Friday, August 17, 2012

Spanner 6.2 R4: First Day of Classes

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 6: Teenage Wasteland
Part 2: First Day of Classes (Final Revision)

school lobby. The newly dubbed Team Bremelo brave the advotainment assault, which persists in mispronouncing Leila’s name “Leela.” Shira pushes her ahead. “Somebody needs to squash that bug stat.”

Bart, Charmian, and Kelly await them on the other side, backed by Team Valiant.

Shira crosses her arms. “What do you people want?”

Bart points at Shira and growls, “You’re defending the evil Fag Agenda!”

Kelly demands, “Are you supporting those dirty mudbloods too?”

Charmian gasps, “Is that true?

Shira casts an ironic look at them. “I thought I was the ‘dirty mudblood,’ Kelly darling.” She leans forward threateningly. “I know what you did to Colette last night.”

“How could we—”

Bart roars, “You lie!

Shira laughs at them. “Obviously you’ve never heard of the Law of Plausible Deniability, which states: If the Government denies anything, what it denies is true by definition. And since you, my friends, are the Government, the Law of Plausible Deniability applies to you.”

“You have no idea what the hell you’re talking about.”

“Go ahead. Deny you’re in cahoots with a serial killer.”

The three stare at Shira in open-mouthed horror. Kelly grabs her by the scarf, pulls her uncomfortably close, and shrieks, “We’re the good guys!”

She stares mock-lasciviously into her eyes. “Ah, the ‘white hats.’ I’m told you people think it’s perfectly moral to beat up ‘gingers.’” Kelly looks at her strangely and lets go.

Charmian pokes her on the breastbone. “We know you are in cahoots with that traitorous Student Union.”

Shira puts her arms around Charmian and pulls her close, making her blush. “Charms darling, I love you to pieces, but I’m no wimpy liberal. I’m a heroic individualist, just like you.” She puts her mouth to Charmian’s neck to give her a hickey. Charmian struggles out of her arms in panic and slaps her as hard as she can. Shira holds her hand to her stricken cheek and chuckles. “Princess Charming loves me.” Beside Charmian, Bart looks ready to punch her.

Suddenly they find themselves surrounded by a small crowd of onlookers. Bart, Charmian, and Kelly look at each other, then glare at Shira. Bart points at Shira and shouts, “I swear to Jesus America, you’ll regret this!” Still glaring, they stalk off.

Mimi runs up to Shira in a panic, grabs her by the arm, and warns, “Uh-oh, Shira, you’re in really big trouble now.”

Shira hugs Mimi and flashes her a cockeyed smile. “Girlfriend, I am trouble.” She gives her a quick kiss on the lips.

Hidden around the corner, Brandi Quinn watches on. She winks her approval.

principal’s office. The guards slam the door behind Shira, Jennifer, and Leila. Karen cheerfully waves. Smirking Principal, glowering Falconer, leering Mobley, and stern Spiekerman glare down at them. She has the bearing of a drill instructor, which she was in the Marines, where she rose to the rank of Major. She prefers to be addressed by her military rank. They like to play Good Cop, Bad Cop with their unfortunate victims wayward students. Jennifer makes a call on her phone.

Principal says, “One of our teachers was murdered last night. You four were there.”

Shira replies, “Someone thought he knew too much and decided to shut his mouth. Permanently.”

“We have also heard rumors of a Student Union meeting. Surely you know something about that.”

“We weren’t there, so we wouldn’t know.”

Silence!” shrieks Falconer. “You’re here in this office because you’re committing insubordination! You’re supposed to do what we tell you to do and believe what we tell you to believe. That’s an order!

Jennifer finally gets through to Angela. Shira says, “Then you’d better throw just about every kid in this school into the Doghouse, Major, ’cuz they’re all shirking orders and making fun of your sponsored and censored so-called curriculum.”

Jennifer approaches the Principal and holds out her phone. “It’s for you.”

