Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 12: Bad Girls Can’t Win
Part 3: Mean Girl Murder Case (Final Revision)
Part 3: Mean Girl Murder Case (Final Revision)
technosphere. Posted to Lucy Wilkinson’s Profile on 28 September 2014 at 2:26 a.m. [now removed]
At the top of the stairs to the second floor of the Fleer mansion is a large room. In the middle stand Deborah Becket and Nancy Chandler, both in their school uniforms. Surrounding them are three of the Fleer sisters in their nightgowns: blond Charmian, black-haired Julian, and Christian with short black hair and fashionable pink bangs.bangor jail. COPCO assigns the Nancy Chandler murder case to Locke Holmes. He interrogates all the parties involved.
Debbie tries to be friendly. “Nancy, please tell me. I need to know who told you to hurt Leila.”
Glassy-eyed Nancy says in a dead voice, “Shira belongs with Jennifer. Leila has to die.”
“I’m trying to help Shira. Please tell me who wants you to kill Leila.”
“I have to save Shira and Jennifer. I must kill Leila.”
“Nancy! Leila’s your friend too!”
“Nooooooo!” Nancy’s hands go to Debbie’s throat and try to strangle her. Charmian and Christie try to restrain Nancy, but she throws them off with the strength of madness and knocks down Julie, who falls near the stairs and cries. Rachel Brinkman and Kelly McLendon rush in, followed by Lady Penner, who backs against the wall in fear. Normally not at all a fighter, Nancy manages to fight off skilled martial artists Charmian, Kelly, and Rachel. Debbie tries to knock her down with a side kick to the head; Nancy stumbles backwards, trips over Julie, and falls down the stairs...
Mimi, Trishie, and Ruthie cry and hold each other tight in the morgue. Three medical specialists meet Shira and Leila. “Have they seen her?” asks Shira. The medics nod. They lead the two girls to the drawer Nancy’s corpse lies within and opens it, drawing her out. They look at them expectantly. Shira’s heart drops to the floor when she sees her dead friend. She lowers her head. She nods.Deborah Becket: (protests) No, I didn’t kill her! I was only trying to get her to tell us why she was out to kill Leila! I never figured she’d try to wring my neck!Leila Shelley: Oliver programmed Nancy to kill me. She was so vulnerable. I’ll never forgive him!Oliver Thorwald: (shrugs) So I had some hypnotist training. Wasn’t my idea. Christie knows how much I hate that psycho bitch I’m trapped with. She put me up to it.Christian Fleer: Oliver doesn’t deserve a loser like that whore Shelley. That still doesn’t mean I killed the crazy girl.Kelly McLendon: (unusually subdued) She was attacking Debbie, we tried to fight her off, and suddenly she was dead and we panicked.Rachel Brinkman: It was like she was on PCP. We couldn’t even hurt her till one of us tripped her, I don’t know who, and she fell down the stairs.Julian Fleer: (crying) I didn’t mean to trip Nancy. I mean, I was only trying to calm her down...Charmian Fleer: She was lying there on the floor bleeding. I knew she’d suffer serious brain damage if we didn’t get her some help immediately. I called 911, but we didn’t know she was already dead till the ambulance got there. God, I feel so horrible about this...Deborah Becket: I didn’t post that video on YouTube—(remembers) wait a minute—(narrows eyes, growls) Wilkinson—Lucy Wilkinson: Of course I shot video! I do that with everything we do! We got so into fighting off that psycho that I completely forgot I had the phone set to autopost.Lady Penner: I can’t say anything. I’m speechless. Besides, my friends already said everything I was going to say. I don’t know if I’ll survive this. Our reputation’s certainly taking a beating. I bet Shira Thomas is laughing at us right now.Shira Thomas: (unsmiling) I’m beginning to get the sinking feeling the Governor’s plan to acquire the Everson-Thorwald clan is about to implode...
