Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Spanner Influences: Ayn Rand and Her Un-Capitalistic Sense of Life

The article: "Defending Capitalism Against Ayn Rand" (Steven Farron, Liberty Magazine)

Steven Farron says Ayn Rand is the greatest novelist. My opinion of her fiction is not quite so exalted, but both her fiction and her philosophy were major influences on mine, since I was under her influence for about 15 years. But we agree that she has one big weakness: her sense of life. In his article, he says Rand's sense of life is too heroic for capitalism. In fact, it comes right out of revolutionary Russia.

This, therefore, is a study in the anxiety of influence.

Here's the contradiction:
  1. Her sense of life is heroic, inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche, High Romanticism, British adventure fiction, and (this is rarely mentioned) the heroic environment of the Russian Revolution. Her heroes do not deal with the "penny-ante".
  2. Capitalism is about making money from anything you can make money from. You can definitely make money off the "penny-ante".
So she exalted the mighty captains of industry and the great innovators, while she despised the shopkeepers and small enterprisers who make the free market run. Her father, Zinovy Rosenbaum, was one of those small shopkeepers dispossessed by the Bolsheviks. Yet her sense of life is suspiciously similar to the revolutionaries who dispossessed her father: they were driven by the certainty that they were heroes creating a new world. In fact, though her fundamentalist approach to philosophy is that of her enemy Stalin and her politics and economics are deliberately the exact opposite of his, her sense of life reminds me more of Trotsky because he himself was a hero. Naturally, she hated workers (her stock example was the grocery clerk).

(Here is where I ransack the bookcase in my computer room to find my copies of The Romantic Manifesto and The Virtue of Selfishness.)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Spanner R4 Update: Corporatism Is the New Communism (Plus: Chapter 4 Progress)

The article: "The New Totalitarianism: How American Corporations Have Made America Like the Soviet Union" (Alternet)

Back last century, when Soviet Communism ruled a third of the earth, there were some big business types such as Armand Hammer of Occidental Petroleum who developed an infatuation with Communism, while others (a whole lot of them) fell in with the Soviets' Nazi enemies. And then America spent about 30 years or so locked in cold death struggle against the Russian bear. The Cold War imprinted America, big time.

Now this country's sinking into a big-business knockoff of Soviet tyranny. In fact, it's becoming so indistinguishable from China, another Communist former enemy, that I went so far as to rename China's ruling party "Chinese Corporatist Party (Holdings) Limited". America's market choice is getting as restrictive as the official Soviet stores, as the above-linked article points out; conversely, China has the largest shopping malls in the world to go with its ever-growing collection of never-occupied new cities (the biggest mall of all, the South China Mall, is still has only 2 stores).

Congratulations, America! You're now the Union of Corporate Socialist Republics! The only difference between Corporatist America and old Communist Russia is that our all-powerful State is owned by private corporations.

The collapse of this system is what I'm documenting in the five volumes of Chaos Angel Spanner. Henry Becket, Chairman and Secretary General of the Conservative Revolutionary Party of America (as of Chapter 16) backed by his hand-picked Central Committee of Business Leaders and ace political operators, is the antagonist or tragic (super)hero trying to singlehandedly save the collapsing American Empire from certain doom by sheer force of personal will. And yet he follows the failed examples of all the "republican" and "socialist" absolute monarchs he used to fight against as a Cold War superhero. He's trying to save the world through a "People's Republic of Tyranny" by the Great American method of the "Privately Owned Society". The Law of Entropy is laughing in his face all the while.

Prepare for The Great Politics Mess-up, act two. Everything that has gone wrong in the Western world since the 1989 Revolution is because America was totally bummed the Red Menace fell. Everything Dictel Corporation has done since 1989 ruined its business, up to and including pulling off the Conservative Revolution of 2012, has been an attempt to bring back the black-and-white pre-'89 world, when America was righteousness itself battling Absolute Evil. It's revolutionary nostalgia, a militant refusal to look any direction but backward, that fuels the Conservative Revolution. The Germans even have their own East German version called "Ostalgie" (ost [east] + Nostalgie). The Cold War can never end until the surviving Evil Empire follows its symbiotic enemy into the trash can of history.

This is the world our heroines are forced to survive.

Chapter 4 Editing Update
After over two weeks of procrastinating, I finally got around to editing Chapter 4. I finished all the remaining new scenes and did a little editing of existing scenes. I'll have to make one final edit, inserting Shira's redheaded three-years-younger niece Elle and her mother Ruby into the meeting at Mudlark House before I turn to the next phase, removing a full thousand words from the first edit to get the final version under my 15,750-word target representing the 65-page maximum episode script length. After that, I'll make one more scan for typos, and then I'll declare it ready to post. Since Chapter 4 had only five sections in Revisions 2 and 3, I'll probably end up using one of the seven sections of Chapter 5 to make up the difference.

Speaking of Chapter 5: I've already cut down some scenes and added new ones. The biggest addition not yet fully written is the climactic chase for serial-killer fake teacher Mark Bernkastel after Team Bremelo interrupt the assassination mission SPEC Chairman Ross gave him and chase him into gang-ridden Dictel Park across the street from Bangor High. My task for tomorrow is to write out the sequence in full and then retcon the rest of the chapter to lead directly up to it.

Classes at Bangor High start in Chapter 6. Let's start with social studies and history, which SPEC management can't seem to distinguish. What's across the Atlantic in 2014? Used to be a lot of countries there. Now there's only the World Caliphate of Al-Assass, the Islamist empire America's at war against, and the Millennial Messianic Christian Empire of Africa, which America's allied with but is no better at all, merely Christian in its fundamentalism. Part of the African Empire is in the Caribbean, making it contiguous to the Imperial American Homeland itself. Now remember the People's Republic of Fernando Poo from the Illuminatus! trilogy? Some Mexican gangster who claims descent from Becket ancestor Robert Putney Drake conquered Equatorial Guinea from a Colombian gang and renamed it "People's Republic of Fernando Poo" (the namesake island's real name is Bioko) only to find himself under assault by the crusading hordes of mainlanders. The reason this is mentioned in class is because there's not enough gangsters in Latin America to defend it, so he's begging Dictel Corporation to send troops. Figures.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Sixties Radicals Have Become the Man (Plus: The Latest Spanner R4 Update)

The article: "The Real Class Warfare (Reason)

Nick Gillespie is saying that billionaires and plutocrats aren't screwing you over, which in fact they are. The big surprise here is who among the general public are supporting them. Which generations are voting Republican and most gung-ho for Corporatism? The old.

The Sixties Radicals have become the Man.

For those who don't know their 20th-century history, there was this big youth revolt in the 1960s that took place in America, Europe, and other places such as Japan. Youth were rebelling against authority. The fatal premise of their revolt was the kind of romantic irrationalism that youth are prone to anyway, what with raging hormones and all, reinforced by the rationalism of the technocratic system current during the Cold War era. Some rebels even became madly infatuated with America's Communist enemies: Russia, China, Cuba, Che Guevara (who met his spectacular end in 1967).

Then the rebels grew up, got jobs, even became rich. No, Kurt Anderson (born 1954, by the way), the Sixties didn't make us selfish; that was the Seventies, the "Me Decade", followed by the "Gimme Decade" (the Eighties). Radical after radical turned anti-Communist, pro-Israel neoconservative without compromising their irrationalism one bit; only the nation defined as Better Than America changed.

And so the Baby Boom rebels inevitably became the sanctimonious authority figures their younger selves rebelled against, to the point of adopting the religious piosity of their late elders (and you thought God died in 1966...).

