Monday, December 31, 2012

Spanner 14.3: B Krool 2 Ur Scuel (The School Invasions Part II)

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 14: Plots and Plans
Part 3: B Krool 2 Ur Scuel (The School Invasions Part II)
(Revision 4)

school building. Heavy gunfire assaults the front door—several armed and armoured guards scream gurgle die—all the students in the lobby and cafeteria run screaming for their lives down the hallway—the front door vanishes in a deafening fiery blast of smoke and shrapnel. Christie shatters the glass with a fighting-gloved fist and pulls the alarm; Charmian, Lucy, and Lady dash into the empty control room, lock it, and turn on the monitors; Bart and his football crew take their positions to strike in ambush.

Shira, Jennifer, Fiona, and her nameless sister race through the halls wearing only their boots and fighting gloves, far ahead of their still dressing teammates. Shira syncs the computer in her head with the school security system (Lucy squeaks, Charmian catches her breath) and through the PA commands in a calm unwinded voice: “All students and faculty evacuate immediately if you value your lives. We will engage the attackers ourselves. Do not interfere. Leave now.” (Lucy: “What in God’s name is she doing?” Charmian: “I guess we’ll find out.”)

Three helicopters land in front of the emergency exits hoping to block them; from each an instant news crew debarks: two reporters, two cameras, two guards wielding sound pistols, and a producer barking orders; the guards immediately fire upon fleeing students to force them back into the line of fire as their producers scream through bullhorns turned full volume that it’s the students’ duty to die for the networks’ ratings. Scotty calls Shira: “What the fuck you think we should do now, Thomas!”

Without a pause she answers: “Fight.”

He echoes the word to the others in his group; they call their friends at the other exits—Valiants, Pretties, Bremeloes, and others launch themselves at the sound cannoneers, using students in the way and each other as human shields, rushing and trampling the guards and beating up the producers—one reporter who happens to be Amanda Currie takes a blow to the head—

2012... the man who kidnapped her, drugged her, and told her it was her duty to kill her sister for the survival of the Nation—he turns out to be the man behind her, her instant-news producer...

The students flood out through the exits, trampling the sound cannoneers, pinballing the news crews back and forth, and run in the direction opposite the attackers’ point of entry, praying in panic that they didn’t bring reinforcements to cut them down. Shira plays war-movie sound effects through the PA, not to confuse the attackers, but to lure the news crews in.

As soon as the smoke clears, the attackers advance through the door into the lobby: two in hockey masks, one in his Ghostface Killer mask, one in the face of Conservative Revolutionary hero Guy Fawkes, and, masked only in military HUD mirrorshades, Ron Tremayne and Don Murphy. The hockey-masked men run ahead of the others. One of them screams through his com, “Bart, you fool, you were supposed to make sure the victims didn’t escape!”

Bart replies through his phone, “Well, Stan, Shira Thomas didn’t want ’em in the way of her Challenge! We got the victims you need.” Behind him, the Ibrahim cower together in a corner of the dark empty classroom, terrified to even make a noise.

Beck asks Bart, “What’ll we do with the others?”

“Tremayne, Murphy, Fischer, and Price?”

“Yeah!” yells Rex.

“We let ’em have their fun with the news.” Bart grins evilly. “Then we kill ’em.”

march... With the war cry of “faggots!” four Valiants savagely beat four sullen outcasts; Bart Green, Beck Skeever, Rex Corson, and Scotty Walker attempt to prove their manhood once again at their expense.

Irrational with resentment and hate, the injured misfits gather in the office of an unused classroom to plot mass murder: Ron Tremayne, Don Murphy, Harvey Fischer, and Brian Price...

“Hey! Get back here, you idiots!” Craving terrorist blood, the big footballers race out to hunt the killers. “Tie them bitches up!” Beck and Rex throw themselves at the Ibrahim sisters and beat them up—in the chaos, Saida pushes Sana out with her foot; she runs past Bart for help.

Shira orders another group of students to keep their voices silent as they evacuate the science room. Just in time: the Ghostface-masked gunman scurries back and forth through the empty hall in a daze, confused at the lack of victims. (Jennifer digs through Dave’s desk to retrieve Bernkastel’s knife. Dave: “Shouldn’t you use the gun?” Jennifer glares at him: “Useless!”) Shira taunts him by appearing naked and mocking before him only to disappear like a mirage. He finds all the classrooms he passes dark, doors closed, probably locked. Finally he finds an open one with its lights on. He dashes in.

He finds Dave, alone. He points his AK at him. He roars, “Where the fuck’s the kids?”

Dave says, “Look behind you.”

Ghostface spins to see—someone blocks his rifle—he looks up: Shira... naked? She smiles. “Hi.”

She jams a pencil into his eye, all the way through his brain. The corpse of Brian Price falls to the floor twitching. Over his shoulder, Dave sees Jennifer smile. “See?”

From the security room, Lucy announces, “One terrorist down! Five remaining!”

Friday, December 28, 2012

Spanner 14.2: I Choose Free Will

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 14: Plots and Plans
Part 2: I Choose Free Will (Revision 4)

principal’s office. Six principals stare down at the girl with the violet eyes. She returns their stare clear-eyed and confident. “Well, Miss Anonymous,” Spiekerman says. “Rumors have come to us that you have been engaging in forbidden sexual liaisons. Correct?”

She smiles ironically. “Yes, I have.”

The principals gasp in horror and disgust. “Do you really expect to get away with it?”

“I do.”

Spiekerman nudges Falconer with his elbow to shut her up. “Explain.”

“Answer me this: do I look like a sex doll?”

The other principals nod enthusiastically. Spiekerman says, “Continue.”

“They are right. Properly, I should not even be marriageable. My looks are classified as ‘frivolous,’ not ‘serious.’ Thus deprived of a future, I choose to consort with my own kind.”

“Why,” asks Principal through a strained smile, “would you do a horrible thing like that?”

“Because it is my will.”

The assistants are too shocked to speak. Principal sweats and twitches. Falconer growls, “This is unforgivable.”

“I don’t seek your altruistic sentiment, Major. I serve a greater cause than yours.”

Principal narrows his eyes. “And what would that be, young lady?”


Falconer barks, “The Law will show you no mercy!”

“The Law can do nothing. And there is nothing you can do to stop me.”

“Are you speaking treason?” shrieks Falconer.

“Whatever that is.” The principals gasp. She flashes them a beautiful smile of triumph, then turns toward the door. “The rumor is that the Governor is showing his contempt for the Shepherd-Mayor by marrying me to his heir. That rumor is true.” She opens the door and looks back toward them. “To hell with duty. I choose free will.” She slams the door behind her, leaving the principals stunned.

hallway. Akane watches on as Shira opens her locker. Harumi, Seika, and Sana join them as she unloads her backpack. “I don’t think we’re supposed to be here,” says Seika nervously.

Sana flirtatiously puts her arm around his shoulder. “Oh, we’re just here a little early.” Seika blushes.

Akane holds out his smartphone and launches an app. Suddenly it beeps. Shira’s eyes go wide; she suddenly turns to stare at him. Harumi gasps. “You the one with computer in your head?”

Sana’s jaw drops; she takes in a sudden breath. “Akane, how’d you figure that out?”

“Akimi-san,” says Akane.

Shira glares at him. “So that’s why you were at Biotron.”

2013... Shira rubs her head. “It hurts, Doc. When’s this headache gonna go away?”

“When your brain gets used to it,” says Dr. Whistler. “It won’t take long at all.”

“So what do I do with it?”

“Tell it to turn on.”

She thinks: System on. Suddenly she sees an entire operating system appear in her field of vision. “Plasmoids?”

“Better than apps,” says Zac. “Claim your system and it’s yours.”

