Sunday, March 31, 2013

Spanner 21.4: Test Your Might

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 21: High School Banned
Part 4: Test Your Might (Final Revision)

29 october 2014.
shira’s apartment.
When Shira wakes up from uneasy dreams, she notices her lover still wide awake. She rolls onto her and kisses her. “Hey, girl. Couldn’t sleep?”

“Two days,” the girl sighs. “The rally’s just two days away, the authorities are already going nuts, and I can’t wait.”

Shira gives her a mischievous smile. “Need a good hard fuck, eh?”

“The harder the better.”

While they make love like there’s no tomorrow, the others sip coffee at the kitchen table. Hope says, “I heard there was another incident at school.”

“Shira says it’s a regular thing by now,” says Kira. “The Man’s getting really really spooked.”

“More like Ross and Robson are scared shitless they won’t have their IPO and be able to replace all the teachers with robots.”

“Robots? Really?”

“They think it’s a waste to spend on real humans actually teaching things what could be better spent on personal profit and gratuitous bling. The American Way, they call it.”

Selene says, “It’s all coming down to them versus humanity.”

“Tell me about it...”

Shower’s done, the twins and the nameless girl are back at the door in boots, gloves, berets, and body jewelry. Hope sighs. “Don’t tell me you’re going out naked again...” They smile, wink, and leave.

ferry terminal. The bus waiting area is overcrowded with raging cops and Moral Enforcers willing to crush each other to death to get at the naked girls and pretty boys inside the nameless girl’s Repulse field. Rubber bullets bounce off, tear gas chokes the atmosphere, but the girl with the violet eyes yawns at their futile attempt to avenge their girl-raped Egos. The bus comes, Team Bremelo get on, and they leave the police riot behind.

cafeteria. Another explosion at the entrance: Los Punkz, most savage of the Spic Syndicates, jump the unprepared guards, crash through the doors, and rumble in on their two-wheeled war machines looking for to rape some teenage nudefighters and strike a warrior blow for Manhood. Debbie yells, “Incoming!”

“Everybody take your positions!” yells Shira.

“This is test number one,” Jennifer adds.

“Punk the Punkz!”

Dozens of students scramble to take the positions Shira and Jennifer have mapped out for them. Kira and the boys join Jennifer’s assistants Harumi, Sana, and Irina in hiding nearby, leaving six nudefighters standing in the way, signature weapons in hand: Shira (loaded Go-Yo™), Jennifer (kubotan), Polly (bo staff), Daisy (double sai), Brandi (bullwhip), and the girl with the violet eyes (katana). She asks, “Are you sure we can beat armed bikers without guns or superpowers?”

Shira kisses her and winks. “Trust me.” They hear Harumi giggle.

Soon enough, the Spic bikes roar around them in circles filling the cafeteria with foul-smelling exhaust. Several gangsters leap off and rush the nudefighters bearing bats and bludgeons. Jennifer says, “Test commencing.” The nudefighters unleash their weapons with blinding speed, send bludgeons flying through the air, knock gangsters into the circle of bikes.

(Harumi whispers, “Where’s the principals?” Kira chuckles: “Cowering under the back office desk.” Harumi rolls her eyes; “Oh.”)

Suddenly the lights go out: shades descend over the windows and doors to blot out the light: dismounted gangsters flail in the darkness at an enemy they cannot see, screaming Spanglish obscenities at each other, hitting only each other. By the time light is restored, they’re beating each other to bloody pulp and dealing a crushing defeat to themselves. The defenders are long gone.

principal’s office. The Defense Subcommittee reassemble here while the principals remain cowering in the back office. Jennifer says, “Test number one is a complete success.”

Akane asks, “How did you guys do that?”

“It’s something I normally do in broad daylight,” Shira replies. “I wanted to see if they could do it without me.”

“Sure enough,” says Kira.

“Well then,” Jennifer declares, “on to the next.”

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Spanner 21.3: Man Rage vs. Nudefight Girls

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 21: High School Banned
Part 3: Man Rage vs. Nudefight Girls (Final Revision)

27 october 2014.
shira’s apartment.
Hope has turned her office into a makeshift election central, with middle daughter Selene Carpenter back from Seattle to man the laptop. She gives the twins and the nameless girl the tour. She sweeps her arm panoramically and says, “Voilà! Our new command center.”

Kira asks, “Uh, Mom, isn’t that just another ‘Single Point of Vulnerability’?”

“Not the way we’ve designed it. It’s one node, not the node. Basically we connect with other nodes, and then we connect ’em.”

The girl frowns. “Won’t this just attract Watergate-type burglars bent on dirty tricks?”

“Actually, that’s why you’re here.” Hope winks.

“I thought I was here ’cos I’m insanely in love with your daughter.”

Selene peers at Shira and the nameless girl skeptically. “I heard you had a girlfriend, Shira, but I didn’t know you two were so shamelessly open about it.”

Shira winks. “C’mon, big sis, you know that’s how I roll.”

“Anyway, if you know the Cockroach Twins, they’re doing the security on the Darknet side while El Kabong and Evil The Cat get gung-ho with the Chinese censorbots. If anybody wants this election even less than the Party or CPMC, it’s Chinese Corporatist Party (Holdings) Limited.”

A chorus of annoyed teenage sighs answers her. “So how we gonna sneak the vote by the censorbots?”

“All by phone. Alex and Nick already set up the vote system on the Darknet. Open source, of course, unlike those hopelessly rigged proprietary Diebold election-rigging machines the Party’s so infatuated with. Deth Pussy contributed the Phreaks’ foolproof system for detecting Diebold hacks, ’cuz we’re all expecting all the Mobs’ botnets to pull some doozies. Its packet filters also work on DDoSes. We expect Echelon to pull its biggest one since the Infowar. I think it’s jealous.”

“Insanely paranoid’s more like it, considering who’s running it. This is Saudi America, remember.”

Selene rolls her eyes and groans. “Tell me about it.”

The girl asks, “Are they planning on bringing out the dead vote? I know how fond of it the Governor is.”

“We’re forgetting the big question,” says Kira.

“Like what?” asks Hope.

“Who’s running?”

“There’s CPMC and None Of The Above,” Selene replies, “with CCP cheating to try and steal it. The big money’s on CPMC of course, but my bet’s on NOTA.”

Shira snaps her fingers. “That’s it! I’m gonna put real money on NOTA. The Man don’t know just what kind of deep doo-doo they’re facing.”

“What exactly don’t they know?” the nameless girl asks.

“NOTA means a no-confidence vote against the entire System. ‘Sanction of the victim’ withdrawn.”

“They’ll only punish the puny humans even more sadistically than they already do.”

“Foreign occupation, remember? The Man’s no more from here than they’re from Ireland.” Recognition dawns on the girl’s face.

“Russian zombies trying to spam dead people votes already,” Selene alerts. “Running iOS.”

“Ah, so the Russkies are at it already.” Shira grins. “Apple traitorware does have its uses.” She winks.

bus. Shira gets off the #26 at the Bremerton ferry terminal with the Shelley twins to meet Jennifer and Connor. Charmian and Julian get off the #21 from East Bremerton with Courtney and Schuyler. They board the #11W going west through Bangor to the Seabeck ferry. Shira slips into the seat behind the back door; Jennifer stares Charmian down to try to keep her out, but Shira says, “I love you, Jen, but this time let her. She needs this.” Jennifer retreats with a sigh to sit between Courtney and Schuyler, Julian sitting between the Shelley twins across from them, their arms around her shoulders. Heedless and defiant, as soon as the bus leaves Shira and Charmian share a long gentle kiss they intend to make last all the way to the Bangor High stop. Julian looks on jealously, but the nameless girl holds her and kisses her on the cheek, and she gives up her jealousy with a sigh. Other passengers blush in embarrassment; a few Party loyalists mutter a plot for revenge.

Hurtling down Eleventh Street, halfway to the West Bremerton terminal at Bay Vista Lanes, a mortally offended Caliphate agent stands up, screams in Arabic, and tries to blow up the bus. Eight terrifying death glares target him; he dies screaming. The driver throws the corpse off the bus to cheers. But the sight of it reminds Charmian of the mother she lost and the father she was forced to kill, grief and desolation flood in, and she starts to cry. Shira holds her tight and kisses her for the rest of the trip. Fearing the suicider’s fate, the Party agents fall silent. The girl watches on with pleasure as her lover and their former enemy openly share their love.