Leila lowers herself onto the drawer to look at the cold white face more closely. She smiles with relief that Nancy is now at peace from the torment that destroyed her life. She caresses her cheek. The girl is cold as a statue. She gently kisses the cold lips drained of all color. Secretly hoping Nancy’s spirit can hear her, she softly whispers, “I forgive you.”
Debbie barges in. Mimi, Trishie, and Ruthie direct hateful looks at her. When she spots Leila, she stops. “Leila, what are you doing?”
“Forgiving Nancy. None of this is her fault.”
“But she tried to kill you!”
“She was a helpless pawn.”
“But...” She stands speechless for a moment. Suddenly she dashes sobbing toward Nancy, throws herself on the corpse, sobs incoherently begging forgiveness. Leila leans down on Debbie to comfort her. Debbie freezes.
They sit up. Debbie stares at her, surprised she would be so nice. Leila asks, “If you need to cry, may I offer a shoulder?”
Debbie stands up. Leila stands up and holds her hands. Debbie finds herself struggling to fight back tears. Leila puts her arms around her and pulls her close. Debbie collapses against her and cries uncontrollably. Shira hugs her from behind.
No charges were filed. Debbie pleaded self-defense. Case closed. Leila fixes a look of pure murder on Oliver that chills him to the bone when they pass on the way out.
fleer house. “Father,” Christie asks, “I would like to marry Oliver.”
“Admiral sir,” Oliver adds, “there is no possibility I can marry Leila Shelley. She seeks my death.”
Admiral Alan Fleer, Imperial American Navy commander of all Cascadian bases, is the patriarch of this house. Rotund rather than muscular like his father-in-law the Secretary of Homeland Security, he is still large and intimidating. “I would, Mr. Thorwald, and I know your grandfather would agree. However, this is not my choice or his, but the Governor’s.”
“Then we must consult him.”
“Very well.” Fleer makes a videocall to Governor Brinkman. The Governor is annoyed at being disturbed.
“Your Excellency sir, your granddaughter tells me she has no intention of being part of your acquisition. I wish to formally request that you transfer the acquistion of my House from yours to Admiral Fleer’s.”
An offended monarch, Brinkman glares down at him. “Are you considering insubordination, Oliver?”
“Leila has committed insubordination already. She is a sex criminal and possible traitor who intends to sabotage your acquisition at any cost.”
“You have no say in this.”
“Governor, Leila has sworn to the Devil himself to murder me and abort all my heirs! The acquisition’s already failed!”
“You have no right to doom your House to extinction, Oliver!”
“Walter!” yells Fleer. “Give up on your granddaughter! She’s already a dangerous threat to Our Nation!”
“I’m the dictator of this God-forsaken Communist backwater, not you! My word is the Law! The acquisition stands!” The screen goes black. Oliver, Christie, and the Admiral stare at it in dismay.
technosphere. The Team Bremelo MMO Away Team materialize in the place Aya Shibata usually appears in Gensoukyou. “I’ve never played without an interface before,” says Polly.
“Oh, you’ll get used to it,” Shira replies. “You’ll find it’s much better to jack in and get immersive.”
Jennifer helpfully explains, “You can always summon your Personal Exposition Fairy any time you get confused.”
Polly frowns. “You mean suffer its useless explanations yet again?”
“Maybe you should use interface, then,” Harumi comments.
“I won’t,” says Leila.
“But you never play before, Leila.” Leila sighs.
Suddenly the landscape goes black-and-white, ominous clouds form in the sky, and the team’s costumes turn into magical-girl minidresses. Polly shrieks, “Oh my god what happened?”
Harumi glares at the forming storm. “Hmph! Someone invading from rival fan MMO.”
“An unwanted villain crossover, I’ll bet,” says Shira.
Jennifer declares, “From Puella Magi World. It’s a Griefer.”
“A what?” gasps Polly.
