Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 8: Rip Her to Shreds
Part 1: Black Caturday (Final Revision)
Part 1: Black Caturday (Final Revision)
Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel
is the headlamp of an oncoming train.
is the headlamp of an oncoming train.
13 september 2014.
dreamspace. The beastman chases Leila. If he catches her, he’ll rip her to shreds with his teeth and eat her. She runs as fast as she can and tries to avoid him. Her body is covered in blood from the wounds he has carved into her flesh with his fangs and claws. Every time she thinks she’s lost him, he attacks her again without warning.
Several times, she wakes up screaming. She tries to sleep again, but the nightmare only continues from where it left off. Reno Corson, come back from the grave for revenge, continues to rape her again and again—
hospital. No one comes to see Leila. Surely her grandfather is keeping her friends away from her just to punish her for defying his will. The more she knows about Walter Brinkman, the more she hates him. At times, the hate threatens to consume her. She fights it back.
She struggles to remember who raped her. He treated her viciously. As he raped her and beat her, he ranted endlessly about how woman is a danger to American manhood. Reno? Or Frank?
Oliver wasn’t being kind when he rescued her. He believes Shira killed his father. Now Shira’s taking her away from him, and he's freaked. She wishes she had delivered the bomb herself. Her mother must have sent it, trying to protect her. For a moment she hates her mother for not protecting her from Oliver and Reno this time. But reason prevails: the Governor uses her, Oliver wants to enslave her, Reno wants to rape her, Frank wants her dead, Drusilla...
Silently she swears she will find some way to destroy them.
Despair and hatred seep through her body, consume it, caress it, fills it with hideous blackness. She tries to shock it away, but remembers the last bed she destroyed that way. She gains control of herself, pushes it back slowly, reclaims herself from the darkness.
The memory of Shira’s kiss touches her lips, her body. The darkness flees. Leila sighs in relief. She won’t turn evil. At least not now.
copco bremerton. It’s almost a formality. Shockley intercepts Shira and hauls her into interrogation. Sparks is there with her; Kowalczyk watches outside, eagerly anticipating whatever Shira will pull. Sparks begins the questioning with a formality. “Now if you’ll help me here, maybe we can catch the motherfucker who did this to Leila.”
Shira stares at Shockley. A bitter tone creeps into her otherwise chilly voice. “Princess, you know what rape really is?”
Shockley tries to shout her down; Shira silences her with a hard glare. Sparks asks calmly, “So, then, what is it, really?”
“Terrorism, that’s what.”
Shockley slaps her forehead and rolls her eyes. “You have got to be kidding me.”
“Seriously. Rape is defined as terrorism against women. It’s official government policy in the Caliphate. Now the problem with terrorists is, they’re trying to be superheroes. They got the contempt for women that Superman used to have for Lois Lane, only worse. You can practically hear ’em sneering, ‘We’re heroes and you’re not.’ But wait — it gets better than that. Terrorists are fanatical dualists committing their dirty deeds in the name of the Absolute. To rapists, Woman is the Devil out to unman Man, so Man must relentlessly retaliate against Woman with maximum terror — rape, and worse.”
“And this explains what Reno Corson did to Leila.”
“Him, Ollie Thorwald, and their gangster friends.”
Sparks rolls his eyes. “Ollie’s here, by the way, raving about Slender Man.”
Shira looks strangely first at Shockley, then at Sparks. “You know that’s just a net.meme, J.T.”
He shrugs. “What do I know.”
On the other side of the window Kowalczyk and Perry stare wide-eyed at each other. Kowalczyk asks, “You just hear what I heard?”
Perry narrows her eyes. “Sounds crazy.” She goes into the interrogation room to announce, “Hey, guys, we just found Reno and his gang. Looking like they was napalm bombed.”
“Looks like somebody already got him,” says Shira. Sparks laughs.
Outside, he says, “I think I need a break from this police stuff.”
Shira asks, “Can I buy you donuts and coffee?”
“I know this place right across from the hospital.”
“So let’s go.”
Sparks and Shira leave together. Kowalczyk calls back, “Hey, bring me some when you get back!” They wink back.
hospital. Fiona throws herself on Leila in her bed and cries for her with all her heart. “Not again!” she wails. “How could they do this to you again?!”
Leila cannot answer with words. Her body convulses with sobs; tears flow freely from her eyes. She cries as much for her sister as herself. She feels like she is torturing Fiona with her black despair.
Her twin brother tries to dry her tears. She feels she does not deserve a brother as sweet and dedicated to her as Robert. She tries to tell him, but she chokes on her own tears.
