Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spanner R4 PREVIEW: 7.5 The Birthday Party NaNoEdMo REMIX

To understand just how much Spanner has been changing between the Third and Fourth Revisions during NaNoEdMo, compare Part 7.5 R3 with the new revised version below. A lot of it hasn’t changed. It’s the new additions that change everything, especially the brand new ending. (Except for Shira’s insistence on ditching her clothes; girl’s been acting up on me lately. That’s what happens when your characters escape your control...)

But first, a bonus extra scene, newly added to Chapter 7 R4, called “Mass Marriage at Xbox Field” (“Xbox Field” being the 2014 name of Qwest/CenturyLink Field in Seattle), inspired by the opening of Don DeLillo’s Mao II but quickly diverging from it:
7 september 2014.
xbox field.
The faith-mad zombies of the cult of America rush onto the pitch to line up in perfect formation, two by two, male and female, to join in perfectly eugenic matrimony. Sun Myung Moon, late Shepherd of Korea, industrialized marriage into mass spectacle; Shepherd Moon, the hater of Communism, communized it in a way that Stalin and Mao would approve and the Kims adopted. The Eugenics Institute rationalized the aristocratic tradition of arranged marriage to advance Galton’s science into the age of space conquest. With absolute faith that they are bringing into being the New Man, crusaders united to defend the grail of Corporatism against the passing of the great race and the all-destroying entropy of individual passion, one thousand Corporate aristocrats in battle formation advance across the sign of the X to be united in eugenically correct union by the savior of the American Union.

Her name is Princess Drusilla Anne Becket Thomas Thorndyke von Wegener Pernell of Dictel, Incorporated, and she reigns over them as Supreme Shepherd of the Church of America in the American State of Cascadia. Upon the stage, before the altar, she stands before and above them as a living goddess: gleaming golden prophetic robes encrusted with glittering gems, beautiful harsh face artfully painted into an Egyptian objet de culte, golden locks architecturally braided atop her head and crowned with the spiked iron crown of Columbia, the Nation, eternal bride of Jesus America. Drusilla Becket, superstar: flanked by her top-hatted, leather-trenchcoated Patriot Metal acolytes Byron Scofield and Jeremiah Light, she appears before them as the Ideal made manifest, blinding all present who see her without the rose spectacles of faith.

[unfinished Mudlark House scene omitted]

In perfect unison, one thousand Corporates reach out to the sacred Flag in the legionary salute. Drusilla leads them in the Pledge of Allegiance, the Great Invocation of the American Religion.

In the stands, some are so overwhelmed by this tsunami of holiness that they lose all sense of self and cry out their ecstasy in the Unknown Tongue. Glossolalia spreads throughout the crowd like a fast-acting virus until they, the Intendeds on the field, the band and crew on stage, and even the legions of the faithful watching on television are on the ground, rolling, convulsing, glossolating the Invocation before it ends, masses of souls raped by the Holy Spirit, until only Drusilla, the channeller of gods, is left standing, her painted lips stretched into a smile of triumph.
And yes, the revised “The Birthday Party” now refers back to “Mass Marriage at Xbox Field.” So let’s now get back to our feature presentation:

Chaos Angel Spanner Revision 4 PREVIEW:
Chapter 7 Part 5 REMIX: The Birthday Party
LocaFantoma99 Mi quinceañera! Party’s right downtown! B there or b L7! /cc @PerezHilton @TMZ

Shira Thomas Birthday! Party! Downtown!
9 september 2014.
mudlark house.
The men in pinstripe suits and black fedoras arrive in their trucks delivering mass amounts of mushroom burgers, mob chips, and the other secret weapons purveyed by Bremerton’s only late-night delivery joint. Mobster Mike’s normally deliver only on Fridays and weekends; but this is a special delivery requiring a military-level secret operation. Every Rocker knows what Mudlark House is, so on Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest they employ the secret codename Bast Motel.

The huge main room has been rearranged to make room for the tables of food. Afterwards, it will be rearranged again for the party itself. For today is the fifteenth birthday of Shira Miranda Thomas. Fifteen: the age of consent in the Corporate-dominated state of Cascadia, down from sixteen, down from originally eighteen; even now, powerful Corporates are pressuring the Eugenics Institute to lower it still further to twelve. But no lower: the civilized Cascadians draw the line at barbaric child marriage. Cascadia is not America, which recognizes no consent outside covenant marriage, and the consent is God’s alone. Red Mercury and Rebel Mudlark are bringing Seattle’s rock ’n’ roll élite to Mudlark House to celebrate Loca Fantoma’s Rocker quinceañera. Paparazzi would kill to crash the party. Hence Shira’s urgent need to misdirect.