“Griefers are Players who get their kicks out of ruining everybody else’s fun. Puella Magi World calls the evil Powers that power its Witches ‘Grief Seeds.’ But that’s only what attracted the Griefers’ attention. Wanna know the secret of the Witches?”
“C’mon, tell her!” says Harumi.
Jennifer leans toward Polly and points at the storm. “They’re pure egos purged of their bodies and souls. They’re supposed to be what magical girls are supposed to avoid becoming. However, they’re also what every Egoist strives to be.”
Leila looks up at the black cloud turning into a giant monster and takes in a long deep breath. “But of course!”
Polly goes pale and trembles. “Uh, guys, this one looks too dangerous. Can’t we go back?”
“She’s right,” Shira snaps. “Jen, Haru-chan, we’ll have to take this guy alone.”
“It’s a guy?“
“Most Players are.”
“Oh yeah.” Polly rolls her eyes.
Harumi sings, “Bakemajo ga kita...“
The black cloud forms giant skulls and a body like multiple screaming writhing demons fused together. Jennifer frowns. “This Witchbeast just happens to be the nastiest Griefer of all.”
Shira stares at the Witchbeast grimly. “Ladies, meet the Technosphere’s top Player Killer, Annabel Lecter.”
A loud voice, unearthly yet obviously male, booms, “Aya Shibata! Prepare to be destroyed!” The monster lets out the most horrible laugh.
Harumi’s wand turns into a full staff she spins around her body like a bo master. She leaps into the air and calls out, “B! F! G!” The staff transforms into a gigantic handheld cannon. “Saundo Burasutaa!” A deafening shockwave emanates from the gun, hits Annabel hard, hurts him so he howls horribly. He lashes out with octopus-like tentacles that grab the five girls and lift them up into the air.
Shira wiggles her arms free and gestures an arcane sigil with her wand. “Soul Spam—Care Bear Stare!” Thousands of adorable teddy bears surround Annabel emitting waves of pure love in rainbow colors. Annabel convulses and screams. His monstrous body ejects thousands of undead magical girls hungering for Player brains.
“Zombie Familiars,” says Jennifer. “How cliché. Phoenix Rising!” Out of her want comes a beautiful giant phoenix made of pure light. “Heal them all!” It shoots a cloud of arrowlike feathers from its wings and tail, each one hitting a zombie. The zombies scream, fall to the ground, and crumble to dust. The phoenix disappears; Jennifer blows on the tip of her wand like a victorious gunslinger.
Suddenly Leila holds her left hand out—a wand appears—she holds it vertical and it transforms into a spear tipped with a glowing indigo power crystal in the PMW style—Jennifer cries out, “Leila! No!” Harumi tries to restrain her, but she charges the witchbeast with screaming rage, plunging deep into the monstrous ghost to impale its cold black heart with her spear—the Player Killer twitches writhes shrieks—Annabel roars, “You fucking bitches! I’ll beat y’all up!”
In a puff of black smoke, Annabel Lecter disappears. The magical girl outfits vanish; the goth-loli youkai girl dresses reappear. A shaken Polly asks, “Guys, does this happen here often?”
Jennifer calmly replies, “As long as there’s psychopaths in the real world, there’ll always be Player Killers.”
Shira smiles and shrugs. “Hey, that’s how we get the big experience points.”
Polly barges into Shira’s face wide-eyed. “Hunting Player Killers?” Shira and Jennifer grin, nod in unison, and answer “Mm-hmm!” She stumbles dizzily, stunned at the revelation. “That feels like as much a curse as the real show!” She runs into Leila. They stare at each other, eyes wide, mouths open. Polly’s eyes narrow suspiciously. “You’re not a Player, are you.”
“This is my first time,” Leila replies. “Why?”
Polly’s jaw drops; she gasps. “Oh my god, you’re for real!“
shira’s apartment. Shira is unpleasantly surprised to find Frank sitting in her chair with a deck of cards when she enters. “How’d you get in here?”
