Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 20: Things Fall Apart
Part 3: Broadcast Crime
Part 3: Broadcast Crime
22 october 2014.
locker room. The girls pair up and shower together after their workout: Fiona with Leila, Polly with Mimi, Brandi with Marina. Colette is sick with worry, so Shira and Jennifer combine to soap her skin. “I hope Karen’ll be okay,” she says.
“Oh, she’ll be just fine,” says Jennifer comfortingly. “She’s a warrior, just like us.”
“She’s the toughest of us,” Shira adds.
Colette sighs. “I sure hope so. I wish she didn’t have to go through what I did.”
They look at the giggling Shelley sisters happily running their soapy hands up and down each other’s bodies. Polly narrows her eyes at Shira. “What did you tell those two?”
Shira smiles sweetly back. “Haven’t you been paying attention? I didn’t need to tell ’em a thing.”
Amanda:student council room. The divided Student Council meets for the last time. For the last time, Charmian Fleer opens the meeting as council president. “Next time we meet, there will be a different council. For all we know, not a single one of us will make it onto the next council.”
Karen Kubota is in currently in stable condition and is expected to recover...
Debbie interrupts. “Except Lucy and Christie, of course.”
Lucy says, “From now on, I am Student Council president.”
“No!” yells Kelly. “I’m president!”
“You idiots,” says Christian, “the Council presidency belongs to me.”
Charmian bangs her gavel. “Stop it!” The others stop arguing. She grits her teeth. “If you guys keep squabbling over who’s the next president, the Student Union will have their election and we’ll be answering to Karen Kubota.”
“No!” Bart bursts in suddenly, flanked by giggling goons Rex and Beck. “There’s no more Student Council! From now on, the Head Boy rules alone!”
Charmian narrows her eyes and glares at him contemptuously. “Well?”
“From now on, I rule as dictator! My word is law! Disobedience is death!”
She stands up. “You and what gang?”
library. The Student Union meeting is packed when Debbie, the Brinkman siblings, and all the Fleer sisters except Christian arrive. They find empty seats on the window side. Eventually the noise subsides and Colette speaks. “As you all know, Karen’s now recovering in the hospital. She wants us to keep fighting on, never give up, and make sure the election goes on as planned.” The room erupts in cheers and thunderous applause.
Charmian interrupts before Shira can speak. “What if there is no election?”
Shira stares at her skeptically. “Who says?”
“Bart. He says he’s dictator as of now.”
“He’ll have to fight for the right.”
Rob stands up. “He’ll have to Challenge us.”
“I’m afraid he’s too late. Everything’s already been set in motion, all our classmates are behind it, and there’s nothing he or you can do about it.”
Leila points at Charmian. “You shouldn’t even be here, Fleer! It’s your fault Karen nearly got killed!”
“No—” Charmian tries to protest.
“Leila!” Colette shoots her an angry look. To Charmian she says, “What your father did is not your fault.”
“But this is my family—”
“Don’t take it on yourself, or you’ll kill yourself. Your life is yours, not his.”
Charmian stares at her in shock. She, Dorian, and Julian look at each other. Dorian says, “She’s right.” She puts her arms around her sisters; they sigh.
Polly says, “I’m hearing they’re putting Karen back in jail once they get her out of the hospital. What do we do?”
Shira smirks mischievously. “I’ve got a plan...”
principal’s office. Spiekerman says, “Kubota’s gone, and still the Student Union refuses to stay properly scared.”
“That’s because they still have Shira Thomas,” Falconer replies. “As long as she remains loose, the putrid rabble will continue to run amuck and scorn our authority.”
“I have decided to suspend the Student Council and put this school under the direct dictatorship of myself and Barton Green.”
“What?!” gasp the principals in unison.
“This is America! America is a republic, and a republic is not a democracy! The only way to keep a republic from degenerating into a democracy is through direct military dictatorship!” Several COPCO agents rush in and point their guns at the principals. “That means from now on this school is under direct Party control. I intend to run it the way a school should be run, like a military academy. You’re fired!”