Up Kitsap Way, Northlake Way, the Seabeck Highway to the center of Bangor — but halfway between the Dictel Park stop and Eightieth Street, they find themselves stuck in a traffic jam, drivers angrily honking until their cars get attacked by rioters. Shira and Charmian stop kissing. Jennifer lowers her glasses. Charmian asks, “What in the world is going on?”

Shira watches the scene narrow-eyed. “Gangs going berserk again?”

“Gangs joining in’s more like it,” says Jennifer.

“Joining in?”

“They aren’t avenging the Badd Boyzz. They’re avenging Team Valiant. The ‘Manniacs’ are rioting against the tyranny of female freedom again.”

Passengers look at her strangely. A few betray their dissatisfaction with the Revolution by letting out a fugitive sigh. Charmian asks, “Shouldn’t that be ‘maniacs’?”

“Uh-uh. ‘Manniacs.’ Men’s Rights extremists. Exactly like ‘FemiNazis,’ only male. Bangor High is under assault from the Men’s Rights terrorists of CUNT.”

Friday, March 29, 2013

Spanner 21.2: Show Me Your Plan

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 21: High School Banned
Part 2: Show Me Your Plan (Final Revision)

26 october 2014.
shira’s apartment.
Shira cuddles in her bed with her girl with no name. “Wow, I’m still buzzed from Friday night.”

“I still haven’t come completely back to earth,” says the girl with the violet eyes.

“We’ve got till Friday, so you still got time to recover.”

“But will Bart’s friends let us? The terrorist ones, I mean.”

Shira laughs. “Well, his big bro the Terrorist refuses to forgive me for the Blackberry Festival or Mark Bernkastel, so there’s still a grudge Challenge in my future, the poor loser.” Now the girl laughs.

—they kiss with violent passion, bite each other into a frenzy, take turns spanking each other with Mobley’s paddle, collide each other’s cunts, battle into unbearable ecstasy till their selves collapse into each other—

Out of the shower their bodies are inseparable all the way to breakfast. Kira stares at them open-mouthed. “Wow, you two look so into each other it’s almost hard to believe.” Shira runs up to her twin and gives her a big kiss.

Hope breaks the happy mood. “Girls, don’t forget the IPO’s coming up.”

“And the anti-violence rally’s on Friday,” says Shira, “and the Man don’t like it one bit.”

Kira adds, “The Man sure loves his ultraviolence, don’t he.”

“Especially against women, the monster. We got a big surprise in store for him, big time.”

“After that,” Hope reminds, “there’s the election coming up.”

Kira sighs. “As if they’d allow anything so offensively democratic.”

Shira puts an arm around her. “The important election’s the one the Student Union’s holding. Not for leaders, but whether to strike. Explain, Hope?”

“The way the old unions survived the Revolution as Guilds was to take control over dues away from the workers and in the hands of now unelected managers using it as a private slush fund.”

“If the teachers aren’t allowed to withdraw their dues, much less strike, students can control the tuition we pay. That’s the reason for the Student Union.”

“The reasoning,” says the nameless girl, “is that the students can use their power to help the teachers regain control over their own Guild.”

“By threatening the public-school monopoly with bankruptcy.”

“Our goal is really to take it over. It properly belongs to the teachers and students, not hedge-fund predators.”

“Whoa, princess,” Hope marvels, “you sure come a long way down from your throne there.”

“Oh, why do you keep forgetting I destroyed my tiara? I showed you the ruins.” Hope hugs her; the twins laugh.

green mountain. Jack Becket finds Peter Ross on the fourth-hole tee. The fat man swings his driver, swings it again. He doesn’t care that the grass is still wet. The COPCO chief grabs the club. “Petey boy, you and me got ourselves a black eye from a bunch of naked girls. What do you have to say about that?”

Ross thrusts the club at Jack’s head, making him stumble backwards. “I’d say you’re in the way. You wouldn’t like to lose your remaining eye, would you?”

“Okay, okay. Now explain that rave on your property.”

Ross makes another practice swing, then stares at Jack. “Dancing on our Revolution’s more like it. Those naked girls are a serious blot on American Manhood.”

“I hear they’re even sleeping together.”

“I hear they killed your grandfather.”

Jack glares at him with his one eye. “They why don’t you let us kill ’em?”

“Ask your buddy Al. I’m sure he knows.”

They stare each other down. Pause. “Shira Thomas, Pete. Specialist in beating the system, remember?”

“Right now I’m more worried about her mother. She’s the one in a position to break the system. If I were you, John, I’d keep one eye on her at all times. If you know what I mean.” At last, Ross hits the ball. As usual, it drifts away from the fairway and into the rough.

“The daughter knows your handicap. But do you know hers?”

Ross and Becket stare at each other and say nothing.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Spanner 21.1: No Leaders for the New Revolution

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 21: High School Banned
Part 1: No Leaders for the New Revolution (Final Revision)

If a nation expects to be ignorant and free,
in a state of civilization,
it expects what never was and never will be.

Thomas Jefferson

School’s out forever...
Alice Cooper Youth Enterprise League

the wave subsides
the beat ceases
the music turns ambient and fades away
the dancers become fewer, fall asleep with exhaustion, leave altogether

but the few hardcore enough to remain as the rain begins to subside find places on platforms, in the stands, or in the sheltered hidden areas beneath the stands to follow the pulse of their pounding heartbeats and surrender to the love energy and make passionate love, beautiful partners drawn together no matter who they are, like the couple at the center still annihilating themselves in each other in absolute sexual delirium until the

dawn when the sun peeks through what’s left of the clouds and the rain subsides, the dancers disperse, the crews begin breaking down the equipment, and the last of the Bremelo party find themselves being taken away by their tired sober friends on the road away from Bangor on the journey toward

25 october 2014.
where they settle in, take turns bathing, still not yet come down from the stratosphere, still not remembering who they are and who they made love to, and the

brushes take off dead skin once drenched with rain water and now dried, soapy sponges and special soap smooth their skin again and remove the last traces of mud, they shampoo each other’s hair, use their hands while rinsing off the remaining soap simply for the pleasure of touching each other, take time drying each other’s bodies with thirsty thick towels, and those who cannot find volunteers who can do it for them

and even while bathing they find themselves languidly kissing, touching their tongues together, drifting into bed together on the futons scattered across the floor, so many soft lips touching, so many hands softly caressing each other’s skin, impelled by E-injected pure love and the pounding beat that no longer sounds but which their hearts continue, changing partners, changing genders, inverting positions front and back and to 69 and back, drinking deep from each other’s still supercharged genitals, driving each other to sweeter ecstasy while the E still lasts and the golden disc outside smiles on them warmly through the window as the welcoming weekend begins but they don’t notice on the edge of dream and waking and they miss

the dawn transforming into a vivid new reality never before experienced by consciousness so young, dreaming with the intensity of drug trip or mystic vision turning dream bodies fluid and transparent united by a wave of love so pure and intense they can no longer tell where any one of them ends and the others begin or that their soul is even distinct from the world, seven dreamworlds fused into one, time stopping to capture a fragment of eternity in a single instant yet propelling them into

the morning: the birds sing prettily, the sun smiles warmly through the windows, seven beautiful young women wake up and stretch and caress one another as they find themselves in the king-size bed in the cluttered spare bedroom of the

penguindrome. a strange house filled with strange relics of a strange culture Charmian has never seen before: exotic idols collected for their exotic beauty and left unworshipped, exotic instruments made to play exotic music like what’s playing beyond the closed door, exotic art covering the walls, exotic furniture, exotic fabrics, computers toys and instruments in various states of disassembly, the intoxicating scent of incense, nothing familiar but the structure of the bedroom of a small-town house with no bed but only futons and the gorgeous nude girls, some once her enemies, who made love to her all night in a mind-blowing Ecstasy-fuelled lesbian orgy, the thought of which still escapes her rational comprehension.