She activates login, uses her handle as username, picks an unintelligible thirteen-word passphrase in thirteen languages and eight scripts, configures her IPv6 firewall, downloads her usual apps—but she finds a new one preinstalled. “Eyecam?”

Zac grins. “The one and only.”

She activates it—and finds herself immersed in full augmented reality...

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Spanner 14.1: City in Flight

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 14: Plots and Plans
Part 1: City in Flight (Revision 4)

As the stag pants after the waterbrooks,
So pants my mind after you, O gods!
My mind thirsts for gods! for living gods!
When shall I come face to face with gods?

Psalm 42:1-2

I’m a fool for the city. . .
Foghat Honda City Citibank

1 october 2014.
cpmc headquarters.
The Fearsome Foursome—Governor Brinkman, Admiral Fleer, Shepherd-Mayor Everson, and COPCO Section Chief Jack Becket—cower along with Chief Shepherd Drusilla Becket before the image of their patriarch, King Patriot of America. “Father!” Drusilla asks, “what is the meaning of this?”

The King, the former Roger Steele Becket, the man who was Super Patriot, the original World War II superhero, thunders, “The prophecy is at hand.”

They stare at him in horror.


“Yes, Grandfather!” says Brinkman.

“Leila has renounced her name.”

Brinkman screams.


“Yes, Grandfather!” says Jack.

“Your son has failed to stop her.”

Jack roars in rage.


“Yes, Your Majesty!” says Fleer.

“Prepare to declare martial law.”

Fleer salutes. “Yes, sir!”


“Yes, Your Majesty!” says Everson.

“Leila has turned traitor, therefore she must be sacrificed. You must hold the Ceremony!”

Everson gasps in horror. “But we can’t!”

“You must!”

Drusilla yells, “Luke, Father’s right! We have no choice!”

“If she is allowed to live and fulfill the prophecy, Our Nation faces destruction.”

“Your Majesty!” screams Everson. “Don’t you remember TrumpCity? You’ll only bring Spanner here!

“I shall slay the angel of chaos myself. Prepare!”

2 october 2014.
Two young women, cinnamon-skinned and violet-eyed, find themselves awake in the same dream—in otherwise total darkness. They look around and find nothing. The girl with the violet eyes feels her body shudder. “I feel a nightmare coming.”

Shira feels herself go deadly calm. “I get the feeling it’s gonna be real.”

Suddenly a glowing figure taller than the sky rips apart the darkness. From above the parted clouds, giants descend into the figure’s shadow, grotesque forms resembling neither god nor human, swarming around him, filling the sky like invading aliens intent on conquering Earth; compared to them, the two girls are tiny naked and vulnerable. Suddenly Shira shudders in recognition. “I know what these are!”


“The egos of the entire Party apparat!” And the giant figure turns from ectoplasmic green to red white and blue, his Uncle Sam costume forms around him, the long hair and beard materialize beneath the top hat—and the giant figure of Jesus America reaches down with his hand to crush them—

shira’s apartment. —they wake up in a cold sweat, shudder violently (scaring Tanner off the bed), hold each other as tight as they can, pant hard while staring in each other’s eyes. The girl with the violet eyes starts to cry. “Shira?”


“You think they’re onto us?”

“I wouldn’t be surprised.” They kiss violently like it’s the last time they ever will.

Suddenly the light comes on, the covers fly off their bodies, and Catalina jumps on the bed to lick Shira’s neck. Desiree declares, “Girls, we got trouble—and it’s big.”
Brinkman: I hereby declare martial law within the Metropolitan City of Seattle. Any unauthorized personnel still within the city limits will be shot as trespassers on CPMC property. I am mobilizing the full forces of America’s police and paramilitary security companies effective Saturday. This time all you Communist liberal traitors have gone too far. America bless God!
The streets of the city and its suburbs jam with cars as people flee the area as fast as they can, as if it were a category-five hurricane coming toward Seattle instead of the Conservative Revolutionary Party hierarchy. All the expressways, all the arterials, all the back streets out of the city fill first with dangerous speeders fleeing as fast as they can in their panic, then a parade of more patient drivers trying to be the first to leave without risking vehicular suicide, and finally the many who in their haste find themselves trapped in stopped traffic. The morning sun rises to greet a city turned into a gigantic parking lot.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Spanner Interlude 9: City on the Edge of a Dream

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner
Interlude 9: City on the Edge of a Dream

You need a new song. . .
The Who

He looks big and mean enough to take out an army of cops with just one fist. But this evil gangster is terrified of a little girl. “She’s a witch, officer. She’s got evil supernatural power straight from the devil!”

It’s Jim Sparks’ first case. He’s still an immature bully with an unpretty face. He chuckles “What’s this ‘devil’ you’re talkin’ ‘bout?”

“Believe it! The greatest lie the devil ever told is that he does not exist!”

In the next room, the world’s greatest detective (or so he says) faces down a beautiful adorable smiling ten-year-old girl in frilly dress and round rimless glasses. “The rape of a child is the most evil thing in the world.”

Her eyes question him. “But isn’t the rape of a mind even worse?”

“The counsellor will be with you shortly.”

“Will he. . .” She lowers her glasses and peers into his soul.

Once upon a time, a girl of ten came upon a man, who wanted to remake her to conform to society’s plan. Nothing of it fit her. He hit her in frustration. Her tears broke his heart because she was so beautiful and fair. He begged her forgiveness. She asked if she could dance for him. He said, “Not here. Let me take you home.” He did.

He closed the door to the world so only he could see the vision of her. She looked so gorgeous in her elegant frilly dress and flowery flop hat. Then she began to take it off. He panicked and begged her not to. She said, “This thing is in my way. Now let me take it off so I can dance for you naked.” He relented.

The nude beauty lithely danced a graceful angelic ballet, a child with no trace yet of the woman she would become, the slim white body and flowing golden hair dancing for him an ethereal vision of perfect innocence. His desire defeated him. She let him take her to bed.

Present day, present time: in dream reality. Jennifer is awake. She expects trouble. She sees its tentacles approach.

Her power wand had come from a message dream. Her dreaming self had hidden it within a pile of gears off to the side two years ago. It was a special prize she earned for successfully interpreting the dream. Ann Faraday would have called it a transforming symbol. The wand is itself an intricate and complex clockwork. She raises it high and speaks the words of power:

“Clockwork angel, spin your gears!”

The magic streams out of the wand, magic possible only in dream reality, in a stream of gears and pistons and bright lights, destroying her flimsy gown and covering her body with a magical-girl power dress she constructed entirely out of steampunk aesthetics.

And sometime in the future, among the ruins of Mitakihara City, the thin bald MIB-styling man tells the tall blond girl in a frilly minidress of power and the same round shades as him, “Sleep is unproductive and a waste of time.”

“But what if you travel in dreams?”

“I dream awake of the radiant city.”

“Yet here’s another one fallen into dust.”

“The nightmare is what you see. The dream is a lie.”

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Spanner Chapter 13: The Girl with No Name (Revision 4)

Chapter 12

Chaos Angel Spanner — Book 1: Rock City Blues
Chapter 13: The Girl with No Name (Revision 4)

The Slasher Hunters warn the Student Council’s top fighters about what they face if they throw a Challenge at Shira and Team Bremelo. Chairman Becket attempts a dreamspace attack in superhero form on Leila. Sparks sends word that King Patriot himself is coming to scare the fear of Jesus America into the Cascadia’s stubborn liberals on Sunday and gives Shira something to fight Chief Jack Becket’s copbots. Prophet Scofield plots revenge against Leila and her girlfriend Shira, his beloved Drusilla’s accursed changeling. Spanner makes his move against Amanda—and Shira, Leila, Sparks, and the nameless beauties next door attempt to save her. One of those nameless women has a surprise reunion with Ayla and provides Sparks and Desiree with a clue to the fates of Kira and Lucie. The first-period history teacher attempts to coerce Shira into sex, not knowing what she’s capable of. At the Team Bremelo picnic in Bremerton’s Evergreen Park, the team and their friends find themselves facing the Council fighters, Stan Green’s Moral Enforcers, Scofield and the church ladies from the Party’s Spiritual Warfare Bureau—and the dreaded Travelling Shovel of Death. And Leila, determined to break her marriage arrangement to Oliver at all costs and inspired by Shira’s neighbours, destroys her name...