Sure enough, the right-wing turn of the Baby Boomers comes with a Confucian sense of entitlement: you whippersnappers wouldn't even exist without us, so you owe us a debt of perpetual duty. They've redefined "freedom is not free" from "eternal vigilance is the price of liberty" to "freedom is slavery". Gerontocracy marked the long decline of the Soviet Union, that "Marxist" and "republican" version of the Russian Empire. Now America's elders, especially the rich ones, are trying to turn "the land of the free and home of the brave" into a Corporatist oligarchy dominated by — surprise! — rich old white men. You know, the same force of tyranny the Sixties Radicals were so determined to destroy back when they were young and had some semblance of conscience?

Now consider the gerontocrats of Spanner. The Becket brothers: born in the 1930s. Their baby sister Drusilla and nephew Walter Brinkman? 1950s. But they were always conservative; they were targets of the Sixties Radicals and were surprised to find them flocking over to their side as neocons. The Conservative Revolutionary Party militants who aren't simply right-wing militia types are the former Sixties (less often Seventies through Nineties) radicals turned conservative in their old age. But they haven't given up their Sixties Radical infatuation with terrorism. They still long to blow shit up, only for the Fascists rather than the Communists. And their Revolution is not just against the democratic "rabble", but even more so the "whippersnappers", who are increasingly non-white, threatening the comforting uniformity of traditional American white-bread-ness (for which threat they also blame those America-hating liberal traitors!!! whom they think are the same Sixties Radicals they themselves used to be). And so they give dominion and offer hero worship to a cabal of self-righteous Cold War superheroes born in the 1930s and whose heads remain stuck in the 1950s.

This is the theme that Willa and Hope, two "Xists" (actually, Hope's technically a late-Boomer born in 1962, but we'll let that slide) who have always refused to heed the siren song of Conservatism and Corporatism no matter how rich they got, introduce in the meeting they hold for the student tutors and dissident teachers at Mudlark House in Chapter 4.

Now for a relevant sidetrack, here's the Cracked list of six movies with political agendas you didn't notice and the Spanner response:
  1. The Dark Knight: Batman kidnaps foreign citizens — just like the CIA! (Nolan was trying to justify Shrub Bush's tyrannical imperial policy in this kinder, gentler version of Frank Miller's infamous Holy Terror.) Spanner: That's what bounty hunters are licensed to do; some are themselves costumed heroes, and they get very self-righteous about it.
  2. Ghostbusters: If you give the federal government too much power — ghosts! Spanner: True! Plus: rampaging angels, demons, and giant robots!
  3. Saw VI: Jigsaw pushes for health insurance reform! Spanner: Good luck torturing the chairmen of the entire healthcare industry, Jigsaw. Not that you're any less a villain (and a self-righteous one at that) for it. In fact, you'd fit right in with your fellow Social Darwinists who make up the CRP...
  4. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: The Government is dumb — but America is the world, and Shrub Bush and America's Heroic Armed Forces are way righteous! Spanner: Michael Bay is an official Party propagandist, just like, say, Frank Miller or Ted Nugent. Unlike them, he loves loves loves to blow shit up.
  5. The Day the Earth Stood Still (the original): even space aliens love Jesus! (Note: Klaatu was supposed to be a Christ figure anyway, but those earnest Catholics in the Hays Office forced the filmmakers to hammer home the point without the slightest subtlety to prevent the weakening of social control. This was the Cold War, after all, and anything short of pro-Christian propaganda was by definition atheism and therefore Communist treason.) Spanner: What's Jesus? (Remember, God died in 1966 — or at least turned comic-book dead for a few years.) Is there a Space Jesus? (Actually, America is supposed to be Jesus: the Second Coming, the Becket brothers and baby sister Drusilla won't stop telling us, occurred on July 4, 1776...)
  6. Superman IV: The Quest for Peace: Superman fixes the world — by taking it over! Spanner: Nice job breaking it, heroes! So, who watches the watchers? Also, fuck the sun.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Spanner 1.8: The Virus Has Been Spread

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 1: Spanner in the Works
Part 8: The Virus Has Been Spread (Revision 4)

In the ensuing chaos, five hoverboarders in black trenchcoats and helmets fly out through the subway tunnels to take advantage while the TrumpCity corporate security network remains down:
  • Deth Pussy uses the data from the colliding reality distortion fields to activate the logic bombs within AEGIS’ illusions and take down Echelon’s regional surveillance network and a spy satellite;
  • Debaser forwards the intercepted security video to mafia-owned servers in Nigeria, Russia, and Mongolia, on which guerrilla hackers edit, tweak, and transform the raw footage and use Sudoku encryption to encode it within bootleg concert videos of DisneyPop SuperStar Minty Fresh to send to the Phreaks, shadowy longtime nemeses of the AT&T communications monopoly; Sudoku software decrypts the video and reveals the Spanner footage within the Minty Fresh video posted to clandestine Darknet servers worldwide, all in under a minute;
  • Mecha Neko steals the briefcase from the stunned old man with the ankh pendant before Chairman Becket’s men can reach it, then disappears into the dark tunnels;
  • Genki Girl special-delivers Nanami Tachibana and her nephew Seika to join her daughters before the final flight leaves Newark; and
  • Loca Fantoma wields four spraycans like a katana master to put the finishing touches on the large tag she’s painting on a subway car: shield badge, crossed wrenches, gothic “S”.
“Suppress it!” commands Henry Becket. “No word must get out, period!”

Spanner imprints his image onto the unnatural mind of Echelon. Wherever there is thoughtcrime, it will see Spanner. Wherever there is underground resistance, it will see Spanner. Wherever the excesses inherent in Corporatist tyranny drive desperate masses into revolt, in the colonies or in the Homeland itself, it will see Spanner. The last thing it ever sees will be Spanner.

In Washington, FBI Director Karl Radisson declares him Public Enemy Number One and thunders the order in his Australian drawl: “Find the masked terrorist who calls himself Spanner! Sniff him out, smoke him out, tear off his mask! Find out who he is, and bring him to me at once, alive or dead! We must burn out this virus before it destroys our sacred Empire!” The official news channels carry the message: “A $25 billion reward is being offered for the capture of this terrorist. Anyone with any information about him is urged to contact the National Police Agency at once. The number is...”

The Pentagon orders all domestic counterterror units, from Delta Force to Dictel’s Strike Division, to hunt and kill the terrorist wherever he manifests himself and in whatever form. Meanwhile, disgruntled conscript soldiers and underpaid mercenaries in the occupation forces abroad and at home adopt Spanner as a shield behind which to conceal their own plots against the Corporatist régime.

The security outage reaches the West Coast. No sooner than Ariel says, “We’ll have to princess our way through,” the San José checkpoint goes dead and Interstate 5 turns from a parking lot into a racetrack; masses of cars speed forward at once.

“Or not,” says Taylor. As they hurtle northward, her three children sleep huddled in the back seat.

In TrumpCity™, the Becket brothers oversee the evacuation of all personnel, alive or dead, from Madison Square Garden to secret secure locations that Trump has scattered throughout the city he owns. Richard Becket calls the COPCO field office. Since clone resurrection is a time-consuming process, Doctor 42 now stands in for the currently incapacitated Agent 6.

“COPCO Command. This is Agent 42 from Homeland Security. May I help you, Mr. Chairman?”

“Find any Trump Security video with Spanner in it after he left Madison Square Garden.”

“Sir, we’ve been trying to do that since the incident, but we have no record of him even leaving Madison Square Garden.”

“You aren’t looking hard enough!”

“Or even of him entering. Sir, I believe he’s cloaked.”