He takes the phone from her. “Hello?... Yes... Yes, yes, I do... Sorry.” Giggling nervously, he hands the phone back to Jennifer, then swivels his chair to look up at Falconer in amazement. “Major, it’s their lawyer from the Wilder Foundation. She said they said we need to leave these young ladies alone if we want to avoid a very costly lawsuit.” The other principals stare at Principal; he sweats nervously. Then all of them glare angrily at the girls.

The intercom rings. Spiekerman picks it up. “Hello? Yes, sir. Right away, sir.” He tells the girls, “Young ladies, you’re wanted in the back office.”

The girls trade looks. Shira and Leila silently question Karen; she nods. They stare at Spiekerman. He steps down and walks down the hall; the girls follow.

back office. They are shocked to find themselves in a royal audience with the boss himself: former horse breeder turned king of Seattle’s private public-education monopoly, Peter Tilman Ross, Incorporated, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Seattle Public Education Corporation. Spiekerman shuts the door behind them and returns to the front office.

Shira, much more youthful breaker of stallions, attempts to shake the Chairman’s hand. “Why, Mr. Chairman, how nice to meet you! It’s an honor to be called to your presence.”

Ross does not raise his hand to shake hers. He only casts her a bitter glare.

She withdraws her hand. Her narrow-eyed smirk says How typically Corporate. “Hmph.”

He surveys the young women lined up in front of his desk. “Impossible. No one could have survived a Blade Knight.” They look at each other in disbelief. “Why does it always have to be girls?”

“We didn’t know serial killers were part of your business model.”

He glares at Shira. “So our enemy has decided to play her game through her own daughter.”

“We were under the impression this Challenge was yours. It’s certainly yours to lose.”

“You cannot possibly win.”

“No one’s invincible.”

Jennifer says, “He means God trumps reality.”

“What is reality, Miss Blair?” he snaps. “Science is only the cult of dead matter.”

“Including economics?”

Karen interrupts. “Most people have to deal with reality.”

“You!” Ross casts her a hostile stare. “We know about your cult, Miss Kubota, spreading counterrevolutionary tailism.”

Shira smiles ironically. “But what if your tail gets plucked?”

Ross rises to his full intimidating height and waves his fat finger at them like a gun, screaming, “Enough! Defy my will and I will crush you!” The girls flinch.

Shira stares hard at him, trembles with fury, says soft and low: “Oh, you so don’t get it. Now you’re gonna get it.”

Jennifer mock panics. “Uh-oh. You provoked her.”

Ross sneers at Shira. “You’re not about to go emotional on me, are you?”

Shira steadies herself and shoots him a cold glare. “You mean, as in ‘cha-cha-cha’? I get it now. The slightest emotional outburst on my part forever discredits my race, because emotion is by definition the enemy of reason and we darkskins are by definition hot of blood. Your corporate mission, I coldly deduce, is to mass-produce mindless worker bees and soulless administrative drones, brainwashed into unthinking groupthink, mindlessly obsessed with moral correctness, personal glory, and backstabbing their way up the corporate hierarchy all the way to their level of incompetence. My unemotional conclusion is, that’s why your company has no future.” She turns away and heads for the door. “I rest my case.” She stops at the door to stare back at Ross. He tries to stare her down; she refuses to flinch. At last she is gone.

Stunned, Ross stares at the empty space. He turns his accusing gaze to Jennifer. She struggles to keep an amused smile from breaking the perfect surface of her poker face. “Well, Miss Blair,” he demands through gritted teeth, “do you have anything to add to this conversation?”

Jennifer says as she leaves, “We’re heroes. You? Just a guy with a few dollars and a little pull.” He winces as if slapped.

“And you, Miss Kubota?”

“Just one ordinary person can change the world. Together, they’re unstoppable.” She leaves.

“That leaves the walking scandal,” Ross sneers.

Leila does not give him the dignity of an emotional response. “Me?”

Yes, you!”

She coldly stares down at him. “So you’re the decider. But what if the decider loses his head?”