Table of Contents:
  1. Know Your Enemy (August 18, 2011, Final Revision 12/10/12)
  2. Hello Nothing (August 19, 2011, Final Revision 12/12/12)
  3. Breaking Amanda (August 20, 2011, Final Revision 12/14/12)
  4. Guess Who’s Coming (August 21, 2011, Final Revision 12/17/12)
  5. Sex as a Weapon (August 22, 2011, Final Revision 12/19/12)
  6. The Battle of Evergreen Park (August 23, 2011, Final Revision 12/21/12)
  7. Interlude 9: City on the Edge of a Dream (December 24, 2012)
Originally planned for R3 and added in R4: the Slasher Hunters-Team Valiant framing sequence which now gives 13.1 its name (R2 title: “Wake-Up Call”). Moved from R2: 13.2 is now 13.4 R4; 13.3 is now 13.5 R4; 13.4 is now part of Chapter 9 and replaced by the new 13.2; 13.3 R4 contains scenes from Chapters 14, 16, and 17 R2 and the original 12.6; Interlude 8 R2 (“Scary Monsters”) is the basis for the new Interlude 9 R4 (a prose poem with a song structure) linked above. New thread in R4 continuity: “Anonymity Is Freedom,” featuring (the soon to be ex-) Leila and Amanda. Original title in Revisions 1 and 2: “The Battle of Evergreen Park,”, now the title of 13.6 R4. There is no Third Revision version.

The original introduction and revision notes:
Halfway into a story, you expect something important to happen that will power the story to the shocking conclusion. Well, we’re now well into the second half of Spanner, which means the Author had better pick up the pace. And how better to do that than by having one villain draw a higher-ranking villain into his fight? Charmian Fleer has done this already. Now it’s Stan Green’s turn. Next — who knows?

From the Project Notebooks: the homeroom teacher’s question, “Ilsa, She-Wolf of Hollywood,” the mock fainting spells, Mimi in the locker room, the battle in the park, the loaded yo-yo, and the policebots (and what Shira does to them). All are from the early ’00s except for the robot idea that has remained essentially the same since the ’90s.

So far, I’ve neglected some major players and elements in the story. I left them behind when I took the story to high school. But now the strife is beginning to spread outside the school. Particularly from Chapter 5 onward, I downplayed some of the story’s more political aspects so I could introduce important plotlines and focus on the interplay of specific characters. That’s done. Now it’s time for me to start kicking the story into high gear.

Since Team Bremelo are holding a big gathering with family and friends invited to come, I’m taking the opportunity to bring some of the back. I’m also debuting another major villain, one I originally created for a very early version of Chapter 1 I plotted out in the later Project Notebooks. He’s a major player in my still unfinished prequel, Bad Company: A Corporate Terror Story. But he never appeared in the Script Frenzy 2008 comics script. So he hasn’t yet had an opportunity to start making trouble — till now.

Beware: the Travelling Shovel of Death craves blood...

Second Revision Update: The original introduction remains mostly relevant, except for two things pertaining to this second revision and the upcoming third: the political aspect now draws much more strongly on previous chapters, and the characters I neglected in the first edition are now much better developed in the second and especially third editions, carrying over their story threads from previous chapters. And Byron Scofield, having made his first [Second Revision] appearance in Chapter 3 part 6, is no longer such a new menace...
Chapter 14

Back to Chaos Angel Spanner table of contents...

Copyright © 2012 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
Creative Commons License

Friday, December 21, 2012

Spanner 13.6: The Battle of Evergreen Park

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 13: The Girl with No Name
Part 6: The Battle of Evergreen Park (Final Revision)

espnbc studios. She is the bright-eyed companion of the morning. The afternoon is not her time. She trudges through the frantic yet empty activity looking for her cubicle.

She sighs in relief to find they haven’t yet reassigned it. But on her desk she finds a letter. Curious about it, she picks it up. It’s not an envelope, but a single sheet of craft paper sealed with a pink tin heart sticker. The sweet perfume reminds her of the Leila she once knew. The handwriting is hers, grown only prettier over the last two years:

To my bright-eyed companion

She opens it up. She catches her breath at the beauty of her handwriting. She remembers something Leila once wrote: Through the colour, and the shape, and the music of the words, I shall touch your heart.
Dear bright-eyed girl,

You don’t belong where you are. That name is not your own. You don’t have one. You are a nameless beauty like us, our bright-eyed girl. Your home is with us. Our hearts are with you.

I forgive you. Yolanda’s death wasn’t your fault. She prayed for you to leave your old life and become a nameless beauty. Elsie still does. Lose your name, and Yolanda will be at peace. She will live on in your heart as she does in Elsie’s, through your love.

Leave the corporation, return to us, and we’ll do everything in our power to set you free.

I love you.
the girl with the violet eyes
“Oh my god—Leila—“

The head producer snarls, “Get back to work, bright eyes.”

“Sorry!” She dashes off to perform like a monkey before the cameras once again.

evergreen park. On the last day of the year before the Cascadian wet season begins, girls crowd the shore of downtown Bremerton’s largest park to watch Shira in the little boat in the narrows and hero-worship her. Wednesday is the slowest picnic day of the week because the church groups spend their Wednesday nights worshipping the Nation, so fight clubs from five high schools are taking advantage: Bremerton, Olympic, Central Kitsap, South Kitsap, and Bangor. Shira waves at the girls on shore with her dolphin flipper; they answer with a loud ecstatic squee.

On the boat, Shira and Jennifer are tutoring their beloved violet-eyed girl in the use of the the two-footed flipper. Their Bangor High Swim Team swimsuits match their fins. Jennifer says, “Remember to use your whole body, not just your legs. Ready?”

The violet-eyed girl takes in a breath. “I think so.”

Jennifer hugs her one-armed and gives her a quick kiss on the lips. Shira says, “Surprise us.” She kisses her and winks. The three of them tip backwards into the water.

Back in the Bremelo gazebo, Colette watches from her wheelchair as Kio holds her close from behind. “I wish I could do that,” she sighs.

Kio chuckles. “Knowing them, they’ll slap on a fin and throw you in the pool at the first opportunity.”

Suddenly the nameless girl leaps out of the water vertically, touches her toes, raises her flipper high, and dives corkscrew back into the water. The girls on shore first gasp, then squee. She surfaces smiling gleefully; Shira and Jennifer rise astonished. “I so love this! I always wanted to be a mermaid.” Her companions wink.

Shira turns to look at the adoring crowd. She rises out of the water to taildance for them and hails them in dolphin language; they squee in response.

Above the Bangor gazebo flies the Team Bremelo flag, a black buffalo with a fat woman’s face on a gray field. Present: all nine team members plus Fiona, Marina, and Daisy; advisors Dave Whitmer and Elsie Currie; Kio’s girlfriend Colette, her brother James, and her school friends, nearly a hundred of them—who are really the heart of Bangor High’s Student Union led by Karen, who’s here with her new boyfriend Dexter the runningback, her older sister Saffron, her cousins Courtney and Schuyler, and advisors Sylvia Plame, the librarians, and Charlie, whom Colette cheerfully asks, “Is it true you punched out Minty Fresh once?”

