Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 15: Start the Violence
Part 4: Epiphany of the God King (Final Revision)
Part 4: Epiphany of the God King (Final Revision)
She hovers in the air and writhes like a nightmare, eyes bouncing like breasts, mouth speaking in the language of your dreams, spreading discord: Rebel Styles. Rebel Rebel tells you that everyone around you is out to get you: strike back at them for the sake of your Ego. You are the chosen one; America’s only for Number One: strike out! Even the CRP is just another CUNT to FUCK, says Rebel Rebel. She is fucking your bicameral mind.
Now her face is in your face: her bouncing-breast eyes and Cheshire-cat mouth fill your vision with nightmare, the ultimate scream gem, terror-spawning mind-scarring logo of loli turned Lilith, torturing you with pure terror sweet madness forbidden desire; you go dizzy, the unworldly spell of revolutionary nostalgia dispelled and repelled, enchantment fades away: she’s the humanity you repressed come back to take revenge—
but look! he rises again! but it’s the King this time, projecting his true Ego with his superpower, delivering you back unto the spell, rescuing you from the acid bath of reality and the terrors of free will. The Ego of King Patriot touches the clouds with his head even as the thunder rolls and the lightning strikes and the rain comes down in windblown sheets. Hooray, he saves the day! But the SRO terrorists get away.
Standing in the middle of the plaza like a single tree standing against the beating storm, the Scope witnesses the spectacle before him, watches the Conservative Revolutionaries surrender to panic then regain their hubris, records it all with the hidef camera mounted over his eye. The Wrecking Krewe watch what he sees with utter fascination, laughing and cheering. “That hit the spot!” shouts Lars.
“Who’s yo’ daddy now!” exults Deth.
The Cockroach Twins open the archive canoworms.tgz, make copies of the file wimpy that contains the worm, and unleash them on the COPCO system’s defenses. They clench their fists, raise their arms high, and in one voice let out a war cry: “Kuaaaaang!!”
Loud klaxons sound, all lights go red, the COPCO control system announces: “WARNING. THE SYSTEM IS UNDER CYBERATTACK. REPEAT: THE SYSTEM IS UNDER CYBERATTACK. ALL CYBERSECURITY AGENTS MUST GO TO YOUR STATIONS AT ONCE. REPEAT: ALL CYBERSECURITY AGENTS MUST GO TO YOUR STATIONS AT ONCE.” Agents run in a panic all over the building as they try to reach their places in a battle that has already begun. Jack demands of the nearest cyberagent, “Agent 140C! What’s attacking?”
“Not the standard DDoS; we’ve got filters for that. Not a standard virus or trojan or worm either.”
“It’s called an ICEbreaker,” says Radisson. “Our sources reported that the Chinese were developing a new cyberweapon designed to break down our cybersecurity systems, codenamed Kuang Mark I.”
Jack slaps his forehead. “Fucking great! First the loli from hell, now we gotta deal with the Chinks too!”
“This little show was your fine idea!” accuses Holmes.
“Blame Wally!“ screams Jack. “He suckered me into it!”
Behind the King, the giant Imperial flag begins to burn: the faithful look on in horror. In a voice louder than the sky the King commands, “Find the chosen one! Bring her to me! The sacrifice must begin!”
Snipers shoot at the apparition and hit nothing. Media people cram into their booths to purge the terrifying image from their cameras. Most of the Conservative Revolutionaries and COPCO agents still here run away as fast as they can. All are transfixed: through sound and vision she infects them with her corruption.
“My God!” gasps Drusilla. “She’s all reality distortion field!”
“Somebody’s decided to play a very hard game indeed,” says Richard Becket.
“There’s only one man who can play this kind of game,” says Colonel Tom Becket.
Walter Brinkman pulls his hair in panic. “Somebody stop her! She’s ruining everything!”
Henry Becket stares in rage. “No.”
