Saturday, December 10, 2011

Spanner 25.5: Hate Disease

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 25: The Public Be Damned
Part 5: Hate Disease

10 november 2014.
Bremerton High.
Walking on the way to the college, Shira and Jennifer suddenly notice someone among the portable classrooms. Then smoke starts to rise above one of them. They stare at each other. “Stan,” says Jennifer.

“Shit!” exclaims Shira. They climb onto the fence, leap over it, and run to the source of the fire to confront the Terrorist.

Stan leaps back when he sees the two angry girls suddenly block his way. Jennifer sneers, “I assume this is your way of saying that ignorance is bliss, right, Terrorist?”

Shira says to her, “Stupid is as stupid does, cuz.”

“I always marvel how stupidity gets so militant these days.”

“I thought militancy made people stupid. Just take a look at the creationists trying to lynch scientists.”

Stan rushes them screaming “Shut up!” They cut him off and double-flip him into the air; he lands hard on his back with his head audibly bouncing off the pavement. As he curls into fetal position, holds the back of his head, and groans, reinforcements rush in to help him. Jennifer kicks one Moral Enforcer into another; Shira pulls one into another’s punch and then spin-kicks the other, leaving Vince Corson. But Vince knows he’s still weak from his latest resurrection, in no condition to take on two teenage Amazons who have hardly even broken a sweat. Jennifer punches him out anyway.

Shira whips out her phone, calls the fire department, and shows the fire to them on her phonecam. Soon the sirens get closer as the trucks speed in and the firefighters take over.

Olympic College. Across the street from the high school, the college campus is filled with frustrated students angry that they cannot return to class because of the legal wrangling over the Cascadian public school systems. They silently and not so silently curse Governor Brinkman, his Attorney General son Marshall, and CPMC for ruining their education with their petty legal battles. Jennifer and Shira stop in front of the library entrance. They look inside; none of the lights are on, and neither presumably is the heating system on this cold and drizzly November day. Just to express her frustration, Jennifer grabs a door handle, rattles the door, and growls.

A faceless security guard hurries over to snap at her. “No tresspassing allowed! No one is allowed inside any of the buildings! That’s the Governor’s direct order! Obey his orders, or you’ll be punished!”

Shira and Jennifer trade scornful looks. Jennifer asks, “Why do these rent-a-cops always have to be so touchy?”

Shira replies, “Because that’s the way Governor Wally is. What you did just wounded his ego.”

“Like I said, touchy.” They glare at the guard. He sensibly backs off and returns to the job the Governor hired him to do, harassing students.

Soon enough, Los Punkz bikers swarm in from one side and Moral Enforcers from the other. Students flee the inevitable fight screaming. The cousins plunge into the heart of the chaos: Jennifer to rescue trapped students, Shira to misdirect the assailants.

One Punk flees with his girlfriend. Jennifer knocks him down with a hard left hook. “Leave her alone!”

Shira snarls, “No girl huntin’ on our watch, Slasher!”

“Hey!” the Punk protests. “I only wanted you to help me.”

Shira plants her foot on his head. “As long as you’re in gang colors, you’re beyond help. The definition of ‘gang’ is ‘pack of serial killers,’ meaning you’re still out to get everybody, Slasher.”

Jennifer points down at him. “You’re not a human being, Slasher. You’re a modular biological weapons platform, owned and operated by Anticristo. You’re not a man, you’re a gun.”

His girlfriend pounds futilely on Shira. “Stop it! He’s not what you think—”

Shira and Jennifer beat her up. When she hits the ground, Shira pulls her back up by the hair and glares into her eyes. “Serial killer groupies,” she snarls, “they make me sick.” She jujitsu-throws her — “Grievous harm with a body!” — right onto her boyfriend.

The cousins wipe their hands on their skirts. Jennifer says, “So how do you save one of these hopeless cases that actually want to be saved?”

“The only way is to cripple it. That way you take it out of play.”

They look toward the heart of the campus, where the Moral Enforcers and Los Punkz beat each other to a pulp. Content that the thugs are taking each other out, they walk away.