“Well, she attacked me with my own guitar during class,” Charlie cheerfully replies. “I guess that’s why I’m just the school nurse now.” They laugh together.

The boat comes near shore, the flippers come off, and the mermaids in black and silver swimsuits tread ashore triumphantly through the crowd of squeeing girls, Shira kissing every girl within reach. When they arrive at their gazebo, the picnic has already begun. Kio has Colette’s plate, but suddenly Shira stands in the way; she reaches to lift Colette out of her wheelchair, but Karen cries out, “Wait! Wait!” and with Polly rushes to towel the salt water off her body. Karen smiles cheerfully. “Now.” Shira lifts Colette up into her arms and gives her a big long kiss. Jim and Karen grin, but Kio gives her a slightly jealous look. Shira smiles at him and pulls his lips down to hers. She holds Colette close. “Girl, I so love you. I’m glad you’re back.” Colette sighs.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Spanner 13.5: Sex as a Weapon

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 13: The Girl with No Name
Part 5: Sex as a Weapon (Final Revision)

cafeteria. “I hope this ‘business’ won’t take you away from me,” the girl with the violet eyes says suspiciously.

Shira pulls her close. “He thinks it will, love. We know better.”

“Well, I’ve got a little business of my own.”

“Don’t hurt him too bad.” She winks.

“Trust me.” They kiss, then slowly pull away, still holding hands, till their hands slide apart.

“Make sure to tell Brandi.” The violet-eyed girl winks back, then runs to the front door. Shira watches her as she leaves. A malicious smirk forms on her face; she turns back toward Mr. Smith’s office and slowly lets it fade.

mudlark house. Hope, Willa, and Desiree admire the short slim body of the nameless Asian beauty, looking elegant in a sweater dress. Willa says, “You’ve got great taste in neighbours.”

Desiree pulls her into a soft embrace. “I’m overjoyed to say your Ayla and my Melody are great friends at school.”

The nameless girl smiles. “You’ll have to introduce me to her sometime.”

“We will.” Desiree kisses her on the cheek.

Hope says, “Shira tells me you actually used to be a cop.”

“FBI, actually.”

“You know Shockley,” says Willa.

“She got me kicked out of the Bureau right before Alabaster went rogue. If I’d had that case, it wouldn’t have been the disaster it ended up being. As it turns out, Hope, the last lead I got had a lot to do with you, and Shira.”

Hope’s eyes go wide. “You mean. . . Kira?”

“Have you heard of one Mina Tatsumi?”

“Resident mad scientist at Biotron?”

“I was about to follow the clue, but everything went to hell on 12/21, so I went underground, where I am now. But Tatsumi definitely had something to do with Kira’s disappearance.”

“Can you find Kira?”

“I don’t know. What I do know is someone who can get to Tatsumi.” She smiles at Desiree, who winks back.

thorwald property. Seeing Oliver in such a hysterical state amuses her. “That’s impossible!” he shrieks. “You can’t just get rid of your name, Leila! It just ain’t possible!”

“Not only is it possible, Oliver,” the girl with the violet eyes says cheerfully, “but I did it. I renounced my name, sent my Ego packing, and embraced the freedom of anonymity. Accept it, Oliver. I’m a woman with no name.”

That’s the ‘more drastic measures’ you was talking ‘bout? You’re insane!”

“It should be crazy enough to work.”

He paces back and forth before his throne. “And you don’t think the Big Dog’s gonna marry me to a ghost, huh?

“If he tries, he’s insane.”

Oliver takes out his phone. It takes several seconds to get through. “Christie, let’s talk. . . Okay. See ya there.” The call ends. He points the phone at one of the former warehouse’s car service doors to open it and walks out fast. “C’mon, follow me.” The violet-eyed girl reluctantly follows.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Spanner 13.4: Guess Who's Coming

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 13: The Girl with No Name
Part 4: Guess Who’s Coming (Final Revision)

1 october 2014.
She thinks she can hear Karen’s soothing voice encourage her. She remembers almost nothing after the first day of school; what little she does is little more than a blur. All she remembers is voices speaking in her ear.

It’s blurry at first when she opens her eyes at last. The voices, all of them together, jar her fully awake with their volume and the extremity of their joy. All of them are here for her: her parents, big brother James, and her most devoted friends: Karen, Mimi, Trishie, Ruthie, Cory, and Kio, the love of her life. They throw themselves all over her, crying with joy, telling her how much they missed her and that they’ll love her forever.

Colette is awake. Soon she’ll be coming home.

shira’s apartment. Hope wakes up from a surprisingly sensual dream to find not Shira but her violet-eyed girlfriend in her arms, smiling sweetly at her. “Good morning!” the girl sings.

She eyes her suspiciously. “What are you doing in my bed?”

The girl looks hurt. “I’m trying to love you as much as Shira does. You’re the most special person in her life. For that I worship you.”

Hope sighs and smiles at this young nameless beauty so determined to touch her heart. Overjoyed to see her mother and girlfriend in each other’s arms, Shira drapes herself over them both and squeals ecstatically. “Oh, I so love you both. Can we share our love together now? Please?” Her mother opens her mouth to answer when Sparks’ ringtone goes off, outside. . .

The police siren wails on the Droid Mega, waking up Shira and Leila. Leila complains, “What’s that for?”

“I’ve got friends. If you know what I mean by. . . friends.” Shira winks. Leila rolls her eyes and rolls away from Shira.

Shira sits up, picks up the phone, and says, “Hello?”

Shira in the living room, Sparks on screen. “Sorry to pile on the lovely news, red, but word travels fast here in the Blue Mafia. One of the girls in the office has a few friends among Bremerton’s finest, and she says our so-called friends in Moral Enforcement got plans to drop by your picnic. She also tells me they plan to test a few of the one-eyed man’s brand new copbots.”

“Does she know what they’re running?”

“Top of the line expert system, immune to DDoS, better surveillance than an entire police department, can sniff a dissident from a mile away. Hot stuff, this. What’s it running on? You’ll never guess.”

“Right. iOS.”

“Nope. Windows.”

“Well, well, well!” Shira grins wickedly. Visions of malicious ActiveX exploits dance in her head. “Well! I know just what to get, then.”

“Love ya babe. Be careful.”

Shira kisses at the screen. “Ciao, babe.” The call ends.

“Scofield,” says Leila grimly.

Him? What does he want?”

“The prodigal daughter, back in the fold. I might as well take it as a Challenge.”

nameless girls’ apartment. Shira says, “You said you had a daughter?”

The slender girl’s expression turns sad. “Yeah. I lost her in the Revolution. She would have been ten now. That’s really why I went anonymous. Why do you ask?”

“Well, I recently took in a runaway. She was a slave I stole from the Yakuza once, but the government gave her back and kicked me out of Japan. Yet another reason to hate the Conservative Revolution, of course. As luck would have it, her owner did too, and she knew where I lived, so she came here. She’s really beautiful and she reminds me of you.”

“Shira, please don’t give me false hope.”

“Would you like to meet her? If she’s not yours, you can still let her into your life. But if she is. . .”

“Yes. I want to meet her.”

Shira picks up her phone and calls her own apartment. Hope answers. “What’s so important you have to call here from next door?”

“Somebody here may actually know somebody there,” says Shira. “Could you put Ayla on the phone?”

The slender girl’s jaw drops at the mention of the name Ayla.

“Ai-chan, there’s somebody here next door who really, really wants to meet you. She’d love it if you come over.”

Shira can hear Ayla take in a breath. “Okay!” The call ends.

The knock on the door comes only a few seconds later. “You answer it.” Shira winks.

The slender girl gets up slowly. She takes tentative steps toward the door. She hesitates to open it. She takes in a deep breath and lets it out. Finally she opens the door.