In the basement bedroom she once shared with Kira, the naked birthday girl leads the meeting to plot their counterattack strategy. “You guys got enough fireworks?”

“Double, in fact,” Alex replies. “Half for today, half for when the terrorists invade on Thursday.”

Jennifer's face twists with disgust. “Paparazzi are worse than terrorists, if you ask me.”

Shira throws her a wink. “But they’re more fun to fight.”

Once the Mobster Mike’s crew finish their operation and move out, the Rockers move in, disguised to conceal their identities from the paparazzi. First the remaining No-Names arrive with their families. Lead guitarist Jonnii Angel and bassist Raven Shears come together. Their daughters, melancholy Shadow and snarky Sari, bring bandmate Taylor Brinkman. Keyboardist Betty Shears brings her redheads, Shira’s eldest sister Ruby Shears and her daughter Elle who insists on keeping bare her twelve-year-old body in bloom of early womanhood delighted that Shira can worship and dance with her again. Charlie and Desiree struggle to hide their love from Echelon till they get out of their car and into the anti-surveillance shield. The hackers of the Wrecking Krewe arrive next at Alex’s invitation. Taylor wraps Leila in a sexy strapless black minidress at the hospital; Rob puts her in the passenger seat and drives her to the party with Fiona, Cory, and Polly in the back seat. After them, the punkers, Stylers, and hip-hop horrorists swarm in, hiding the stars beneath the seats, in their trunks, and within the most ridiculous costumes. Last of all comes oldest sibling Arlo Thomas, his biracial Brazilian supermodel wife Ana, and their lovely children Angelina, Marlon, and Erika. Shira greets them all with ecstatic hugs and kisses; they’re here for her, so they deserve her utmost love. Enforcing family policy, she makes all the children go naked and stay within the surveillance shield before she sends them off giggling to bother the cats. Some Rockers shed their costumes, revealing skintight spandex art, all shades of bodypaint, barbaric tattoos and piercings, even (read: Jennifer) unadorned bare skin; others in sober disguise bring out even wilder costumes like a Carnival krewe.

No, MxPxies, your favorite band aren’t coming. They still haven’t forgiven Willa Richter-Thomas for relentlessly mocking God and faith in that godless 1986 solo album of hers, or the Band with No Name for their answer record “Get Outta Bremerton”. Besides, MxPx invented Christian punk, Willa’s supreme pet peeve. Mudlark House is the God-free zone where Willa rules as queen. They wisely stay away.

Meanwhile, an army of paparazzi invade the ferry terminal area downtown, expecting to crash the party but finding only an empty unbooked conference center and an army of cops lying in wait; they join together in riot, tear gas fills the air, truncheons and beer bottles fly.

After all the Mobster Mike’s food has been devoured by hungry rockers, hackers, and Stylers, Ric and Willa wheel out the great big guitar carrot cake to thunderous cheers. Jennifer complains, “Why didn’t I get a cake like that?”

Willa puts her arm around her shoulder. “Darling, you got the German chocolate keyboard.”

“Oh yeah.”

Ric lights fifteen candles he plants into the cake. Shira leaps onto the seat of honor at the end of the table. Standing on the chair proudly nude but for tall laced workboots on her feet and a rainbow of feathers adorning her crown of wild red hair, the gorgeous charismatic birthday girl captures all attention. Excitement desire pleasure love, powerful passions swirling in her blood, make her bare body glow electric like a polished bronze idol, consecrated to herself. Her tribe have gathered here at Mudlark House to offer her gifts and unconditional adoration; overwhelmed with gratitude she returns their love in full measure. The charge in the air rocks these Rockers like music to the touch. At least one person faints. There should be two birthday girls celebrating today, but their tribe are overjoyed that they still have one. Everybody starts singing “Happy Birthday to You,” until—

Angela stands up, flails her arms, and shouts in panic, “Stop it, stop it, stop it!

“Angie, what’s wrong with singing ‘Happy Birthday to You’ to me?”

