Friday, September 7, 2012

Spanner 9.2: Dead Angel Lives

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 9: The Girl You Want
Part 2: Dead Angel Lives (Final Revision)

technosphere. Posted to LocaFantoma99’s Profile on September 22, 2014:
[Shira is dressed in her Bangor High school uniform without the hat. In the background she runs a slideshow of the Facebook pictures of half-naked drunken spring-break revels that helped ruin Amanda Currie’s journalistic career. Strategically censored, of course.]

I know this girl who’s way hot, in and out of a bikini. All the guys want her in the worst way possible. Gangsters wanna own her, Slashers wanna rape her body parts, Corporates wanna force her to have their babies.

You might have seen her. Have you touched her? Who knows, if you’re especially bad, you probably already have. She’s the girl you want.

But did I touch her? you ask. [smiles mischievously, comes closer to the camera] I tell you what... if I tell you, I’ll have to kill you. [kisses the camera]
school lobby. “Say, weren’t you dead?” says the wide-eyed front-door guard when he sees Leila arrive with Shira, Jennifer, and Brandi.

“I don’t look dead,” Leila replies, “if that’s what you mean.”

The guard says nothing more and lets her in with the group. Once they pass the front door into the lobby, Leila holds out her hand so Shira can hold it. Shira takes it and smiles at her. Leila beams happily back. They walk hand in hand into the lobby.

When Fiona spots Leila, she screams and throws herself into her sister’s arms. “Leila!” she sobs. “Why do you keep doing this to me?”

Leila holds Fiona as tight as she can and cries. “I’m sorry. I hurt too much.” Fiona kisses her gently on the cheek. Rob embraces Leila from behind and kisses her. Shira, Jennifer, Connor, Cory, Polly, Trishie, Daisy crowd into them — classmates who love her from afar, who she never knew love her, join the group hug. Others stand around and watch, who know her self-destructive reputation or are simply curious. The advertising server cannot parse this cluster, so the propaganda weirds out. Several guards try to break up the reunion but fail.

cafeteria. Charmian and her sister Christian confer with Bart. “I hope you girls have brought me good news,” says Bart.

“She just threw herself off the bridge last night,” Christian replies proudly.

“Good. That dirty whore’s out of our hair at last.”

Shira laughs at them.

Bart and the Fleer sisters turn toward her. Shira grins in triumph. Leila stands next to her — alive, Rob and Fiona at her sides, desiring revenge. “I saved her myself,” Shira declares “You lose.”

Leila tries to rush them, but Fiona grabs her from behind. “Leila! Please don’t!” Leila falls limp in her sister’s arms and lets out a huge sigh of frustration.

Rob steps in front of Christian. She feigns innocence. “What did I do?”

He punches her. She hits the wall behind her hard and slumps to the floor, staring back at him in disbelief.

Charmian screams and tries to stop him. He hits her in the jaw with an upward elbow smash, sending her stumbling backward. She lands hard, barely avoiding a concussion, and stares at him like he’s a maniac.

Bart glares at him. “Is this a Challenge, pretty boy?”

Rob smiles contemptuously. “Are you a coward, Champion?” Bart stares back and says nothing. “I tell you what: if any of you even touch Leila, I’ll beat you to within an inch of your life. But at least I’ll spare you. Leila won’t be so merciful.” Bart and the Fleers look at Leila and flinch from her stare of cold hatred. They glare at Rob, then Shira. They back away slowly.

“This ain’t over, Shelley.” Bart turns his back to them scornfully and leaves. Charmian and Christian stare at Shira and Leila, then follow Bart.

Rob throws back his head and laughs. The excitedly chattering crowd of students quickly disperse to tell their friends. Shira and Leila smile at each other; Shira shrugs, Leila sighs.

homeroom. The thirteenth homeroom teacher turns out to be Dave Whitmer. Most of the tutors cross their fingers and hope management will make him permanent. Shira worries about the chip embedded in his neck. He gives her a doleful look. She smiles, nods, and winks. He lets himself smile. “Jennifer specifically requested this one,” he begins. Debbie, Kelly, and Christina groan; Dorian and Charmian glare at Jennifer; Scotty quietly chuckles. Jennifer responds with a sweet smile. “Here’s a question I always asked my philosophy students. Would you choose between a life of perfect happiness, on the condition that you must die after one year, or a life that is eternal, but perfectly boring?”

