Meanwhile, I’ve started work on the Third Revision edits of Chapters 8 and 9 together. Part 8.6, Part 9.1, and Part 9.6 are where the Shira/Leila romance starts getting explosive, not just emotionally and erotically but politically, the principle here coming from another radical tendency, Surrealism, specifically “mad love,” which can lead to not just personal liberation but the destruction of society...
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Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 20: Things Fall Apart
Part 6: Temporary Autonomous Zone
Part 6: Temporary Autonomous Zone
25 october 2014.
outside school. Saturday means no school, and therefore no Spiekerman to deal with. The KCUF sound crew install sound cancellers around the football field. On the edge of the Ohio Avenue sidewalk overlooking the parking lot, four pretty young women not in their sailor-suit schoolgirl uniforms look across the lot toward the mud pit where yesterday Barton Green ceased to be Head Boy. Their clothes are civilian and practical; short skirts and wild style just won’t do in the rain. The sky is gray but bright, the drizzle light.
“Are we going to be celebrating our victory tonight?” asks Colette.
“Officially, yeah,” Shira replies. “But really, it’s a fundraiser for Karen’s defense.”
“I don’t see how Karen can defend herself against them,” says Polly.
“She isn’t. Angie is. But first we need to raise enough money to launch the defense. The Fleer estate’s got unlimited access to taxpayer money, and their Party bosses ain’t happy about the situation to say the least. Even I’m no match for federal corporate welfare.”
“Only grass-roots fundraising is,” Jennifer adds, “as long as enough people get the word.”
“Trust me, we’ll be turning people away.”
Strains of Viking metal seep through the curtain of sound cancellers surrounding the field. Jennifer’s phone is in walkie-talkie mode. “Amon Amarth’s blasting us, Steve.”
“Sorry, babe,” Deth replies. The sound cancellers adjust their position and range; soon, the Viking metal falls silent.
downtown. Enraged and irrational, Bart smashes the windows of any car unfortunate enough to be in range. He attacks parked cars and vehicles stopped at stop signs and traffic lights.
When he reaches the downtown core, he smashes every window he can reach on every building. When he spots the big statue of the fisherman caught by a fish, he runs over there screaming in all-consuming rage and smashes it with his bare hands, screaming “Faggot! Faggot! Faggot!” repeatedly, as if he were trying to murder Rob Shelley. Then he crosses the street to smash the fish and kill Shira by proxy, roaring “Bitch! Bitch! Bitch!”
Soon enough, he finds himself surrounded by armoured COPCO agents trying to arrest him for vandalism. He attacks them and tries to beat them up; but they swarm him and pile themselves on top of him until a van comes and they throw him in. He tries to punch his way out. They have to gas him to sedate him. The COPCO van drives away.
SPEC headquarters. Jack Becket throws open the door to Pete Ross’ office, shouting, “What the hell are you letting those fucking brats do?”
“But they paid!” protests Ross.
Becket leans over the executive desk. “Listen, fathead, we strongly suspect this ‘victory party’ is really a cover for an illegal rave. If we find out you’re letting somebody hold a rave, you’re in deep shit!”
“Excuse me, Johnny, but the Team Bremelo Victory Party is a school club gathering on school grounds, paid for by the club’s corporate sponsors, who also paid for yesterday’s Tournament Challenge in which they earned their right to a victory party, and all of this just happens to be allowed by our company charter bylaws. We did not hire you to provide security because they decided to provide their own, which a Tournament club is permitted to do.”
“Well, bub, if this quote-unquote party gets out of control, we’re sending the bill to you. Your property, your liability. Goodbye.”
football field. By sundown, the line stretches blocks. The local authorities and SPEC know it as “The Team Bremelo Victory Dance.” But Shira has many, many friends outside Bremerton High or even Kitsap County. Some of them don’t know or don’t care about some silly high-school fight club. A lot of them are pacifists like Karen and Colette. Shira left no word on MyTube; instead, she spread the word virally on underground Darknet channels. Alex Plus, of course, is the DJ; her brand of hard disco not the decadent and increasingly brutal Club Nasty but the trance-inducing music the clubbers scorn, known as New Rave.
The authorities look the other way. They, particularly SPEC CEO Ross, know better than to mess with Shira Thomas. The Syndicates are not so smart. As soon as they announced their intention to crash the party, she forged intergang ethnic slurs and slung them around, so now they’re too busy fighting each other to reclaim their lost manly honor to bother a bunch of mere ravers.
Shira commanded: no school uniforms. They come rave styling, or they come like Shira in light clothing intended to come off as the rain destroys it. They rain feels cold right now. But when the serious dancing begins, they’ll need it to cool their hot bodies off.
The rain falls hard when the last light disappears and the final sound check begins. The KCUF sound crew test the amplifiers and speakers; everything tests fine, so Alex decides to improvise an ambient tune on her laptop and spin the sound around the field. The holographic light show is being kept relatively low, barely above the field, for the same reason they brought the sound cancellers: to avoid bothering the neighbours. No fireworks to celebrate the Bremeloes’ upset over Team Valiant; those are reserved for the football team, and therefore will never be needed.
