Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 7: Love Missile
Part 6: Seize the Day (Final Revision)
Part 6: Seize the Day (Final Revision)
12 september 2014.
lobby. The gauntlet of relentless advertising bullies the students by name to buy their high-priced, low-quality products and services. It gets so annoying that some students close their eyes and ears to avoid being oppressed by it, while others run or speedwalk past. Polly complains, “Can’t they put some interesting commercials on for once?”
“No,” says Shira. “They’re stupid on principle.”
Jennifer says, “Why nobody’s yet thought to hijack this bank for a piratecast yet, I have no idea.”
“Hey, Akane and I had a monfight on it, so why not.”
“You gotta wonder when they’ll put a stop to this,” says Kio.
“When SPEC screws the ad company.”
Mimi runs toward them in a panic and tugs on Shira’s sleeve. “Uh-oh, we got big trouble.”
principal’s office. Shira laughs when R.A. Leggett bursts in wearing a bandage over his right eye. She traps his arm in her armpit when he raises his gun. “That was not funny,” he growls.
“Yes it was, Mr. IP Defender. You’re so having a cow right now.”
“I am not a girl!” he screams.
Jennifer tickles his ear. He squirms. “So you’re a badass IP Defender, eh? We so didn’t know that.”
Polly, cringing behind the nervous Principal, giggles involuntarily. Leggett shrieks, “Not funny!”
His arm goes limp when Angela storms in bearing her pistol and a summons. Shira drops it.
hallway. Debbie stands in Leila’s way and glares at her with jealous fury. “You won’t get away with this treachery, Leila.”
Shira glomps her from behind and says in her ear, “Get away with what?”
Debbie twists in her embrace to see her mischievous smirk. “Leaving me for you, that’s what! You’re evil!”
“Don’t call me what you are, Debs darlin’. Her heart belongs to me now, and you can’t take away from me what’s mine. Hurt her and I’ll make everybody know you treat her like shit. C’mon, love.” She puts her arms around Leila and leaves with her.
Debbie stares at them in helpless rage. Her thoughts turn to murder. She takes out her phone and makes a call. “Hello, Frank?”
homeroom. Homeroom teacher #7 turns out to be one Love Serenity Thorndyke, flighty ex-would-be-guru, the onetime golden child who became Drusilla’s great disappointment.
Shira waves. “Hi, Lovie!”
Lovie screams. She runs out of the room in a rage.
principal’s office. She verbally abuses the principals. “You didn’t say you hired that creature as a tutor! I will not stand to be in the same institution with that creature! I quit!” The papers in her hand catch fire. She throws them at the principals. Benson runs to retrieve the nearest fire extinguisher.
On her way out, Lovie passes Shira and Jennifer on their way in. “What are you looking at!”
Shira looks at her mock-innocently. “That was a short career.”
“Ooooohhhh!” Lovie storms out in a snit.
lunch. Team Bremelo and all the Richter-Thomas cousins sit together and eat their bento lunches from Mrs Tachibana. Shira is about to bite into the onigiri she holds in her chopsticks when her phone rings. This time Mimi’s in a complete panic. “Shira! Guys! Leila’s cut her wrists!”
“Have you told Rob and Fiona?”
“Yeah! They’re taking her to the nurse’s office right now.”
“We’re so there yesterday!” They stampede to the school clinic.
clinic. The nurse bandages sobbing Leila’s forearms as Rob and Fiona hold her quivering body tight. Shira runs in through the door to Leila and kisses her. “What’s wrong, darling?”
Leila cries harder. Fiona says with undisguised hatred, “It’s the mean girls of Pretty Team. They’re trying to drive her to suicide!”
“As if she’s got enough to deal with already,” Rob adds. “They’re threatening to expose her whole life!”
“I’ll take care of it myself,” says Shira. She leaves before they can protest.
student council room. The open doorway frames Shira like a picture. Surprised, the girls of Pretty Team turn their heads to stare at her. “You’re not supposed to be here!” shouts Charmian. “Go away!”