Kelly stands up and yells, “That’s not a question at all! God has already gifted all Real Americans with eternal happiness after death! The Book of America says so!” Several of the students say “Yeah!” in agreement.

“But what if you’re not a quote-unquote ‘Real American,’ Miss McLendon? Remember, the ancient Egyptians believed that to die outside Egypt, or worse — to be born non-Egyptian — was ipso facto to be damned to eternal Hell.” Scotty, Christina, and the Student Councillors stare back at him in shock.

Leila realizes, He understands... She stands up. “I choose the first. If I can have that perfect happiness now, I’ll gladly die tomorrow.” Several students gasp.

Kelly snaps, “But you’ve tried to kill yourself five times already, Leila!”

“Because I was trapped in the second. I never chose it. Don’t you realize that’s the definition of hell? I lived it, and nearly died of it. I’d rather have oblivion than that.”

“That is excellent reasoning, Miss Shelley,” says Dave.

Leila sees Jennifer smiling at her. “We live, then die and cease to exist... What are Heaven and Hell but a carrot and stick to make you conform? I’m not afraid to die. All I needed was a reason to live.” Leila smiles at Shira. The tutors give Leila a standing ovation.

“Leila, you made the right choice. ‘One year’ is really ‘one lifetime.’ The right choice is to accept it; anything else is evasion.”

Christina leaps out of her seat. “But we can live forever! American scientists are already working on it right now!”

Leila punches her out.

clinic. While Charlie attends to Christina’s black eye, Dave asks Leila, “Why’d you have to punch her?”

Leila glares at Christina. “I was a guinea pig. The Eugenics Institute’s so-called research involves torturing a lot of people for the benefit of a few old men with a lot of money.”

Christina sneers, “That’s a bunch of bullshit, Shelley!”

“Have you ever been raped for days, weeks, years on end?” rages Leila. “That’s what it feels like! Hundreds of thousands of innocent people died just so a few dying power lusters could become immortal supermen!” She hovers over Christina like a storm cloud. “You want it that badly, Lopez? I’ll show you what hell really is.”

Shira clears her throat. The others stare at her. “Leila darling, you want hell? I can loan it to you on video.”

morning classes. Leila drifts through the school day in a dreamy reverie. She cannot even force herself concentrate on classes that not only are boring but get all their subjects wrong. All she can think about is Shira. Not even the juvenile old Mr. Smith petulantly calling her “Leela” in period 1 can shock her out of her romantic fugue.

Polly waves her hand in front of her eyes. “Leila, you okay?”

“Just tired,” she sighs.

Shira pulls Polly aside and whispers, “Let’s invoke Plausible Deniability. They might not believe us, but let the fools gossip.”

Between periods 1 and 2, Shira leads Leila to the library. The meeting rooms are empty during classes. They take one. As their librarian friends guard their secret, they furiously make out. By agreement, exactly one minute before the second-period bell, Sally bursts in to signal them to stop.

Period 2: head cheerleader Karen and star runningback Dexter flirt in plain sight while pretending to hide it. But all the gossip is about Jennifer and Brandi, because the Dictel Park gangsters keep complaining about how they taunted them by making out in front of them after beating them up naked back on the 5th. They hide it better, but their glances and smiles give them away. But not even Charmian and Bart have the courage to turn in the two most dangerous fighters in the school.

Christina and Marina, social-climbing Conservative Resistance daughters of Cuba and Venezuela, form an alliance of egos just to sneer at the “lovey-doveys” sacrificing their egos for a “fling.” Charmian, reigning princess, continues to look down on them all. But Kelly is somehow overwhelmed by an unconscious intuition about Shira and Leila. They no longer seem like mere friends. It takes her a while to realize what is going on between them, but finally the realization hits her like a hammer:

“I think she’s in love — with Shira!

She summons up a small troop of her yes girls to confront her in the hope of forcing her to repent of her ways. Before lunch, they find her and put themselves in her way.

“Stop right there!” commands Kelly.

Leila glares back. “What do you want, McLendon?”

“We’ve been hearing some really disturbing things about you today.”

“Why does my choice have anything to do with you?” snaps Leila.

“You’re making Jesus cry! Can’t you feel his tears?”

Leila shudders with an angry sigh. Shira laughs at Kelly and slaps her back hard enough to hurt.