The media underground spreads the news worldwide through the Darknet in seconds. Soon, the Corporate media can no longer ignore it. Defying Secretary Becket’s order, the networks compete to see who can swarm TrumpCity™ with newscopters first. Hordes of reporters invade Manhattan accompanied by the networks’ own security agents and broadcast their stories to the world, accompanied by video after video of subway trains, every car painted with the crossed-wrenches “S” badge emblem of—
Fox: Spanner—
Sun: Spanner—
ABCNN: Spanner—
QVCBS: Spanner—
ESPNBC: Spanner—
The story gives the networks their highest news ratings since the coup. People overwhelm the phone system to spread the news. They text, tweet, and email the security video. Spanner is the subject of all conversation, the new obsession of America and the world.

The virus has been spread.

on to the next...

Back to Chapter 1 index...
Back to Chaos Angel Spanner table of contents...

Copyright © 2010, 2012 Dennis Jernberg.
Some rights reserved.
Creative Commons License

[Revision 4 Final, 7/10/12: Expanded and revised to fit Fourth Revision continuity.]

Monday, July 9, 2012

Spanner 1.7: Enter the Monkeywrench

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 1: Spanner in the Works
Part 7: Enter the Monkeywrench (Revision 4)

night. The shadow perched like King Kong atop the Empire State Building views the scene from above even the President’s endlessly multiplied face. He observes the armoured hordes of Dictel, COPCO, and DHS swarming around Madison Square Garden, heavily armed with the latest antipersonnel tech. He notices the guards posted at the entrances to Penn and Grand Central Stations, nervously protecting the subways from a tagger’s dare. All of midtown Manhattan has been evacuated and security-locked for the ceremony. One cannot sneak in at ground level. Infiltration must be by air, and fast.

The swarm allows only approved stretch Hummers and Strykers inside. Those militarized armoured limos contain the highest cadres of entire sectors of the Cartel, particularly the tightly locked telecom sector into which the new initiate is being assimilated. Its legendary chairman cannot join them in the flesh. But the Corporate aristocracy don’t care; to them, the body is just another host machine for the ego. His ego will project its image onto the giant plasma screen inside.

Behind the mirrored faceplate, the shadow smiles. He intends to wipe that arrogant expression off that face, for all the world to see.

Wolveroach rushed in before the rest of the Cockroach Twins. “Dewds! Like, you won’t believe who they got joining the Cartel!”

“Like, why are they even doing this thing anyway?” asked Moon Roach (her real name) as she caught up.

“Neron says if American Corporatism doesn’t assimilate the Technosphere first,” Alex Plus replied, “Chinese Corporatism will.”

Loca Fantoma cocked her head. “So why that one?”

“Why not? That way, the MIAA gets a permanent monopoly on computers, phones, and set-top boxes.” Loca Fantoma sank on weak knees and sighed in dread.

Punisheroach asked, “When’d you figure this out, Alex?”

“When they disappeared Fake Steve.”

Inside the arena, ringed about with golden Swoosh icons iterating the face of Nike, one entire side of seats has been removed and replaced with a platform dominated by the giant screen behind it. Thirty thousand seats fill the arena; to each seat, a man in gray flannel suit and black hood, a Corporate aristocrat chosen for his ability to afford immortality and complete absence of human feeling, masked with the golden double-barred dollar-sign insignia of the American Remnant, is being escorted with military efficiency. The masks hide their identities from terrorists, foreign spies, blackmailers, paparazzi, and each other.

Heavily armoured COPCO agents posted throughout the arena look over them warily, under orders to prevent the usual strife. The catwalks above are manned by Delta Force snipers, prepared to take out any terrorists lucky or clever enough to make it inside to invade.

Outside, the shadow pats his trenchcoat at the waist. He reaches in elsewhere to extract a flaregun. He looks toward Madison Square Garden, then toward each subway station in turn. He loads a flare and cocks the gun.

Daimajinkaiser cut the call and lowered the phone. “Bumblepuppy says he’s got us a place.” He hugged a Genki Girl fidgety with unbearable excitement.

“Before we start this,” said Alex, “first we gotta know our enemy.”

Willa began: “Capitalism and democracy were born together, but they’ve been at war ever since.”
Richard Becket: The freedom of the market is incompatible with the freedom of the masses.
Hope continued: “Eventually the Corporates felt driven to destroy democracy with the help of the Patriot theocrats, then tax the people into poverty to keep themselves rich.”
Karl Radisson: Freedom is a gift of God that only the few who are strong in spirit can handle. For many are called, but few are chosen.
Genki Girl explained: “They call themselves Titans, but they are really Asuras, living self-righteously from the world of Anger. But remember the gigantic Asura who terrified countless beings until the god Siva confronted him; then he shrank so he could hide in a tiny flower.”
Oswald T. Mobley: ...we the few, we the chosen, we the masters of reality...
Wellspring said, “Every centralized system has a single point of vulnerability. In a hierarchy, you find it at the top.”

Willa added, “The same goes for hierarchical minds. Psychology calls it the nemo, the abyss they build their faith and ego to hide lest it stare back.”
Henry Becket: God built America so strong, even He cannot strike it down!
“Time!” Alex Plus faced the assembled hackers. “Everybody got your iPhones?”

Fifteen hands raised fifteen phones. “Yeah!”

“Let’s head out now!”

Fifteen hackers shouted in unison: “Wrecking Krewe, assemble!”

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Spanner 1.6: Stalking the Rotten Apple

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 1: Spanner in the Works
Part 6: Stalking the Rotten Apple (Revision 4)

twilight. From the roof of the abandoned warehouse on the Jersey Shore that serves as his hideout, beneath the giant icon of President Goldman Sachs, standing tall in the unceasing heavy rain, the mystery man in the black trench coat and motorcycle helmet gazes through the darkening night at the dead lightless towers of the Manhattan skyline. Behind the opaque faceplate, no one can see his true face. Echelon’s compound eyes stare down from the sky above and stare unblinking in all directions from mounted spycams and swarms of hovering camdrones, but they do not notice him as long as his stolen Dictel Research prototype cloak stays working. Mother Nature herself helps him by blurring the Eye’s vision with hard rain.

He watches the predatory flocks of black helicopters hover over the abandoned city like starving carrion birds. The empty island is completely surrounded by warships like alligators infesting a castle moat. Its Corporate owner, Donald Trump, Incorporated, had bought New York City after the coup and renamed it after himself. Tonight Prince Richard Astor Becket of Dictel, Incorporated, is his guest of honor. The United Corporations chairman evacuated the entire TrumpCity™ Administrative Zone merely to initiate one god into the inner circle of the Cartel, a Corporation based on the opposite coast from here. The disastrous evacuation has already begun to backfire: enraged at Chairman Becket’s infinite hubris, the people his Revolution overthrew have already started to revolt in every city throughout the American Empire, straining the Imperial government’s police and military contractors to the breaking point. Now the sewers and subways that serve as home to the outcast Mole People will prove the perfect hideout for an invisible man.

He reaches under his coat to hold out the black crystal hanging from a What Would Scooby Do? neckstrap, the hidden key to his plan. Underneath the helmet’s mirrored faceplate, he smiles.

What is this shadow: man or monster? man or woman? terrorist or hero? a real person, or just a figment of the collective imagination? Whatever, or whoever, he is, no one will be able to forget him after tonight.

Staying behind at the Penguindrome: Willa (handle: Rebel Mudlark), Hope, Angela Coyne, Nick (Space Penguin), Wellspring (op codename: Master Roshi), and the hackers already arriving. Going as support crew: Alex (Alex Plus), Jennifer (Blonde Phantom), and her brother Connor (Daimajinkaiser). Karen (Genki Girl), Steve (Deth Pussy), and Shira (Loca Fantoma) were going to race their hoverboards through dead New York. “Like,” Deth Pussy said to Loca Fantoma, “You were talking reinforcements?”

“We’ll be meeting ’em on the way over.”