The girl is as naked as she is. Their eyes go wide, their mouths fall open, their hearts stop, they let in a huge breath. Each sees what they have lost: the most important person in their lives, who they thought they had lost forever. “Mama?”

“Ayla. . .”

They throw themselves into each other’s arms, hold each other as tight as they can, cry for each other, for the years they have lost; overwhelmed by the joy of finding each other again, a mother and the lost child now come back to her, two people who love each other more than anything else in the world.

They have cried themselves into exhaustion and are cuddling on the couch by the time the blond and brown-haired girls get back with the groceries. They are shocked to find her with a child they have never seen before. “Is she yours?” asks the blond girl.

Mother and daughter nod together. “She came back to me,” she happily sobs. “She came home.”

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Spanner R4 Update: The Structure of Chapter 14

So here's what I'm doing in Spanner Chapter 14: I'm taking the original scenes from the Second Revision version that I haven't moved to earlier chapters, adding some new scenes, and embedding flashbacks in them, largely condensed from earlier chapters in Book 1 and the still unwritten Book 0. Some flashbacks will give some of the backstory behind "Anonymity Is Freedom", "The Return of Alice Company", "Lucie's Escape", and other threads new to Revision 4. This flashback episode is all about context building, and the chapter that needs all this new context most is Chapter 15.

It maps something like this:

main scene
main scene

...and so on. That's just a sample of what I'm doing. Instead of giving the date of each flashback (too hard a task, really; that in itself could take a month or even a year), I'm going to introduce each flashback sequence with the label "flashback", or "scenario" (a term I took from my Project Notebooks) for hypothetical scenes used as if they were flashbacks.

As for the scenes themselves: I'll be condensing some of those still left from the far simpler Revision 2 version, then putting new flashbacks in them. I'll expand a few scenes. A few I've already transferred in from other chapters, such as the Project Notebook scene in which Leila hugs a lonely Asian girl — though I'm greatly expanding that so that the girl is now Daisy Kwon, and back in 2013 she was one of the ninja girls who fought alongside Alice Company against the invading horde led by Emir Yusuf Kony, and Jennifer was the company's platoon commander: a simple scene I recorded in the Notebooks is now far more complex and incorporates the new R4 thread. In a new scene, the cute monfighter boy Akane reveals to her that he knows her by her Korean-Japanese name (Hinagiku Kon) and hero-worships her; she scorns him because he hasn't faced evil head-on, and he replies, yes he has: Mark Bernkastel from Chapters 4 and 5 — his stepfather. And he'll be the one to give Shira or Jennifer the latest revision of the Demon-Summoning Program from Digital Devil Story, which has Lovecraftian connections that point right back to the archvillain Henry Becket and also brings into the story for the first time the real-life hacker subculture of Chaos Magick. I'm currently pursuing trains of thought like this; you don't have to understand any of it yet.

So, the structure will be pretty complex. If it resembles anything, it'll be the experimental Interludes, as if they were exploding into the main narrative. There will, of course, be some shocking revelations. I've been expecting to take a long time structuring it, but if some of those Interludes are any indication, I could very possibly whip it out in a frenzy of inspiration. Stay tuned...

Friday, December 14, 2012

Spanner 13.3: Breaking Amanda

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 13: The Girl with No Name
Part 3: Breaking Amanda (Final Revision)

30 september 2014.
shira’s apartment.
Sparks’ siren ringtone wakes up Shira and the girl with the violet eyes. Shira groggily picks it up. “Jim?”

“Hey, red,” says Sparks. “I got a little somethng you might wanna know.”

Curiosity awakens her fully. “What have got for me this time, J.T.?”

“You know the story Amanda was working on when the Revolution hit?”


“Someone else was on the case as well, FBI agent named Naomi Misora.”

“One of Holmes’ girls?”

“Was. While he was involved in the Alabaster case, she conveniently disappeared.”

“Hmmm.” A mischievous cockeyed smile grows on her face. “You don’t say.”

“Remember, this is between just you, me, and Amanda.”

“Gotcha.” She puts the phone back on the nightstand.

Her violet-eyed companion rolls over with a sensual moan. “Can you wake me up?”

“As in?”

She gives Shira a wicked smile. “The Mobley way.”

Soon she’s sitting on the side of the bed gleefully spanking her grateful masochistic mistress lying across her lap. Just as the girl’s sobbing body approaches climax, Ayla bursts into the room in a panic, runs over to Shira, and grabs her hand to stop her from spanking. “No!” she sobs. “Please stop it!”

The violet-eyed girl, angry at the interruption, glares at Ayla. Shira laughs. She strokes Ayla’s head. “What’s wrong, darling?”

“Why are you punishing her?”

“What?” the violet-eyed girl says incredulously. “Nobody’s punishing anybody for anything.”

Shira winks. “Ayla darling, we’re doing this strictly for pleasure.”

“Nobody spanks people for pleasure!” protests Ayla, confused.

“Sweet lover, Ayla and I need a heart-to-heart talk.”

The violet-eyed girl sighs. Reluctantly, she gets up. Shira stands up to kiss her. She says, “I’ll go pleasure myself while you two talk.”

“Okay.” Leila leaves and shuts the door. Shira gestures for Ayla to come to her, holds her tight in her arms, and looks deep into her eyes. “Just so you understand,” she says softly, “I want to talk about me.” Ayla nods. “When I was half your age...”

second grade... “I wish we didn’t have to do this yet again,” laments the teacher.

“Hit the goddamn brats harder this time!” commands the angry principal.

Down come their pants; down come the paddles. Shira and Kira are in trouble again!

These charming and adorable twins were always insufferable brats. They could twist you around their pinkies and make you fall in love with them, and use this to get away with shenanigans that would make a drunken sailor blush. But not at school. The teachers and administrators found the lovely little terrors so unmanageable, they concluded they had to resort to extreme measures: corporal punishment.

Then Shira and Kira made an astonishing discovery: if they could bother their classmates and provoke the teachers enough, they could get the principal to spank them so hard that pain suddenly transformed into a pleasure they had never felt before. So they concentrated their effort on doing rotten things that would get them spanked. When they got caught, they resisted as fiercely as possible. When they got dragged to the principal’s office, they protested as hysterically as they could. When the paddles came down onto their bare quivering behinds, they kicked and screamed as if their life was being ripped out of them.

And it always worked. They could never get enough. The clueless school authorities didn’t realize what the twins were pulling on them till sixth grade.

In middle school, of course, school authorities don’t spank, they detain and suspend. Shira and Kira knew this even before they got into seventh grade, and they knew it would be boring as all-get-out. So they picked up the paddle for themselves and spanked each other. Then they reached for more intense pleasures, doing sweet, sweet things to each other that would have horrified anyone who found out, even before the Conservative Revolution commanded the Law to forbid non-eugenic practices...

Ayla says quietly, “Sugoi.”

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Spanner R4 Update: Scaling Chapter 14, and a Dream of Jennifer's War

My next task: Chapter 14! It has a new name, "City in Flight", replacing the Revision 2 title ("When the Cat's Away", now the title of 14.4) and the R4 working title "Plots and Plans" (now 14.6). After finishing Chapter 13 and Interlude 9, then scheduling the posts, I took a day off to rest my brain. That's because Chapter 14 R4 will have the most complex structure of any chapter in Book 1. I'm combining an anime-inspired mid-season "clip show", a flashback episode (with the flashbacks embedded in the "clips"), and straight exposition. One major character will appear a chapter earlier than she did in the Second Revision. And though Irina Lanskaya is one of the earliest Team Spanner core characters I created (as early as 1993), she's far more important than she was in earlier revisions, for now she's a major figure in Jennifer's backstory...

