Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 10: Fashion Meltdown
Part 6: Vengeance and Fashion (Final Revision)
Part 6: Vengeance and Fashion (Final Revision)
cafeteria. After the disaster in the arena, the crowd regroup in the empty lunchroom inside the main building. Shira, Leila, Jennifer, and Karen return in their school uniforms. Charmian storms up into Shira’s face, Kelly and Debbie behind her, and screams, “Shira! What in God’s name were you thinking?”
Shira grins and leans uncomfortably toward her. “Charms baby, I was thinking of one and only one thing, namely winning. She Challenged me, so I brought the nasty stuff like Felix Rodriguez.”
Kelly protests, “But I love Minty Fresh! I’m her number one fan of all time!” She wags her finger at Shira. “You won, you know. You destroyed the bestest pop idol ever, and that was with just the song. Minty would have died a horrible death at the very sight of that horrid costume! That was the closest thing to Rebel Styles live that I have ever seen in my life. I hate you, Shira Thomas!”
“Kelly darling, you sound like eight-year-old me fangirling Miley Cyrus, Bestest Singer Ever, who I even stalked ’cuz I was totally in love with her. I was eight. Come on, girlfriends, if y’all can’t handle the heat, get outta the jungle.” She flashes Kelly and Charmian a wicked wink. They stare at Shira funny, bluch furiously, sigh angrily, then flounce away together in a huff.
Debbie look back at them. Ignoring Leila, she stomps up to Shira, stands on tiptoe to stare into the taller girl’s eyes, and growls, “I hate you.”
Shira brings her lips dangerously close to Debbie and purrs, “I love you too, darling.” Debbie’s eyes go wide, her mouth shuts tight, her skin turns beet red. She trembles with anger but says nothing. She turns and runs away to find her cousins. Shira and her cousins sigh in unison. Leila only goes “Hmph.”
Trishie and Ruthie run up to Shira excitedly holding up brochures. Trishie breathlessly gushes, “She said we could make a living in modelling and—”
Leila swipes the brochures from them and studies them carefully. To their shock, she rolls them up in a ball and tosses them behind her. She puts her arms around Trishie and Ruthie’s shoulders. “Ladies, allow me to explain in detail exactly what going to Pretty City entails.” She walks away with them.
Shira and Karen stare at each other. Shira says, “No wonder we aren’t being hysterically fangirled.”
Jennifer says, “I hear a big long squee.”
Karen points at the eager crowd near the main hallway. “Over there.”
They stop a few meters away from the hopping and squeeing crowd. They look at each other, then in annoyance at the trendy kids surrounding a young woman. They can hear the words “Pretty City” squealed by girls in the crowd. Jennifer peers into the crowd to see who the woman is. When she recognizes her by the curls of her long dark brown hair, she goes cold. “Oh, great.”
Shira turns to her and says, “What is it?”
Jennifer whispers the name into Shira’s ear. Shira’s eyes go wide and her mouth twists. She rolls her eyes and says, “Oh great.” She turns to Karen, puts her finger to her mouth, and nods. Karen’s mouth falls open; she turns toward the scene but makes sure to keep her distance.
Christina leaps and whoops from out of the crowd as if she has just won the lottery, holding a ticket. The instant she sees Leila, she sprints over to her, laughs contemptuously, and waves the ticket in her face. “I’m going to Pretty City and you ain’t, ya loser!” She raises two middle fingers at the entire crowd. “See y’all on TV, suckahhhz!” She runs out of the building, never again to return to Cascadia.
Leila calls after her, “’Bye, poser! Hope to see you dead on video!”
Jennifer and Shira march toward the young woman and the crowd surrounding her. When they get close enough, Shira yells, “Oh; emm; gee; doubleyou tee eff—”
The woman turns to see where the voice is coming from. “Shira?” Girls move out of their way so they can get a clear look at each other.
Lala Sun-Microsoft possesses the anonymous beauty of the surgically Resculpted. She was born plain, but she longed to be beautiful as long as she can remember. Her tekcorp executive father, Elliott Sun-Microsoft, bought the services of the best plastic surgeon in Los Angeles to Resculpt her. He transformed her into closest thing to the perfect average of every pop idol in Asia possible with the most modern technology and plastic surgery techniques. She is rich, eccentric, and nineteen. She’s surrounded by trendy kids as eager as Christina Lopez to follow their strange pied piper to Pretty City. Surprised at the reunion, Lala opens her arms wide for a hug. “Jennifer! Shira! How are you!”
Shira crosses her arms and gives her an annoyed stare. “Well! How nice of you to hijack my victory party. Now they’ll never know how bad I owned Minty Fresh. Please tell the Molotovs I said fuck you very much.”
Mimi comes up next to Shira and asks, “You two know her?”
Lala cheerily answers, “We’re old friends!”
Polly peers into the nondescript prettiness of Lala’s doll-like face. She asks Shira, “Is she real?”
Shira answers, “Yes, she does look exactly like every Asian pop idol combined.”
“She looks so ‘uncanny valley,’ it creeps me out.”