Soon they make way for their mother. Taylor Brinkman is dressed in a sleeveless short black dress that exposes the tattoos on her arms and legs; her short black hair is razor-cut rough, her face and body almost like her own, her eyes the same rare color. “It was him,” she says in cold rage, “wasn’t it.” Leila nods sadly.
Fiona and Rob make way. Taylor throws herself on her daughter’s bed, on her body, holds her tight like a protective mother panther. Her body shudders with bitter sobs, with love for her violated daughter, with hatred for the evil man who tortured her yet again and for her own father, who forced that monster on her daughter...
café. A small COPCO army in armour and helicopters lob tear gas canisters into the rioting crowd of camera-wielding celebrity hunters spilling beyond Cherry Avenue and battling their way into Harrison Memorial Hospital. Goth Rocker Taylor Brinkman has come to visit her scandalous model daughter Leila Shelley’s hospital room, and the official media have sent their paparazzi legions to hunt them down and bring back trophies for the celebrity sites’ jaded readers.
Across the street, the Bridgeview Professional Building is locked down, yet the acrid stench of tear gas still manages to find its way in. Furious Shira and grim Sparks have a front row seat of the violence as they sip coffee next to the window at the Bridgeview Café. Shira says over the phone, “Better keep your distance, guys. The cops are having trouble enough keeping the vultures away from Taylor Brinkman. You don’t want ’em to open up a Willa Richter-Thomas front.”
Jennifer replies, “Don’t worry about us, Shira. We’re stuck on the bridge with an excellent view of the action. You see the fires starting up?”
“Sorry. Tear gas is so thick here we can’t see a thing.”
“You’d better stay safe.”
“I am. Can’t say the same thing for our predatory photog frenemies, though.” After the usual goodbyes, she hangs up.
Sparks sighs. “How can you get your calls through when I can’t?”
“I don’t use AT&T.”
“Even without AT&T, I doubt you’ll be able to use that thing for anything but calls.”
“Well, just happens it’s ‘Caturday’ on the major social networks, and Echelon’s DDoSing every single LOLcat pic and video uploaded to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Socl, MySpace, Pinterest, Tumblr, Cheezburger, and 4chan with long, complicated, and parallel-processor-intensive steganographic analysis.” She flashes him a conspiratorial grin. “I logic bombed my pics with mutually contradictory Bible codes to redirect the Big Eye onto NewsCorp’s intranet so our shutterbug frenemies here can’t upload theirs. By the way, you gotta meet Mikan and Tanner.” She winks.
“Does Murdoch suspect?”
“His goons constantly keep trying to hack my phone, but I keep my security settings updated so he’s only got a vague idea of my location or what I’ve got on him. But I’m sure he knows I’m onto him. Me and all the hackers in the whole bloody Empire.”
“If they get blocked, they can still hand in their pictures in person.”
Shira grins. “Actually, no.”
“Those Bible codes encode not only redirection commands, but viruses which Echelon involuntarily uploads and NewsCorp downloads. Sayonara phones and cams, paparazzi pwned.”
“I gotta warn you, Shira, somebody here might suspect you of being a dangerous radical.”
“Really? Sucks to be them. I just hate paparazzi. They’re almost as bad as rapists.”
Outside, the tear gas slows down the rioters enough for the cops to round them up. Eventually it’s finally safe to go outside, and the building opens back up to the outside world.
hospital. Cops are still dragging paparazzi out and smashing their cameras as Shira, Willa, Jennifer, and Sparks enter. One paparazzo breaks free, picks up a dropped camera that looks intact, and attempts to take a picture of Willa. Sparks gets in his way and punches the lens out of the camera.
“You can’t stop us, copper,” the paparazzo gloats.
“Sure I can,” replies Sparks as he punches the paparazzo out.
When they reach Leila’s room, they find the door blocked by a crowd of security men all robotically repeating, “No admittance!” Two tattooed female arms reach through them to grab Shira and Jennifer. They grab Willa and Sparks, and the four muscle their way through. Taylor Brinkman is dressed unusually un-goth, but her relatively plain clothes cannot hide the tattoos that cover every single exposed surface of skin except her face, beautiful like her daughter’s. She hugs and kisses Shira, Jennifer, and Willa in that order. “You should’ve got here earlier.”
“We would have, too,” replies Willa, “but for that seven-nation army of tabloid predators all trying to get into your room.”
Rob lies atop Leila and holds her tight while sobbing Fiona puts her fingers gently through her hair. He kisses Leila, then gets up to embrace his classmates, revealing the residual tracks of tears. Shira runs over to kiss him. “How is she?”
“She’s recovering, at least,” he says.
“So what happened?”
Rob pauses and lowers his head. Quietly he says, “Ask her.”