He reaches out as if to strangle her, but she turns her back on him and leaves, leaving Ross alone.

homeroom. Before the bell, masked by teenage conversation, Shira makes a call. “Moshi moshi!” she says cheerfully.

Eri Ejimoto answers irritably, “What do you want.”

“I just called to inform you that Cherry Anne plans to screw you out of his will.”

“Where is she!”

“Right here in class.” Eri abruptly cuts the call while spewing Japanese obscenities.

The phone is in Shira’s backpack by the time the late Mark Bernkastel’s replacement as homeroom teacher arrives: a fairly attractive (or at least well painted) woman in a large-collared pantsuit. Jennifer lowers her glasses and narrows her eyes. “Hi,” the teacher says, “I’m your new homeroom teacher. My name is Cherry Anne Bernkastel—”

Several students gasp.

The moment she catches sight of Jennifer, her face twists into ugly rage. “I should have known. You killed my husband!”

Jennifer puts her glasses back. “Don’t assume.”

“I know who killed him,” Shira says. “I called her myself. She’s coming.” She flashes Cherry an ironic smile; Cherry stares back in shock. Suddenly the door flies open. “Speak of the devil.”

Eri stands in the doorway, eyes fixed on Cherry, pure murder on her face. “I should have killed you too.”

“You bitch!” screams Cherry. “Diiiiee!!!” and launches herself at Eri. The students follow them out into the hall. Their screams of rage quickly attract attention; students stream out of nearby classrooms to watch the fight. Shira exclaims, “Eri versus Cherry! Catfight of the year! All bets here!”

period 1. Social studies class. Gar Smith proudly wears his Confederate Army grays. Shira and Jennifer are not amused. During roll call, he calls out, “Leela Shelley.”

“That’s ‘Layla,’” she corrects him.

Through his teeth he says, “It looks like ’Leela’ to me.”

“It’s pronounced ‘Layla.’”

He raises his voice. “Are you not American?”

“Irish, actually. Continue on, please.” Several students laugh.

After Mr. Smith finishes roll call, he launches into his lecture of Party talking points. “Before anything else, y’all gotta know that slavery was what made America—”

Jennifer stands up to interrupt. “And then destroyed it. You know how your beloved Old Confederacy lost? It started with your slaves. Thirty percent of the Southern population didn’t agree with you. They defected to the Union at the first opportunity.”

Mr. Smith points angrily at Jennifer. “And what were you people during the War for Southern Independence?”

“Freeing your slaves.”

Mr. Smith is too shocked to reply. Jennifer grins triumphantly and winks.

period 2. Biology class. Warren Jones was hired for his science-free education. “The Book of America says all that science crap is Un-American. The Bible-based theory of Intelligent Design tells us that God created the world in six days and made the American race Number One, in Jesus America’s name, amen!”

Jennifer frowns. “No wonder America’s high-tech economy moved to India.”

Shira smiles ironically. “We’re the dinosaur on our way to extinction.”

period 3. English class. Jennifer already got bad feelings about this when she found out the teacher’s name was Mrs. Turnipseed. Now Mrs. Turnipseed announces in front of the class, “Howdy, y’all! Ah’m heah ta larn y’all Anglish!”

Jennifer stands up, takes off her glasses, and says in her Victoria English accent, “How, when you can’t even speak it yourself?”

lockers. A hard slap; Shira and Jennifer hear Leila whimper and cry. By the time they rush over, Debbie is yelling at her: “Why do you have to be so stupid, Leila? You’re supposed to be my Special Friend, not kill yourself! You’re breaking my heart!” She slaps her hard again. Leila cries out in pain and sobs.

Her fiancé, Barry Longmuir, says, “Debbie, don’t—”

You shut up!” Barry shrinks back.

Debbie turns to Leila only to find Shira in her way, holding Leila protectively and staring back. She stares in shock at the redheaded interloper. “What the hell are you doing to my girl?”