Yesterday morning I dreamed an entire story. Shortly after the Conservative Revolution of 2012 that overthrew American democracy, America goes to war. On the southern European front in the war against the Caliphate, we focus on a band of child soldiers, all female, all 12 to 15 years old, all naked starving and cold yet heavily armed. They belong to "Alice Company", made up of juvenile delinquents and the daughters of imprisoned and executed dissidents. In a manor or mansion, they wait in ambush for their Russian counterparts, led by a 14-year-old girl known only as "Blondie" (who is really Jennifer). They kill a few, but brutal Corporate mercenaries force the enemies to join forces. The Russian girl soldiers' commander is a redhead the same age, later revealed as Irina. They are soon joined by a band of very young kunoichi from Japan led by a 13-year-old called "Nana", which means simply "seven" in Japanese. To seal their alliance, the three young commanders become sworn lovers. Then the Caliphate sends waves upon waves of jihadi hordes, and the girl soldiers spring into action. But then comes the soul-crushing gut-punch revelation of the horrific and disgusting real reason the military commands conscripted and sent those girls in the first place...

This is what you get when you cross a brutal war movie with, say, Lyrical Nanoha, or play something like Strike Witches or Sound of the Sky like All Quiet on the Western Front directed by John Woo. I vividly dreamed it all yesterday morning, and I wrote it all down. It could make a NaNoWriMo novel in itself, but I think it would work better as a graphic novel (the most grimdark and depressing yuri manga ever?). And it proves more significant to Jennifer's backstory in Spanner itself than the "Blake Island incident" (her, alone, against 52 hitmen and serial killers out to get her) referenced throughout the story. Irina first appears in Chapter 14 R4. It triggers Jennifer's memories, which she will relate to Leila in the crucial main scene that ends 16.2. And we will discover over the next several chapters just how her Kriegserlebnis (her word: war experience) impacted her entire worldview, and just how politically radical it made her. The thread's name: "The Return of Alice Company".

Like the new thread of the nameless beauties, this dream-spawned backstory is a major new addition to the Fourth Revision. Unlike the Second Revision original, this new Spanner is starting to look extremely interesting indeed...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Spanner 13.2: Hello Nothing

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 13: The Girl with No Name
Part 2: Hello Nothing (Final Revision)

lecture room. All of Team Bremelo are assembled together to hear the very important announcement Leila summoned them to make. She leans back against the desk. “Before we start, anybody know how Colette’s doing?”

Kio replies, “The doctor says she’ll be coming out of her coma anytime soon.” The whole team erupt into cheers.

“What about you, Leila?” asks Cory.

“Yeah!” says Polly. “Tell us why you brought us here.”

She gestures for Rob, Fiona, Jennifer, and Shira to keep quiet. In a futile attempt to quell her excitement, she takes a deep breath and lets it out. The team stare at her with breathless anticipation. “I’ve decided to ditch my name.”

Polly gasps. “But it was so beautiful!”

Brandi asks, “So what did you change it to?”

“Uh-oh, I don’t like the look on your face.”

The violet-eyed girl winks. “From now on, I don’t have a name.” All the Bremeloes who didn’t already know gasp.

“Please don’t do this to us, Leila!” protests Polly. “We don’t know what to call you anymore!”

Kio looks at her strangely. “You’re okay with ‘hey you’?”

“That’s why you’re here,” the violet-eyed girl says, “so I can tell you what to call me. There’s a few rules I want you to follow.” The Bremeloes nod. “First and foremost, I am always ‘the girl.’ Second, what kind of girl I am’s important. My body and my personality have certain distinguishing characteristics you can use. Third, say it in a way that’s romantic or you can use with affection. Fourth, don’t settle on one, but use as many as you can come up with. Be as creative as you like. For example, I’m an ebony-haired girl, an ivory-skinned girl. and a girl with violet eyes.”

“Okay, uh, violet-eyed girl,” Connor tries to ask, “does this have anything to do with—”

“Shhh! Not right now. The important thing is, I’m now a girl with no name, and soon I’ll be legally nameless. But don’t tell anybody yet. I wanna spring it on ’em.” The girl with the violet eyes winks.

dictel stadium. She runs the track around the field. Her body has never felt so light. Abandoning her name seems to have lifted a crushing weight from her soul. She now believes she can run the whole four kilometers.

She meets her friends at the start/finish line at the end of the fourth lap. Fiona runs into her arms screaming with delight. “Sister, you did it!” Rob hugs them both, and they dance around as if she had just won a race.

workout room. She attacks the weights with an enthusiasm her schoolmates have never seen before. Shira spots her on the heavier free weights. Jennifer says, “I can see you’re recovering quite nicely from that long layoff.”

“I’m not quite a hundred percent yet, but at least I’m able to enjoy having a regular endorphin fix again.”

Harumi asks, “Didn’t you use to be on heroin?”

“I quit even that when it stopped working. That’s how depressed I was before Shira’s love saved me.”
Shira gives her a loving smile and winks. The violet-eyed girl winks back.

gymnastics room. She lowers herself into a full split. She moves her legs into an angle, bends forward all the way to the mat, and holds the stretch. Ruthie, too impressed, wonders, “Why can’t I stretch like that?”

“It’ll take some time for your muscles to loosen up, but you need to. Just stretch.”

“Oh.” Ruthie sits near the violet-eyed girl and starts doing stretches of her own.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Spanner Chapter 12: Bad Girls Can't Win (Revision 4)

Chapter 11

Chaos Angel Spanner — Book 1: Rock City Blues
Chapter 12: Bad Girls Can’t Win (Revision 4)

Bangor High’s most psychotic ’shipper is murdered! Will the mean girls get off? Well, are their parents rich? Also, Amanda reveals a secret life; the world’s most annoying goth-loli kogal tries to swipe her loli-chan Ayla back from Shira; her beaten-down boyfriend, the world’s most pathetic Yakuza, escapes her lair while she’s gone and sets off on a quest to suffer sweet defeat at the hands of the now grown-up ex-loli he still worships (i.e. Shira); Leila, Oliver, and Christie challenge the marriage arrangement and fail; Shira takes on all challengers in the airfighting pit at Game Wars; and Shira’s new neighbours, a trio of women who claim to have no name, give Leila an idea of how to break that marriage arrangement to an evil man she hates, even as Drusilla reveals her plot against her...

Table of Contents:
  1. Gangster in a Strange Land (August 13, 2011, Final Revision 11/26/12)
  2. Waking Up with the House on Fire (November 28, 2012)
  3. Mean Girl Murder Case (August 11, 2011, Final Revision 11/30/12)
  4. Anonymity Is Freedom (August 14, 2011, Final Revision 12/3/12)
  5. Dark Side in Your Mirror (August 12, 2012, Final Revision 12/5/12)
  6. Showdown at Game Wars (August 15, 2011, Final Revision 12/7/12)
Moved from R2: 12.1 (“I Want My Loli-chan”) is now 12.5 R4 (“Dark Side in Your Mirror”), condensed with new scenes; 12.2 (“Mean Girl Murder Case”) is now 12.2 R4, greatly improved; 12.3 (“Gangster in a Strange Land”) is now 12.1 R4 with slight modifications and a few new scenes; 12.4 (“Pretty vs. Sexy”) is now part of 13.4 R4 (“Guess Who’s Coming”); 12.5 (“Showdown at Game Wars”) is now 12.6 R4, heavily modified and with new scenes; 12.6 is now part of 13.4 R4 (“Breaking Amanda”). Interlude 8 R2 (“Scary Monsters”) has been massively transformed into Interlude 9 R4 (“City on the Edge of a Dream”) and now comes after Chapter 13. New thread for R4: “Anonymity Is Freedom,” featuring the nameless women next door to Shira, and now involving both Leila and Amanda. Original Revision 1 title: “Medium Cruel,” a title now being used for a chapter in Book 2. There is no Third Revision version.