Angela says grimly, “That song is the Intellectual Property of Time Warner Corporation, an MIAA member of the Melodia Consortium, meaning we’re forbidden to sing it without paying the Melodia Consortium a license fee running to an arm, a leg, an extra pound of flesh, and your firstborn child.”

“I don’t see how they can sue us for singing it privately.”

“You don’t understand! Intellectual Property is the heart of the Law. Violating it is considered worse than murder! We sing the Melodia Consortium’s Intellectual Property without its highly confiscatory permission, we rape its intellectual property! There’s many people the Consortium considers pirates sitting here at this table. If it even suspects that Rockers are singing its Intellectual Property, it’ll send its lawyers after us in a heartbeat! Shira, you’re extremely lucky you haven’t had to deal with Corporate lawyers with police power. If they catch you touching their masters’ sacred copyrights, they’ll arrest you, judge you, and maybe even execute you on the spot! This is America, after all. A republic is not a democracy, freedom is not free, and all that bullshit.”

Shira crosses her arms and smirks contemptuously. “I say we show our great appreciation for that great big copyright troll and its savage army of legal barbarians by singing ‘Happy Birthday’ anyway.” The crowd erupts with cheers. “Melodia, MIAA, Time Warner, and Roland Leggett, this middle finger salute’s for you!” Middle fingers waving high, all the assembled Rockers sing:
Happy birthday, fuck you,
Your brains are shit stew,
Your excuses are bullshit,
Your copyrights are too!
Go fuck yourselves...
They conclude with enthusiastic cheers and howls.

Shira gets a synthesizer keyboard from Charlie, a new high-definition video camera from Desiree, movies and books and jewelry and other interesting things from the others. From Dexter, she will get a special night of movies, dining, and love on Friday. From her parents, she will get a movie in the theatre, an expensive Native American salmon dinner in Tillicum Village on Blake Island (Jennifer laughs), and a weekend on the town in downtown Seattle. From cousin Alex and her husband Nick, she gets a Furby.

“Looks collectible,” says Shira.

Alex winks. “It is, but not the way you’d expect.” She picks it up and switches it on. “We cannibalized a bootleg two-gig smartphone with two cameras and 256 gigs flash storage and put it into a Furby we got cheap in surprisingly good condition at a swap meet. Next, we installed Python and gave him an AI. Then we gave him a personality we thought you might like.”

“What’s his name?”

“Freddy Freakbeak.”

Freddy’s first word to Shira is “Hi.”

“Oh my god, I’m in love.” Shira picks Freddy up and twirls it around. She throws herself at Alex and Nick, showers them with kisses, and squeals, “Thank you! I love you!” Shira and her fuzzy new robot friend become the hit of the party.

Suddenly Angelina rushes in wet, yelling “Oh my god they’re here!

Everybody goes silent. Then Willa commands, “To the garage!” The Team Bremelo fighters run out to the garage, don flamboyant Carnival masks, and pick their weapons of choice from the huge pile of fireworks as the garage door opens. Their hearts sink as they find it’s dark and rainy outside.

“Oh boy,” says Shira, “it’s raining cats, dogs, and social media experts.”

One paparazzo appears to point a camera directly at them and start snapping pictures. Shira picks up a blowgun, lights a bottle rocket, and sticks it in. The bottle rocket zooms out the tube, hits the camera lens, and explodes. Camera parts fly like shrapnel; the paparazzo screams and holds his eye. Jennifer fires a Roman candle at him; he flees the barrage.

The advancing paparazzi find themselves bombarded by bottle rockets, flying firecrackers, spud guns, and screaming Roman candles. Feather-masked nudefighters and costumed crusaders assault them relentlessly until they flee into their cars and peel out onto the street, some of them leaving their cameras behind in the panic of their retreat. The Bremeloes make their own retreat out of the rain, back to the garage, and strip off their now wet masks.

“That’ll learn ’em,” says Shira.

“Then you don’t know paparazzi,” replies Rob.

“Oh yeah? I own ’em constantly. Sooner or later they’ll actually be afraid of me.”

Kio looks at Shira strangely. “Shira, do you have to deal with these people all the time?”

Shira grins. “Yep, and the poor bastards’ll just have to deal.”

Polly, cringing against the door, angrily protests, “Well, happy birthday then. You guys scared me half to death!”

