Thursday, November 10, 2011

Spanner 24.3: Know Your Enemy

As I catch back up to my normal NaNoWriMo pace, next week I’ll begin the Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule that I’ll be sustaining through March (and NaNoEdMo). Conveniently, the plot shifts back into high gear next installment. Not that there’s no fun or bizarre stuff this installment...

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 24: Every Silver Lining Has a Cloud
Part 3: Know Your Enemy

6 november 2014.
Evergreen Park.
The overhead lights lead the way as the Shelley twins stroll the park’s paths late during the night and talk about being sixteen. “I don’t feel any older,” says Rob.

“Lucky you,” his sister replies. “At least you were blessed with not having to deal with being born female. The law says I’m an ‘old maid’ already. Now that that psycho Grandfather forced on me is oout of my hair, he’s bound by Law and sacred honor to get me into the kitchen of some rich lord and master as fast as possible.”

“Doesn’t your love for Shira disqualify you?”

“Not in Grandfather’s eyes. He refuses to let me be, for the sacred honor of the House of Brinkman, he says. All that’s missing, it seems, is the plantation with the docile black slaves secretly plotting to strangle Massa when he ain’t looking. I may have to kill him myself.”

Suddenly Frank Becket, pretty, blond, and evil, blocks their way, smiling at Leila with wicked intent. “Leila Shelley,”

“As if the devil we were speaking of weren’t bad enough.”

Frank approaches her and tries to stroke her cheek. She flinches in revulsion. “A spirited filly, I am told. Now that that loser Thorwald is crying over his clone tanks, I believe I can cure you of your sick little perversion and claim your honor for myself.”

“What perversion? My attraction to a woman, or to her dark skin? But I know, it is my desire for freedom from lords and masters such as yourself that you consider perverted. I’m afraid my values are completely alien to yours, and those of your precious Empire.”

Frank makes like he’s about to force himself on Leila, but then he looks at Rob, backs off, and laughs. “I ahall have you, Leila.”

Leila smiles ironically. “But not for long, Franklin. You see, I’m a succubus. I’ll suck you dry.”

Bangor. The squats are remarkably free of violent crime, mainly because the Populists there will not tolerate it in their peaceful neighbourhoods and have set up a crime watch. The subdivisions have no such protections once the income level sinks beneath middle class. The suburbs of the twentieth century were designed so that upper-middle-class people could share their lives together, out of the nostalgia rich people have for the stifling conformism of small towns. Upon this social foundation, the entire worldview of Conservative Revolutionism was built. But when the rich return to their beloved small towns and leave the big-city suburbs behind, poorer people with fewer opportunities take their place. The rich have much in common, and they are very smug about it. Poor people tend to have little in common. Where there is no public sphere, in the now dead projects or the now abandoned suburbs, the requirement that much be shared leads the poor to share nothing. Inevitably, the poor residents divide into factions, form gangs, and go to war.

Within the subdivisions of Bangor, there are five large parks: Jackson Park (not to be confused with the Navy family barracks in Bremerton) and Magnuson Park after the mid-twentieth-century senators who got the federal pork-barrel money to build them; Freedom Park and Liberty Park after the Party’s alleged ideals; and, in the centerless center of the city, Dictel Park, after the company that employed most of Bangor throughout the nostalgically remembered Cold War. In Dictel Park, two all-white “street” gangs battle for control of the city: the Freedom Bay Americans and the Libertywood Freedom Fighters. They scream as they brawl. Reno Corson, war chief of the Freedom Fighters, gave the order to attack when Americans chief Frank Becket left to pursue Leila Shelley. The scene is like an ancient-war movie, with fists and found weapons replacing the swords and arrows.

“Give the fuckers no quarter!” exults Reno. “Go get yourself fucked, Frankie boy! When you get back, I’ll own the city and you’ll eat my shit!”

“Hmph!” replies his once-killed, twice-disgraced moll, German idol singer Bunny Strakeljahn. “And then he’ll do the same to you while we are in bed.”

“You shut up! I’m a real man, not like pretty boy! I gotta show him who’s the man and who’s the girl-faced faggot!”

Bunny sighs. Around them, crew-cut steroid-bodied white gangsters beat each other to a pulp.

7 november 2014.
Their work done for now, the workers of greater Seattle end their general strike and go back to their jobs. To keep the corporations in line, they make sure to threaten their management with another strike if they get out of line. Management are not in a position to do anything about it at this time. CPMC stock is falling to penny-stock levels, the survivors of the Fearsome Foursome are licking their wounds, COPCO is trying to recover from its humiliation, and the corporations must now deal with the threat that Byron Scofield and his militant Party fraction will seize the city government and plunge the city into full-blown war.

Dr Henry Becket meets with Scofield. The Shepherd bows before him in obeisance. “My lord! Tell me what to do!”

“You shall put the fear of God back into the black hearts of the sinful rabble. We are his Chosen. We must make them know that God has made us the head, and they are but the tail. The head of the Nation is to rule the nation, and the tail is but to follow. This is the order of Heaven. Do you understand, Mr Scofield?”

“Yes, my lord!”

“You must re-establish our dominion by any means necessary. If that means unleashing terror, then so be it.”

clone bank. Vince Corson puts the pistol in his mouth, pulls the trigger, and immediately wakes up in a clone tank. The first thing he does is pick up the gun from his bloody corpse and shoot Oliver Thorwald. When Thorwald emerges from his tank wet and naked, he roars in frustration and vows revenge. Johnny Skeever says, “Yeah, like a pathetic shit like you would give a fuck.” Thorwald shoots him. Skeever emerges from his tank still swearing.