She looks to the bed, where Leila lies listlessly while an affectionate calico cat ministers to her. “Oh my god—” She runs over to Leila, pets the cat, and bends down to look into Leila’s eyes. She gently strokes her smooth beautiful face. Leila notices the concern in her eyes. Shira gives her a sweet gentle kiss on her lips. The cat rubs her body against her and purrs. “Leila darling, can you tell me what happened?”
“I don’t know... This cute sailor said he had some E, but it turned out to be more like Rohypnol or something... Next thing I knew, I was being raped and humiliated, and I couldn’t do a thing about it...” Tears stream down her face.
Shira takes in a long gasp of horror. Jennifer and Willa rush over. “Are you all right?”
Sparks demands, “Who did this to you?”
Debbie bursts in wailing Leila’s name. She throws herself on her and cries, “Leila darling! What happened to you?”
Leila slaps her as hard as she can.
Stunned, Debbie stands up and stares at her. “W-w-why?”
Leila stares back with murder in her eyes. “Your brother drugged me at the rave. He took me to Dictel Park and raped me in front of his gang.”
“No! He wouldn’t do that!”
“He did. Because you asked him to. You’re a monster, Deborah Becket. Just like your brother, your father, and the rest of your holy clan. I hate you from the depths of my heart. Now leave before I murder you.”
Debbie slowly backs up in horror and shakes her head in disbelief. Taylor and the Shelleys’ accusing eyes burn her. She turns around—
—and runs right into Shira, who grabs her shoulders, stares into her eyes, and says, “Now look what you’ve done, Special Friend. If you wanna make it up to her, you gotta do two things: screw your brother over and make him your enemy.”
Debbie blushes deep red. “Why would I do that to my brother?”
“Because otherwise his crimes are yours and your ass is mine. Now Frankie already thinks we’re gonna throw our games. I’m winning my game. You gotta win yours so he knows it.”
“That gonna make me his enemy?”
“No, to do that you gotta help me kill Reno Corson.”
“Isn’t he dead?”
“Not for long. We got a window of opportunity tomorrow night while he’s still at the clone bank. But today we win. Got it?”
Debbie nods. “Okay. But I don’t have to like you.” Shira smiles and lets her go.
dictel stadium. Frank nods grimly to Debbie from his luxury box. She grins in acknowledgement.
Think of the goalie like she’s Frank, Shira said before the game. He’s standing between you and Leila. But you can’t hit him, you gotta get the ball past him. Mind games, Debbie.
Dorian intercepts the ball and passes it to her. Nothing between Debbie and net except the goalie — except Frank. Try this: feint right, shoot left. She does.
She scores. Bangor 1, Seabeck 0. Her teammates cry and cheer, mob her and lift her in the air. They dedicated this game to Leila.
After Shira’s overtime penalty kick wins the soccer match for Bangor, Frank trashes his luxury box and curses Debbie, Shira, and Leila for making him lose a million in bets. Then he realizes he’ll have to pay for the damage he just inflicted...
Shira meets Debbie outside the locker room in the normal school uniform and raises her right hand for a high-five. “Well done!”
Debbie crosses her arms. “Still doesn’t mean I like you.” Shira can see her blush.
hospital. Shira kisses Leila, but Leila resists. “Leave me. Please.”
“No. I refuse to let you break my heart.”
“You don’t know what you’re getting yourself into!”
“I don’t give a fuck, Leila. I’m too much in love with you.”
Leila starts to cry. “They’ll kill you...”
“I know how much you adore being spanked, love. Pull out of this and I’ll reward you with a wonderful spanking.” Shira kisses her deeply. Leila’s body convulses with violent sobs. Shira holds her tight, kisses her, cries with her, and refuses to listen to the orderly who tells her it’s time to leave.
shira’s apartment. As soon as Shira closes the door, she slumps against it and sighs in despair. Hope asks, “What’s wrong, Shira?”
“You ever get the feeling we’re really the bad guys?”
“Of course we're not!”
“Well, this is the kind of fucked-up Bizarro world where good guys are bad guys and bad guys are good guys. The Party protects rapists and punishes victims. Only reason Leila’s not in jail right now is she’s Gub’na Wally’s beautiful princess and he’s letting us get away with murder.”
“Now you realize why we need to fight to take back the System?”
Shira’s stare says Why are you so clueless? “Hope darling, the System was made to fight us puny humans!”
“He hurt Leila that bad, didn’t he.” Hope and Shira stare at each other for an endless moment. Then Shira throws herself into her arms and cries.
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Copyright © 2012 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
[Revision 4 Final, 8/30/12: Originally 7.3 “Caturday” in Revisions 2 and 3. Revised and expanded for Revision 4 continuity; new scenes added.]