And as suddenly as she appeared, Rebel Styles is gone. King Patriot is alone in the thundery sky. The nightmare is over.
Nick pumps his fist. “Hail Eris!”
The Wrecking Krewe, all together: “All hail Discordia!”
“We got our distraction, now gimme the botnet.”
“Got it!” Deth turns to the Cockroach Twins. “Now hit it!”
Moon plugs a Companion Cube into a USB port; her deck makes a call to COPCO’s now defenseless cybersecurity system and transmits. The three Twins link hands, raise their arms in victory, and cry out at the top of their lungs: “MIRV Griffin!!!”
Shira slips invisible through the crowd and tracks her way under the platform to join her nameless lover. They remove their helmets to kiss wildly; but then the extremity of the situation hits them. The nameless girl takes her power crystal from its sheath behind her ear; they take double lotus position, cunt kissing cunt, between them she places the crystal and sets it so their energy makes it vibrate — too strong! they have to focus their minds, control their voices, turn overstimulation into meditation as Ariel taught: at last they catch their minds, focus on absolute oneness with each other and the crystal, with a single voice intone “om“...
Sparks contacts mission control. Deth appears in a window. “I need to borrow one of your Kuangs.”
Deth snaps his fingers and grins. “Dude! I knew you brought the game! Awesomesauce!” He sets his phone to copy and flicks a Kuang file into the Sparks window on his right-hand monitor; the computer transmits, and Sparks receives.
“So what do you need a Kuang for?” asks Kowalczyk.
“Sometimes a de-base just ain’t enough.” Sparks’ knowing look unnerves him. “Ever been in a situation when the authorities were the criminals?”
“You mean like those city council embezzlement cases?”
“No. I mean Syndicate takeovers. Guess where CPMC and prodigal Artie come from.”
“You’re shittin’ me.”
“When is your name not your name?” says Jennifer enigmatically. “A Shield is a Brinkman. And a Becket...”
“Moriarty won, Stu.” Sparks points at the giant apparition before them. “Behold his successor.” He and Jennifer look at each other and smile knowingly. She touches her phone, flicks her finger to upload her unoseeme cloaking program, converts it to a Kuang plugin, embeds the Kuang in a rootkit, then flicks it into the COPCO system, where it merges with the Cockroaches’ botnet and embeds itself into Jack’s personal copbots. With a Windows XP shutdown tune, they stop to reboot.
“What the—” The cigar drops from Jack’s mouth. “You’ve gotta be kidding. Agent 140C! Bring ’em back up!”
Agent 140C mashes buttons in a panic. “Chief! I can’t!”
Holmes smirks in triumph. “The good thing about human agents is they can’t be hacked.”
With a long sustained noise, the faithful reach out to their King and give him their faith. He feeds on it; their faith makes him grow stronger; his Ego becomes almost solid. The energy of their excitement powers the crystal beyond what the lovers below can give it, sending them beyond sexual ecstasy toward outright samadhi; but still they keep focus and build their power. Beside them, the Toymaker’s bomb ticks.
Kowalczyk asks, “Jimmy, what the hell are you guys doing?”
Jennifer asks back, “What’s the one thing superheroes do that everyone tries to forget?”
“By inspiring people to gain unearned glory by killing ’em? They create supervillains.”
Sparks adds, “That’s why you don’t fight terror with terror.”
“We’re removing the glory.”
Shockley finds COPCO agents and freelancers fighting openly in the crowd. “Stop it this instant!” she screams. “There’s terrorists running loose!” She spots a small group of ERF militants shooting at agents, Corpos, and random bystanders; she takes out her pistol and shoots them down with accuracy rivalling Debbie’s, then glares at the squabbling agents. “Now get ’em! That’s a direct order!” The agents run to recapture the terrorists.
