Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 11: Everybody’s Talkin’ ’Bout
Part 2: Psycho Fangirls (Final Revision)
Part 2: Psycho Fangirls (Final Revision)
middle school. Ayla is relieved to find she shares the same homeroom as Shira’s nieces, friendly Elle Shears and protective Melody Richter-Thomas. The teacher is a friendly, cheerful, and cute young woman who likes her. Miss Carpenter says, “Good morning, class!”
“Good morning,” the students reply.
“I’m happy to introduce our new student, Ayla Izumi. Let’s give her a big welcome!” Several students stand up to clap, cheer, and say “Hi, Ayla!”
But a girl with long wavy blond hair and a harsh beauty stands up and screams angrily to silence her classmates. Lillian snarls, “This trash isn’t supposed to be here! It’s defiling Our Nation!” Ayla lets out a gasp of shock at such open hatred.
Melody stands up and shakes her fist. “Lillian Fleer, aren’t you supposed to be going to the Bainbridge Academy along with all the other stuck-up rich bitches?”
“Yeah, Lillian!” adds Elle. “You’re not supposed to be slumming, Princesss! You’re a Becket!”
Lillian clenches her teeth. The other students cringe, some even leave, but Elle and Melody stand their ground. “My father is a major investor in this company. How dare you speak ill of my father’s investment!”
“Lillian, this company’s schools all suck.”
“Yeah,” says Melody, “the Admiral made a bad investment.”
“You’re supposed to be the aristocrat, Lil. Just because your dad owns half the company doesn’t mean you have to consume its lousy product.”
“Besides, aristocrats go to elite boarding schools like the Bainbridge Academy. Especially Imperial Princesses.”
“So don’t make a fool of yourself picking on all the new kids. It’s unbecoming of a princess.”
Lillian ignores the teacher and storms out. Miss Carpenter asks, “Ayla, are you okay?”
Ayla lets out a huge sigh. “I guess so.”
Elle and Melody hug her. Elle says, “We like you, Ayla. You’ll be just fine.” The remaining students sigh in relief.
high school entrance. While the armoured door guards frisk students trying to enter and the monitors inside harass them advertising unaffordable things, Shira takes Leila to the side so they can talk. Leila says, “I’ve been wanting to ask you one thing.”
Shira smiles. “Mmm?”
“Is it true you have a business called ‘Rebel Styles’?”
“Not since the Party stole it from me and gave it to the Molotovs for free.” Leila stiffens in silent rage. Shira hugs her, sways with her, gently pats her back. “That’s in the past. I’m with you now.” She kisses her gently on the lips.
Nancy lets out a blood-curdling scream. Everybody stares at her, then follows her horrified stare to Shira and Leila embracing. Leila asks fearfully, “What was that about?”
Shira says through gritted teeth, “’shipping.”
Nancy runs at them madly wailing, “No, Shira, no! You’re in love with Jennifer, not Leila! You love Jennifer!”
Shira stands protectively in front of Leila. “Nancy, get a hold of yourself!”
But Nancy only pounds her fists on Shira’s shoulders. “You love Jennifer not Leila! Leila’s evil! You love Jennifer!” Two guards pick her up by the arms and carry her away kicking and screaming. “You love Jennifer!” she continues to scream, all the way to the principal’s office. They follow her there through the gauntlet of guards, advertisements, and staring eyes. Shira takes out her phone and calls Jennifer.
principal’s office. Jennifer bursts in asking, “Hey, what’s the—” Then she hears the sound of a gagged prisoner and pivots to see Nancy, restrained by two guards, mouth duct-taped shut, pleading with her eyes. She turns an accusing stare toward the principals. “Excuse me, but Nancy needs professional — oh yeah, I forgot you people think money has magic healing power. Anyway, I suggest you have them take her to the clinic. If they don’t, I’ll do it myself.”
The principals laugh at her.