Leila strides casually in, still wearing her temporary black-and-silver Bangor High sailor-suit school uniform that matches her hair, armed with an automatic rifle. Thorwald shrieks in panic when he sees her. She grins evilly. “Hello, Ollie. Miss me?”

“No no no, don’t you dare touch my clones.”

While Thorwald watches on, Leila empties a full extended clip into his clone tanks. He screams in horror as the glass shatters and bullets perforate his carefully grown backup bodies.

Johnny Skeever, still naked and carrying his pistol, laughs at him. Leila exchanges the empty clip for a full one and shoots him.

Mudlark House. They are the kind of professionals who would not be out of place in a typical thriller: Amanda Currie, investigative reporter; James T. Sparks, police detective; Angela Coyne, defense lawyer; Willa Richter-Thomas, psychologist.

So far, so according to the Standard Thriller Template.

But they are not what they seem on the surface, or in the guild membership lists: Amanda Currie, nude art model; James T. Sparks, guerrilla hacker; Angela Coyne, (name this); Willa Richter-Thomas, postpunk rocker and author of thrillers. The template has strict limits. They disregard them. The problem with thrillers, and especially the standard political thriller, is that they pit one person or a small ragtag crew against a seemingly all-powerful conspiracy. They leave out the masses. They leave out the sanction of the victim. Above all, they leave out the significant fact that when the masses renounce the sanction of the victim, the conspiracy proves not so powerful at all. Willa has complained about this throughout her entire writing career, stretching back to the 1980s. As she likes to say, if you write, say, left-wing political thrillers, whenever you leave out the masses what you get is The Parallax View, in which the conspiracy wins.

Willa breaks the silence. “My evil ex is about to make his move. Shira already told me her strategy: meet terror with chaos.”

“It’s worked so far,” says Angela.

“But Harry Becket’s different from most Corpo patriarchs. He’s an experienced terrorist. Fidel Castro respects him and Kim Jong Il fears him. He has no sense of compassion whatsoever. He would be like the serial killers Shira and her bounty hunter friends are cashing in, but unlike them he always sacrifices his victims to the big picture.”

“Hell hath no fury like a technocrat who finds religion.”

Sparks says, “So the standard antiterrorist tactics won’t work, I take it.”

“He invented the, Jim,” Willa replies.

“So how do we expose him?” asks Amanda.

“We tell the world what I found out the hard way back in ’92. They need to know that his ideals are not so ideal after all.”

Thorwald property. Outside the warehouse, next to the burned-out dogfighting arena, the members of Team Bremelo and the Slasher Hunters sit in the grass and discuss round two. Ric Thomas tells them, “As you know, I used to be married to a Becket, and my sister Willa was married to none other than Henry Becket himself. Now you gotta know your enemy if you wanna beat him. To understand what we’re up against, you have to understand the Beckets. To understand the Beckets, you gotta know Dictel, and the key to Dictel is what happened to the company in 1948. That event ultimately led to the Conservative Revolution, the Church of America, and the dictatorship.”

Seika asks, “So what happened in 1948?”

“Israel gained independence from Britain and won the First Arab-Israeli War. Roger Becket of Dictel turned against his former Nazi allies, fired all the Nazis he’d been shielding from justice up to that time as part of the infamous Ratline, declared the Israeli victory a sign from God, and became an acolyte of one Herbert W. Armstrong. He was a schismatic Seventh-Day Adventist preacher who founded his new church, the Worldwide Church of God, on a combination of two Evangelical Christian heresies, the Dispensationalism of John Nelson Darby and a nationalist cult known as British Israelism that was once the official ideology of the British Empire. The future King Patriot believed Armstrong when he said that British Israelism was the key to the Bible and therefore the world-historical destiny of America, ‘therefore’ being the key word here.”

The Tachibanas look at Ric in shocked disbelief. “Wow,” says Harumi.

“You really shouldn’t be surprised at all. Armstrongism is America’s own State Shinto, and it’s right there in the Book of America, which is really Armstrong’s central work, The United States and Britain in Prophecy, rewritten and expanded to include American and Israeli nationalism and UFO cultism. If you wanna know why the Corpos insist on stoning all Nazis to death, it’s right there in the Book of America, which says the Nazis, including the Christian Identity ‘apostates,’ are descended from the Assyrians, which the doctrine claims are the race descended from Satan, and the purpose of World War II was to purge their blood from Europe before they could destroy all the Jews, prevent their return to Israel, and thus overthrow God.”

Ariel adds, “Did you know the Jews have their counterpart? It’s called ‘two-house theology,’ one of the pillars of British Israelism. After the Messianists established the theocracy in Israel, they made it, and therefore British Israelism, an official state ideology. Which means, of course, that since the purge of non-Orthodox Jews, if the Israelists believe it, the Jews do not. But this is what unites the Kingdoms of Israel and America, and it’s why those British Israelists who are not Christian Zionists are considered traitors by the Party.”

Ric continues, “Israel was built by Holocaust survivors newly fired by Zionist ideals. Then the ideal soured. Only the Messianists believe in it anymore. Them and their ultra-rich sugar daddies who run the American Empire through their Conservative Revolutionary Party. But believe me, idealism to them is little more than a license to kill. Don’t think the Corpos are like the LibDems back in Japan, or even the nationalists. Knowing Harry Becket and his sister Drusilla the way I do, I can honestly tell you, they’re more like Aum Supreme Truth.”

The Tachibana sisters gasp. “Is that really true?” asks Natsumi.

John Peck replies grimly, “I’m afraid it is so. Aum Shinrikyou was an armageddonist cult. So is Americanism. And Henry Becket fully intends to be its Asahara Shoko.”

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Copyright © 2011 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
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[Revision 1, 11/10/11.]

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