The original introduction and revision notes:
If the title of this chapter [“Medium Cruel”] sounds punny, that is entirely deliberate. It’s also no coincidence that Shira starts to look even more amoral than in previous episodes, particularly considering which major villain is making his début here. After all, morality is not really the point. In the school scenes, this time the mean girls get their day in the fighting spotlight that the bullyboys have hogged till now; believe it or not, they’re actually better fighters than the Tournament-obsessed boys. Willa, Ayla, and Nenene also get major roles this chapter, and the Yakuza ex makes his first appearance in second person.

Once again, this chapter contains mostly new material written during NaNoFiMo 2010. Even so, it still contains some material originating in my early ’00s Project Notebooks: the girl-on-boy love-hotel rape scenario, the dance-off during which Shira wins the Japanese national championship (though the character of Nenene didn’t exist then), and the Aya Shibata arcade battle. The character of Byron Scofield is, along with Henry Becket and Diana Shockley, one of the original three villains I created back in 1992, but the only one of the three I forgot. Now he takes his rightful place in the story I created him for.

And the seemingly science-fictiony high tech returns as the savior of the video arcades. The first two versions of the fighting-game scene involved motion capture (which I first saw used to control a fighting game at Seattle’s GameWorks) and immersive virtual reality; one is now becoming standard home console equipment and the other is better suited to MMORPGs and related environments such as Second Life (the original Metaverse in Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash can be described as Second Life plus immersive VR). I asked myself, What would be the cutting edge of Japanese arcade technology in 2014? The answer I guessed below is related to hoverboard technology.

Now featuring mid-air drunken monkey kung fu!

Second Revision Update: This chapter contains some of my best writing so far, in the sections “I Want My Loli-chan”, with its strange Japanese subculture vulture speaking in broken English; “Gangster in a Strange Land”, written in second-person POV from the perspective of her put-upon gangster boyfriend; and “Showdown at Game Wars”, which ultimately leads into the later virtual reality plotlines that come to the fore once the School Arc ends. These sections were so cool from the beginning, they remain mostly unedited in the second edition.

If much of this chapter is good and/or cool enough to remain unedited in the second edition, the introduction to the first-edition version is every bit as relevant to the content as ever. If it can be believed, the first sentence is even more true than it was when I called this chapter “Medium Cruel”.
Chapter 13

Back to Chaos Angel Spanner table of contents...

Copyright © 2012 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
Creative Commons License

Monday, December 10, 2012

Spanner 13.1: Know Your Enemy

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 13: The Girl with No Name
Part 1: Know Your Enemy (Final Revision)

Destroy, destroy unto me
the good and the just!

Friedrich Nietzsche

Stop using sex as a weapon...
Pat Benatar Girls’ Purity League

John Peck in the center, flanked by Martin Lansky and Lars Magnus Izquierdo: three mighty warriors with the answers. Asking the questions: Charmian Fleer, Bart Green, Debbie Becket, Beck Skeever, Christian Fleer. The subject: Shira Thomas. “You wanted to know what you’re up against,” says Peck. “We will tell you.”

Lansky says, “You don’t realize you’re in over your heads.”

Lars says, “Don’t tell us we didn’t warn you.”

29 september 2014.
She can see the spirits already agitated, like flocks of birds taking flight to escape the coming earthquake. They scatter before the onslaught of the terrifying hordes of dreamers the Scarab has summoned to speak her name. They surround her from all directions, above and below and all sides in eleven dimensions, and chant her name. All she says is: “No.”

The Spiritual Warfare Bureau part like the Red Sea. The Scarab manifests like a god from the clouds, Richard Becket in full Egyptian superhero regalia, bearing the divine power of the Nine Principles of God in the glowing crystal at the head of his staff. “Leila Renata Shelley, thou canst not deny thy name.”

“What name?”

“By thy name I command thee! Leila Renata Shelley, return to thy duty!” She does not respond to the spell. He responds with shock and fury to the mockery in her pretty eyes.

“What was my name!”

“Damn you, obey!

“Say it, Scarab! Say my name!” She laughs him into a fury of wounded Egoism—he channels it into the power stone of the Nine on his staff—he unleashes it in full at her delicate form—a crystal forms before her and glows indigo, a reality distortion field forms around her, the Scarab misses his target and screams in rage—

Friday, December 7, 2012

Spanner 12.6: Showdown at Game Wars

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 12: Bad Girls Can’t Win
Part 6: Showdown at Game Wars (Final Revision)

tokyo. Hikki otaku Hiro Fukuda gets a videocall—could it be?—yes! It’s the object of his obsession: his maiwaifu, Aya-chan!

Freddy Freakbeak the Python-powered Furby sits on the throne hat on Shira’s head; just to torture him, she wears nothing else. She cuddles a beautiful nude ivory-skinned girl sporting bobbed black hair, exquisite conical nipples, sparkling violet eyes, and a sweet smile. “Moshi-moshiii! Hiro-nyan no maiwaifu yoooo! ♥” She smiles at the girl, then winks at him. “Nanashi koibito desu.” Her nameless lover sweetly waves.

The girls share a lusty long kiss just for him. His face goes red, his penis salutes, he believes his nose is bleeding like all those sukebe in his favorite anime. “Sugoiiii... ♥”

Freddy stares at him with unblinking eyes. “Baka otaku.”

downtown bremerton. Fourth and Park, Game Wars in sight. Five young women prepare to cross. Jennifer asks, “You up to this Challenge, redhead?”

Shira rolls her eyes at her. “You kidding? I own that G-bitch.”

Leila’s blood goes cold when she hears Oliver’s ringtone. The other girls stare at her. She decides to answer anyway. “Hello, Oliver.”

“Leila,” he says, “you were right all along. I’ve finally given up on us.”

“Did you get the acquisition cancelled?”

“I tried. Me, Christie, and the Admiral. The Governor wouldn’t budge. That means only you can end it now.”

“You mean suicide?”

“Anything that works.”

“I have something more drastic in mind. Christie will tell you when it’s done.”

“I’ll be waiting.” The call ends; Leila reholsters her phone.

“Well?” asks Polly.

“It’s a Fleer acquisition now. One more thing and I’m free.”

Polly panics. “Oh no, you gonna kill yourself?”

Leila smiles. “No. My name.” Polly, Jennifer, and Brandi look at her strangely.

Shira says, “Let’s go.” They cross kittycorner to get to Game Wars.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Spanner R4 Update: Chapters 12 and 13 Now Complete, or Bye-Bye Editor's Block

For about 2 months I suffered from "editor's block" and couldn't make progress on Chapter 12. Then in the middle of NaNoWriMo the idea came that broke it wide open. Even with a new NaNo novel to write (which I did despite all the obstacles), I still finally managed to get most of Chapter 12 finished and posted. And on Tuesday, I finished the last section, 12.6, by massively revising what in fact was the entire original Chapter 12 in Revision 1 (and 12.5 in R2). As usual, the R4 version is vastly superior to the R1 and R2 versions. For one thing, the originals had a lot of exposition; there's almost none in the final edit. This final version of 12.6 posts tomorrow.

While I was struggling to find a way to finish 12.6, I managed to complete two whole sections of Chapter 13, 13.2 and 13.3, and parts of 13.1, 13.4, and 13.6. Once 12.6 was finally out of my hair, I was ready to turn to 13.1. There were a couple scenes that made up the old R2 section, which of course I had to massively revise for R4. I fleshed it out with new scenes in the far more complex R4 continuity. 13.3 used various scenes from other sections and chapters in R2; it's probably nearly impossible to keep track of all the places they went as I put them together, though the opening scenes are the former 12.6 R2 which got severely condensed. Some R2 holdover scenes will get eliminated altogether; some already have. The tough edit, of course, was the main sequence in 13.6, "The Battle of Evergreen Park" which formerly gave the chapter its name, since by that point in the story so much of the R2 continuity is obsolete that I've had to all but rewrite it. Besides, I'm such a superior writer today that most of my Second Revision writing makes me cringe. I wrote it before I started writing poetry early in the Third Revision edits and got influenced by Surrealism and the Beats. I also did way too much exposition, something I edit out mercilessly today.