Above them King’s apparition chants the holy words into his followers’ bicameral minds — they synchronize with him, chant in his voice — his sons and daughter raise their arms and power him further with their own superpowers — the TV reporters report even more breathlessly to their cameras — below him, the crystal now vibrates at so high a frequency it hyperstimulates their entire bodies to a state beyond reason, an ecstasy so extreme they are tempted to lose themselves in it and die — but still they keep their focus and continue to intone “om“...
“iOS drones still working and under our control!” declares Agent 140C.
Holmes snaps at Jack, “You should have figured they’d have Back Orifice!”
“Keep fighting the cyberterrorists,” Jack commands, “and get control back!”
Agent 140C salutes. “Roger! Cyberagents, attack!”
Debbie stands up and stares not at her great-grandfather’s apparition but the platform. “Debbie,” says Will, “what’s wrong?”
“My Trace sense tells me something’s going on under the platform, something big, and it ain’t the Toymaker.” She tunes out the harmful psychic signal her brother Frank sends out as he writhes in grand mal seizure in a back alley.
Nick turns to Akane: “You good at fusion?”
Akane throws out his arms. “I don’t play Persona!”
“I got it,” says Deth.
“We don’t have much time,” Alex warns.
Wolveroach delinks his laptop to keep it from burning up. Moon coms, “Dudes! We can’t hack into Kingy!”
Jennifer frowns. “That means he’s not projecting his Ego holographically but using his powers. Focus on COPCO.”
Kowalczyk accuses, “Don’t tell me you’re gonna kill the King.”
Sparks calmly replies, “Spanner is.”
“Don’t tell me — you mean you’re him?“
“Not even close. He’s a fiction.”
Jennifer explains, “Spanner was created to take all the glory away from killing supermen by redirecting their rage toward nothing. He’s their creation, really. King Patriot’s their dream of a world liberated from reality. Spanner’s his negation.”
“Oh, and Stu? He’s already long dead.”
—but to the crowd in the plaza and the leaders on the platform he is more real than reality itself as the projection above and the surrounding spotlights and the combined powers of the Beckets transport the congregation gathered in the heart of the city into a dream that cancels out reality—
—their bodies transmute into light, fusing with the crystal as a single being in a state beyond mind — they could let themselves dissolve into the All now and die, but still they keep their focus and continue to intone “om“...
One cyberagent yells, “Our defenses are beating back the cyberterrorist attack!”
Jack snarls, “It’s about damn time!”
Radisson stares warily at the monitors. “But for how long?”
“Long enough! At least we don’t have to deal with Spanner.”
Holmes spits. “Easy for you to say.”
Agent 140C announces, “We got control back!” The other control-room cops cheer; but at the other end of downtown, Jennifer smiles as she watches the Kuang plug the entire COPCO Seattle security system into itself. Jack, Holmes, and Radisson stare at the monitors nervously.
“Fusion complete!” announces Deth. “Now transmitting!”
“We’re linked, Jen,” Alex says, “you’re it!”
“You guys are crazy!” says Kowalczyk in near panic, “I thought we were the good guys!”
Sparks smiles. “Have you ever thought of living in a world ruled by Lovecraftian abominations?”
“Too late. You already do.”
“Read up on Dictel,” Jennifer says. “You’ll learn a lot.” Flying fingers, and Amazon temporarily links to the dark forces held within the Darknet, ready to unleash. “Done!”
“Our job’s complete.”
Wellspring replies, “Now it’s all up to them.”
The Party faithful watch; police, terrorists, hackers, vigilantes, anarchists watch; the camdrones and attack drones and helicopter crews in the sky watch; the buildings above and the city itself watch: the giant apparition lights up the sky like an earthbound sun, making the raindrops sparkle like stars, shooting out rainbows; the downtown buildings sync with him, sing his song — the reporters get caught up in the frenzy, lose their reports, chant with the crowd — Drusilla keeps feeding him power while the brothers Trace for their chosen sacrifice — she is below—
—the lovers lose themselves at last into soul-shattering samadhi — their identities vanish — their consciousness disappears — they’d gladly die now, obliterated by the crystal or absorbed into the All — but instead the crystal blasts a beam upward toward the entity attracting it — King Patriot’s Ego—
Henry Becket goes rigid, eyes wide open: “No...”