Shira enters the room and lets the door close behind her. “You want me out of here, Charms, you’ll have to Challenge me. I see you cut Leila’s wrists.”
Charmian storms up into Shira’s face. “That’s her fault, and none of your business!”
Curious at the commotion, Brandi cracks open the door and peeks inside. Shira says, “I’m afraid murdering my friends is my business, and that includes murder by proxy.”
Behind her, Kelly yells, “Get away from us, or I’ll tell everybody you’re a dirty slut!”
Shira grabs Charmian tight into her arms and uses her Charmer power to project her most seductive aura. Charmian stares back in horror. “Oh, I’m dirty, all right. Everybody knows I was born a slut. That’s exactly why you want me, Charms, so, so bad.” Shira brings her lips dangerously close to Charmian’s; Charmian struggles to escape her grip. Brandi gasps. Shira lets go and slowly moves toward the door. Charmian, Kelly, Debbie, and Lucy try to hide, as far away from her as possible.
hallway. Before the bell can signal the end of lunch, the terror alert siren goes off and the students flee the building in panic, but Shira keeps walking calmly on her way. The prerecorded voice repeats, “Terror alert. Everyone must evacuate the campus. Terror alert. Everyone must evacuate the campus.”
The students evacuate with surprising speed. Shira has the school all to herself. Some guards try to stop her. “No one’s allowed in the building, miss.”
“The rules must be obeyed.”
She says from the other side of them, “The rules state that I’m supposed to stick around and neutralize all potential terror threats. You go do your job, I’m doing mine.” She leaves them staring at her in astonishment.
Shira faked the threat. An automated proxy with an altered voice claimed to have put a Toymaker bomb somewhere. Security central is watching Fox News for the latest. She flings away her beret as she strides toward the pool. She strips off blouse and skirt to reveal her naked body, then drops her fighting gloves. At the pool door, she leaves behind her boots and socks. She leaves her jewelry on the stands. Completely nude, smirking cockeyed in triumph, she dives in.
locker room. They leave their clothes on the benches, hold each other tight, share a long kiss. Jennifer raises an index finger to her lips, then leads Brandi to the nearest open stall and turns on the hot shower. When they begin soaping each other, she whispers, “Now.”
“Why here alone?” asks Brandi.
“I wanted to know if you were committed.”
“I thought I was supposed to keep you committed.”
“I meant to us.” She pulls Brandi close and looks into her eyes. “Going with me is playing with fire.”
“One, this is sexcrime times four. I’m underage, you’re black, both unmarried, both girls. They punish sexcrime like terrorism. Two, I’m a suspected Subversive. Our love would be ‘material support.’”
“They don’t have to know.”
“Three, our targets are protected by an official Party cult. The Corporates, citing Ayn Rand, have an official serial-killer personality cult. We’re cutting a fine line between bounty hunting and anti-Party terrorism.”
Fear starts to show in Brandi’s eyes. “You can’t be serious.”
“To them our love is terrorism. You sure you wanna stay with me?”
First Brandi is stunned, then excitement slowly comes over her, the thrill of transgression. “Bloody right!”
They hold each other tight and kiss passionately.
hallway. Jennifer and Brandi walk nude together down the hall, too distracted by each other to pay much attention to where they’re going. Brandi asks, “Do you do this a lot?”
Jennifer winks. “As much as we can get away with. We were taught to love our bodies, live for the moment, seize every opportunity, like proper Rockers.”
They come upon Shira’s beret. Brandi picks it up and shows it to Jennifer with a questioning look. Jennifer’s eyes slowly go wide with realization, her mouth falls open, she throws back her head and laughs. Brandi asks, “What’s so funny?”
Jennifer slaps her forehead and pumps her fist. “But of course! You’re witnessing one of Shira’s legendary pranks. Let’s follow the trail she left behind, shall we?”