Lala gasps. “How can you say that?” Shira shoos Polly and Mimi away. Lala stands back from Shira and Jennifer and takes a good look at them. She has always admired their Natural good looks.
“So what brings you back here to the wilds of Outer Bummertown, Lala?”
Lala whips out a brochure and winks. “I’ve got your ticket to Pretty City.”
Shira smiles. “Don’t you remember? I already burned my ticket to Pretty City.”
Shira holds out her fingers to count. “One, I’m already famous and/or infamous. Two, I have no intention of enslaving myself to the Fashion-Industrial Complex. Three, every plastic surgeon in the Fashion-Industrial Complex is just itchin’ to cut my nose, making me want to kill them all slowly. Four, I’m exactly the kind of Styler no self-respecting New Pretty would accept no matter how Resculpted I get. So, thanks but no thanks.”
Lala slumps, crestfallen. “Aww...” She stands back up, holds the brochure out to Jennifer, and smiles at her cheerily. “So... How about you, Jenni?”
Jennifer does not smile. “No thank you, Lala. They call me ‘a great mind trapped in a great body,’ yet they’re hellbent on ruining my great mind and cutting up my great body, so I told your hideous employers I have no intention whatever of selling my soul to them. You know what they call me?”
“Trouble.” She starts to walk away.
Lala puts her hand on Jennifer’s shoulder to stop her. Her eager smile returns. “You’ll have no problem with them as long as I’m there for you!” Shira and Jennifer look at each other and sigh in unison; the eagerness drains from Lala’s smile. Shira shrugs.
Suddenly Lala screams in pain. Shira and Jennifer look behind her to see an angry Leila pinching Lala’s collarbone hard.
“Leila!” cries out Shira. “Stop that!” Leila lets go.
Lala turns to face Leila and stumbles back a pace. “Leila darling!” she gushes. “How lovely to see you!”
Unsmiling, Leila says, “Hello, Princess FrankenBarbie.” Lala gasps in horror at the slur.
“But Leila,” protests Lala, “I thought we were friends!”
Shira says, “I take it you’re not really friends.”
“She actually believes the marketing spin,” says Leila scornfully. “Trying to trick more suckers into selling their faces and souls to the evil Fashion-Industrial Complex, aren’t you, Lala?”
Lala breathes in deep, crosses her arms, and lets out a hard angry sigh. Shira sneaks up behind her and says, “You probably haven’t heard about this yet, but Leila’s now my girlfriend.”
Lala spins to face Shira. “What? Her?!” Shira smiles triumphantly and nods. Lala spins to stare at Leila in shock. The black-haired beauty’s sweet ironic smile says: Shira’s mine now, bitch. Deal.
Polly returns. “Your drama here’s been entertaining enough. If you like that, you’ll just love what’s coming up next. Especially you, Leila.”
“Me?” says Leila scornfully. “What could be worse than this?”
“Brandi just texted me. Looks like your gangster uncle’s here to drag you kicking and screaming back to Pretty City.”
“Tell him I’d rather die than go back.”
“I guess you’ll be telling him yourself.” Polly stares fearfully down the hall.
Toward the door, girls scream and squeal. The commotion comes closer. Shira and her friends notice that people are moving out of the way of whoever’s coming.
When she sees him, she catches her breath. He’s beautiful: tall and elegant, with long silky black hair and a delicate face which looks a whole lot like Rob’s. He wears MIB suit, black trenchcoat, fashion mirrorshades, and the signet ring of the House of Brinkman. He’s flanked by two huge and dangerous looking men in MIB suits and mirrorshades, but he looks more dangerous than either of them. He looks as dangerous as Leila. And he’s heading straight for her. When he gets in range of her, he yells: “Leila!”
“I have no idea!”
Arvid grabs Leila’s slender wrist in a death grip. She cries out in pain. “Well, we’d better find him, ’cos you two are coming back with me to Pretty City before you two get killed!”
Shira clears her throat loudly in his ear. He turns to face her. “Excuse me, but Leila’s staying here with me.”
Arvid stares down at her threateningly. “And who do you think you are to say such a thing to me?”
“I’m Shira Thomas, and I’m her lover.”
Shira pulls Leila out of Arvid’s grasp and holds her tight; her stare says to him, No touchy. Arvid crosses his arms. “Father was right,” he says. “Maybe I should take you with her?”
“No. I’m staying, and so is she.”
Arvid sneers, “You know I never take no for an answer.” He and Shira stare each other down as if locked in a Mexican standoff.
Charlie hits him upside the head with her weaponized Les Paul hard enough to knock him down. She raises it up like an ax and brings it down, intending to crush his head; but he catches it in time.
“Charlie!” cry Shira and Jennifer together. Charlie kicks the guitar up out of Arvid’s hands and slings it onto her back.
Arvid climbs back up to his feet and scowls at the spectacle. He moves toward them threateningly. “What the fuck are you doing, Charlotte?”
“Just protecting my sister’s girlfriend and her brother from, well, you.”