Shira whispers to Leila, “Let me deal with her.” Jennifer gently pulls Leila away. Shira stares down at Debbie. “Yours?” She towers over the Student Council’s enforcer, but Debbie glares up at her angrily. The calm expression on Shira’s face gradually turns into a mischievous cockeyed smile. Debbie takes a wary step back.

Suddenly Shira pulls her off her feet into a tight embrace and plants a hard kiss on her lips, making Barry gasp. Debbie struggles futilely; she tries to protest but cannot break the kiss. After several seconds, her body starts to give in, she melts in Shira’s arms, moans with unwanted pleasure—

—and then Shira lets go. Debbie stares at her in shock, holds her hand to her wide-open mouth, slowly steps back. Shira gives her a sweet smile. Then Debbie runs away, loudly wailing. Barry follows her. “Debbie! Wait—”

Shira holds Leila close and stares into her wounded beautiful eyes. Leila asks, “Why?”

She looks toward Debbie’s direction, then at Leila. “You deserve better.” She kisses her on the lips while Jennifer looks around warily.

Sure enough, Christina walks by, not liking what she sees. “Ewwww!”

“Well, well, well, ain’t it the he-man woman hater.”

She dodges Tina’s punch.

Chuck runs at Tina. “You traitor!” She jumps on the bigger girl’s back; they get into a screaming fight and throw punches. Not impressed, Shira leaves hand in hand with Leila, and Jennifer follows.

library. When the three girls walk in, Sally and Kitty usher them into their office; Chris closes the door and mans the desk. They pull five chairs away from desks. Sally asks, “How’s school goin’ for y’all so far?”

Shira replies, “I am not pleased by this company.” She puts her hands on Leila and Jennifer’s legs. “Having people I adore here makes up for it some.”

“Just y’all be careful,” Kitty warns. “Two students almost died last night.”

“Five, including us,” says Jennifer. “We’re ready now for his next move. All we need to do is wait.”

period 4. Geometry class. Prim-looking Laura Jane Stableford declares, “Why are we even having such a class? There is knowledge that can only be understood by those divinely gifted.”

“Let me guess,” says Jennifer, “you’re gonna square the circle and trisect the angle.”

“No no no,” says Shira, “she’s gonna use Pyramid inches to prove that humans rode dinosaurs.”

Miss Stableford glares at her. “And what is that supposed to mean, young lady?”

“The kind of knowledge that is divinely gifted.”

The teacher huffs over to Shira; she crosses her arms stares down at her. Shira slowly rises, hands on hips, and stares back. The half-empty classroom goes dead silent. “Are you criticizing the divine vision, Miss Thomas?”

A cockeyed smile. “I’ve read more plausible stuff in David Icke.”

She chases Shira out of the classroom and down the hallway. The students laugh and jeer.

period 5. History class. Hector Granger declares, “History is bunk!”

Shira stands up. “You heard him, class is over, let’s go.”

He storms angrily into her face. “What are you doing, young lady!”

“If there’s no history, there’s nothing to teach, so no class. See ya!”

He grabs her by the neck as she starts to leave, but lets go to clutch his heart and collapses to the floor. The students stare in shock.

“Uh, was it something I said?”

period 6. P.E. class. Football coach Terry Mobley rants. Shira struggles not to laugh; Jennifer tries not to groan. “This! is the first day of the rest of your lives. This! is the field of testament where boys become men!” He casts a poisonous look at coyly smirking Rob. “Real men don’t play like girls!” He waves a finger at Shira and Jennifer. “Men! Are you worthy of these Amazons? Only the man who can conquer a mighty woman by force is worthy of the name of warrior!” He shoots a hard stare at Scotty, who looks nervously at Kelly, who gasps and looks at Charmian, who casts a worried glance at Bart, who glares at Jennifer, who looks at Shira, who looks at Leila, who directs a murderous glare back at Mobley. “What are you looking at, girl!” he demands.

Leila shouts, “Are you blind?

Shira laughs. Five strong young men have to restrain him from punching her.

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

[Revision 4 Final, 8/17/12: Section moved here from Chapter 5. Edited for Revision 4 continuity and expanded.]

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