—all the viruses and mons stored in Shira’s Companion Cube earrings fuse with each other, with others sucked out of the Darknet, with POTaTOS — sucked up the beam magnetically into a brain more silicon than flesh, now melting down—
—above the platform the holos project the three-dimensional shadow of a dying god — the thunderclouds reflect fugitive images of demons and hellbeasts, the Wild Hunt he summoned finally catching up to him after sixty-five years — the image of King Patriot breaks up, flickers, broadcasts a chaos of shifting random memories taken from the minds of all those he brought here and the lives of Roger Becket and his children, the god’s life flashing before the eyes of all who dare to look — the patriarch watches in absolute horror knowing that he placed his soul in the god’s image to free himself from the death of the flesh and become immortal, that once the god dies his soul will too, and Spanner knows — when the shadow of King Patriot drains out its last life force, it dissipates into a white blur in the shape of a giant, and then into shapeless darkness, and finally goes out—
—the Darknet full of threads and eyes, signs of King Patriot’s presence; the Kuang infects them: eyes shrivel, rhizomes and tentacles burn — the paranoia of King Patriot vanishes, leaving nothing; it then follows the datalinks out of the Darknet into the Imperial government and Party mainframes, debase searches and wipes all files containing the royal persona, its CGI models, and its holy commandments. unoseeme datacloaks Roger Steele Becket so that Echelon will never see him again — sneaks debase, unoseeme, and a Minix microkernel into COPCO’s database to erase all trace of Team Spanner’s presence, mission, and COPCO contract, the entire mission to protect King Patriot vanishes, in front of all his defenders—
Roger Steele Becket, born in 1916, a man who succeeded in abolishing the new world and bringing back the old — once again he is only a man, an old man from a world now dead, a wraith preserved in a clone body, a man without a soul. Once his ghost dies before his eyes and his soul with it, the old man stumbles backwards, lies down surrounded by his four sons and his daughter Drusilla, and gasps one final word: “Impossible...” Four years short of a century, Roger Steele Becket, founder of Dictel Corporation, creator of a savage and glorious new world out of the ashes of Western civilization, dies.
The six official news networks are in the middle of denying that the disaster in Seattle is happening at all when suddenly they forget about King Patriot. The teleprompter feeds transmit nothing about him. The corporate computers erase all trace of his existence. The talking heads blather on as if he had never existed at all. Soon, coverage ceases altogether, replaced by frivolous stories normally reserved for slow news days.
All goes silent. No one dares move. The only sounds left are the pouring rain and rumbling thunder.
The girl with no name twitches and moans, eyes glowing and body convulsing with new power she’s not yet able to handle. Powerless powder covers them. Shira kisses her. The girl nods. Shira puts her helmet back on and leaves. The Toymaker’s bomb continues to tick.
Shira calls up her analytical. “AEGIS!”
The owl avatar appears. “The MIRV Griffin botnet has been released. Will you be releasing POTaTOS?”
“No, silly. Link this.”
AEGIS syncs the computer in Shira’s head to the nearest copbot; once linked to MIRV Griffin, it plugs Shira’s construct into the botnet. “Complete.”
She switches her HUD back and forth among copbot and camdrone images. The copbots play the Windows XP boot tune but remain rigid. The eight-bit image of a helmeted figure bearing a skull and crossed wrenches pops up in a new window. She audiomessages the command: “Get ’em, Spanner!”
In the plaza, the panic begins.
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Copyright © 2013 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
[Revision 4 Final, 1/18/13: Based on the outline for the never produced Third Revision version. Completely reorganized and re-edited from Revision 2; Rebel Styles now manifests as a “Scream Gem” from Chapters 2 and 7 plus Interlude 3; new scenes added to fit Fourth Revision continuity.]