Shira. Kira. Jennifer. The girl she used to mock as “Leela” but who now has no name. Someone she has never met but who seems to recognize her. And... Julian?

She sits up. Her own sister embraces her from behind. “Please don’t...”

“It’s too late,” says Julian in a tone full of both adoration and remorse.

Charmian feels her face blush hot. Her eyes go wide. “You didn’t.”

Julian is near tears. “I did. Please forgive me.” She rests her head on her sister’s bare shoulder, kisses her neck, and cries.

She feels herself not in this world. She goes dizzy with absolute culture shock. “What in the world is this place?”

Jennifer puts her arms around both sisters and kisses them both, offering herself as an Alice to serve as their guide in wonderland. “This is the world my mother and I were born in, the world your grandfather recoiled from. Welcome to the world of the Rockers.”

“I thought you were a scientist.”

“So? I’m as good a musician as my mother.”

Charmian looks at her, then looks around the room. “You’re no more mundane than I am. Why do you even care about mundanes?”

Shira embraces them from the other side. “They don’t dedicate their lives to stabbing each other in the back, for one thing.”

“Stasis,” Jennifer adds. “Your world’s so cold and formal and rigid. It’s all hierarchy and competition. When I found myself in your world, I took the first opportunity to return to mine.”

Charmian looks at the girl with the violet eyes. “A world where women have no names?”

“Where free women can choose to have no name,” the girl replies.

“There’s cultures more conservative than yours,” Jennifer explains, “that don’t allow women to have names. Ancient Roman and Chinese patriarchs gave their daughters just the family name. The Caliphate bans names for women and animals altogether, but names weapons.”

“Isn’t patriarchs owning our names the same thing?”

“Exactly! Normals are free from that, if they don’t aspire to aristocratic corruption.”

“And,” Shira adds, “if the big men don’t decide to own the little people’s names, which of course is the entire Conservative Revolution.”

“What’s the real freedom, Charmian? freedom to own others, or freedom from being owned?”

“Know the answer to that question, and you’ll know why we fight.”

Charmian and Julian look at them: Jennifer, the twins, the girl with no name. This is their world, but these two girls have nowhere else to go. They look at each other and nod in a silent resolution to follow these strange young women down the rabbit hole to see how far it goes.

The last girl groggily moans and stretches. Liz McPhail, hoverboard racer with anarchist reputation, a complete mess hardly recovered at all, struggles to get up and open her eyes. She takes over a minute just to focus her eyes on the women sitting together on the futons beside her. Then number three recognizes number one and thinks she’s seeing double. “Oh no, you didn’t...” She throws herself back on her futon and hides in her blanket. They can’t help but laugh. Shira lies down on her, hugs her, and kisses her cheek.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spanner 20.3: Temporary Autonomous Zone

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 20: Stand or Fall
Part 3: Temporary Autonomous Zone (Final Revision)

and those left out now rush in: Stylers, Rockers, Ravers, Neo-Wavers, Future Primitives; misfits, outcasts, gays, geeks, pagans, from any school and no school, in uniform and in costume, mundanes yet not mundane, all swarming into the vacuum created when spectators, broadcasters, and losing fighters left as the fireworks continue to go off overhead.

The roadies and the stage crew drive the platforms out onto the ruined field, switch on the sound cancellers, set up the subwoofers, test the holographic projectors, test the sound system; Alex shoos the play-by-play crew out of the announcer’s box, then has cousins and hackers bring in the turntables and sound equipment and box after box packed with sleeved vinyl discs, transforming the announcer’s box into the DJ booth of Alex Plus, mad mixologist of the New Rave, too impatient to resist the temptation to spin her first record like a basketball on her index finger.

A rented truck drives its cargo into the service entrance; fighters, hackers, and anarchists offload and uncrate several dozen boxes filled with little blue ecstasy pills and LSD blotter sheets specially formulated by the Krewe on the tightest schedule and unpolluted by Syndicate adulterants for unearned profit and which they would have destroyed as fast as possible had Team Bremelo lost the Challenge. Another truck offloads bottles of water, then leaves to fetch more.

Subculture kids and underground radicals mix and network with the Student Unions of three dozen schools and the still celebrating Bangor students howling and beating drums and blowing horns and vuvuzelas while more continue to come in until the lines shrink from blocks to nothing. When the last of the newcomers are in, Nick gives the word, and security pull the gates shut so no one more can come in. The projectors switch on and fill the air above the stadium with 3D MilkDrop visualizations made extra shimmery by the hard-falling rain. Sparks stops at the arresting sight of the new Tournament Leader in beret, gloves, boots and nothing else on smooth cinnamon skin covered in raindrops sparkling and shimmering like those mischievous green eyes, too gorgeous and sexy a woman and too damn young... “If this is no mere Team Challenge victory celebration, what is it?”


“Uh, what’s that stand for?”

“Here’s another thing for your education: establish a state of full anarchy in one place for a limited time, and you create what we anarchists call a ‘temporary autonomous zone.’” She hands her beret and gloves to him. “Here, pocket that.”

“What about—” She walks away seductively swinging her voluptuous bare hips. “Uh-oh...” She tosses a blue pill up in the air and into her mouth, catches rain water in her mouth to wash down the E, turns her head to wink at him, and slips into the arms of her equally nude nameless girl, no barrier remaining between the rain and their bare skin but the mud. “What the—”

“Binary system,” says the girl with the violet eyes. Those beautiful eyes twinkle with knowing, and she winks. The lovers disappear into the crowd

and suddenly he realizes the real reason for their presence at the coming of King Patriot and why the girl who until then bore the name Leila Shelley was wearing as a pendant a power crystal keyed to her, and that even though there are no Party leaders present he will see exactly what killed the King. Binary system...

When the last light disappears over the clouds, the final sound check begins. The KCUF sound crew test the amplifiers and speakers; once again no errors, so Alex improvise an ambient tune on her laptop and spin the sound around the field; so far, so good. If this were Bremerton, Bainbridge, or Central Kitsap, the video crew would keep the light show low, barely above the field, for the same reason they brought the sound cancellers; but since Bangor High is in the middle of a wasteland of warehouses and strip malls, they can do what they need to give the illusion of dancing light filling the whole sky. The pyrotechnicians launch the last of the fireworks above the stadium. The holoprojectors turn their light low. The only bright lights left are the klieg lights rimming the dancer-packed stands and the scoreboards still celebrating Team Bremelo’s victory with the new team scream-gem logo and the words “VICTORY: TEAM BREMELO” animating and alternating until dawn comes and the revellers leave and the music stops

that begins with a tribal howl, soon accompanied by African drums and then taiko drums and joined by the drummers on the field, and finally the booming backbeat comes in and all begin to dance, fighters students dancers drummers Ravers Wavers Stylers Rockers and all the tribes now gathered here turning the turf from sod to mud and destroying the stadium field on which Bart Green and his football team will play no more games, getting their clothes so heavy with rain and mud they start to tear and have to come off, passing around the E and washing it down Shira’s way, as the sound field and sound cancellers and holoprojectors create the situational reality bubble emerging out of Shira’s passionate heart in which she creates what she calls her temporary autonomous zone, a place with no authority, no leaders, no merciless infallible Law, free from Synarchists and Syndicates and substitutionist vanguards, only the equality of the dancers

as they dance themselves into an altered state reinforced by pounding beats and swirling psychedelic lights and the E kicking in right now, right on time for the girl with the violet eyes and her lover the cinnamon girl who worships her weave and navigate through the mud-covered dancing throng, across the field, wending through paths that emerge and close and morph into new paths leading elsewhere till they reach the central platform and join the drummers and hornblowers still in school and band uniform, glowstick-waving Stylers in their costumes advertising the many flamboyant rival tribes, passing through the drenched dancers on the platform and skipping climbing up to the highest level where Rob Fiona Kio Colette two New Ravers three drummers four Stylers and Shira’s nameless niece in Ayla’s frilly gothloli cosplay dress dance together to dance at one with them and let the rain falling through the cavernous cathedral of swirling light wash the mud off their bare bodies until as the music shifts from tribal

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Spanner Chapter 20: Stand or Fall (Final Revision)

Chapter 19

Chaos Angel Spanner — Book 1: Rock City Blues
Chapter 20: Stand or Fall (Final Revision)

The Bangor High Student Council implodes.
The Student Union try to seize the opportunity.
Team Valiant throw them a Challenge in retaliation.
Team Bremelo accept the Challenge.
The winners earn the right to take over Dictel Stadium to celebrate.
After this, the real trouble will begin...