“I let him,” says Leila.
Shira stares at her. “You serious?”
“Hmph.” To Frank: “You here to kill me?”
“Dead people aren’t interesting,” he replies. “Sorry about your friend.”
“Debbie apologized. So what business are we taling about?”
He shifts to the couch and lays down the deck. Shira and Leila kneel across the coffee table. “I don’t know why Ariel inflicts that brand of Tarot on you. The meanings are all wrong.” He takes a card off the top and lays it down. The Hanged Man. “Me.”
Leila says, “Funny, I thought you were a Capricorn.”
He glares at her to shut her up. He lays the next card near Shira. The Magician, looking less Hermetic than Ariel’s. “You.” Between them, he lays down the Lovers, which in this version confronts the man with a choice between two women. “Your dilemma.”
“Torn between two lovers?” asks Shira. “You know me, Frank.”
“I don’t think he means Jennifer,” Leila says. Shira stares at her again; Leila lets her face answer silently. She picks up the deck and searches through it. “Since these stand between us...” She puts down the Pope, Papess, and Emperor. “...the other woman has to be someone all three of us share in common.”
“Our bright-eyed companion.” The girls glare at Frank.
He smiles enigmatically. “Amanda will always come to me whenever I call her name.”
“Only as long as you own her name.”
Shira corrects her: “She.”
Confusion replaces his smile. “She what?”
She smiles in triumph. “If you command her name, what if she loses her name?”
His eyes go wide, his mouth rigidly tight. He tries to stare Shira down. Suddenly he returns the cards to their deck, pockets the deck, and storms out, slamming the door.
Leila gives her a questioning look. “Loses her name?”
“Consider her signoff: always this is Amanda Currie, never I am.”
“The neighbours’ll be glad to tell us everything.”
nameless girls’ apartment. The brown-haired girl answers the door. Two pretty young women: one looks vaguely like a lighter, shorter Shira; the other, a taller and shorter-haired Amanda. Charlie waves. “Hi, neighbours!”
“Hi. You know Shira?”
“I’m her sister Charlie. I babysit the cats when she and her mom are gone.”
“Do you know Amanda Currie?” asks Elsie.
“We’ve heard of her. Why?”
“I’m her sister Elsie.”
“Would you like to come in? On second thought, if you mind us being nude—“
Charlie brushes away the suggestion. “Oh, you know only barbarians wear clothes in the house.
The brown-haired girl smiles. “Please come in, then.” She opens the door for them, and they enter.
Her companions are a more voluptuous woman with long wavy blond hair and a short slender Asian woman with long silky black hair. “Since we don’t have names, just call us by our hair colors for now. I’m a brown-haired girl...”
“...I’m a blond girl,” says the blond.
“...and I’m a black-haired girl,” says the Asian woman.
The brown-haired girl says, “This is Shira’s sister Charlie and Amanda’s sister Elsie.”
The blond girl looks at Charlie with a sudden suspicion. “Say, aren’t you Drusilla Becket’s kid?”
“Oh, please! You think I wanna inflict Mommie Dearest on you? If I’d known about you when I was sixteen, I woulda joined you just to get free of that woman.”
“How do you know about us?”
“Elsie told me.”
The nameless girls turn to Elsie. “What do you know about Amanda?” asks the brown-haired girl.
“She was in love with you.”
They stare at her in surprise. The black-haired girl goes, “Really?”
“She told me she wanted to join you. But word got up to management and they betrayed her.” Elsie breaks down in tears. “They killed our sister... Amanda loved you so much. She wanted more than anything to be your bright-eyed girl...” The nameless girls come to her, hold her tight, comfort her, cry with her. Charlie puts her arms around them and finds herself crying along with them.
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Copyright © 2012 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
[Revision 4 Final, 12/30/12: Title sequence radically revised from the original 12.1 R2; everything else is new to the Fourth Revision.]