“Very well.” She glares at the guards. They drop Nancy to her feet. She rushes over to sweep up the sobbing girl into a tight embrace, then whisks her out. The guards follow.
The principals redirect their attention to the students and tutors remaining: Karen, Dexter, Shira, Leila. Principal Principal clears his throat. “Miss Thomas, Miss Shelley, we have warned you to avoid subversive activities against our company, or we will have to dismiss you.”
“Obviously you haven’t read our contract, Principal Principal,” Shira counters. “It says that the college trustees alone reserve the right to hire and fire us, so I’m afraid your company’s gonna have to deal.”
“Very well, then. Our legal department will have to renegotiate your contract to our advantage. But you, Miss Kubota and Mr. Conway, have no such protection from dismissal. Nike was gracious enough to pay for your tuition so you could take part in sports activities. However, subversion against SPEC is subversion against Nike as well.”
Shira winks at Karen and Dexter. “Yeah, back off for a while.”
“But we shall require you to publicly apologize for your transgressions if you want to avoid paying back tuition with added fines, damages, and interest.”
“My lawyer will discuss that with yours. But if you force public humiliation on the two most popular kids in this school, there’s gonna be hell to pay, legal and otherwise. This is Cascadia, not Carolina. You’re not in the Homeland anymore.”
Six principals glare angrily at Shira. Her small smile answers, Deal with it, suckers.
clinic. Charlie patiently sticks the needle in terrified Nancy’s arm and gently injects the sedative. Nancy’s worried friends Mimi, Trishie, and Ruthie surround her and try to comfort her. She removes the empty syringe. “Nancy darling, you’ll be okay. Now just take some deep breaths and calm down.”
Jennifer says, “It’s okay now, Nancy.” She gently kisses her on the cheek. Nancy sighs, slumps, and lets her friends remove the tape from her mouth.
Charlie, Jennifer, Shira, and Leila go together into the office where Sylvia is waiting and shut the door. Sylvia gets up to give Charlie a lover’s kiss. Shira grins. “Well! I see you decided to become a beautiful couple.”
Jennifer asks, “Won’t Desiree find out?”
Charlie winks. “She knows already and is just dying to meet her.”
Sylvia looks at her, worried. “Won’t she get jealous?”
“I know my wife, love. She’ll fall in love with you too.” She kisses her.
Leila interrupts. “Okay, what was our business?”
Sylvia sighs. “The Teachers Guild leadership has decided to fire all the teachers and merge with SPEC.”
“This has been in the works since the coup,” Shira explains. “The Guild brass are dying to fulfill the Party agenda and get rich quick. They’ve even hired a mercenary army of COPCO strike cops to strike against any striking workers.”
“I wonder,” says Jennifer, “will One-Eye use any of those new copbots of his?”
“It’s the perfect opportunity. Maybe that’s what J.T. was thinking about when he sent me those rootkits.”
Charlie tilts her head. “Rootkits?”
“For Windows and iOS, robot-optimized, Back Orifice compatible, taking advantage of all the built-in traitorware. I can lock ’em into chkdsk or fsck, I can wipe their storage, or I can just take ’em over. Advantage us.”
“There’s still the mercenaries,” says Leila.
“In power armour running Windows or iOS. But if you’re thinking more Party militants, blind faith makes hacking their brains even easier. Once again, advantage us.”
Charlie throws a skeptical look at her sister. “I hope you’re right, Shira.”
Shira winks. “Trust me.”
homeroom. While Dave keeps the attention of the students and most of the tutors, Shira holds a closed-door meeting in the office with nine other girls: Jennifer, Leila, Fiona, Polly, Brandi, Schuyler, Harumi, Fuyumi, and Sana. “Let’s keep this quiet,” Shira says quietly. “It’s only between us.”
Jennifer says. “We invited you here to invite you to our private celebration of Shira’s victory in the song war Challenge.”
Shira grins. “Even Minty’s conceding defeat. In fact, she’s complaining about it to the media.”