Table of Contents:
  1. The Fall of the Student Council (October 1-4, 2011; Final Revision 3/24/13)
  2. The Team Challenge (October 5, 2011; Final Revision 3/25/13)
  3. Temporary Autonomous Zone (October 6, 2011; Final Revision 3/27/13)
Unusually for Spanner, the three sections of this chapter are the length of two sections of any other chapter. 20.1 is condensed from the first four R2 sections, with certain threads removed and a few scenes added from Chapters 19 and 21; 20.2 and 20.3 are expanded from R2 to double length. What remains is heavily revised to fit the Final Revision continuity. New to the Fourth Revision is the Modernist- (and comics-) inspired experiment with sentences spilling into the next paragraph, scene, section, and even chapter.

Revision 1 title: “Working for the Crackdown”; Revision 2 title: “Things Fall Apart”. Original Revision 2 section titles: “Game Over Man” (20.1; the title scene is now in 19.6), “Simple Matter of Planning” (20.2), “Broadcast Crime” (20.3), “Scandal Wars” (20.4), “The Team Challenge” (20.5), “Temporary Autonomous Zone” (20.6). There is no Third Revision version.

The original Revision 1 and 2 revision notes, the story parts of which are of course no longer relevant:
First Revision Notes: You’d probably expect from the title to find a traitor in Team Spanner. Except for one thing: with all the surveillance tech the government’s overusing, is there even a need for traitors and spies anymore? Besides, Jennifer can spot a spy whenever she takes her glasses off, and Shira can Charm them into betraying the agency that sent them. In this chapter, then, the major villains take the spotlight. And then they try to hog it at each other’s expense.

Meanwhile, the Hackers of Reality continue their assault on the media system from the safety of the Darknet. Desiree takes on the role of point man. Shira manipulates from the shadows, and then tells everybody that (and whom) she’s manipulating. Karen earns her martyr cred at the villains’s expense. Team Spanner argue over how to spring her.

We find out that some of the villains are actually human, some despite themselves. Others, of course, are increasingly, or completely, inhuman. The Cartel’s “Moravec Plan” will explain what Ariel calls the “gods of power” in the seemingly materialist terms the Corporates understand.

Scenarios from the Project Notebooks of the early ’00s: exactly none. New characters introduced from the ’90s Notebooks: Option [not present here in the final version, appearing in Chapter 4 instead].

The battle now kicks into high gear. Expect casualties.

Second Revision Update: The Fearsome Foursome are starting to fall apart. This only makes them angrier than before, and they lash out even more wildly. But Shira, Spanner, the KCUF News Team, and the Wrecking Krewe know where their weakness are, and hit them harder and harder. Leila finally provokes school Tournament champion Bart into losing all control and throwing the Challenge that Team Bremelo has expected all along, the two high-school fight clubs battle their way to disaster, and the School Arc races toward its cataclysmic conclusion next chapter...

The original title was “Working for the Crackdown” (now the name of Part 22.2 [in Revision 2]). Like Chapter 18 (but with more holdovers from the first draft), the new chapter is completely different.
Chapter 21

Back to Chaos Angel Spanner table of contents...

Copyright © 2013 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
Creative Commons License

Monday, March 25, 2013

Spanner 20.2: The Team Challenge

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 20: Stand or Fall
Part 2: The Team Challenge (Final Revision)

21 october 2014.
Charmian, outgoing Student Council President, says: “I kept telling you, Bart, and you kept ignoring me, and now you’ve fallen into her trap the way I said you would. I shall watch her destroy you, and then I shall never see you again.” She flounces away scornfully.

Bart, Tournament Leader, yells after her: “You’re just another woman, Princess! At least I’m a Man!” Team Valiant jeer at her. She pointedly ignores them.

Team Bremelo meet in the gym. Shira says, “We all know how they’re ranked. For this Team Challenge I need to fight first rank.”

Her teammates gasp. Kio is calmest about it. “How do we know you can take her, Shira?”

“Yeah,” says Polly, “Kio’s every bit Bart’s equal.”

Shira gives them her trademark cockeyed smile. “You may be his equal, Kio, but I’m his opposite. Didn’t you guys watch me in the virtual dojo? You know I totally own his style.”

Marina asks, “But what about the other ranks?”

“Let ’em guess.” Shira winks.

Bart’s fighters in order of rank: himself, Beck Skeever, Rex Corson, John Paine, Scotty Walker. Mobley coaches them in the punishing training system Revolutionary experts developed for prison-industrial boot camps and Texas football players, involving obstacle courses, high-speed body collisions, and heavy weights both pushed and pulled long distances.

The Shelley twins and Blair siblings argue their right to fight based on the intensity of Bart’s hatred for them; even Kio relents, with some persuasion from Colette. Today the Bremeloes use free weights using low weight at high speed with high repetitions till the muscles reach exhaustion.

In the boys’ locker room, the Valiants avoid looking at each other in the shower. In the girls’ locker room, the Bremeloes can’t take their eyes off each other, which freaks the Valiants out. Shira tells the boys, “You better get used to seeing us naked, ’cuz that’s how we’re gonna fight.”

“You’re crazy,” says Akane.

“Sweaty skin’s hard to hold onto,” Jennifer explains. “The weather forecast for Friday says rain, and that’ll give ’em an even slicker surface. That’s why nudefighters fight nude.”

“Don’t forget the other reason, Jen darling,” Shira says.

“Fanservice as a deadly weapon.” Jennifer winks.

Team Valiant leave school early so Colonel Green can hold a long political rally involving flag-waving, patriotic chants, declarations of Sacred Manhood, and fervent glossolalia. The Bremeloes stick around after school to sign autographs; not all the fighters signing for their fans are fighting on Friday. The gossips get much traction out of Shira putting her signature on Ruthie’s half-exposed breast.

Spiekerman watches the team get treated by their classmates like a rock band and gets annoyed. He looks at Shira strangely. “Team... Bremelo.”

She grins. “As in fat ugly bar sluts who prey on drunken sailors in squid bars near the Bremerton base? Mm-hmm.”

He stares at her. She smiles ironically. Polly sneaks into his empty private office to steal the hair trimmer he uses to trim his buzzcut.

The greediest, giddiest, and most unscrupulous students start placing their bets now.

22 october 2014.
Team Valiant do a workout that doubles as a rally in front of the bombed-out arena, annoying construction workers still racing desperately to finish it before an arbitrarily early reopening date decreed by both SPEC and Nike. Inside Dictel Stadium, Team Bremelo stretch, run on the track, and do that plyometric workout familiar to martial artists but so strange to power fighters like the Valiants; they find themselves attracting a cheering crowd in the stands despite not even trying.

Falconer returns to rally the Valiants standing at attention in the Student Council room (no girls allowed). “Remember that you are fighting to reclaim our honor, regain your Manhood, and score victory for our Revolution and Our Nation. Beat that filthy whore into bloody pulp!”

The Valiants raise their right arms to the Flag in salute. “We will not fail America!”

Team Bremelo’s five chosen fighters join Colette, Kio, and a gaggle of cousins in Karen’s hospital room. After the obligatory ecstatic hugs, Jennifer declares, “Karen, we’re dedicating our victory to you!”

The girl with the violet eyes looks at her. “We are?”

Connor says, “That, and we’re fighting for all those kids bullied by Team Valiant and their so-called revolutionary friends.”

Jennifer adds, “And for all the women and children they raped and beat up in the name of their alleged manhood.”

“And all the teachers made powerless by their own union so its leaders could make a quick buck selling out the schools to economic predators.”

“And all the working people being brutally oppressed so that a few rich vampires can indulge their Egoism.”

“There’s a lot of people pinning their hopes on us.”

“We gotta win this for them.”