They follow the trail of Shira’s discarded clothes to the pool. They enter, and find Shira swimming on her back, legs open, grinning at them, openly flirting.
Brandi stares at her with astonishment. “You’re good. Real good.”
“Hey, I’m the best.“ Shira gives them a wicked wink.
dictel stadium. Another Friday night high-school football game, and the Bangor Crusaders are continuing their long tradition of losing. After three hard quarters, after which the Crusaders fall behind the Seabeck Pirates 30-7 (a typical Bangor score, the one score resulting from Dexter’s 55-yard TD run), team captain Bart Green complains to his defense: “What the hell are you guys doing? I came here to win! I didn’t wanna be saddled with a bunch of losers!” Hoping for a last-quarter comeback, Bart pushes his defensive teammates (and bullies the coaches into pushing them) to the breaking point.
Seabeck still score two touchdowns on them. The biggest defender on the field breaks.
Injured on the play, 350-pound defensive tackle Joey Brown goes on a rampage. The offensive lineman who hurt him insults him again, but Joey is no longer in any condition to handle it; the two fight viciously, and Joey ends up killing him accidentally. In his blind fury, he beats his way through an army of players trying to stop him, injuring several on not just the opposing team but his own, killing an official. The line coach runs onto the field to scream at him; Joey strangles him to death. Not even police in riot gear can handle him. He has to be put down with an elephant tranquillizer. The students in the stands can only watch in horror. Some of the cheerleaders have to be put under sedation and sent to the hospital to recover.
Head cheerleader Karen collapses into her cousin Shira’s arms. “I knew this would happen eventually!” she sobs. “I knew it!” Dexter runs over from his place near the coach on the home team sideline to hug Shira and Karen as tight as possible; they put their arms around him. Dexter cannot keep himself from crying with Karen, and his tears make Shira cry. Their Friday night together will have to wait.
With a secret smile Shira mutters, “Mobley, you’re my bitch.”
principal’s office. Vice Principal Falconer locks the door to her private office and turns to leave when she sees Shira. She jumps in shock.
“What the hell are you doing here? You’re not supposed to be here!”
Shira is not smiling. “Have you seen what just transpired down on the field tonight?”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“As in player berserk, three dead, game forfeit? More egg on this school’s collective proverbial face? This time it’s sticking, and it stinks.”
Falconer storms up into Shira’s face and barks, “We have to win any way we can, just like any other team. That’s the way it is, Miss Thomas, whether you like it or not.”
“Anything it takes, yeah. Such as driving football players into complete... steroid... psychosis... just to get even the slightest edge over the competition, all for the sake of the all-important bettors. This was ’roid rage, Major. And it just lost us the game and the last shreds of your potential prestige. Think about it, Major.”
“Get out of my office right this—”
“Steroids! Do you know where you get ’em? Of course you do.” Shira leans closer to the vice principal and flashes her a “gotcha!” smirk. “Of course, you can’t get ’em through legal channels. After all, they’re banned from sports worldwide. I’d like to know who you got the stuff from. Who knows, I might even know ’em.” She winks.
Falconer gnashes her teeth. “Even if I did anything ‘wrong,’ no one will ever believe you. You simply don’t have the standing.”
“The pull, you mean. Anyway, I’ve done what I came here for, so now I’ll leave.”
Shira spins on her heel. Slowly she strolls to the door. She turns back to smile at Falconer and fire one last Parthian shot. “Consider yourself lucky you were able to keep this in the dark this long. But you’d better hope now that this remains between us. Otherwise, I’ve got video.” The smile vanishes. Shira exits the door and slams it.
Honey, be extra careful with Shira Thomas, Alan Fleer had told her. She’s more dangerous than you think. Especially if she finds out about us. She had laughed then. She believed their secret was safe. But for the first time, Honey Sue Falconer realizes the full import of his words. For the first time since she came to Bangor, she truly knows fear. She takes her iPhone out of her purse and calls him.
downtown bangor. The long Friday night stretches into Saturday morning at the abandoned warehouse where Deke Head is DJing an underground party. Shira gives him a surprise kiss in the DJ booth, but behind her is the real surprise: “Oh my god you brought Leila!”