Desiree:KCUF studio. Team Spanner’s new Informal Committee to Free Karen Kubota hold their first meeting at the table they’ve set up in the lobby. Karen’s cousins Shira Thomas, Jennifer Richter-Thomas, Connor Blair, and Alex de Lacey are present, along with Alex’s husband Nick Cyphers, Shira’s girlfriend Leila Shelley, her twin brother Robert, and their mutual friend Cory Belmont. Deth Pussy, Simon Sez, and the Cockroach Twins represent the Wrecking Krewe; Brandi Quinn, Arisa Saionji, and Lars Izquierdo represent the Slasher Hunters. Their police insider: J.T. Sparks.
Party liaison Lieutenant Morton Spiekerman has announced he has fired the entire administrative staff at Bremerton High School. In an official statement he says he intends to run the whole school by himself...
Deth opens the meeting. “J.T., what’s the 411 at the station?”
“Looks like Ol’ One-Eye intends to railroad our girl,” Sparks answers. “You know the Beckets, always looking for a conspiracy against ’em.”
Jennifer says, “I believe the name of the conspiracy they’re trying to break is called ‘Richter-Thomas family.’ They’ve been feuding against us since our name was Kincaid and theirs was Cromwell.”
“You mean as in Oliver?” asks a surprised Deth.
“Read your history books, Pussycat. It’s a lot more personal than you realize.”
“Jesus H. America, this is getting interesting!”
“What does this have to do with springing Karen?” asks Sparks.
“Everything!” Jennifer explains, “Consider this: Karen Kubota is my cousin, my mother and wife is the ex-wife turned archnemesis of a certain one-eyed man’s very powerful father, his narcissistic kid sister is the ex-wife of my uncle, and his daughter lost her twin sister in the Becket’s coup d’état. She’s right here trying to help us figure out how to spring our mutual cousin. In my family, the entire Conservative Revolution is very personal indeed.”
Alex adds, “The villain who kidnapped and tortured Karen killed his own wife, the one-eyed man’s sister, and he’s determined to take it out on her.” She puts her arms around Jennifer and Connor. “He, his dead sister, and his FBI agent sister Diana just happen to be our stepsiblings, yet one more reason why it’s personal.”
“It could have been me, or Willa, or Shira, or any of us. It just happened to be Karen. The result’s still the same. The Beckets think they’ve already won the old family feud, and this is their way of gloating.”
“A family feud?” marvels Deth. “Get outta here!”
“They’ve got ways of making it look not personal,” Sparks warns. “Remember, the Law always takes their side.”
“Excuse me,” Shira complains, “but isn’t Law defined as royal whim backed by the overseer’s whip?”
“Law ain’t nothing but crime misspelled, as cops like to say in the ghetto.”
Shira holds up Arvid’s SD card. “So let’s show the criminals in the act.”
Brandi says, “Shira, you know they can counter whatever we throw at ’em.”
Moon Roach implores, “So then what do we do?”
Shira grins. “We do the lamestream thing. Disinformation.”
Red House. Downstairs, Desiree paces the rec room upstairs, dressed up in case she has to leave any second. Amanda slumps scared in the recliner. Charlie lies naked on the couch idly muching strawberries. Desiree snaps at Amanda. “Did you have anything to do with the Beckets kidnapping our cousin Karen?”
“No!” protests Amanda. “I’ll do anything to help you get her back.”
Charlie says, “Al did it to torture us, and Jack’s hellbent on sticking the knife in deeper.”
“Don’t they have something on her, like some subversive?”
“Oh, insubordination. You know, the usual.”
Desiree throws up her arms. “Charges, schmarges. Doesn’t matter what trumped-up charges they throw at her, no. They don’t plan to punish her, they’re offering her up as a blood sacrifice and they’re setting up the altar as we speak!”
“Once they get her out of the hospital,” says Charlie, “they plan to throw her in their citadel’s dungeon. All we need is the forces to spring her. We’ve got our friends, right, Desi and Mandy?”
Desiree’ phone rings. She picks it up. The call’s coming on an encrypted line, but the ID says Deth Pussy. “Hello?”