Shira says, “We female fighters especially got something to prove. Their goal’s to kill us and rape our corpses in front of the world, just to earn back their lost Man Cards. That’s why Karen’s here, remember?”

The girl looks at Karen (who winks at her) and then Shira. She slumps into Shira’s embrace and sighs. “Such a burden we have to bear...” She perks up. “I promise I’ll fight fair, no powers.”

“Let’s just make sure we don’t kill anybody, okay? We don’t need to feed the System any more martyrs.”

When news of the Team Challenge reaches the hardcore gamblers and professional bettors, they argue over the odds and throw around an ocean of money.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Spanner 20.1: The Fall of the Student Council

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 20: Stand or Fall
Part 1: The Fall of the Student Council (Final Revision)

When the people begin to reason, all is lost!

Party for your right to fight!
Public Enemy World Wrestling Entertainment

harrison hospital. “Take her to the public hospital,” Will Becket commands, “or I shall take heads. No, I won’t be merciful enough to kill you. This is for my dead sister, so do it!”

The MedEvac helicopter swoops in to sweep Karen away. Paramedics speed her into the ER. Surgeons race to stop all internal bleeding and repair the injuries Fleer inflicted in his fatal bout of unreason.

Will orders all flags lowered to half-staff in mourning for the late Princess Eden Becket, and that her married name be erased in all official announcements and press releases. And he orders the media to report that Karen Kubota is a hero for trying to save her. When Litton tries to dissuade him, he stares him down until Litton accedes.
Amanda: U.S. Navy authorities have found Admiral Alan Fleer, Armed Forces Supreme Commander for Cascadia, shot dead at his home. Until he murdered her, he was married to the sister of COPCO Section Chief John Cameron Becket and Emergency Administrator Commander William Becket, who immediately revealed his unconscionable violation of his marriage vows with a woman not his wife...
UndergroundResistance.hack: Ding dong, the Dirty Warrior’s dead, and he ain’t going to Valhalla, thank Odin. Take a drink for the bad guy, then let’s get back to war.
Spanner: Comrades, do not be deceived by the apparent weakness of the Fearsome Foursome. CPMC is still governor of Cascadia. COPCO is a wounded beast. The military retaliation plans are not Fleer’s but Defense Secretary Dictel Corporation’s. The System is still in place. Our strategy remains the same. For now.
Admiral Currie: I’m proud to represent the proud élite of America, and I swear by Our Nation I will do what I can to advance the Revolution in this state. Thank you.
Shira: Nine days left. The SPEC Chairman’s still our problem till he says otherwise. He’s still got time to stop us. We still got tons of work to do. We give up, we lose. So don’t you ever give up.
Nameless Reporter: Karen Kubota is in currently in stable condition and is expected to recover...
20 october 2014.
shira’s apartment.
Their dreams are vague and uneasy and take a long time to fade. Eventually a black-haired girl with violet eyes and the dark-skinned redhead she loves wake up relieved to find themselves in each other’s arms. They know at once that Karen is okay. Eyes green and violet gaze deeply into each other for a long period of eloquent silence. At last the raven-haired girl breaks the silence. “Charmian...”

“I know.”

“You’re gonna take her virginity, aren’t you.” Shira winks.

Kira finds her sitting up, Shira kneeling behind her, embracing her from behind and caressing her breasts, and marvels. “You two really are into each other.” Shira squeezes the girl’s breasts to make her lean her head back and moan with pleasure and replies with a wink. Kira sings, “It’s Monday, better get ready for trouble.”

The girl gives her a knowing grin. “We’d better prepare then.” She and Shira fall onto their backs, then she rolls over to kiss her lustily. Seeing them preoccupied with each other, Kira withdraws.
Hope and Kira meet the lovers at breakfast. “I heard about Admiral Fleer,” says Hope.

Shira says, “Student Council’s gonna have one hell of a backstab party.”

The girl puts her hands on Shira’s shoulder. “Bart, right?”

“And Lucy’s gonna pounce like a hungry lion. Don’t you love Mondays?”

harrison hospital. Shira and Kira set the Catholic and Americanist priests against each other so they won’t bother the cousins interrupting Karen and Colette’s Buddhist chanting to shove aside protesting nurses and throw themselves on Karen’s bed to hug, kiss, and cry over her. She sees Desiree’s young daughter, who sees her for the first time.

Karen pulls her into a hug. “You’re my long-lost cousin and you’re here! I forgot your name...”

The girl grins huge “I don’t have one.”

Karen looks at her, puzzled. “But everybody has a name.”

“I don’t,” says the girl with the violet eyes.

Saffron tilts her head and looks at her skeptically. “I thought you could only erase your last name in this state.”

“It’s all loopholes right now,” says Shira. “So what should we call our newest, littlest nameless beauty?”

The violet-eyed girl leans on the bed and strokes the new nameless girl’s hair. “You’re a blondie and a green-eyed girl and everything else you want us to call you. Call me violet eyes, raven hair, the languid one, the model, and anything else you can think of that describes me. Not just any one, but all of ’em, any one you feel like at any time, and we’ll all do the same for you, okay?”

The blond girl says, “I hear you’re a ninja too.”

Karen grins. “Oh yeah, nanashi kunoichi.”

“Are you sure you’ll be all right?”

“Of course I will. I just need to heal.” She kisses her nameless cousin, then turns to Shira, Jennifer, Connor, Courtney, and the violet-eyed girl. “I’ll be here for some time, so I’m giving responsibility to you. Can you handle it?” They answer with enthusiastic nods and thumbs-up.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Spanner Interlude 12: Portrait of the Death of the Artist

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner
Interlude 12: Portrait of the Death of the Artist

keenan. Before the Revolution, back when art was a thing, I was an Author teaching Creative Writing as my day job. One day she came into my class, bright-eyed and beautiful, like a vision in a dream.
amanda. He was my favorite professor, strange and funny, and I loved him. I majored in journalism and minored in art photography. All my professors told me I was unusually good at anything I set my mind to. My father believed in none of it; he told me I’d never amount to anything.
She put out a book. It’s sitting open on the coffee table as I write this. Desolate places, soft colors bright and dark, and she’s in every photograph in various states of undress. She could have made her body the center of attention. She did once, in a shoot she did to afford college. Every red-blooded straight male and gay woman already downloaded the whole set. Here she fades into the background at every opportunity.
I managed to catch the art establishment’s attention. I ignored or contradicted all the pinup clichés; they praised it as (I quote) “interrogating the patriarchal narrative of the female body.” I made myself part of the setting; they admired by “questioning the tyranny of identity.”

But I knew what really turned them on. I laughed in their faces while we were still free. But when the crackdown came, I gave up, gave them what they wanted, put it in a book. I took out my camera and showed them how to die.
She would have been twenty-three...

Three sisters: beautiful, brilliant, enchanting, strange. We were all weird kids, an embarrassment to our families: mine overly practical, theirs patriotic. At university people were allowed to be weird. Eventually our families gave up on us. We celebrated by going camping.
I brought my sisters, my camera, and him. We left our parents and their world behind. Now that my sisters and I were free, we went skinny-dipping and took pictures. He was shy, awkward, and all thumbs with the camera, so I reshot them. We sisters grew comfortable with each other’s bodies and our own. We fell deeply in love with each other and with nature. I knew I had to capture that love. I wanted a record of us together while we were still happy.

first sister discovering a new path
second sister charming a shy deer
third sister in a dangerous encounter with a cougar, all her senses inflamed
each of us swimming underwater among the fish
all three of us swimming together, showering in waterfalls, dancing in the rain
embracing, kissing, sharing our most intimate dreams and the deep pleasure of each other’s presence
sleeping clumped together in firefly-lit twilight, dreaming a single dream

The forest was so gorgeous and magical. It intoxicated me. Nature is the supreme artist without even trying. Human bodies are its most beautiful creation. So we went back to the forest:

a still and limpid river
an enchantingly pretty glade
the light filtered through the trees
flocks of birds taking wing
an eagle perching proudly near the top of the tallest pine
the stars and planets unobscured by city lights
my sisters and me, gliding innocent and nude through the forest like woodland spirits

I stopped seeing just trees and a river in a pretty forest; instead: shape, color, light, relationship. My sisters and I cast away our burden of social identity. We were beautiful happy animals belonging to the forest.

windblown trees dancing against bright and dark skies
beams of light illuminating the space between trees
paths of the shadows playing on the ground and against the trees
fugitive forms of shy forest animals
trails of fish gliding through the river
three young female bodies full of life, identities left behind with their clothes, merging with the forest, the river, and each other

But eventually the world we abandoned returned to reclaim us. It sent out its shadows, not to play, but to hunt.