“I don’t know about the cosplay names, cuz,” Daimajinkaiser said. Connor looked like a taller male version of his sister. He looked at Genki Girl. “I mean, ‘Lynne Tohsaka’?”

Loca Fantoma glomped her from behind, startling her. “It’s totally her. You shoulda seen her before she went Buddhist. She was almost as tsundere as Leila!”

“Shira!” protested Genki Girl.

“Connor’s right,” said Blonde Phantom. “Why couldn’t we have just stuck to the Random White People Name Generator?”

“The throwaway names are for the TSA,” Space Penguin replied. “By the way, darling Jen-chan, you’re ‘Alicia Testarossa.’“

Deth Pussy laughed. “Awesomesauce! Thing is, what if the TSA sniffs us out and reports us to the secret police?”

Blonde Phantom grinned. “Haven’t you heard? Clones, simulants, resculpts, and body transplants have screwed up the entire national ID system. We can go in as secret police.”

Loca Fantoma smiled enigmatically. “And if the real secret police don’t like it, we’ll just feed ’em some terrorists.”

Before he came, he heard that during the evacuation of Manhattan a veteran archaeologist disappeared outside the mainstream media’s constricted field of vision. He carried the last surviving Coptic manuscript of an ancient Gnostic apocalypse that he’d stolen during the chaos of the failed Egyptian revolution of 2011, and attempted to sell them to a downtown antiquities dealer. He never expected the dealer to double-cross him. He is presumed dead.

The antiquities dealer had no intention of paying for the scrolls. He intended to make a fortune, and no one else was getting a cut. The man he intended to sell the scrolls to was Richard Becket, a collector of ancient Gnostic scriptures known to pay millions of dollars. He didn’t know till it was almost too late that the Chairman had no intention of paying for the Gospel of the New Genesis. He took the armoured valise containing the codex with him down into the sewer tunnels. An old homeless man sporting an ankh pendant was too late to save him from being killed by Klownz. The shadow’s virtual agent has put a trace on it; he will retrieve it on his way out of New York.

“Tag MSG in Neron’s face?” asked El Kabong breathlessly.

“That would be legendary ownage!” his boyfriend Evil The Cat enthused.

“And I thought tagbombing every subway car in New York was legendary enough,” Deth Pussy mused.

Blonde Phantom countered, “Not compared to the satisfaction of saying ‘screw you’ to our superhuman overlords, right in their faces.”

Deth Pussy looked her face over skeptically. “Aren’t you a bit superhuman yourself, Jenni?”

Loca Fantoma leaned on his shoulder. “Maybe, maybe not. But unlike them, we got Chaos on our side.”

Alex Plus’ head appears without a window on the helmet’s HUD. Her pale and pretty face is ringed by a laminate-spiked platinum halo. “They’re almost ready now. They’ve just established the comlink to San Fran.”

Jennifer appears next to her. “Looks like we really are crashing the big shindig tonight.”

Natsumi pops in to the other side. “I just talked to Fuyu-chan. She says Mother and Sei-chan are safe and on their way out. Did you notice anything about the activity pattern?”

“Anybody with eyes can see Doc Becket’s signature all over the place,” the shadow replies. “He’s way too easy to read.”

“Memorized the schedule yet?”

“Chapter and verse. AEGIS?”

The steampunk owl head pops in beneath the row of human heads. “Yes?”

“Can you shift Echelon’s attention away from us?”

“The people may be gone from the city,” AEGIS answers, “but there are enough computers still on that we should be able to use them to manufacture a distraction.”

“Can you randomize it?”

“That would be much the best approach.”

“Personally, I’d rather rickroll the bastards, but this is war.”

“Rock ’em for me, monkeywrench!” says Harumi, appearing below her sister.

“Watch me rock ’em hard.”

Connor appears beneath Alex. “Just to make sure, we’ve equipped all of you with portable cloaks and RDFs.”

“But we gotta keep ’em occupied,” the shadow replies, “if we wanna break outta this prison.” He picks up the large pipe wrench at the foot of his tricked-out homebrew hoverboard and tosses it spinning high, making sure to catch it left-handed on camera so that the others catch his meaning. He brings the business end of the wrench close to the helmet’s stereoscopic twin cameras: in its mouth, locked tightly in place, is a black device with a blinking LED.

“What’s the little black box?” asks Alex. “Plastic explosive?”

“Nope! Plasma disruptor.”

Harumi laughs. “I no think ghost man’s gonna stand up to that.” She winks.

Together the women say, “Good luck!” All the faces disappear, leaving the view of Manhattan clear.

The shadow crosses his arms and faces the city in a superhero’s stance. His target hides behind the darkness the Archons created among the empty skyscrapers of Midtown. By now, Secretary Becket has vanquished all the terrorists. The champions of a replacement order have had their chance. Now it’s time for Chaos to show its hand.

He steps onto his hoverboard and switches on the ignition. He puts his hand over his heart to feel the energy from the black crystal. A thunderbolt strikes the Empire State Building’s lightning rod to light the way.

“So why did they pick an urban location?” asked Ripp Cordd. “Doesn’t the Cartel hate cities? And why Manhattan, of all places?”

“Shouldn’t they have, like, picked a secret location?” his girlfriend Satanette added.

“To show us city people who’s boss,” Alex Plus said sourly.

“It’s the latest iteration of the old Moses-Corbusier plan,” Blonde Phantom explained, “revived by The Donald himself: wipe out the big-city chaos of Manhattan and replace it with a perfectly controlled Edge City called—surprise!—Trump Arcology.”

Evil The Cat gasped. “Oh, no! Now we gotta save the city too?”

El Kabong growled, “I guess we know who really needs pwning.”

“Backburner that, dudes,” said Loca Fantoma. “We hit our target, the rest comes automagically.”

on to the next...

Back to Chapter 1 index...
Back to Chaos Angel Spanner table of contents...

Copyright © 2010, 2012 Dennis Jernberg.
Some rights reserved.
Creative Commons License

[Revision 4 Final, 7/8/12: Expanded and revised to fit Fourth Revision continuity. Flashbacks have been massively revised.]

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Spanner 1.5: The Lost Cause

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 1: Spanner in the Works
Part 5: The Lost Cause (Revision 4)

copco new york. “A terrorist strike force is coming our way,” Secretary Becket proclaims to his brother, United Corporations chairman Richard Becket. “We have already predicted their every move. Delta Force is in perfect position to intercept and destroy them.”

“Did your precogs envision this beforehand, brother?” asks the Chairman skeptically.

“We did not even need the precogs. I analyzed the SRO mathematically. They operate on a series of simple set patterns. We are using these patterns to bring them to us. . .”

“. . .and lure them into our trap. How clever.”

“We had no need for cleverness, either. Like I said, they operate on fixed patterns.”

“So now we know they pose little or no threat. But what about this. . . anomaly your precogs have been seeing? This chaos?”

“It’s the signature of someone who follows no discernable patterns at all.”

“Or random ones. Do you think, Harry, that your people can prepare themselves against a man who operates strictly by whim?” Henry Becket stares at his brother grimly, saying nothing. “You know you must prepare, whatever the cost.”

subway. The stolen COPCO security aircars move swiftly through the PATH tunnel. Their best fighters, Rodor and Michalski, take the front; the most vigilant, Gabriel and Espinoza, take the rear. The Amazons, Saionji and Blaney, follow behind the front; Lynch and Persson fly second from the rear. In the middle is their commander, Bram Rodchenko. Personnel carriers flank the commanders’ vehicles. Together, the SRO expeditionary force numbers forty. All of them are dressed in COPCO SWAT gear.

“I have a bad feeling about this,” says Talia.