“Damn it, woman, I’m trying to protect these two! Do you want that rabid old dog and his pet psycho to eat them alive?”
Charlie shrugs. “You win some, you lose some.”
Arvid leans into her face. “You know what happens when you cross me, don’t you?”
Charlie stands on tiptoe to get even closer and smirks. “Why, yes, come to think of it, I do. You get cross and put innocent people in danger. That’s why I’m here, Artie, and you know it.”
“Damn it, Charlotte, I’m their uncle!”
“And right now, cousin, I’m their best friend. So why don’t you be a friend to them and buzz off?”
Arvid Shield reaches into his blazer, whips his Glock out of his shoulder holster, and holds it on Charlie. She laughs at him. “What’s so funny, Charlotte?”
“Why, Arthur, I so didn’t realize how little you care about hurting bystanders.”
Suddenly two shots go off. Arvid spasms backward and lets out a cry of pain. Students and parents run away from them screaming. Lala hides behind Shira and whimpers. Desiree threads her way through panicking people toward the sound of the shots. Rob and Fiona rush over to protect Leila. Taylor Brinkman shoots him with two more blanks just to hurt him. “Get away from my kids, you cur!” she shrieks.
He rolls over and looks back at Taylor, stunned. “But sister—”
“Sister my feckin’ arse! Do you know what they did to ’em at Pretty City? Do you realize what horrors they put ’em through? You sold ’em to the bloody Molotovs, Artie! It’s all your fault!” Taylor shoots Arvid in the right pectoral. His hand involuntarily holds his chest at the point of impact; he lets out a strained cry of pain.
Desiree grabs Taylor from behind to hold her arms down and cries out, “Stop it! Stop it!”
“You too, Artie,” says Charlie calmly.
Shira casually walks between Taylor and Arvid. “Excuse me, but if you wanna get violent, Dictel Park’s the place.”
Machine guns break the tense quiet. The alarm goes off, the lights go off and return flashing red, all the civilians in the building flee the building for their cars. Followed by four burly hitmen, Vitaly Rodchenko, fuhrer of the Seattle Russkies, slings his AK back, pulls out his pistol, and points it in Shira’s face. “So the mudblood gone lesbo. I’m gonna cap your ass then take my bitch.”
A shovel hammers Vitaly’s head; he falls to the ground clutching his head in pain. Oliver swings the shovel around; four mobsters clutch their bloody throats and die. He thrusts it at Shira’s throat, stopping just short. Jealousy has turned to madness. “The Governor promised his princess to my grandfather as my bride. Let go of my promised one, or I’ll kill you both!”
Suddenly Oliver, Vitaly, and Arvid writhe in subsonic agony. Three warriors in camo and red bandannas appear behind them wielding sound blasters. They lower the bandannas from their faces: Bram Rodchenko, Adam Gabriel, and Talia Espinoza. Bram loudly proclaims, “This is now Liberated territory of the Socialist Revolutionary Organization!” He kicks his hated brother in the face.
“Hi, Bram!” says Desiree. She puts her hand on his shoulder. He collapses into an electric seizure.
Talia approaches Shira and Leila. “Brinkman knows. You have no choice but to join us now.”
Shira smiles back. “I can’t join you, Tal. I already own you.” Recognition leads to horror — Talia shrinks back in shock — Spanner — “Besides, Gub’na’s li’l princess belongs to me now.” Shira plants a lustful kiss on Leila’s lips, the kiss turns open-mouthed, they caress tongues — then they stare back at Talia with ironic smiles. Oliver wails in agony of loss and wounded ego. Adam writhes on the ground clutching his groin to protect it from another blow of Charlie’s boot. Talia finds herself surrounded by three angry women with ominously glowing eyes. She realizes Charlie, Desiree, and Taylor will use their Repulse fields against her. She backs off, picks her comrades off the floor, and leaves.
Desiree says, “Your father knows.”
Taylor sighs. “I know.”
Charlie says, “We’ll have to do whatever it takes to keep ’em together.”
“By any means necessary. Leila!”
Leila looks at Taylor, then Shira, then back at Taylor nervously. Shira says, “Yes, Mum?”
Taylor stares at Shira for a time. A smile grows on her face. “Stay with her.” Leila smiles and lets out a huge sigh of relief.
“Come on,” says Charlie, “let’s go.” They run down the hallway toward the back exits as the shooting and smashing begins at the front entrance. Badd Boyzz and other Klownz swarm through, into the cafeteria, ransack the office and surrounding rooms looking for civilian stragglers to trash. They try to smash their way into locked classrooms and the dark library. They find no guards, no rival gangsters, no Tournament fighters, no cowering civilians. Slowly the disappointed gangsters assemble in the cafeteria. They stand around looking stupid.
Li’l Badd punches a hole in the wall near the office. “Shit!”
Big Baddd says, “Fuuuuck.”
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Copyright © 2012 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
[Revision 4 Final, 9/19/12: Revised for Final Revision continuity with expanded scenes including new characters including R4 characters Christina Lopez and Vitaly Rodchenko added.]