“Yo babe. Our Informal Committee’s been brainstorming over how we can spring Karen from your evil cousins’ personal vendetta bullshit. We just came up with a plan, and we need you lovely ladies to help us make it work.”
“Disinfo, lamestream news style.”
Desiree glances at Amanda. “In other words, lie.”
“‘Ding ding ding!’ to quote cousin Jen. But wait, there’s more!” A dialog pops up on the phone’s screen asking her to sync it with Deth’s. Desiree taps “OK”. Charlie and Amanda run to her and look over her shoulder at the screen. Back in the apps screen, she goes into “Shared Folders” and finds some new ones with provocative names like “Wally’s A Dog” and “Al B Sure”. Deth says, “Be careful, babe. Shira says they’re murder weapons.”
The sisters look at each other and pretend to gasp. Desiree points at the “Al B Sure” folder. “Wow! That must be what killed Al Fleer!” She opens the “Wally’s A Dog” folder. “Let’s see what kind of wolfsbane we’ve got here.”
Charlie circles her finger around. “Eenie, meenie, minie, mo...” She makes her decision and taps one file at random. On the phone’s screen, the half-transformed Walter Brinkman rapes both Shelley twins at the same time—
Three women gasp together in horror. Amanda blurts, “Oh my god—”
“Well, well, well!” exults Desiree.
“So what is it?”
Deth says, “Artie Brinkman’s collection of smoking guns, contained on one little SD-HC card he gave to Shira for us to fire at will.”
“Let’s start with Jack,” says Charlie.
“Open the directory, you’ll find his sexbot fetish right there.”
Desiree asks, “So what does Jack’s sexbot fetish have to do with him torturing Karen?”
Shira’s voice comes in. “But of course!”
“What?” her sisters inquire in unison.
“Just the other day, J.T. and I dropped by an Underground City club only to find out the go-go dancers were DeadBots made out of dead serial killer fangirls! Sure enough, the owner had our friend Colette’s old body. Guess what our old friend the Toymaker turned her into.”
The three women gasp and stare at each other. Desiree cries out exultantly, “That’s it!”
“What?” asks Amanda.
“We’ve got our story!”
Amanda:Shira sings, “Here comes the denial.”
Reports are coming in from confidential sources inside COPCO Seattle headquarters about rumors surrounding Section Chief John Cameron Becket. Chief Becket is already fending off rumors that he ordered hundreds of sex robots for his personal use using taxpayer dollars. [shows video of some of the techGothic’s dead go-go dancers, nipples and genitals digitally censored] The latest rumors claim that he intends to execute suspected subversive Karen Kubota without trial in order to turn her body into one of the latest-model “DeadBots” that are all the rage in the criminal underground.
Chief Becket:COPCO Seattle. “There’s a crowd of protesters blocking the entrance,” Shockley notes.
There is absolutely no truth to the malicious rumors concerning the suspect in custody. These rumors are being planted by jealous enemies.
COPCO’s John Cameron Becket has officially denied all rumors that he intends to summarily execute suspected subversive Karen Kubota and turn her dead body into a DeadBot for his personal use.
“That must be the ‘Free Karen Kubota’ bunch,” says Chief Becket smugly. “We can deal with that bunch easily.”
“No, John. I don’t see a single ‘Free Karen Kubota’ sign out there. What I see is demands for a ban on sexbots. I see signs saying ‘For Shame!’ I do believe Nancy Grace may already be on TV calling for both your heads.”
Jack jerks forward. Carefully he looks at the monitors carrying surveillance video of the protest. He rushes to the window above the entrance to see the protesting crowd for himself. The protesters are already getting violent; armoured agents fire tear gas canisters into the crowd. “Jesus fucking Christ, that’s Perverted Justice!” He turns away from the window, stands rigid, balls up his fists, growls hatefully: “Rexelle—”
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Copyright © 2011 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
[Revision 2, 10/3/11: Library meeting, KCUF, and Charlie/Desiree/Amanda scenes heavily modified from first draft; everything else is new material.]