“My true love deserves a break.” She kisses Leila deeply. Suddenly she hears a fight on the dance floor. “Excuse me.” She dashes out.
She finds two rowdy drunken sailors preying on young female dancers. When they spot the face of Rebel Styles on Shira’s sexy body, they go berserk and try to kill her, rape her, or both. She beats them up.
Jennifer and Brandi are making out nearby. Shira asks Brandi, “You sure this is your kind of music?”
“I’m from England, remember?” Brandi winks.
Leila is missing when Shira returns to the DJ booth. “Where’d Leila go?”
Deke is near panic. “She went out to dance and there was this blond sailor dude lookin’ like an old war movie...”
A chill comes down Shira’s spine. “Frank. Shit.” She runs outside the back entrance and makes a call. “Hello, Ariel?”
13 september 2014.
dictel park. Four boys in Bangor High uniforms and baseball caps with shovel emblems meet the sailor in the parking lot and help him remove Leila, drugged unconscious. The one in epaulets is sophomore class president Mikey Rodchenko; two are Team Valiant fighters Beck Skeever and Rex Corson; the last is Mikey’s yes man Bert Smith. They take her to the clearing where Shira’s hidden spycam watches Bart Green sell steroids to Falconer and Mobley. Waiting for them already naked is Reno Corson, surrounded by MIB’ed-out gangsters. The sailor strips off hat, wig, and latex mask to reveal the long blond hair, harshly beautiful face, and cold blue eyes of Frank Becket. “We brought you a present, Reno,” Frank says. “Let’s unwrap her.”
“You want me to do her, Frank?”
“Not that way. Make her suffer. That should teach the backstabbing bitch not to cheat on my sister, especially with Shira fucking Thomas. Now do her.”
Reno grins. He gestures four goons to hold Leila down; then starts to rape her, where the camera they cannot see can see.
Suddenly the Shovels back off. Something hits the back of Frank’s head. He falls, rolls, rolls back out of the way of Oliver Thorwald trying to decapitate him with his shovel. He screams at the Shovels, “You fucking bitches!”
Something hits Reno in the head—the bloody severed head of one of his men. He springs 180° to his feet to find four men dead and Oliver holding his shovel at his throat, his clique backing him. “You do anything to my bitch, Reno, you’re dead dead dead.”
Reno grins maniacally, rolls to retrieve his gun, points it at Oliver. “She’s tainted, Ollie. Her blood is poison.”
Frank, overcome by rage, ferally howls, “You bitches stabbed me in the fucking back!”
Something hits them one by one, knocks them down—Ariel Shield, white-striped black hair waving like a flag, quickly lifts Leila into a fireman’s carry and spirits off. She takes out a pistol and shoots into the darkness and vanishes.
A tall figure in black steps into the clearing—camera picture distorts and pixelizes, audio goes out—Oliver flees with the screaming Shovels close behind, Frank lets off a few shots and vanishes—Reno picks up Frank’s gun, full-autos sixty rounds into the tall man, thugs surround him and shoot—the distortion turns into a full Destruct field, too bright for the camera—and Reno Corson and his men writhe in flames, silent screams picked up on the camera, and then they fall, burning to ashes, dead.
Richard Becket brushes off his business suit. “Franklin, you fool.” He stares at the camera. “I wonder who got pictures of Ariel’s little rescue act.” He zaps it, and the signal goes dead.
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Copyright © 2012 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
[Revision 4 Final, 8/27/12: Originally 8.1 in Revision 3 and part of 7.6 in Revision 2. Final scenes originally the end of Chapter 6 and now heavily revised. The Leila-in-trouble, football-game, and Shira/Falconer scenes originally from Chapter 8. Everything else is new material.]