“Ow!” Kelly points at Shira angrily. “I knew it! I knew you were trouble from the beginning!”

Shira leans in seductively. “Of course you did, Kelly. But you couldn’t stop playing with fire, now could you.”

“Stop it!”

“Of course I’m in love with Leila. Perez Hilton coulda told ya that. But I know your deep dark secret, the one you’re so desperate to hide from the world. I know who you love, Kelly. And it sure as hell ain’t that ugly runt Beck Skeever.” Shira drives a hard taunting smile into Kelly’s eyes. “I know, Kelly.” Kelly feels a chill that goes deep into her soul. Suddenly she dashes off to find Charmian. Her yes girls stare at Shira and Leila, then dash off after Kelly.

homeroom office. Shira holds Dave tight and kisses him on the lips as Leila and Jennifer look on. She rubs the bump on the back of his neck. He jumps and gasps. “What’s wrong?” she asks.

“Please don’t do that.”

“It’s not your fault.”

“Yes it is.”

“It’s theirs,” says Leila coldly. “Don’t torture yourself over it.”

Dave sighs. “I hope you’ve got working jammers by now.”

Jennifer smiles. “I’ve got my bra computer working on it as we speak.”

Leila looks at her strangely and points at her breasts. “Your bra is a computer?

“Bounce-powered, even!”

Shira pats his neck. “My analytical’s working on it too.”

“We’ve got backup plans just in case, so don’t worry about that.”

“I hope so. I love you so much.” She kisses him again.

Suddenly the door flings wide open and Kelly gasps staring in. They turn to see her. She accuses, “You’re having an affair, aren’t you.”

Shira leaves Dave’s embrace, crosses her arms, and gives Kelly a look that says What a maroon. “No, I’m just comforting an old family friend.”

“But you were kissing!

“He’s a close family friend. If you were my friend, I’d kiss you too.”

“Ew!” Kelly slams the door and runs away. Shira and Dave look at each other. “We need to be careful,” he warns.

“We’re the ones taking the risk. Trust us.” Shira winks, kisses him once more, puts her arms around Leila and Jennifer; they leave.

principal’s office. Shira, Jennifer, Connor, and the Shelley siblings stare down the principals and say nothing and wait for Angela. At last Angela arrives with the full case in her briefcase. Falconer barks, “I repeat, what do you want, Thomas?” The Principal only smiles nervously at Angela.

Shira flashes her a cockeyed smirk. “Oh, that murder attempt you nearly pulled off last night?”

“I don’t have the slightest idea what the hell you’re talking about. Get out!

Angela stomps up to the desk and glares at Falconer. “She’s here with me, Falconer, not the other way around. You will listen to her because if you don’t, I’ll take you to court and get you convicted of aggravated harassment with intent to commit murder.”

Spiekerman says, “You cannot build a case against official Party policy, Madam Counsellor.”

She pats her briefcase. “The facts of the case are right here. Shira?”

Shira grins. “Maybe you rigged the courts, but you can’t rig the celebrity press. Jen?”

Jennifer takes her jailbroken iPad out of her backpack and approaches the principals, holding it so they can see it. They crowd in to watch. On its screen she plays ESPNBC news video of the ‘Black Caturday’ paparazzi riots nine days ago with Amanda Currie’s breathless commentary. “If they find out you tried to drive Leila Shelley to suicide, will you be able to deal with this? I know you can’t, Comrade Spiekerman.”

Principal’s smirk cannot hide the terror in his eyes. Spiekerman’s fear is plainly written on his face. Falconer’s eye twitches. Mobley dashes to the back office in panic; Robson and Benson follow. Angela says, “See? You may have the Law by the short and curlies, but if you don’t let up on Miss Shelley, the celebrity press will have you.” She smiles in triumph.

The Principal sweats even harder. “So w-what do we—”

Falconer slaps him on the top of his head. “Shut up! You have no legal standing, Miss Coyne. You will leave now.”

Angela smiles in triumph. “Who said anything about the Law?” She leaves, and the tutors follow.

on to the next...

Back to Chapter 9 index...
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Copyright © 2012 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
Creative Commons License

[Revision 4 Final, 9/7/12: Heavily revised for Fourth Revision continuity, with scenes added from 9.1 and 9.3 Revision 3. A few scenes deleted; new opening scene added.]

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