And then all hell broke loose.
Our father had a vision, he said. He said all his comrades shared a great overwhelming vision of glorious destiny. All we had to give up was our freedom.
There was violence in the streets, a massive crackdown on unapproved thought, a new and (they claimed) moral dictatorship. They called it the liberation of the deserving, the new chosen people; they called it the freedom of the nation to achieve its (they say) eternal destiny of (their word) dominion over the world and (they keep saying this) the conquest of the infinite kingdom of space.

They called it revolution.
His vision, he said, required him to blind his own daughters. There was a spiritual vision, he said, to which God forever denied woman. He knew it was true because he read it in the holy book.

He tried to pluck the eyes out of my head. He tried to hammer the sight out of my brain. I took my camera, my vision, and my sisters, and ran.

The newer, stronger System, dedicated to the superman of profit, war, and faith: no room left in the world for the creative man—or for woman, period.
They said they had to sacrifice the world for the sake of the truth. They said they had to sacrifice us to create the new flesh. We were all too human, relics of the old world now passed. They took one of us.
They took away our freedom, our love, our very life, and left us with only the System: everything by the System, of the System, for the System—and no one else.
Have you ever seen a beautiful and gifted woman strip off her identity along with her clothes and document her body in preparation for suicide? Have you ever seen an artist make art out of her own death? I used to think suicide was crazy, but now I respect the decision to end one’s own life, and I admire those who make suicide an art. I draw the line at murder.

When the crackdown came, they narrowed my choice to one: hell or death. I resolved to die on camera.

One sister lost, one sister taken, and myself already dead by decree of the System. I knew that I had one series left in me before I too was lost. So I took my camera and went to the forest to offer my death to the world:

I face the camera nude and let the wind conceal my face, blowing away all that I am except for my staring haunted eyes
I walk down the riverbank
and into the river
and lie in the water face down, taking in water with my last breath
fighting against my own life, embracing death, letting my consciousness flicker out
my corpse, still beautiful, floating gently on the water
and deposited gently back on the shore
decaying and returning to the earth
offering my flesh for the animals to eat, giving my life to them
diminishing little by little until nothing is left
and I am no more
The Art World proclaimed these last pictures a masterpiece, the triumphant work of one who made herself immortal by dying for Art.

Art? I swear I can still hear those traitors fap.

Is she alive or dead? Is she the same bright-eyed beauty who so enchanted me the day we met? Was that her stepping into the river to die and disintegrate as her faithful camera watched on? She once told me about her fascination with death and decay.
I have no fear of death. We all die; that’s how Nature works. When I’m dead there won’t be any more me to worry, so why worry about it while I’m still alive? Death and decay are an inevitable part of life. If we look at it right, it’s every bit as beautiful as life.

One of us has no more worries, but her dreams are gone forever. For her sake, we live on, free from the tyranny of our former identity, to make her dreams a reality.
Am I alive? Is she alive? Any of us? Nobody lives forever, not even those who proclaim themselves immortal. In the long run, we are all dead.

on to the next...

Back to Chapter 19 index...
Back to Chaos Angel Spanner table of contents...

Copyright © 2013 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
Creative Commons License

[Revision 4 Final, 3/29/13: new to the Final Revision. The first version of the song lyric is here.]

Friday, March 22, 2013

Spanner Chapter 19: Hackers of Reality (Final Revision)

← Chapter 18

Chaos Angel Spanner — Book 1: Rock City Blues
Chapter 19: Hackers of Reality (Final Revision)

After a series of murders over a Bangor High Student Council member’s iPhone, SPEC Chairman Ross fires the trigger-happy volunteer guards he hired last chapter; COPCO Seattle section chief Jack Becket and Admiral Alan Fleer get their turn against Shira Thomas and her high-school crew of reality hackers. Chief Becket loses a lot of money in the attempt, and more. Admiral Fleer loses his mind...

Table of Contents:
  1. The iPhone Murders (September 25, 2011, Final Revision 3/11/13)
  2. Building the Perfect Girl (September 26, 2011, Final Revision 3/12/13)
  3. Read Between the Lies (September 27, 2011, Final Revision 3/18/13)
  4. The Copbot Suicides (September 28, 2011, Final Revision 3/19/13)
  5. Living Dead Girl (September 29, 2011, Final Revision 3/20/13)
  6. Drag You Down With Me (September 30, 2011, Final Revision 3/21/13)
  7. Interlude 12: Portrait of the Death of the Artist (March 23, 2013)
Most of 19.1 is a new scenario mixed with older scenes; the rest of the chapter is condensed from the Revision 2 version along with scenes from Chapters 18 and 20, all heavily revised to fit in the new Final Revision continuity. The chapter title combines the titles of the late-1980s cyberpunk magazine Reality Hackers (the predecessor to Mondo 2000) with the Black Sabbath album Masters of Reality. Original section titles changed from Revision 2: “Into the Snake Pit” (19.1), “The Perfect Girl” (19.2), “The Memetic Terrorists” (19.4), “Live Zombies” (19.5). There is no Third Revision version — except for 19.2.

The original Revision 1 and 2 revision notes:
First Revision Notes: [Yes, it begins with a quote, something I normally limit to the opening sections of chapters.]

A man cannot spin a character out of his inner consciousness and make him really life-like unless he has the possibility of that character within him — a dangerous admission for one to make who has drawn as many villains as I.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

I have a nasty temper. I have a social conscience. When the two come together — watch out!

Or just read this chapter and find out just how evil a Dennis Jernberg villain can truly be.

In this case, the villains are Admiral Alan Fleer and his partner in crime, Honey Sue Falconer. I put my full fury into them. You want to know just what Team Spanner are up against? Consider this: Spanner is the most cynical gangster epic in the history of fiction. The word “gangster” is properly defined as the kind of serial killer that runs in packs. This explains the importance of the Slasher Hunters to the story. There is no tyranny without the most vicious gangsterism to back it up with terrorism. That’s right: tyranny, terrorism, and gangsterism are one and the same thing. It cannot be any other way. Cascadia’s ruling “Fearsome Foursome” — Admiral Alan Fleer, Governor J. Walter Brinkman, Seattle Mayor Rev. Luke Everson, and NPA Cascadia Section Chief John Cameron Brinkman — are mob lords, and Cascadia is their turf.

Is it any wonder that those Evangelical Christians who remained Christian despite the extreme temptation of power willfully risk their lives to call “Jesus America” the Antichrist?

So how does a hero take on such a synarchy of supervillains? Not by force. Not by mass protest, at least not at first. By hacking reality itself. Turn the spin against the spinmeisters. Take the battle to the enemy at a higher level. Make them fight you on your home territory. Strike the killing blow with weapons they cannot defend against.

Scenarios from the Project Notebooks of the late 1990s: the robot suicides and the Mexican standoff. Characters: the Skeever Brothers.

And now the battle is joined at last...

Second Revision Update: After a Chapter 18 of almost all new material, I’m now mixing and matching material from Chapters 18 through 23 of the first draft into a more workable order and adding new material wherever I feel it’s needed. By this point, the Second Edition is far superior to the first draft, as the plot escalates toward the climax of Book 1 in Chapter 23. For those of you who read the first draft already, I have some surprises up my sleeve...

I wrote the original chapter in a bad mood. This partly explains the tone of the original introduction. Interestingly enough, that introduction (quoted below) applies much better to the new Chapter 19 than the original. And just because a villain’s minions fail doesn’t mean he isn’t still evil...
Chapter 20

Back to Chaos Angel Spanner table of contents...