“We let the others know about the paparazzi threat. But we can’t let ’em know what we’re really planning, so we’ll have to swear you to silence.”
Schuyler crosses her arms. “Is this one of your legendary slumber parties, Jen?”
“In fact, Sky, I’m extending an invitation to you specifically, just because I love you.” Jennifer winks. Schuyler blushes deep red and her mouth falls wide open. Jennifer leans toward her seductively. “You willing to take me up on it?” Schuyler can only stutter.
A sly smile grows on Brandi’s face. “Jenni, is it all right if I invite Arisa?”
“Do it,” Shira commands. “She deserves it.”
Harumi looks at her unsmilingly. “She’ll want to bring Ayla.”
Shira, Jennifer, Leila, and Fuyumi stare at her. Polly asks, “Who’s Ayla?”
“A slave girl I stole from the Yakuza in Japan,” Shira replies. “She set off my ‘lolidar,’ so I took her away.”
“You raped the boss’s son to get her,” says Harumi. Several girls gasp.
“I left her there, but now she’s here.”
Polly glares at Shira. “How old is she?”
“You know it’s against the Law,” Sana warns.
“How many laws are we breaking already just by holding this? One more is nothing.”
Eight girls stare at her silently. Jennifer says, “And that, my friends, is why our celebration must be secret.”
period 1. Mr. Smith enters the classroom in full replica Confederate Army officer dress to the sighs, groans, and giggles of several annoyed students. Shira asks cheerily, “Cosplaying, Colonel?”
Mr. Smith angrily blurts, “And were was you people during the War for Southern Independence?”
“Trying to stop your War for Slaveholder Supremacy before you people could crown your conquering Caesar. My ancestor killed him from a quarter-mile away, in fact. That was right before Sherman burnt Atlanta.”
“Atlanta!” he harrumphs. “The city was always a painted whore sullying the purity of Our Nation.”
“You’re in a city, all Euro and everything. You gonna smash it, maybe to avenge Sherman, Massa?”
He loses all reason. “You lie! Get out, you lying liars!”
Half the class join Shira, Jennifer, and Leila outside. “Way to push his button,” Harumi marvels.
Shira chuckles. “Notice he’s always cosplaying? Everything that’s ‘black and white’ is ‘blue and gray’ in his eyes. Fanboys are way boring. Especially those who never grow up.”
period 2. The tutors and several students find themselves locked out. They can hear bizarre sounds of glossolalia emanate from within. “Hmph!” says Polly. “The nerve of those people!”
“What are they doing?” asks Trishie.
“I bet they’re praying for the Teachers’ Guild to fire all the teachers,” Shira replies. “I hear all this Student Union stuff is making SPEC management panic.”
“No,” Leila says, “it’s death prayers for the Student Union.”
Shira starts to leave. “Speaking of which...” The others follow.
library. The tutors and Brandi meet with Karen and Dexter in the meeting room while the librarians protect them from prying eyes. Karen asks, “So Shira, how come you’re asking us to back away from the Student Union?”
“Tactical reasons. If I know anything about Corporates such as Ross, they’re meaner than a nest of rabid rattlesnakes and will stab anyone in the back for even the slightest personal advantage. The Student Union threatens all their ill-gotten advantages. It’s a huge threat to their sovereign egos. So I say be Nike’s sports celebrities in public and support us in private. That way you can direct their attention away from the rest of us.”
“Like she said in the office,” Jennifer adds, “you’re much more vulnerable than we are. Me, I’m working with the members to set up a system so we can do everything democratically and collectively. If everything rests on one or a few leaders, management can destroy the movement by just taking them out. Cybersecurity calls that a ‘single point of vulnerability.’ The Death Star had a very famous one. Distributed systems are much more stable and secure, including social systems. That’s the principle we need to be working by.”
cafeteria. Shira and Leila sit together to eat bento lunches. Leila asks, “Do we really scare the management that much?”