Adam replies, “Don’t worry about it. We have the advantage of speed and deception. The COPCO forces will not realize until it’s too late that their comrades are not their comrades. We will win.”

copco new york. “Zoom in,” says Henry Becket. The map on the wall screen zooms in to focus on the PATH tunnel and follow a group of blips travelling at high speed through it. “This is Adam Gabriel’s technique: steal the face of your enemies until you are among them, and then launch a surprise attack. I myself used that tactic against the Communist invaders in Afghanistan. As I said, they are completely transparent.”

“They’re moving awful fast,” Agent 6 comments.

“This does not matter. Their single route is a bottleneck. We have sent a detachment of Dictel forces to intercept them before they reach the World Trade Center station. The terrorists have already lost.”

subway. “Up ahead!” shouts Rodor.

“Incoming!” adds Michalski.

“Fire!” commands Rodchenko. Missiles fire from air vehicles and hand-held grenade launchers at the Dictel mercenaries up ahead. The militants take out their rifles and spray cover fire at the enemy.

But the missiles explode before they reach their target. The mercenaries retaliate with a solid wave of sound. High-powered sound blasters shatter glass, torture eardrums, send the militants twitching and screaming in unbearable pain; they lose control of their vehicles, which spin in mid-air and bounce off the sides until they fly out of control and crash. Five air cars and six transports slam against a solid wall of sound—

copco new york. Talia was injured in the crash, but still her captors tied her naked to a restraining frame. A sound cannon blasts her, torturing every nerve, making her scream and convulse for what seems to her an eternity. As suddenly as it began, the torture stops, and she can hear.

The grim, implacable face of Henry Becket stares at her through his thick dark glasses. He barks, “Now where is Spanner and what are his plans?”

Talia laughs. “I bet he just gave us to you as a Revolution Day gift, all gift-wrapped and everything.”

“Tell me—now!

Her laugh subsides into a chuckle. “You know where Spanner is. He’s always where you least expect. And his plan’s to do what you least expect him to do. He disrupts. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t be Spanner.”

Dr. Becket growls and suppresses the urge to tear the woman’s head off. He turns around and commands, “A long period solitary confinement should be sufficient time to meditate on the error of your ways. Take her away.”

His men stare at him until he leaves through the open door. Then they turn off the sound cannon and untie the weakened woman from her restraint.

Suddenly, loud klaxons sound and the lights go red. The building AI’s female voice repeats, “Warning. Cyber defenses breached.”

“I assume this must be our Spanner,” says Agent 6.

Dr. Becket punches all the way through the wall. “Damn!”

Shira stared at a framed photograph in her hand. The man it pictured was a soldier in full dress uniform in front of an American flag. The soldier was Oliver Thorwald, Army Ranger and Corporate supremacist. I hate it when they doll me all up with medals and crap, he once said. I’d rather get down and dirty with the enemy.

Jennifer stared down at her jealously. “Oh, great. Now you’re staking a claim on Leila Shelley too?”

“What does Leila Shelley have to—”

“I’ve seen your stalker shrine, darling. Complete with Viking Ollie dartboard, always used.”

Steve said, “Whoa! bickering married couple alert!”

Shira held Jennifer close. “What my dear Jen doesn’t realize yet is that Ollie’s got something I want, something of Gub’na Wally’s. It’s the key to Leila, and so much more.”

Hope asked, “You’re talking about stealing from a serial killer?”

“Steal the killer himself and his psycho sidekick, sell ’em for a nice big bounty, and take from ’em what I want.” Shira winked.

Jennifer crossed her arms. “Assuming you steal the key to Leila Shelley, doesn’t that mean you get Leila Shelley with it? C’mon, Shira, she’s evil!”

Shira kissed her. “Consider this, love: wouldn’t you rather have Leila on our side?” She winked; Jennifer frowned bitterly.

on to the next...

Back to Chapter 1 index...
Back to Chaos Angel Spanner table of contents...

Copyright © 2010, 2012 Dennis Jernberg.
Some rights reserved.
Creative Commons License

[Revision 4 Final, 7/7/12: Expanded and revised to fit Fourth Revision continuity. Flashback has been massively revised.]

Friday, July 6, 2012

Spanner 1.4: Secret Meetings

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 1: Spanner in the Works
Part 4: Secret Meetings (Revision 4)

Quoth Dr. Becket:
The moral purity of the people is the strength of the Nation.
The Law hated them for their love. Fornication, miscegenation, lesbianism, ephebophilia, consensual incest, lack of patriarchal permission and Eugenics Institute license, idolatry of each other instead of the God and Nation they refused to put faith in: thou shalt not. It spoke, and its word drew a web of lines forbidden to cross, a barrier to separate the individual from carnal ecstasy and turn romantic love and sexual desire into terrorist acts. What were a few more lines? They crossed them all.

Four beautiful tall women: Willa Richter-Thomas (47), athlete psychologist Rock ’N’ Roll legend with blond hair, silver eyes, Pattern vision, and a polychrome dragon tattoo spiralling up her body; her longtime lover and illegal wife Hope Reston (50), half-black part-Apache lawyer turned teacher turned activist blacklisted for the crime of conscience; her daughter Jennifer; her niece and Hope’s daughter Shira. They devoted the day before solely to their Law-forbidden love. They made love with supercharged passion fuelled by transgression; they made love as if this were the last moment of their lives; they made love as if God enraged were about to strike them dead.

On the big antique waterbed at Mudlark House: Willa and Hope, lovers since 1988; Jennifer and Shira, lovers at four, engaged at six: side by side, passionately, as long as they could sustain till reason vanished and reality gave way to a new heaven and new earth where the only law was their desire to become one. They switched: each daughter paired with the other’s mother, driven to burn her with the lava-hot passion of her youth, burn away their ego personality soul the entire world to nothingness. They switched: mothers and daughters, bodies entwined united melted together, souls entangled fused destroyed, the extremism of their love a terrorist firebomb exploding burning away body mind soul into one annihilation—

Personality and thought returned; the material world reconstituted; bodies minds and souls regenerated anew. In the big bathtub superfluous with bubbles they bathed together, sensually caressed each other’s soft sensitive skin, focussed their scattered minds on the concrete presence of their companions’ bodies and their own while the bliss persisted at such unusual strength. Jennifer broke the silence. “I wish Kira were here with us.”

“She will be soon,” said Shira. “I know it. I can feel her, so far away.”

Hope held them close. “We’ll bring her back. But first we need to send the Revolution a message, good and hard.”

Night. Four bodies together in fresh sheets, four souls dreaming a single dream, of a deadly web made of commandments spells and laws with Kira on the other side crying to them for help. Tomorrow it would begin.

Hope Maureen Reston
stand and deliver

ghetto, newark. Today is Revolution Day, one of the holiest days on the American calendar of holy days. On this day twelve score years but one ago, the first martyrs watered the tree of liberty with their blood so that the Chosen Nation could be born; two years ago, the Conservative Revolution liberated the Holy Nation and its world-spanning Empire from the democratic dictatorship of the masses. To celebrate this holiest of holy days, the United Corporations are gathering; to prepare for their coming, by the decree of the Federal Emergency Management Administration, the national police corporation COPCO and the giant military corporation Dictel have cleansed the New York area of its faithless city people for—a business meeting?

But this is TrumpCity™, the holy city consecrated to President Goldman Sachs & Company. Under Corporatism, by the Law of Social Darwinism, the great Corporations, gods incarnate, are the true citizens of the sacred Republic; humans are but minuscule monkeys who exist only to serve them in worship and self-abnegation. By the plan of Corbusier and Moses, this New Babylon is to be remade for the glory and pleasure of the new gods. The skyscrapers of the City are their temples. Unto them the great goddess Nike, the Platonic Form of victory made manifest, provideth the use of her temple for the initiation of a new god into the pantheon of the elect.