Copyright © 2013 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
Creative Commons License

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Spanner 19.6: Drag You Down With Me

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 19: Hackers of Reality
Part 6: Drag You Down With Me (Final Revision)

19 october 2014.
shira’s apartment.
Shira wakes up screaming. Kira rushes in to leap on her; they hold each other tight, writhe together as in pain, cry as hard as they can. The girl with the violet eyes shakes the sobbing twins desperately, crying out “Calm down! Please calm down!”

The twins sit up side-by-side. The girl embraces Shira from behind, kisses her neck, caresses her breasts comfortingly; Shira sighs, “God I love you.” The girl spins onto Shira’s lap to kiss her deeply and stare into her eyes. “Shira, what’s wrong?”

Kira leans against her sister and rests her head on her shoulder. “It’s Karen. Somebody’s got her, and we can feel everything she does.”

“They’re torturing her!” cries Shira. “And we can feel it...”

A chill goes down the girl’s spine; her blood goes cold. “Falconer—”

Together the twins blurt, “Falconer?!” Shira goes dead calm, eyes wide, gaze hard. “She knows we know.”

The girl tries to comfort her but trembles with fear for her. “We can save her, love. We can do it. We have to.”

“I know the way.” A smile forms on her lips. “And I’ve got the bomb.” The lovers fall back together onto the mattress; overwhelmed by emotion, they kiss with extra violence and tears. Kira throws herself onto them and cries with them.

telesphere. Karen is bound and gagged. Someone kicks her forward. It is Alan Fleer, in full uniform, the one-star flag of the American Empire behind him.
Admiral Fleer: Attention, liberal traitors of Cascadia. You have betrayed America for the last time. I have possession of one of your own. If you do not surrender collectively and unconditionally to the eternal dictatorship of Jesus America immediately, I will treat her the way a traitor should be treated. She will suffer the torments of hell while she still lives. Then she will die.

I will do the same to all of you, one after another, until you surrender your petty wills to my dominion. You will also bring me the head of Shira Thomas. You have only twenty-four hours.

ESPNBC: Admiral Alan Fleer has announced he has put the liberal traitor Karen Kubota under his personal custody—
penguindrome. Colette screams — Daisy gasps in horror — Polly faints — Fiona runs out crying — the girl with the violet eyes howls with heartbreak and outrage — Shira’s eyes narrow, her face hardens, Kira averts her eyes and tries not to cry — Jennifer says, “Our move. Think fast.”
[the eight-bit mask of Spanner appears in front of a pixilated and jerkily animated Imperial flag]

Spanner: Well, well, well. Big Al was never a subtle one. He’s publicizing his latest crime. It’s a kidnapping. He’s got a hostage, and she’s a pretty one, mmmm, mmm. Considering what you’ve already seen of him, bets are he’ll use her as a play toy. Maybe, just maybe, he might even drink her blood. He always wanted to be a vampire like the Beckets, with their amazing superpowers. That’s why he married one.

But before Big Al has his fun, he has a use for her. I wonder what his demand is? Chances are, you already know. In fact, he’s just bragged about it to the whole world.
red house. A knock on the door: Angela. Desiree and Luna's nudity doesn't faze her. With a huge smile she holds out the papers. “Guess what?”

Desiree says, “You did it.”

“Jackie Boy now owns the name without the kid. Your daughter is now, by her request, legally nameless.”

The now nameless child leaps screaming with joy into Angela’s arms, making her drop the papers. Desiree diligently picks them up, then trades them for her daugher; they hold each other tight and dance around together, celebrating a young girl’s faith in the freedom of anonymity.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spanner 19.5: Living Dead Girl

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 19: Hackers of Reality
Part 5: Living Dead Girl (Final Revision)

18 october 2014.
shira’s apartment.
Kira penetrates the “Kirabot” (as she calls Bliss) with the strap-on while Shira and the girl with the violet eyes make love beside them. She wields it like a warrior, plunges deep, builds the sexbot to at least a realistic simulation of orgasm, which only inflames her further; the lovers beside them unite in building ecstasy beyond all reason, sense of self, separation from each other and the world, exploding the world inside their fused bodies—

After their shower they meet Hope, Jennifer, and Rob at breakfast. The violet-eyed girl smiles when her twin brother blushes at seeing her nude. “After Big Al and Chief One-Eye,” says Jennifer, “I can’t possibly guess who’ll be next.”

Hope says, “We’d better be concerned with what Ross has up his sleeve now that Chief One-Eye’s precious copbots committed mass suicide on him.”

“I’m sure he’ll take his time while he’s fending off short sellers,” the violet-eyed replies.

“The weekend’s here,” Shira says, “so we better expect trouble.”

“Come to think of it,” Jennifer says, “SPEC’s standards are getting more irrational by the minute. I suspect this week’s events have management careening completely off the rails.”

Shira’s phone rings. “Hello? Oh, Kei, how nice to... Oh, you do? I’ll get dressed and over as soon as I can, thanks ’bye!”

Kira looks at her strangely. “What was that about?”

“Oh, I didn’t tell you about the hoverboard courier job I do on the side? I make a lotta velveeta that way.” Shira winks.

“I did see you race. So, Princess No-Name, how do you like slumming among the Rockers?”

The girl looks at her indignantly. “Kira, I belong here.” Rob laughs.

black tower. The Fearsome Foursome put Litton on the spot. Brinkman says, “That young lady is going too far. Why aren’t you damaging her, Litton?”

Litton smirks admiringly. “She’s quite the handful, ain’t she.”

Jack Becket snaps, “What the hell are you talking about, Litton? She calls you ‘Rat Bastard,’ damn it!”

“She’s got the natives in the palm of her hand. If we weren’t here to hold ’em back, she’d have ’em going round naked and fucking in the streets. We’re not in Kansas anymore, boys.”

Everson snarls, “You forget why we are here, Mr. Litton. Our Nation’s dominion over this Godless backwater is on our shoulders, and therefore on yours.”

“To them, y’all are just a bunch of political parasites out to loot ’em.”

Fleer shouts, “We only do what God tells us to do! We make this hellhole American, by force!

“Let’s not talk about us,” says Brinkman. “Let’s talk about this Shira Thomas and how to stop her from, as they say, ‘owning’ us.”

Litton keeps his eyes on Brinkman while he takes a long drag on his cigar and blows it out. “Your turn, Wally.”

red house. Luna sobs on her mother’s breast, “I don’t wanna be ‘Luna,’ ‘Lucie,’ or ‘Lucille’ anymore.” To the bright-eyed girl, she defiantly declares, “I wanna have no name just like you.”

The bright-eyed girl smiles at her. “Let’s pretend you already don’t have a name, then.”

“Let’s not just pretend,” Desiree says. “Say, daughter, are you willing to have me call you ‘daughter,’ ‘blondie,’ ‘love’ and non-names like that?” Luna nods eagerly.

“Use all the non-names that fit her,” reminds the nameless woman.

Luna gently pulls Desiree’s arm. “Please do it already?”

“I’ll do what I can do.” She calls Angela. “Hi, Angie. I was hoping you could do something for us.”

Angela asks, “Like what?”

“Get rid of my daughter’s name.”

“Not change it?”

“You know why.”

“Like Shira’s girlfriend and neighbours.”

“Exactly like that.”

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Angela winks.

“Thanks.” Desiree ends the call. Overcome with unbearable hope, her daughter throws herself into her arms.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Spanner 19.4: The Copbot Suicides

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 19: Hackers of Reality
Part 4: The Copbot Suicides (Final Revision)

17 october 2014.
shira’s apartment.
After Shira’s turn is done, Kira lies down on the bed so Posy Persocom can make love to her. The girl with the violet eyes takes her to the shower without a word until she turns the water on. “Do you really have to have a love robot?”

Shira lasciviously soaps her bare-handed. “Why can’t a girl have her toys?”

“You have me. I’m your lover, remember?”

“So I’ll share. It’s not like I’m robosexual or anything.” She gives her lover a soapy kiss on the nether lips, making her shriek.

When Kira finishes her shower, she joins a conversation already in progress. Hope says, “I hope you aren’t about to provoke him into using ’em against y’all.”

“One-Eye don’t need provoking when his Ego’s at stake,” Shira replies. “All we can do is stop him.”

