Friday, October 14, 2011

Spanner 22.1: Contradiction Is Truth

And at long last, Spanner Chapter 22 begins! In the first draft, these last two chapters of Book 1 never got finished, mainly because the plot collapsed in the middle of this chapter. Things like this happen in a first draft. In the Second Revision, I've greatly beefed up the storylines involving Leila and the Populist resistance, so that now I have a complete version of Chapters 22 and 23 to post.

Lately I’ve been finding extra inspiration for these final two chapters in current events: the Arab Spring, the Wisconsin protests and recall election, the #OccupyWallStreet protests now being held in every major city and enraging the Corporate establishment, and everything else to which I’m applying the tag #revo11ution.

Brace yourselves! For now it begins...

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 22: There Is No Law
Part 1: Contradiction Is Truth

When the people begin to think, all is lost.
Voltaire
Spanner:
Contradiction is truth. Evolution advances through contradiction and creative destruction. But the new truth that emerges out of contradiction inevitably becomes in its turn the lie that is contradicted.

The lie America calls truth is that there is no contradiction, that only the unitary truth of the nation’s divinity exists. The truths that contradict it, America calls evil. The truth of America is the sovereignty of the radically free individual. The contradiction is the social nature of man.

Capitalism is dead. State socialism is dead. Soon Dominionism will die in its turn, in Araby as in America. Soon Corporatism will join it in the trashcan of history, in China as in America. Soon the reign of Crime will end, in Mexico and Russia, as in America.

The lie is faith in a static world without contradiction. All faiths assume it. All government is based on it. It is the denial of nature. For the nature of nature itself is contradiction, evolution, and creative destruction.

The new order is now the old. The freedom of the chosen exists in contradiction with the oppression and misery of the masses. The new old order must in turn give way. It too must fall. Its fall is coming. This is not the decree of the Law. That is but the rules of the new old order. It is the law of nature.
dreamspace. The vision begins unambiguously. Crowds of protesters gather throughout the Metropolitan City of Seattle. COPCO strike and robot agents attack them with tear gas, Tasers, and electric whips. Then a man on a motorcycle in a black helmet passes by and throws a Molotov cocktail straight at the dreamer(s)—

—time contracts expands warps, events happen and don’t happen simultaneously, buildings dance jitterbugs, cats rape dog—

COPCO Seattle. Five precogs scream and flail madly as the Crime Prevention Division scientists struggle to extract them from their equipment. Jack Becket screams at Doctor 42, “Bryce, you idiot! I told you Spanner is already here! You didn’t have to bring your damn precogs right in the middle of a reality storm!”

Doctor 42 shouts back, “We can read any man’s fate, even Spanner’s!”

“Three words: reality distortion field! Spanner’s immune to fate!

11 september 2001... Stunned by the horrors of the Al-Qaeda terror attack, Shira and Kira come up to their father, Ric Thomas. Shira asks, “Dad, why did they have to kill so many people?”

Grimly, Ric replies, “What is terrorism? A supervillain’s declaration that he is now dictator, and the people must surrender unconditionally or be destroyed. Some cult just told us they’re our new government and to obey or else. That’s how terrorism works.”

“We can stand up to those bullies,” says Kira confidently.

“Us, yeah. But will our government let us? They’ve wanted a new enemy since they lost their beloved Soviet Union, and now their fondest wish has come true at last...”

25 august 2012... On the burning cratered Mall, among the shredded corpses, Kira lies dying in Shira’s arms. “Please don’t die on me, Kira!” wails Shira. “Hang in there!”

“Lya...” whispers Kira before she falls unconscious.

Then the cruel merciless armoured soldiers swarm the twins and grab them with their crushing arms. Shira cries out Kira’s name. John Cameron Becket, the one-eyed warrior prince, carries their mentor, his victim, Lya Cassir over his shoulder. In triumph he laughs contemptuously at the defeated people...

30 october 2014.
Mudlark House.
In the basement workshop where she and Jennifer work on their inventions, as two naked robot girls and a Furby look on, Shira gazes upon her handiwork, a female-model copbot whose voice is a sound cannon. First she customized it to her specifications; then she put on its skin like shrinkwrap, so that it radiates with the anonymous beauty normally associated with the surgically Resculpted. The lesson she learned from James Tiberius Sparks: when society mows down tall poppies like Kira Thomas, only the anonymous fit in. Now the custom copbot sits before her, dressed in its stock COPCO uniform, as she installs Slackware Linux and the MIRV Griffin AI into its solid-state memory. She picks up the hoverboard racing helmet emblazoned with the Spanner tag and puts it on the android’s head. She looks on her work and declares it good. Freddy Freakbeak declares it cool.