Harborside Commons. After an exhausting day, they’re back in the food court and decide to take it easy for dinner: Shira, Jennifer, Leila, Polly, Debbie, Schuyler, and Courtney. “Does every day have to be like this?” sighs Polly.

Jennifer puts her arm around Polly’s shoulder and draws her close. “Yes, Polly darling, as long as the people in control remain out of control, every day will have to be like this.”

“I don’t think it does, Jen,” Schuyler says.

“Sky, I clearly said ‘as long as the people in control remain out of control.’ For one thing, school’s out indefinitely due to legal problems, remember?”

“Fine by me,” says Debbie. “They don’t teach nothing at school anyway.”

Charmian storms up to the table. ”Did you girls ever realize that there’s actual human beings inside those gang uniforms?”

Debbie laughs at her. Jennifer stands up and crosses her arms. “Excuse me, Charmian, but no. Legally and strategically, there are no actual human beings inside gang uniforms. It cannot be otherwise. There is only one actual being in the gang, and it is the gang itself, a collectivized ego. All its members are but extensions of it, like the exobodies of a multibot. To assume otherwise is strategic suicide. You above all should know that, Lieutenant.”

Shira stands up. “Charms, you obviously don&rsquo't know how a Player thinks. Gangsters, like all soldiers, aren’t people, they’re gamepieces. Players who truly believe in the Game, such as the men of your family, have only one objective, and that is supremacy, the closest you’ll ever get to victory in the Tournament that never ends. Every other Player is an opponent. His men are gamepieces. One way of defeating other Players is by either eliminating or capturing their gamepieces. Human pieces are equivalent to inanimate pieces in Tournament. Basically, they’re weapons. As for civilians, or mundanes as they’re also called, they too are considered pieces suitable for either capture or elimination. So in Tournament, there’s no such thing as people, only Players and pieces. All gangsters think that way. That’s why you show mercy to a gangster by crippling ’em. It’s the only way to eliminate an active human gamepiece without killing the person.”

Leila adds, “The same thing goes for cults and terrorist groups. Individuals don’t even exist within ’em. There’s only the group and, well, its pieces. Sometimes the holy MacGuffin is more of a person than the cultist. You get such bizarre situations whenever you give up your own power, something I still will never let you do no matter how much you try, Charmian.”

Charmian stares at them in disbelief. “This is insane.”

Everybody at the table nods in enthusiastic agreement. Jennifer says, “It’s the very definition of collective insanity.”

dreamspace. Five lucid dreamers and a shaman take on a dream monster created by Jack Becket out of his own rage and sent to kill Locke Holmes. It got distracted when it saw Shira in her goddess form; because the one-eyed man hates Shira even worse, his monster decides to take her out as well.

Accompanying her are Jennifer, Leila, Polly, and Karen. Behind them, Ariel spreads out her black angel wings and prepares to do battle. Shira looks back and says, “Don’t bother. We’ve got it all taken care of.”

Polly slaps her. “We can’t take on a giant hate monster by ourselves!”

Jennifer shoots a Don’t be stupid look at her. “Pretend we’re in an RPG, where revive spells and phoenix down kill zombies.”

She and Shira look at Karen. “Polly, we’ve got a powerful love mage with us,” says Shira. “Love does to hate monsters what revive dies to zombies. So let’s get our Care Bare Stare on!”

Karen puts a love spell on all the girls just as the hate monster begins its Burning Resentment attack. The girls fix it with a powerful love stare.

The monster screams with pain, attempts its Jihad Explosion suicide attack, fails to hurt them, gradually shrinks until its substance vanishes and then its scream’s final echoes fall silent.

After their victory, Ariel retracts her wings. “I’ve been wondering why so many game players win so easily in dream wars.”

Jennifer replies, “Some skills can be transferred between realities. That’s why both visualization and simulators improve real-world skills so well.”

“Does that mean lucid dreaming skills work in the real world too?” asks Leila.

“They should,” says Ariel. “Most people in the real world are sleepwalkers. Lucidity is freedom.”

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Copyright © 2011 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
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[Revision 1, 12/10/11.]

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