Monday, October 24, 2011

Spanner 23.5: The Fuses Have Been Lit

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 23: Black Panic in the Suites
Part 5: The Fuses Have Been Lit

4 november 2014.
Once they descend to University Street Station, Shira and Leila find the buses and light rail trains not running. COPCO would have blown them up if they were. Luckily, the Slasher Hunters van drives up from the south, turns around, and stops so they can get in. In the front passenger seat, Peck asks, “So what’s your plan this time?”

Shira says, “One, parade float; two, video body paint.”

Arisa (driving) gasps; Lars (back seat) goes “OOOooooh.” Peck says, “Please explain.”

“Once we get back to Union Station, we’ll have some of our camhead friends mount a platform on the van while Leila and I strip naked and get ourselves painted. We’ll get back on the street, you drive slow through the crowd, and we’ll dance while piratecasts play on our bodies. Lars, you broadcast.”

“I wanna join!” says an excited Arisa.

Leila crosses her arms and looks at Shira jealously. Shira smiles sweetly back. Leila relents and sighs. Shira leans forward to kiss Arisa. “Great! Now take off your clothes as soon as we get there.”
[Drusilla Becket AMERICA!, Supreme Shepherd of the Church of America in Cascadia, sports an ultra-luxurious (and extremely expensive) robe whose shimmering fabric is made entirely out of gold and jewels and the world’s most expensively complicated hairdo.]

Blessed people of America, the spiritual truth of Our Nation is under threat from the schemes of the unenlightened and unblessed. We must restore the Hierarchy to its natural order, or—

[The official message is interrupted by a screaming red-haired Rocker, Drusilla’s ex-husband and nemesis, Ric Thomas, wielding cherry-red Gibson Robot Flying V guitar, pick hand raised high—]


[As he brings his hand down and strums the strings wildly, the rest of the Band With No Name join in. The camera zooms back to reveal the stage, built illegally in the middle of Seattle Center, surrounded by fans (the girls pointedly taking the front), the band’s slashed-red-circle logo hanging proudly behind. Players on stage: Ric, bassist Raven Shears, electric violinist Willa Richter-Thomas, drummer Len Schafer, lead guitarist Betty Shears, keyboardist Mylan Ferris. Fired for the first time since the coup by real revolutionary passion, the postpunk legends slam into their ferocious hardcore short opener:]

The Band With No Name:
[Ric singing (sic) “Destruct” (1996)]
I wanna pull my hair out
All you ever do is lie
You went and ripped my heart out
I wish you’d just diiieeee!

[Brief lead guitar line]

You always harass!
You turn up the pain!
Jam it up my ass!
You’re just plain insaaaane!

[Willa tortures her violin]

We’re all through with you!
It’s the end of you!

[On their 1996 album Destruct, “It’s Not About You”, the definitive anti-Drusilla song, follows. Instead, they next play one of their politically radical signature tunes:]

[Ric singing “Well, Well, Well” (1993)]
I wanted just to speak my mind
But they won’t let you disagree
They say I’m guilty of thoughtcrime
They strip me of my dignity

They say that what I do is wrong
They say I’m bad and don’t belong
They tell me that I must obey
I wish they’d get out of my way

Well, well, well...
Well, well, well...
Well, well, well...
Well, well, well...
Union Station. Shira, Leila, and Arisa leap out of the van as soon as they reach the International District subway station and strip naked as fast as possible. Four mechanics mount the dance platform atop the van, reinforcing it to keep the frame from being crushed by the weight of three dancers. The women run to the nearest storm drain and take turns pissing into it. Lars watches them and grins. “I’d love to see them do that while they’re dancing.”

Peck says, “You piss on the big men, not on those whose hearts you’re trying to win.”

Lefty Lucy gets to apply the video body paint to the girls’s bare skin, starting with Shira, because she likes to feel up pretty girls. “Don’t have too much fun,” says Shira, “we want this stuff to stick.” Lucy winks. Once she’s done with Shira, she does Leila next. Shira puts on a pair of high-heeled leather boots and returns to the van to pick up her devices and call Alex. “Cuz, could you send us some riot videos?”

“What for?”

“Leila, Arisa, and I are broadcasting it on our bodies.”

“Figured you’d find a good use for that stuff.” Alex winks. “Here it comes.” While Alex sends a big zipfile and a playlist torrent, Shira syncs her phone to Lars’ computer and the van. When Leila and Arisa join her, she has them sync their phones to hers. On their bodies, she has Lars build up personal area networks: phones, outboard graphics processors, wearable-computer headgear that leaves their hair free, friction power from their boots, skin sound processors, USB storage earrings and nipple rings; then they combine their PANs with each other and the Hunters’ system to form a small local area network. The mechanics mount speakers on the platform and a retractable ladder on the rear. She calls the five into a huddle. “Here’s the plan...”
Chairman Becket:
Traitorous liberal rabble, you think you have won. You think you’re going to rob the deserving for your communist welfare schemes. You think you just voted yourselves into power you do not deserve. Well, think again. You’ve got another thing coming—

[The video distorts, then returns to the No-Names concert piratecast:]

The Band With No Name:
[Ric singing “Step on the King” (2009)]
...They murdered him in a frenzied rage
Then they ripped his corpse apart
They offered him up as a sacrifice
And the king then ate his heart

The lesson here is completely insane
Don’t dare you ask me why
Dedicate yourself to theft and greed
But if you step on a coin, they’ll MAKE YOU DIE!