“More than you think,” Shira replies. “You gotta remember, Corporates are paranoid by nature. Even the most minor threat drives ’em nuts.”
Suddenly they find themselves surrounded by Team Valiant fighters — no, Mikey Rodchenko is not a Tournament fighter. Behind Scotty and Lance, Lucy sneers, “You’re not getting away with stealing another man’s woman, Thomas.”
Shira shirts her weight, crosses her arms, tilts her head, smiles ironically. “Who said she belonged to that loser?”
“The Shovel Clique,” Leila replies in a voice dripping with venom. To the Shovels: “Nice to know you’re doing Oliver’s dirty work. Please tell him I hate him with all my heart and want him to die. Now buzz off.”
Scotty shifts into attack stance — “Haiyaaa!” — but is immediately jumped by—
The Shovels look around warily for Ron, Don, and the missing Christina, allowing Jennifer and Brandi to arrive in time to scatter them. Lucy yells back, “You’ll both regret this!”
Marina remains. “Now can I join your team?”
Four Bremeloes stare back at her. Jennifer says, “On a few conditions.”
Brandi glares at her. “You’ll ‘ave to leave the Stiletto Clique. Frank Becket and I are not friends.”
“And don’t report back to Frankie either,” says Shira. She gives Marina a small mischievous smile. “You leave that to me.” She winks.
Leila says, “I still don’t trust you.”
Jennifer puts her arm around Marina. “Just give her enough time. She’ll learn.”
“I’ll trust your judgement, then, but I won’t trust her, not yet.”
Jennifer hugs Leila and plants a kiss on her lips—
—the ’shippers gasp at the sight they thought impossible — Nancy screams — and soon fangirls start throwing punches at each other, “Shiffer” against “Lira,” spreading gossip from girl to girl until the fangirl brawl engulfs the entire campus.
lockers. Shira, Leila, and Jennifer divide their attention between putting books away and watching crazed fangirls fight over who’s ’shipping whom with whom. Sana comes over with a shocked look on her face. “What’s got into them?”
Leila drily answers, “Fangirlism.”
Jennifer asks, “Ever heard of ’shippers?”
“Yeah,” Sana replies. “But what does it have to do with this?”
“We have fans. Some of ’em want to ’ship us.”
“What they disagree on,” Shira says, “is who’s supposed to be my eternal love. Jen’s my Edward and Leila’s my Jacob, or the other way around. They’re actually saying that. They even call themselves ‘Team Shiffer’ and ‘Team Lira.’“
Sana slaps her forehead in embarrassment. “Some people...” Fangirls continue to fight around them.
Suddenly Nancy jumps Leila from behind and tries to strangle her. Shira yells, “Nancy! Stop that!”
“No!” says Nancy in a strange voice. “Lira’s gotta die, Lira’s gotta die.”
Debbie screams at the sight and runs over. She pummels Nancy with hard punches, but fails to hurt the madwoman. She jumps on Nancy’s back, tries to pull her off, bites her shoulder as hard as she can, hurting her at last; Nancy screams in pain and lets go of Leila to face her attacker with irrational hate. Debbie knocks her to the floor with a right hook.
Nancy stares up at her with a mad grin. “Lira’s gotta die ’cuz Shiffer is forever.”
Debbie stares back in cold rage. “I love Leila, you lunatic. If you hurt her, I will kill you, I swear by God and His Nation.”
“Then you’re gonna have to die too.”
“Is this a Challenge? You cannot win. You cannot survive.”
They are soon surrounded by Bremeloes, Valiants, Shovels, and armoured guards. Debbie commands, “Take her away.” The guards disappear with Nancy. Debbie looks wistfully at Leila. Leila hugs her; she sighs. Bart clears his throat; at that signal, Debbie leaves with Team Valiant. All of Team Bremelo give Leila a massive group hug.
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Copyright © 2012 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
[Revision 4 Final, 10/3/12: 11.1 and 11.2 R2 combined; new scenes added.]