The music begins. The turf turns to mud. Clothes start coming off. The Krewe start passing out the ecstasy, pure MDMA cooked up at Jennifer’s lab and untouched by Syndicate adulterants. Shira specifically requested that Alex play one particular tune sixth as a taunt to the six defeated members of Valiant Team; everyone soon recognizes it as Team Bremelo’s secret theme, and its name is “There Is No Law.” Within the sound field they create a Temporary Autonomous Zone: a place with no authority, no leaders, no merciless infallible Law, free from Synarchists and Syndicates and substitutionist vanguards, only the equality of the dancers until the sun rises tomorrow.
They dance themselves into an altered state reinforced by pounding beats and swirling psychedelic lights; the E kicks in and collaborates with the melody and lights to create an atmosphere of pure love within the small confined space of Memorial Stadium; where the warehouse raves would rain hot stale sweat from the ceilings of cramped buildings, the cool rain comes down to wash the mud and sweat off bare bodies hot with sweat and steam; the E transmutes the intense passion Shira and Leila share into pure love essence that spreads like a virus and infects everyone and (as rumor will have it by Monday) outside the stadium to the neighbours.
The sound cancellers do their job. The neighbours are content to hear only cars and dogs and the occasional cat-versus-cat confrontation while the dance goes on. All they know is that the winning school fight club has to has to have its victory party.
The music and dancing and drugs create a consciousness field that all are convinced they can touch and breathe and hear, altering the consciousness of all it touches through the tactile medium of sound; all senses align into perfect synesthesia as if aligned by Shira’s own mind; bodies become mind and minds become body and all fuse into one shared overmind united by the beat propelling the dancers’ bodies — and it occurs to Leila that she has felt this same fusion before, the perfect fusion of two separate bodies powered by pure passion whenever she and Shira push each other beyond themselves to become one, but this time not the love of two but of many, e pluribus unum made real and true in the perfect union of living flesh — and she can hear in her head Jennifer’s voice telling her see, I told you so, and for the first time like a patternist she feels in her heart what she means and not they when she speaks of socialism...
Suddenly Shira feels her phone buzz Peck’s name on her arm in Morse code. She stops dancing. “What’s wrong?” asks another naked dancer beside her. She answers, “Emergency! Later!” She runs off, drags Leila off with her, heads toward the Slasher Hunter van and clothes, and it speeds off...
Shira’s apartment. Most flats in American cities have security doors these days. The door to the Reston condo is secure enough that a power-armoured assailant must smash through the walls. The windows are locked. But Hope Reston is out on business and Shira is at her high-school fight club’s victory dance. Ayla has the place to herself. She lies unselfconsciously naked on her stomach on Shira’s bed and reads one of the Gossip Girl books Shira said she’d let her have.
Valiant Team second Beck Skeever and the Moral Enforcer Vince Corson scale the 400 Condos building as if it were an enemy castle. They are geared in camo and Kevlar. They make sure not to be noticed by anyone still awake this night.
When they reach the top level, they swing into view and shatter the windows with their sonic disruptors. They storm into Shira’s bedroom and start beating up screaming Ayla. Vince throws off his ski mask, grabs Ayla by the neck, and slams her against the wall. She struggles to free herself, but Vince has the strength of a madman. Beck strips off his commando gear.
“Well, well, this must be Rebel Rebel’s little loli,” Vince snarls. “That fucking dyke bitch Shira must be having loads of fun with you, eh” Well, I’m gonna have my fun, and then I’m gonna rip you to shreds!” He bodyslams her with one hand. Beck gets on top of her and punches her face several times. Vince strips naked as fast as he can shred his clothes. Then he throws Beck off Ayla and begins to rape her.
Suddenly they’re assaulted by rapid-strobing blinding flash. Shira has sneaked in through the broken window and is now taking pictures with her phonecam. “Smile, motherfuckers! You’re on Candid Camera!”
Leila throws open the bedroom door and points a 9mm semiauto at Vince. “Get the fuck off her!”
John Peck, Martin Lansky, and Lars Izquierdo climb through the windows; Brandi Quinn and Arisa Saionji burst through the door. The Slasher Hunters take out their own pistols and hold them on the intvaders. While Vince and Beck put their hands up and struggle to stand up, Shira swipes their sonic disruptors and throws one to Leila. Leila throws her pistol aside to catch it.
“Up against the wall!” Peck orders. The terrified naked thugs back themselves against the nearest wall. Arisa takes sobbing Ayla’s hand, lifts her up, and leads her quickly out of the room. Shira and Leila take their positions in front of them and hold the sonic disruptors at their vulnerable naked genitals. Shira smirks in triumph; Leila snarls with hatred.
“Should we?” asks Leila.
Shira nods and chuckles. “Why the hell not? They’re sex criminals now. Fucking sore losers.”
They set the sound blasters to “torture” and fire them at the two bullyboys’ genitals. Beck Skeever and Vincent Corson scream and scream and scream.
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Copyright © 2011 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
[Revision 2: Moved ending to Chapter 18 in the first draft here, expanded the rave scene from a scenario in the ’00s Project Notebooks; everything else is new material.]