Through her phone’s speaker, the voice of AEGIS asks, “Are you still certain this will work?”

She answers, “Trust me.”

“By now Homeland Security’s Tracers have found a way to keep track of one entity’s multiple bodies.”

“That’s what I’m counting on. What they won’t know is, which ones? They could be phantoms.”

“Surely their precognitive agents have already figured us out.”

“How, when our strategy is to give ’em what they least expect? What they don’t know will hurt ’em. That’s how we’re gonna win.”

“I hope you’re right.”

Shira winks at AEGIS’ owl avatar on the phone. “Trust me.”

Tansie innocently asks, “What are all these robots for?”

Shira goes over to Tansie and Olivia to put her hands on their shoulders reassuringly. “You two are still very young yet, so you don’t yet understand the bad things people can do to each other. These are fighting robots we’ll be using in case certain people do bad things to my friends.”

Olivia says, “I don’t understand.”

“You two will, eventually.” Shira winks.

In the garage, eleven more Spannerbots await their mistress’ word. Thirteen souped-up prototype hoverboards lie beside them in two stacks against the wall. And atop the taller stack lies a large pipe wrench...

hospital. Taylor Brinkman takes her three children to visit their injured cousin Bob Brinkman. When they get to his room, his devoted sister Rachel is already there by his bedside. Their father, the Corporate lawyer John Marshall Brinkman II, tries to block her their way. Leila throws herself at him, holds him tight, and cries. “Stop this nonsense. You’ve made enough of a fool of yourself as it is.”

She lets go of him, fastidiously brushes the front of his business jacket, and says coldly, “Oh, I had forgotten that normal human behavior was only for fools.”

Bob says, “Dad, let her.” Rachel comes over, hugs Leila, shoots a hurt look at her uncaring father, and leads her, Rob, and Fiona beside Bob. While Leila and Fiona shower Bob with tearful kisses, Taylor stares down her brother. She snarks in their mother’s Dublin accent, “Still tryin’ to corrupt your kids, ain’tcha.”

He snarls back in their father’s Charleston accent, “The least I’m trying to do is raise ’em with proper dignity and a sense of responsibility, that’s all.”

“Dignity, schmignity. You mean you want ’em to be properly stuck-up Becket spawn, right, Marshall? Right?

“You’ve obviously been slumming too long, dear sister. Why don’t you see reason for once?”

Taylor laughs contemptuously at him.

Hearing the commotion, their father’s cousin, Will Becket, wanders in. At only thirty, the son of Henry Becket’s middle age, he is younger than they are. “Hello, cousins. Are we having a little... sibling bonding here?”

Marshall says, “We were having a little heart-to-heart talk, if you don’t mind.”

“I could hear. Halfway across the building. I don’t wish to intrude, but could you please let your kids have their happy reunion without ruining it for once? Please, for their sake.”

The three of them look toward Bob’s bed. His sister and cousins surround him, engaging him in happy conversation. “Dude’s got a point,” says Taylor. She flashes her brother a triumphant smile.

When it comes time for Taylor and the Shelley siblings to leave, Leila kisses the cast covering Bob’s nose so as to leave a bright red print in the shape of her puckered lips.

On the next floor, Karen recovers from the internal injuries Fleer inflicted on her and Bart tried to aggravate. When Bart’s bombs went off at the high school, she collapsed from the stress. Fortunately, she is not bleeding internally, so she does not need surgery. But the doctors decide to keep her for another week so she can recover.

“See?” says Sparks as he accompanies Shira and Jennifer up to Karen’s room. “Take on the burden of a leader, and this is what happens.”

“Jealous rival leaders just gotta take her out,” Shira replies. “Like Wally Brinkman.”

“Exactly.”

At this moment, a suspicious-looking man dressed as a doctor shows his credentials at the nurse station. “Dr. Allen Stevens” got them from Fleer himself, allowing him to do political hits on patients with impunity. The nurse points the “doctor” toward Karen’s room and tells him her bed is in back, by the window.

Casually he strolls past the first two beds. Before he gets within her field of vision, he takes a syringe out of his briefcase, loads it with cyanide, and holds it up “doctor style.”

The old lady in the second bed watches him and says, “You’re not a doctor.”

The “doctor” smirks, then reaches into his lab coat and flashes a COPCO agent’s badge. “You’re right. I’m a cop.” He puts the badge back and puts his finger to his lips.