The Furby in her hand taunts, “Chicken.” Everybody laughs.

Shira spots a forlorn Leila looking left out in a corner. She runs over to her and holds out her hand. Leila says sadly, “I didn’t bring you a present. I’m terribly sorry.”

She smiles. “Leila, you are my present.”


“Give me your heart and your body, and you’ll make me the happiest birthday girl ever.”

Leila stares at her, stunned. She turns away and cries, “But you don’t deserve me.”

“I don’t care. I want you more than anything. I’ll gladly give up everything else if only I can have you. Please give yourself to me.”

“Leila, she’s in love with you,” says Taylor. “Seize the opportunity! Go for it!”

Leila finds herself surrounded by Rockers and Bremeloes begging her to give herself to Shira. Reluctantly, she slowly brings herself to her feet. She stares into Shira’s bright green eyes and sees total adoration. “You’re making a terrible mistake,” she says.

“I told you, I don’t care.”

“Okay. From now on, I belong to you.”

“Oh, thank you! You’re the best gift ever! May I please unwrap you?” Leila blushes furiously, pauses, stutters, then finally nods. Not caring who sees her, she lets Shira slip off her dress so that she stands before her as nude as she is, making several people gasp.

Shira puts her hands on Leila’s shoulders and drinks in the vision of the beautiful trembling body before her. Time stands still; everyone holds their breath. “Thank you,” she whispers. She takes her into her arms and kisses her as passionately as she can. Their classmates, and all the Rockers in Mudlark House, explode into cheers.

Then the Wicked Witch of the West’s theme suddenly sounds. The whole house goes silent.

Shira shoos everybody else away from the TV's webcam. “Outta the way! This one’s mine!”

Polly protests, “Shouldn’t you wear—”

“No! Now move aside.” She shoves Polly back into the crowd.

She gestures at the Kinect, and the face of Drusilla Becket appears on the big TV screen, her face huge and menacing as the Great and Powerful Oz, her braided blond hair topped by an Egyptian crown. Her eyes go open in shock when she sees what appears on her vidphone screen: Shira has chosen to answer her call Carnival-masked but otherwise completely nude. The terror of Drusilla's presence and the intensity of Shira's calm settle oppressively on the house like a stifling cloud. The Chief Shepherd bites her lip.

“Well, hello, Stepmommie Dearest!” says Shira cheerfully. “How nice of you to crash my quinceañera. What Challenge are you throwing me this time?”

Drusilla snarls, “You torture my eyes with your shameless whoredom, brat. I ought to sentence you to torture for that.”

“Like the mercy of old Mother Church that enslaved the maidens of Ireland into chastity for the unforgivable crime of feeling lust, to be eternally tortured by nuns and raped by priests, the Great Whore’s will be done on earth as it is in Hell? Like that?”

“You mock me,” Drusilla rages. “You mock Our Nation, its freedom, and its eternal destiny. But America is One! The fists of His Body shall hunt you down to the ends of the earth! His Law shall show you no mercy! Your very existence shall be erased from even the Akashic Records that record all! For nothing is real but Our God; all else is but the illusion cast by the Evil One!”

Shira flashes her a beautiful smile. “I see your latest orgy has fed you well.”

“What—” gasps Drusilla.

“Oh the energy you’re wasting to throw your little tizzy, just because you can’t handle reality.”

A contorted expression of rage, a sudden flash of lightning, and the signal disappears.


Charlie and Desiree let out a loud triumphant laugh.

Jon confronts her. “Shira, what the hell are you doing, provoking her like that? She’ll kill you!”

“That’s a bad, bad sign,” echoes Nick.

Shira laughs. “That’s actually a good sign! It means the Wicked Witch is going irrational. She can’t scheme when she’s flailing wildly in blind rage. If we can keep her irrational, we’ve got her beat!”

“We’ve got you covered already,” Charlie reassures her.

“This wasn’t a Challenge, people,” Willa adds, “this was a match. Shira, you won!”

“That’s right!” exclaims Shira. “She didn’t ruin my party! I threw water on hers!” She howls and pumps her fist; her tribe answer with thunderous cheers. Suddenly her smile vanishes; with both arms she gestures for quiet. “But don’t forget, next round’s in two days. Prepare!”

Copyright © 2012 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
Creative Commons License
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