The people cast by Dictel and COPCO out of this city that was once theirs truly believe this is a disaster on the level of a hurricane or major earthquake, only completely unnatural. Other than the expected die-hards, some of whom were taken by force out of the city, the only ones who refuse to leave are the assassins: criminal gangs, fringe cults, terrorist factions.

Militants of one faction, the Patriot terror army called Minuteman, rampage through the shantytowns built on the ruins of Newark’s slums, hoping to find poor people to kill, especially “fags” and “mudbloods.” Fired by holy hatred and absolute faith in the Conservative Revolution, they smash and burn everything they can get find. They are the dregs of the white underclass, some of them convicted war criminals, pale skin haunted by the ghosts of gang tattoos and devil-cross brands, fired by blind faith that they can rise above the Corporates by killing all the people the Law of Social Darwinism decrees must die.

Suddenly, they find themselves under fire. Militants get shredded by machine-gun rapid fire and blown up by grenades. The survivors scatter and try to run away, only to discover that they’re completely surrounded by assassins of another faction.

A shadow forms in the smoke. The shape consolidates into that of a man with military bearing. At last, the intimidating figure of Adam Gabriel emerges. In his Colombian accent, he demands: “Surrender now, if you want to live.”

One Minuteman assassin, his manhood insulted, raises his AK at Gabriel and screams, “Fuck you, fa—” Gabriel quick-draws his Glock 9mm and shoots him dead.

“Next victim?”

The surviving Minutemen drop their guns and hold their hands up. Gabriel’s men take them away. His wife and assistant, Talia Espinoza, comes up beside him. “How come we’re mopping up lowlifes?”

“Patriot terrorists are the criminals the PMSCs recruit from. We take down Minuteman, and COPCO and Dictel will eventually fall. Without COPCO and Dictel, the Corpos are fish in a barrel.”

“But do we have to look like we’re assisting Delta Force while we’re at it?”

“We are the Socialist Revolutionary Organization. We hunt the Blond Beast. Our never-ending crusade for justice cannot end until we slay him and restore the democratic dictatorship of the people.”
The ideological purity of the people is the power of the Nation.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Spanner 1.3: Escape to New York

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 1: Spanner in the Works
Part 3: Escape to New York (Revision 4)

telesphere. Reporting for ESPNBC News: Amanda Currie, your bright-eyed companion in the morning. Very attractive, some say cute, her cutely bobbed hair bleached blond because all Conservative beauties are blond by definition. Some are Resculpted into nondescript prettiness; she is a natural beauty. You want her. Once ambitious, now resigned, she cheerily chirps the Party line.
Breaking news just in! The Honorable Senator George C. Ryder has just been martyred by evil terrorists! America’s heroic Special Forces are scouring the area for the devil-worshipping liberal humanist traitors who snatched him away from service to Our Nation. Several hundred terrorist organizations from all over the world have called in to gloat over the heinous atrocity. Senator Ryder is now home in Jesus America for all eternity. America bless God!

In other news, the Church of America is sending a team of exorcists to New Jersey to bind and banish the Jersey Devil after several scary, scary encounters. And rumor has it that the mysterious vandal known only as Spanner plans to deface every train in the TrumpRail™ system. Back after these messages. . .
airport, los angeles. It’s business as usual in the crowded LAX terminal as Ward Tremayne, a High Shepherd of the Church of America, drags the sulky and unwilling Lucie past intimidated Homeland Security guards and fleeing civilians into the golden-crowned presence of the beautiful face and terrifying aura of Princess Drusilla Anne Becket Thomas Thorndyke Wilkinson Brinkman Draper Pernell of Dictel, Incorporated, 56, the Church’s Chief Shepherd for the state of Cascadia to the north and youngest daughter of Patriot the First, King of the Confederate States of America by divine right. She wears the rich, shimmering, exotically unworldly robes that identify her as a wealthy and corrupt New Age guru, the dollar-sign emblem of the American Remnant as a golden pendant, on her left hand a large and baroque diamond-encrusted gold wedding ring only a High Corporate as rich as Bert Pernell can afford, and on her right a signet ring bearing the coveted dragon-swallowing-its-own-tail emblem of European royalty. She was once a Cold War superheroine codenamed Livewire for her electrokinetic abilities, only to lose her codename and costume to her estranged daughter Desiree Richter-Thomas after turning guru.

“Your Holiness should keep better control of your granddaughter,” says Tremayne, “before the child’s evil nature emerges to bring us ruin.”

Drusilla’s expression does not change. She drills her eyes into his. “Is my son-in-law dead yet?”

With smug confidence he replies, “Stenbeck is confirmed dead, Your Holiness. Our forces have destroyed the remnants of his Syndicate.”

“Now you must destroy my ex-husband’s evil family before they destroy us, especially that mudblood spawn of his.”

“Easier said than done, Your—”

She slaps him. “I hate them! I want them dead!

“Y-yes, Your Holiness.”

She stares down at trembling Lucie. The sweet lilt in her voice only reinforces the cruelty of her words. “This latest horror you have gotten into, my little darling, should teach you the foolishness of defying my will. Right, Lucille?” Lucie stares at her in frozen terror. Drusilla narrows her eyes into something terrifying and hateful. “Right, Lucille?” Lucie nods hastily.

A soft Irish-accented female voice behind them says, “You should treat your children like human beings, Drusilla.” Ariel wears her hair up, a top hat on top of it, and a frilly black neo-Victorian dress over her bodysuit.

Drusilla spins around to glare angrily at her. “Ariel! How dare you interfere! And you shall address your great-aunt like a superior!

“I am your superior in power,” Ariel purrs. “Rank is nothing to me. . . Drusilla.”

“I will not allow my granddaughter to grow weak and liberal—like her faithless mother!

“Her mother has made herself as strong as her desire for revenge. You do possess a special talent for making enemies.”

Tremayne reaches for his revolver and points it at Ariel. “Silence! You shall not speak ill of the Lady!”

Ariel raises her left hand, revealing her rose signet—the force of her Repulse field knocks Tremayne back several feet so he tumbles hard to the floor. Drusilla attacks her with her own Repulse field. Everybody around the duelling women scatter away in terror of being disintegrated. Lucie seizes the opportunity to run away and vanish into the fleeing crowd.

Rukmini Ariel Shield
truth against the world

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Spanner 1.2: I Can See For Miles

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 1: Spanner in the Works
Part 2: I Can See For Miles (Revision 4)

The beautiful magical girl with long black hair tries and tries to dispel the darkness devouring the world. But the more she fights the darkness, the more viciously the darkness attacks the world, until it is destroyed. Helplessly she watches herself transform into a monstrous evil witch born from the darkness, a horror of pure entropy. For the darkness is her own despair, flowing from her like cascading tears—

halfway house, los angeles. She wakes up screaming, sitting bolt upright, panting heavily as if she has just run a marathon’s distance from a serial killer. Her violet eyes are full of panic. Her bobbed black hair is pasted to her head by drenching sweat. She looks around and finds herself sitting completely naked among the blasted ruins of her bed. She takes in several deep breaths to calm herself down. Leila Shelley, disgraced fashion model too cynical, worldly, and hurt to be only fifteen, forces herself to return to reality.

A beautiful red rose matching the signet on her ring that once stood proudly on the nightstand now lies next to the shattered bed among the shards of its vase. A sweetly perfumed blank greeting card, decorated by her secret admirer with ballpoint flowers and a passionate love poem written in French in a beautiful upright hand, remains on the stand intact. She lets out a slow deep sigh and looks longingly outside the window. Thick smog from millions of commuting cars has turned the morning sky red.

Her two terrified roommates emerge from the closet. One black, one Mexican, they are heroin addicts here in hopes of kicking the habit. The black girl says, “You think you’re so special. So why they dump you for sweet Clarissa Eglantyne?”