Desecrate the body where it lies!
Pioneer Square. Underground Resistance now playing. The techno beat booms. They snake through the crowded streets like a one-van Love Parade. On the dancers’ bodies, scenes of riot, revolution, torture, execution. All who see them dance can feel the deep love Leila (the black-haired one) and Shira (the tall redhead) have for each other, that Arisa (the blonde) has a monster crush on Shira and the two used to dance together, that they love their bodies and are really into each other’s.

Leila asks Shira, “How do I know your dad’s not Paul Weller?”

Shira laughs. “Same way you’re not Robert Smith’s kids. Besides, he ain’t ginger enough.” Now Leila laughs.

“You think we’ll pick up any big DJs?” asks Arisa.

“The almighty Alex Plus ain’t enough? deadmau5, come to Rebel!” The dancers laugh together and keep dancing as the van slowly advances on Westlake.
I dedicate this song to Wally.

[Cheers and howls from the crowd. Betty and Len play the lead-guitar-and-drums intro, then the full band slam into the song.]

The Band With No Name:
[Willa singing “Settle for Nothing” (1985)]
You are such a boy
You think I’m a toy
Throw me all around
Stomp me to the ground

You are really sick
Don’t be such a dick
You know what I’ll do
When I’m through with you

Too much ain’t enough
Give me what I want
Or settle for nothing

You’re so fucking tough
You’re a stupid cunt
You’ll settle for nothing
KCUF studio. Alex Plus segues to Messiah’s “There Is No Law”. Simon coordinates several of the sound cancellers around Bremerton. One helicopter blows up over base. Deth exults, “Whooo-hoo! Shofar, so good!”

COPCO Seattle. Jack Becket waves his arms around in a frenzy. The control room monitors change pictures uncontrollably. “What’s happening?” he screams. “What the hell is happening?”

Agent 2468 cries out, “We’ve been infected by a virus!”

The familiar face of Spanner appears, repeating “blah blah blah blah” without a break. He takes over all the monitors, hijacks all the computers in the building, transforms the COPCO system into himself. Outside, all Chief Becket’s precious roboagents suddenly start saying “blah blah blah blah...” followed by military robot copilots. The COPCO robopilots fly their helicopters into each other. The robot copilots and ground agents tear their heads off.

“Oh my god,” Becket sighs in despair, “the motherfucker’s turning the entire system into a Spannerbot...”
The Band With No Name:
[Ric singing “Domination Paradigm” (2009)]
...There’s a limit to what people can take from them
Only so much terror and unearned guilt
Provoking the people to rebel against them
To bring down the power their money built
But they can call on one even greater than they
One whose power is omnipotent
The master of masters who lives in heaven
Justifying all of their evil intent

Masters of the nation!
Power addicts living only to control
Paradigm of domination
We have no choice but to do what we’re told
The pleasure of annihilation
Feasting themselves on the dread they spread
Paradigm of domination
Torturing us all until we’re all dead!
Westlake Plaza. The van stops on Pine Street mid-plaza. Some of the strikers decide to surround it and dance along with Shira, Leila, and Arisa; others make way for others to dance. On the platform, the dancers rely on second wind. The sweat has begun to erode their paint, bare skin emerging in places. Scenes from this week’s protests now play on their bodies and on the screens that surround the plaza.

Suddenly the music stops, the dancing stops, Shira catches her breath, then says through her headset into the speakers, “We’ve got one final announcement we need to make! Look at us, look at the screens, but listen!”
[Angela Coyne waves around a sheaf of legal papers, representing the court case she is now filing.]

Attention, board members, executives, and shareholders of the Cascadia Public Management Corporation. On behalf of the Wilder Institute, I have just filed a class-action lawsuit against CPMC on behalf of hundreds of thousands of its victims. CPMC has been engaged in massive fraud since it was established. Its existence depends entirely on fraud, robbery, insider trading, and other crimes, up to and including murder. CPMC executives have been caught subsidizing, and taking money from, known criminal organizations. Here is proof:

[A series of surveillance and phonecam videos of CPMC executives and investors, including Brinkman himself, accepting bribes from Chinese agents and Syndicate leaders. Dozens of them, back to back, looped.]
The announcement is greeted by huge cheers, here, elsewhere in the state. At COPCO, Jack Becket takes in the scene with his one eye and stares, stunned and paralyzed. At CPMC, Brinkman screams and smashes whatever he can reach while Ross flees screaming and Litton plots his revenge. When the stock market opens tomorrow, CPMC and SPEC stock will collapse.

8:00 p.m. Election Day is over. Victory at last.

One final burst of protest in the streets, the crowds united against their Corporate enemies, determined to put an end to CPMC once and for all. From out of their collective defiance, like a middle-finger salute thrust into the face of CPMC, the war cry emerges first here, then all across the state, and finally empire-wide: “The people united will never be defeated!”

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

[Revision 2, 10/24/11: The sound war sequence expanded from outline in the unpublished first draft; everything else is new material. The pun “Shofar, so good!” courtesy of FAWMer Third Time Lucy from the 2011 “FAWM Superhero” forum thread. All songs © the author: “Step on the King” and “Domination Paradigm” from FAWM 2009, “Well, Well, Well” from 50/90 2010, “Destruct” and “Settle for Nothing” lyrics written 10/17/11.]

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