He flips open the curtain hiding Karen’s compartment, holds up the syringe, and says, “This is gonna hurt you more than it hurts me.”

Karen stares unsmiling into his eyes. “You’re no cop, either... Johnny Skeever.”

The old lady in the next bed screams, making Johnny drop the syringe. In frustration, he takes out his gun and yells, “Bullshit! You’re a fuckin’ traitor, mudblood bitch! This one’s for Admiral Fleer!”

Someone cocks a service revolver behind him. Johnny feels the cold steel of a barrel touch the back of his head. Sparks says coldly, “Hmmm. Impersonating a cop, too. And you got sprung from jail just yesterday.”

You’re the impersonator, Jimmy,” Johnny snarls. “You’re just some two-bit commie nigger lover.”

“Okay, then. You’re not impersonating a policeman. Which makes you worse. You’re a mole. Who owns you, Johnny? The Russkies? The Wogs? If I’m impersonating like you say I am, it’s only because I’m not for sale.”

“Well, then I better collect. Double the treason, triple the take. See you in hell, Jimmy.” Johnny swings around and tries to get a bead on Sparks. The agent blocks Johnny’s aim with a wrist smash. He stares into the hitman’s hate-twisted eyes.

“Looking forward to meeting you there.”

Sparks shoots Johnny point blank between the eyes. The killer falls backwards, bounces off the foot of Karen’s bed, falls off and onto the floor, leaving a bright red trail. Karen screams; her cousins rush to hold her from each side. Security men swarm into the room and point their guns at Sparks. He puts his revolver back into its shoulder holster and shows them his badge. “That was Johnny Skeever, professional assassin. Your patients are safe now.”

Shira asks, “Another rival leader?”

“Exactly.” Sparks winks.

Red House. Leila stands in the center of the stalker shrine ten-year-old Shira dedicated to her and stares at the many pictures of her in various degrees of nudity with which Shira has completely covered the walls. Then she turns toward the open door. Shira stands framed in the doorway. She steps in, takes Leila in her arms, and kisses her deeply.

“I fell in love with you the moment I first saw you.”

“You first saw me on the tele late one night when I won the Miss Junior Nude Europe title. I can tell.”

“And I’ve been trying to make you mine ever since.”

“It was meant to be.” They share another long passionate kiss. “But there’s one thing I need you to do.”

“Mm-hmm?”

“I’ve decided I need to kill Oliver, and I need you to keep your distance.”

Shira frowns. “For my protection, right?”

Leila flashes her a gorgeous smile. “Hardly. He doesn’t stand a chance, only he doesn’t know it. I want him to be complacent. I wonder why I let him get to me. I think it was the antidepressants...”

“So what do you want me to do, then?”

“Make sure it gets broadcast. Hack Echelon if you have to.“ Leila kisses Shira’s lips. “I want everybody to watch.”

Team Spanner meet in the big upstairs family room with Ric Thomas, Hope Reston, Willa Richter-Thomas, and Selene Carpenter. Present — Colette from the Student Union; from Team Bremelo: Shira, Jennifer, Leila, Connor, Rob, Polly, Cory, and Kio; from the Slasher Hunters: Brandi, Arisa, Lars, Peck, and Martin with his niece Irina; from the Wrecking Krewe: Alex, Cyphers, Deth Pussy, Simon Sez, El Kabong, Evil the Cat, and the Cockroach Twins.

Hope says, “The Teachers Guild has voted to support the demonstration any way it can. If it goes district-wide, we’re joining it.”

Ric says, “You’ve already got definite support from thousands of independent artists and performers just in this city alone.”

Colette says, “We’re negotiating with Student Unions in other schools right now. We’re talking about taking it citywide.”

Alex says, “We’ve been gathering up support from across the Darknet, ready to attack whenever Echelon makes its inevitable move.”

Jesus Christ!” exclaims Deth at his phone. Everybody looks at him.

“What is it?” asks Moon Roach.

“CPMC’s been informed!”

Hope stands up. “Who told Brinkman about this?”

Leila stands up. “I did.” Everybody stares at her and gasps. “I even taunted him. I told him he’d have to get all the Syndicates on his side if he wants to pull victory out of the jaws of defeat this time.”

“Why did you do that?” gasps Polly.

“We have the means to beat ’em. Right, Shira?”

Shira snaps her fingers. “But of course!

What?!

“Leila darlin’, you’re starting to think like me!“ Shira runs over to kiss Leila. “Link ol’ Wally to the Mobs, and CPMC is doomed!