The Mexican girl adds, “Didn’t you say those nightmares make you wanna die?”

“So when you gonna kill yourself?”

Leila shoots them a murderous look. They hide back in the closet and slam the door.

She hears clattering outside her door. Someone throws the door open; several people rush in, led by the treatment center’s head nurse. The others gasp when they see the devastation.

“It was the drugs again, wasn’t it,” says the nurse, annoyed.

Leila gets up without bothering to dress. “No. What I’m supposed to take the drugs for,” she says in a soft Irish accent. “They didn’t work.”

“I don’t believe you.”

“I don’t care.”

“That furniture was expensive! If you cost us any more money, we’re sending you back to Mr. Brinkman to do with you as he wills!”

“No you won’t.”

The head of security stands beside the head nurse. “You’re unworthy of being chosen by the Lady, you filthy little whore!”

The head nurse and security chief glare at Leila; she stares defiantly back. The other residents, concerned for Leila, start cleaning up the mess. Her scared roommates slink out of the closet to join them.

Suddenly the door flies open. “Mum!” cries Leila joyfully. In burst Leila’s mother Taylor Brinkman, sporting scary Rocker tattoos and sexed-up gothpunk battle dress matching her sleek black hair; her younger sister Ariel Shield; and Leila’s twin brother Robert and redheaded younger sister Fiona.

The head nurse tries to keep them away from Leila. “You are not authorized to be here! Leave the premises or we shall call the cops!”

The security chief cries out, “Guards! Remove these people! Find that stone now!!

Taylor shoves the head nurse sideways across the room into a wall. Ariel gets between the security chief and Leila; she coldly commands, “Don’t interfere.” Rob and Fiona take Leila by the hand and pull her to her feet. Leila’s fellow residents throw clothes to her; she quickly slips on a long printed T-shirt and flip-flops. The five rush to the door. A small army of guards find themselves confronting two scary beauties in all black.

The security chief barks, “Stop! or we’ll have you arrested for trespassing, maybe even kidnapping!”

Ariel stares deep into his eyes. “Get out of our way.” He and several guards move aside blank-eyed.

“You’re not supposed to be here!” he weakly squeaks.

Taylor glances back at Leila, then retorts: “Neither is she. Now let us through.”

“But Lady Drusilla—”

“Dru can go fuck herself!

The guards stare at each other in shocked silence, then at the women. They back away and let them pass through. Taylor, Ariel, Fiona, and Rob surround Leila protectively and walk her down the hall to the front door and out into the ominous rush-hour smog.

Wanting to get in the last word, the security head fires an ineffectual parting shot at the unheeding rescuers: “The Lady will never let you get away with this!”

Leila Renata Shelley
kiss the razor’s edge

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Spanner 1.1: The Beginning of the End

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 1: Spanner in the Works
Part 1: The Beginning of the End (Revision 4)

spanner: Brit for monkeywrench

You say you want a revolution...
The Beatles Nike Apple Revolution Soda

19 august 2014.
mo(u)rning in america.

To the Christian world, it is the year of Our Lord, 2014. But in America it is the year of Our Ford, 116. America is no longer the nation of free people it once was, but a world-spanning empire inflamed by a holy mission of global dominion and extraterrestrial expansion, self-deified and single-mindedly dedicated to the sovereign freedom of State, Corporation, and posthuman élite. So has it been since the Conservative Revolution of 2012 overthrew the people and plunged the world into a cruel new age of heroes.

The American Empire’s ruling aristocracy, the American Remnant organized into the Conservative Revolutionary Party, is not one but two, differing on the nature of God and of the soul. To the Corporates, God is Reason as preached by the holy prophet Ayn Rand, and society is the obstacle to the freedom of the soul, which must stand in splendid isolation in order to be worthy of the godhood which is Man’s eternal birthright reserved only for the chosen few. To the Patriots, God is the American Nation as preached by the holy prophet John Birch, and individuality is the obstacle to the freedom of the soul, which must be submerged into the Nation in order to preserve its Godhead and therefore its eternal dominion over Man and the universe, gifted only unto the chosen few.

By their nature they should be eternal enemies. But together they do stand, united by one thing: the urgent imperative to save the Empire from a growing liberal majority that would make the white race a minority in its own Holy Land. To that end, the Party abolished the American Republic and declared eternal crusade against the equally racist African Kingdom of New Africa, the equally theocratic Holy Islamist Caliphate of the Mahdi, and the equally plutocratic Corporate Republic of Chinese Communist Party (Holdings) Limited, all in the name of the sacred Law of Social Darwinism. They have absolute faith in the magical ability of brute force to convince humanity, and nature itself, to submit happily and abjectly to their will to power. If that doesn’t work, they have military technology they believe advanced enough to terrorize alien invaders. If that doesn’t work, there is always black magic. At all times they long for the coming of a superhero who will lead them to total victory and into the New Age.

Their faith tells them the future is theirs. Little do they know...

technosphere. Posted to LocaFantoma99’s Profile on 19 August 2014: She wears an open custom-ripped turquoise shirt on her athletically beautiful bronze body. Zoom in on her beautiful face with green almond eyes, large sharp nose, and sensuous lips framed by a wild shock of unmanageable copper hair. She dominates your attention with the mischievous and dangerous cockeyed smile the Style Underground call that look. She claims to be one Shira Miranda Richter-Thomas: dancer, romancer, Styler, net.snarkist, Rocker child, hoverboard racer ranked number two, high-level Charmer with power rivalling Steve Jobs himself; brilliant, vivacious, charismatic, precocious, too sexy and seductive to be only fourteen. She wants you. Government, jealous god of the new heroic age whose infallible word is the Law, will crucify you if you even try to have her. Only a baroque web of legal, financial, moral, and infoviral poison pills keeps government from crucifying her for her relentless rejection of the new world order. She speaks in a strong, deep, almost boyish voice.
Shira: Hi again! ♥ [waves] Your favorite teenage nuisance is back to bother you again. ♫ I bet you’re wondering why I still get to shoot off my big mouth when They got my twin sister and everybody else gets shut down. Well, like people say, it’s a dirty job, and somebody’s gotta do it. I won’t shut up till They shut me up. But They know what I can do to Them. They even touch me, They’re over.
I know you’re worried about me. We’ve all been living on the edge for the past two years. It’s been rough going for all us puny humans since the Man brought the war home. Sure, I got enemies. Don’t we all? But mine are a special gift from my Evil Stepmother.
Everybody knows how these things are supposed to go: [waves purple penguin plushie] pretty girl starts a video blog on YouTube and Facebook, gets involved with secretive cult and sinister conspiracy, gets whacked in mid-vlog a year later, turns out fictional, vlog goes on anyway. [flings plushie behind her] And the villains? Here’s what They killed her for:
[waves a sheaf of $100 bills] This is government debt. When it’s used as money, the rate of profit falls. Try and stop it by consolidating businesses and centralizing the economy, you only make the profit rate fall faster. When it reaches zero [lights a match, sets the money on fire], all this’ll be worthless; capitalism will die and the Lords of Capital with it. They’re desperately to stop fate by sacrificing to the devil They sold Their souls to. The victim? [points at camera] You. The people.
Now it’s too late! You know everything They don’t want you to. They can get me like They got my sister, but They already lost and They know it. [drops burning money in an ashtray to the side] Now it’s your turn to save the world. If you can’t, nobody can. Ain’t no cavalry gonna save you.
Remember, people, this ain’t the 1950s anymore. Joe McCarthy’s still dead. “Utopia” still means Never-Never Land. Oh, and knight B4 to D5. Checkmate. [winks]
Shira Thomas
expect the unexpected

on to the next...