Almost as tricky as 13.6 was 13.4 and 13.5, of which I've only kept a few scenes. 13.4 contains something that will no doubt go memetic: the soon to be infamous "Fangirl Death Squee". I had to create a continuity for the single day that makes up the entire second half of the chapter in such a way that it leads up to the dénouement of 13.6.

One surprise I got when I edited Chapter 13 was that Leila all but took it over with her extreme solution for breaking up her unwanted marriage arrangement to Oliver, which gives the R4 chapter its new name: "The Girl with No Name". So many scenes now in Chapter 13, I originally wrote for Chapters 16 and 17 before I moved them here.

One thing I've discovered is that in uploading each section to be posted and checking it for errors, I've found myself making a lot of text revisions that improve the story. Sometimes wording or even names left over from the R2 version no longer fits R4 continuity; sometimes there's errors I'd left in the revised versions and had to find superior wording for; sometimes I simply found better words for what I wanted to say. Unlike when I posted Revision 2 (until late, at least), I check each installment thoroughly, especially for HTML errors, then text errors when those are corrected, and end up simply looking for places to improve the wording. Another reason why Revision 4 is so superior to all previous Spanner editions.

Well, now Chapters 12 and 13 are done at last. With the current post schedule I'm giving myself, I should have enough time to edit the extremely complex structure of Chapter 14. So here goes...

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Spanner 12.5: Dark Side in Your Mirror

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 12: Bad Girls Can’t Win
Part 5: Dark Side in Your Mirror (Final Revision)

technosphere. “There’s a few things you have to know about being a magical girl,” says Jennifer to Leila in her pocket dojo. Both wear stereotypically frilly magical-girl dresses matching Jennifer’s golden hair and Leila’s violet eyes. “First, never use your power for mere selfish benefit. That’s the surefire way to corruption. Second, never assume you can beat a monster or villain using your own power alone. You never know what nasty tricks they might have up their proverbial sleeve. Third, never forget that you’re not alone. Wherever you are, you’ll always find someone like you who’ll join your fight. Last but not least, never give in to despair. If villains don’t take advantage, the corruption will.”

shira’s apartment. The girl with the violet eyes gazes at the nude beauty in the full-length mirror on the bathroom door. “The body is the soul...” Involuntarily she smiles. She decides she likes the idea.

Something stirs in the back of her mind. Suddenly her reflection turns black with an evil grin, then turns back. Her eyes go wide; her smile disappears. She wonders what happened. Then it appears: a layer of swirling darkness drifts around her and settles on her like an unclean garment. The corruption... It feels like someone else. It develops its own face with shining eyes and monstrous grin. “Who are you?”

“You think you’re Leila Shelley,” it mocks.



“This body is me. I am myself and nothing more.”

It stares at her uncomprehendingly. “You have to have a name! Surely!”

She fixes its eyes and declares with new conviction: “From this moment on, I have no name. I am the girl with the violet eyes.”

The black ghost screams and fades away.

technosphere. Leila asks, “What does the corruption do?”

“Excellent question!” Jennifer summons a hovering screen for a demonstration. “Behold!” Gameplay video of a magical-girl avatar turning dark. “When the corruption overcomes a Player, they lose their avatar, like this.” When the avatar turns completely black, it begins to attack its own party. Soon it begins to mutate, grow larger, grow more grotesque, until it becomes a giant monster, permanently lost to its former Player.

“That’s an Ego.”


“What is Egoism? The cult of this. They took the corruption and turned it into a religion.”

Jennifer peers at her skeptically over her glasses. “How do you know this?”

“I was raised in it. Corporatism isn’t economics, it’s metaphysics. The Ego is a god, and money is its blood.”

Her eyes go wide. “Wow...” She puts her glasses back up. “Most of us Players never suspected.”

“Most Egoists never play except to Grief.”

“Like Annabel Lecter...”

“Now what I really wanna know is, what happens if you meet yourself?”

Monday, December 3, 2012

Spanner 12.4: Anonymity Is Freedom

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 12: Bad Girls Can’t Win
Part 4: Anonymity Is Freedom (Final Revision)

secret diary. I live a double life: one under the spotlights, one in the shadows. Two lives, two selves: one has a name, one doesn’t. A false self lives the public life that has been forced on me. My nameless true self lives in secret and comes out only at night.

I try to look different when I’m free. Still, I look enough like her that people ask me if I’m the same person who goes by that name. I tell them no. If they press me, I tell them that name’s only a role I play on TV. Anyone with the right look can play it. Usually they ask me what my real name is. I tell them I don’t have one and never needed one. I only use names when I have to, and never that one. I never ask them their names, and I never let them tell me.

What a relief it is to live for pleasure without the burden of a name! I can show my body to the world without shame, open my heart to friendly strangers, give myself in sexual surrender to any man or woman I desire, lose my self in love without fear of being hurt. I let myself be totally vulnerable. I let myself be hurt and cry without regret. I feel so much more intensely, feelings I’ve never even felt before. I let my personality rule me.

At night I’m one of the nameless beauties, living without shame or guilt or regret, with no need to be special or even different. None of us is any more or less desirable than any other. We go without clothes because clothes are social masks. We feel that we are the same, and we let the world believe the same. We give ourselves over to sensual pleasures and our sexual urges. We have even come to love each other for ourselves. These women are so gorgeous and free. I have fallen in love with every single one of them.

Can you believe abandoning our names and living anonymously has released our true selves from their bonds and freed us to live our selves passionately? This is the life I want to live. But when the night is over, I have to return to my daytime bondage. I feel like a slave! I long to surrender to the night once again.

I can’t live both these lives at once. One of these days, something’s got to give.

28 september 2014.
bremerton ferry.
You know this is the way Ai-chan went. You know Nenene is going the other way. You follow your sweet loli-chan to where she ran away to find Shira Thomas and where she plays.

Back in Nippon you enjoyed a bad rep. But nobody in the Imperial Homeland knows you. “All them slant-eyes is all the same,” the hakujin say. You don’t care. All you care about is finding Aya-chan.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012: The Final Result

This year's editing of NaNoWriMo turned out to be the most difficult yet, what with the Spanner Book 1 final edit trying to intrude on it at all times. I had nothing but Panic Time left. On the final day, I found myself 10,000 words behind.

I shocked myself. I wrote those 10,000 words in just 4 1/2 hours. And I pulled off the spectacular come-from-behind to win my 7th consecutive NaNoWriMo.

Now, the actual plot refused to come. I found myself writing notes, filler, and even futile pleadings to the muse. She was too busy squeeing over all those pretty girls with no names who had started stampeding into Spanner, you see. I found Chapters 12 and 13 becoming easy to edit due to that story idea, of course, but the muse wanted nothing to do with that NaNo novel I was trying to write at the same time. I suspect she might even have been sleeping with the Inner Editor by that point. And so I decided to write around her.

It worked. Even though not much story came through till the very end (the final scene of Cascadia Rising, the Spanner Side Story I finally settled on as my NaNo novel), I found myself able to "Kateness out" those last 10K words.

And now I'm a seven-time NaNoWriMo winner. I earned my champagne, chocolate, and weekend rest.

Now back to fondling my relieved and grateful muse and finishing that Spanner final edit...