31 october 2014.
technosphere.
Posted on the Teachers Guild official site:
Hope:
As you know, the Conservative Revolution rigged labor policy so that workers are no longer allowed to collectively bargain for their rights or even hire a mediator. Any request for a raise or improved benefits is by law a grounds for firing and blacklisting. The workers are helpless. But the customers are not.

We, the employees of the Seattle Public Education Corporation, call on its customers, the students, to force the company to make all the necessary improvements in how SPEC treats its workers and students. We call on all students to make SPEC management implement all our requirements, or demand the complete refund of their tuitions, effective immediately.
Also posted, the official Student Union announcement:
Colette:
We, the students of the Metropolitan Seattle Consolidated School District, are on strike against the district. And we have filed a lawsuit against its private corporate owner, the Seattle Public Education Corporation, for breach of contract on their part. We paid for education and got nothing. Now we demand all our tuition back, with interest.
Posted by LocaFantoma99 to MyTube on October 31, 2014:
The Jolly Roger waves proudly behind Shira. She wears bodice, long fluffy skirt, black tri-corner hat with skull-and-crossbones insignia, and a scabbard belt. She waves her sabre left-handed.

Shira:
You know those corporate raiders who hijacked the government of Cascadia and allegedly made themselves legitimate by calling themselves the, quote-unquote, Cascadia Public Management Corporation? Well, guess what? There’s a mutiny on the pirate ship Cascadia. The captains don’t take part in the fights, but they hog all the spoils. They call themselves the quote-unquote Chosen People? Excuses, excuses. Their word for it is: “management.”

Now the galley slaves refuse to take it anymore. We want back what Captain Wally stole from us. We’re taking back our money and our lives. If you can’t take it, Corporate pirates, then you just have to deal. Provoke us, and we’ll have to shut the whole city down. Shorts, start sellin’!
Viral video passed between traitorware-free non-brand smartphones and on the Darknet:
Leila:
Hello. My name is Leila Shelley, but you probably already know that. Think of this as my official declaration. First, I’m cancelling the marrage arranged for my by my grandfather, Governor Brinkman, with the late corporate raider Lars Thorwald to officially enslave me to the corporate raider’s son Oliver, whom you know as the gangster and serial killer Ollie Ollie Oxenfree. I refuse to allow the will of a tyrant and a dead man to override my own will. By the way, I killed Lars Thorwald. Second, the other reason I’m doing this is because I am in love with another woman, and I intend to my defend my right to love whoever I want, to the death if necessary. Third, I am issuing an official Challenge to Oliver Thorwald, to the death. Not merely because I want to be free of him, but because I want him to die.
downtown Bremerton. Team Bremelo and the Student Union organizers send out the first text messages. They avoid the social networks, heavily surveilled by their corporate owners; they avoid voice calls in case Echelon has improved its decoding machines; they send GPG-encrypted texts through the Darknet. The recipients text their friends, and so on, till nearly every student in the SPEC system knows.

Soon the boardwalk is crowded with students. The uniforms tell the tale. As soon as the Bremerton High students in blue and yellow crowded downtown Bremerton’s boardwalk, they found themselves joined by the blue and silver of Olympic, the black and orange of South Kitsap, and the black and silver of Bangor-Seabeck, and then by every middle school in the area. Teachers and college students wear their civilian clothes; students of the nursing school across the street wear their scrubs.

On the streets above, the combined fight clubs of four high schools and eight middle schools take on the horde of rampaging gangsters, smashing motorcycles, firing portable sound cannons, spraying countless gallons of AntiMeth. Some students get hurt. Some gangsters break bones and even die in spectacular crashes. The most steroid-pumped gangsters explode.

In solidarity with the Bremerton students who lost their school to yesterday’s bombing, hundreds of thousands of students take the school day off, rush to the public plazas, and gather in protest. The high- and middle-school students are quickly joined by thousands upon thousands of college students, many of them hopelessly in debt with few employment prospects; in turn, they are joined by workers in increasing waves, determined to shut the city of Seattle down for the first time in fifteen years...

on to the next...

Back to Chapter 22 index...
Back to Chaos Angel Spanner table of contents...

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

[Revision 2, 10/14/11: First published version. New opening flashback, closing scene, and Spanner piratecast (callback to 1.4) added. Opening scenes from unpublished first draft mostly unchanged from the original, except the precog sequence, in which Jack Becket replaces his father Dr Henry Becket.]

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