. Led by Will, a small army of security agents invades the house, first as a large group, then in a long line through the front door of the nineteenth-century house and up the stairs. When they reach the Admiral’s bedroom, they find Fleer, naked on the bed, bleeding out through a chest wound. Above him, his daughter Vivian stands with his service pistol in her hand, her underwear only half on.

The last words of the man who would be military dictator of Cascadia are: “You... fucking... whore—”

on to the next...

Back to Chapter 20 index...
Back to Chaos Angel Spanner table of contents...

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

[Revision 2, 10/1/11: Final scene taken from the end of the original Chapter 20. Composite KCUF scene from deleted post omitted; will be restored in Revision 3. Everything else is new material.]
[Revision 2.1, 12/6/11: Corrected HTML errors (unclosed div tag in the quote, plus a link and an italic passage).]

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