Back to Chapter 1 index...
Back to Chaos Angel Spanner table of contents...

Copyright © 2010, 2013 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
Creative Commons License

[Revision 4, 7/3/12: Expanded and revised to fit Fourth Revision continuity.]
[Revision 4.1, 5/10/13: Both parts edited to make the series themes much clearer. Removed frivolous “teenage vlogger” filler from Shira’s videoblog. Changed formatting to match the later chapters. Final paragraph now consistent with the rest of the videoblog.]
[Revision 5 Final, upcoming: The narrative opening will be moved to Interlude 0 and replaced with a new opening not yet written.]

Spanner R4 Update: New in Chapter 4: Corporations Feed on Terrorism!

Spanner Revision 4 is finally posting in time for JulNoWriMo, with the Intro revised and reposted and the 8-part expanded Chapter 1 starting later today. Meanwhile, I read this article on the violent self-destruction of ecoterrorism and came away with a new insight that sparked a new theme I'm going to underline in Chapter 4: evil corporations thrive on terrorism! How? By making corporations the victims! The predators can then hijack the lamestream media (whose owners are their friends and fellow corporate raiders) and righteously protest that the "evil ones" are destroying the jobs American workers require to live!

In fact, this is how the Conservative Revolution began. And so, starting in Chapter 4, I will show you the true genius of the Rat Bastard.

That's the nickname of Randolph G. Litton, the Cascadia Public Management Corporations' Vice President for Public Relations (read: chief propagandist). He will be introduced early in Chapter 4, by Governor-CEO Brinkman himself, and given the task of turning a turd (SPEC, the privatized school system owned by a corrupt and mobster-infested teachers' union) into a rose. That serial-killer incident late in the chapter and new to Revision 4? By saving sweet Mimi's life, Shira inadvertently interrupts a false-flag operation which was going to squeeze sympathy for SPEC out of the torching of one of the most marginal of its high schools by a fake terrorist group. The slasher doesn't know it, but Litton's using him as a patsy. When Shira tells him when he's the fake teacher of her homeroom class, he goes ballistic — and ends up destroyed by his hubris (and his ex-wife) by the end of Chapter 5.

And why should I settle for just SPEC? The meeting at Drusilla's cult headquarters after Shira inadvertently serves as the conduit of the more successful terror attack that kills the chairman of Biotron should in fact be where we meet the man in person, who introduces himself to the dead CEO's son and vice-chairman (and ex-lover):
Litton: Looks like y'all need a little help.
Oliver: You're the Rat Bastard, right?
Dr. Mina Tatsumi: We don't need your help, Mr. Litton.
Oliver: My father's just been murdered—
Litton: By terrorists! At war against the corporations that provide America with its jobs! This, my friends, is how you bounce back from such a tragedy. It's not the fate of one company that's at stake. Those cold-blooded murderers declared war against science, technology, progress, and the American Way!
Drusilla: Enough science! America needs more faith, and you—
Litton: (points at her) Dru! Are you with the terrorists? You're insulting a bereaved wife, son, and mistress!

Drusilla falls silent and glares at Litton resentfully.

Litton: Good girl. Now here's the plan...

Oliver, Mrs. Thorwald, and Dr. Tatsumi and her assistants draw closer to him.
Cut to his publicity campaign on Biotron's behalf, in which the Author demonstrates just what the Rat Bastard is capable of. Therefore, in the serial-killer fight at Bangor High, Shira ends up showing just how disruptive she can get when she finds herself disrupting Litton's arson operation without even thinking about it.

And so a major theme of Spanner, alluded to in the first three chapters, finally enters the main plot in Chapter 4: the greatest failure of terrorism is that it turns fascist oppressors and Corporate predators into martyrs. Terrorists are really violently self-righteous vigilantes who think that righteous violence is the one-size-fits-all solution to all problems. Their self-righteousness can be used as a potent weapon against them. Any government or corporate PR department that's not sleeping on the job can and will use this weapon. In fact, so does Shira — and Spanner himself, who mocks them for being gangsters with a messiah complex, Lawful Stupid, or (most amusingly to him) both.

The one "terrorist" you can't use this approach against is Spanner. He strikes only to make fools of his enemies, then he mocks them. Some experts speculate that his goal is to enrage the Corporates enough that they turn terrorist. Then he mocks the terrorists for being factions of the Establishment turned rogue merely out of childish spite. He declares that he will "own" Litton in the Rat Bastard's own field of expertise. And in Chapters 15-23, he does just that.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Spanner R4 Update: Foreshadowing in Chapter 4 (Plus: JulNoWriMo Begins)

Now that I'm done plotting Chapter 14, back to editing Chapter 4. Since this is the chapter right before the School Arc begins, I want to throw in a lot of foreshadowing, not just for the rest of Book 1, but the rest of the series as well, all the way to the end of Book 5. That means I'm going to have to put some extra thought into it.

First: the meeting at Mudlark House over, well, the School Arc. At least a bit of this is going to have to carry over after the School Arc ends in Chapter 21.

Second: the meeting at Drusilla's mansion to discuss the murder-by-courier of Dr. Thorwald, which introduces its head of research, Dr. Mina Tatsumi, and her two not-so-scientific assistants, Eri Ejimoto and Saya Saionji. Thorwald's bereaved wife Misty (daughter of Chief Shepherd Everson) and hitman son Oliver appear, and their future (and Everson's) is also at stake.

Third: Desiree and Ariel on the train after Desiree delivers the Gnostic manuscript to Ariel. This scene needs to be a lot more ominous in its implications, since both women have just placed themselves in the way of Dick Becket's will.

And others. There should be a sense of foreboding throughout the chapter.

As for JulNoWriMo 2012: my main Google Docs page for JulNo is right here. My plan for this year: write the Pretty City Arc that forms the midsection of Book 2. Details coming in future posts.

A new article that changes the Spanner premise a little bit more: "Death by Degrees" in n+1 Magazine. Liberals rage against the Corporate overclass? Conservatives rage against the cognitive overclass, and it turns out they're every bit as right as their liberal enemies! In Spanner's world, there are no more unions, only the professional guilds they tried to supplant. And professional guilds require as much training as imperial Chinese bureaucrats. The professional class is almost as reactionary as the managerial class, since the lords of the managerial class set up the modern professional guilds (including the American Bar Association and the American Medical Association) in reaction against the rising unions of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. At this writing, the unions are all but dead, and the only thriving ones act as if they were professional guilds.

The hallmark of a guild is exclusion. A guild is a secret society made up of experts, and its will is monopoly. The universities are the gatekeepers for the guilds, so they keep their tuitions high. Naturally, the managerial class is itself credentialed, with its own degree called the Master of Business Arts (MBA). Both elites intersect to the point where, after the Conservative Revolution, professionals are considered Corporate. An example among the major characters: Willa is too politically liberal for the Psychologists Guild headed by her ex-husband and archenemy Henry Becket not to purge her.

Another article shows exactly who's behind the Conservative Revolution in the first place: "Southern Values Revived", in Salon and Alternet. The credentialed elite the conservatives hate is Yankee in origin, upholds Puritan communitarian values, and centers on the Ivy League universities. The Corporate elite? They're increasingly Confederate neofeudalists. Even among the Corporates, you have your Northern and Southern factions, with the Southern one prevailing. Northern elites traditionally value community; Southern elites worship authority for its own sake. The two American elites have been in conflict since before the Revolution, and their conflict is the cause of the Civil War. Ayn Rand, ideologist of White Russia, it turns out, was the supreme Copperhead philosopher. Once the South wins at last, America will go into terminal decline, good for nothing but conquering the world, the right-wing Soviet Union. The Cascadian nationalists in Book 1 are racing to be the first to free themselves from the all-consuming corpse of Confederate-American world empire.