Kira drapes herself over her twin. “Won’t your plan ruin our toy girl too?”

“Don’t worry, we already took care of that.” She gives Kira a sloppy kiss.

The vidphone pompously whistles Dixie. Shira stands up, silently signals her companions to stay out of her way, casually strolls over to the desk and sits down, taking her time to torture her caller with the delay. She takes the black queen off her chessboard, fondles it, puts it to her lips. Once the Party Chairman is sufficiently flustered, she answers. The bespectacled old man is as impotently angry as expected. “I hope you do not intend to make this a habit, Miss Thomas,” Henry Becket says.

She licks the queen. “I admire your stubbornness, Doc, but I’m afraid it makes you predictable.”

A crude white CGI chessboard appears on screen. He moves a bishop in an attempt to protect his endangered king.

Shira puts her queen back on its square, moves the rook on her chessboard, and captures his bishop. “I hope you’re not about to make these weekly white riot things a regular occurrence, Doc. There’s only so much the city and its local business community can tolerate before they start calling their lawyers.”

“Not even an infinite number of lawyers can withstand our superior firepower,” says Henry Becket grimly.

“Not till you run out of ammo. Checkmate.”

Dr. Becket punches his videophone and breaks the signal.

telesphere. The Fearsome Foursome talk at each other in duelling press releases:
Fleer: Since CPMC, COPCO, Minuteman, and the Moral Enforcement Crusade have failed to stem a series of street insurrections against Our Nation, it has become clear to me that only the United States Armed Forces can keep order.
Chief Becket: The Admiral should speak. He started the whole thing by trying to reserve all civilian rations for his favorites.
Fleer: Mr. Becket is full of lies.
Everson: Both the Admiral and the Chief are speaking impiety. They squabble and quibble over who started what, while the Communist threat persists among us and plots the destruction of America. We must get back to faith in America—
Fleer: Shepherd Everson claims I am speaking impiety against America. He needs to realize that the strength of America is only in the heroic men who sacrifice their lives through service to Our Nation in our Armed Forces. America exists only because our brave military heroes gave their lives and their blood, and only their sacrifices can keep America foremost in the world and extend Our Nation’s sacred dominion to the universe.
Everson: The soul of America is those who dedicate their lives to the worship of Jesus America, the faithful men of the Church of America and the Conservative Revolutionary Party.
Brinkman: Stop it right now, you fools! All you’re doing is breaking our unity. We need to pull together if we want to destroy the Communist threat once and for all!
penguindrome. In the Mad Science Laboratory, the upgraded Persocom sisters smoothly bring the Team Bremelo girls to a screaming climax. When they’re done, Jennifer declares, “The lesbian test is a screaming success! Now it’s your turn, boys.” She tells the gynoids, “Now lie down, girls.” They meekly obey her and wait for the boys to begin the full heterosexual test.

In the living room, Alex tries vainly to cajole Luna into putting on some clothes only for the Bremelo girls to come upstairs all naked. She gives up with a sigh. Luna runs over to the nameless girl. “Why do girl robots have to have names when you don’t?”

Jennifer says, “They’re more identical than twins, so names are the only way normal people can tell ’em apart.”

The girl with the violet eyes smiles. “Luna, I don’t have a name ’cos I don’t want one. Really, my life’s been better since I went nameless.”

“I think you’re the coolest girl in the world,” says Luna.

“Oh, I love you.” She hugs Luna and kisses her on the cheek.

Jennifer’s phone rings. She picks it up. “Hey, Angie, what’s up?”

Angela replies, “I got bad news for you and Shira. First you.”


“You know your friend Irina?”

Jennifer looks at Irina, who looks back puzzled. “What about her?”

“‘The Rodfather’ just found out you killed her owner, which by the Rules of Tournament makes you her new owner now, so saith the Law.”

Jennifer gasps in shock. Irina’s heart visibly sinks. Brandi’s expression goes dark. “So circumstances have come to bite.”

She pulls Irina close, stares in her terrified eyes, strokes her hair, rests her head on her shoulder so she can cry. “If that’s true, Martin won’t be pleased to hear it. I swear to you, him, and her right now, I won’t treat her like a master, I’ll be her adoring wife.”

Irina perks up, still scared. “Really?” Jennifer replies with a passionate kiss that melts her.

“Does that mean we’re over?” asks Brandi.

Jennifer looks at her with an expression that says she still loves her. “Only if you want us to.” They gaze eloquently at each other. Suddenly Jennifer has a realization. To Angela: “Don’t tell me Luna too.” Luna gasps in terror.

“You own the name, you own the person.”

“So Jackie Boy, so saith the Law. Find a way to correct that, will you, please?”

“I’ll do what I can.”

Monday, March 18, 2013

Spanner 19.3: Read Between the Lies

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 19: Hackers of Reality
Part 3: Read Between the Lies (Final Revision)

16 october 2014.
The usual eight-bit Spanner image doesn’t appear in this piratecast. Instead, an image of Pinocchio’s head takes up the right side of the screen.
Spanner: They cannot tell the truth. [the nose grows] It’s against their religion. [it grows some more] If it’s true, they cannot tell you. [even longer] If they did, they wouldn’t be the Chosen Ones. [finally it reaches the left edge of the screen]

They hoard truth. [the head expands] They keep you stupid. [it expands to the edges of its half of the screen] It boosts their Egos. [it doesn’t stop expanding until it takes up the entire frame] They don’t do it because it’s right. They do it because they’re meaner than you. Knowledge is power. If ever they let you have some of it, their egos would...
The bloated head pops like a balloon. The picture goes black.

shira’s apartment. The nameless slim Asian woman takes Shira aside. “Say, where’s your pet cop?”

“I wouldn’t trust even him with something this sensitive, so I sent him out on a wild goose chase.” Shira winks; the woman smiles knowingly.

Luna’s jaw drops. “What do you mean you don’t have a name?”

The bright-eyed girl smiles. “Nobody next door has a name except Ayla, including me. Neither does Shira’s girlfriend.”

“We’ve got ways to avoid calling each other ‘hey you,’” the girl with the violet eyes adds. “We’ll teach you as soon as we’re done.” She kisses Luna; a realization dawns on the child’s face.

Seven women and one child sit around the living room coffee table in their usual state of nudity. On the couch side: the twins, the anonymous beauties, and Luna in the bright-eyed girl’s lap; on the chair side: Hope and Jennifer, leading the meeting. Shira says, “This is about SPEC, isn’t it.”

Jennifer shrugs. “They’re getting desperate.”

Hope rolls her eyes. “Completely off the rails is more like it.”

“We’d like to know how we can help you make ’em see reason,” says the bright-eyed girl.

“Destroy ’em is more like it,” says the slim girl. “Remember, ‘irrational exuberance’ is what these people are all about, emphasis on ‘irrational.’”

“Their volunteer guards proved foxes in the henhouse,” Jennifer explains, “so they’re replacing ’em with robots.”

“Very efficient, very stupid,” Kira says. “I’m sure that’ll work out great too.”

The violet-eyed girl says, “Kira, your sister saw you. She knows you’re alive.”

Shira adds, “That means she doesn’t have to avenge you anymore. Which, knowing Bram and Adam, spells big trouble for her.”

Hope glares at her twins. “That means you two had better save her ass.” They grin and wink together.

Jennifer clears her throat to catch their attention. “Anyway, all this shit Ross is doing has one goal, and that’s suppressing the Student Union. What he doesn’t know, of course, is that the harder he cracks down, the more resentment he creates, which only strengthens us.”

“Meanwhile,” Shira adds, ”the Student Council’s cracking up. Debbie’s purged, Charmian and Lucy are on non-speaking terms, and Bart’s declared war, You can bet there’s scheming factions behind it, which’ll blow up in Ross’s face.”

“That opens the perfect window of opportunity for us. If the cards fall right, we might even be able to sweep the Student Council election on Election Day.” The slim girl moans and shakes her head. “What’s wrong?”

“Do you guys really think you can have an election without it getting stolen?” the woman says, “The whole reason for their Revolution, you should remember, is criminalizing politics.”

“We’ve already got people working on it,” Hope declares, “the Wilder Foundation, the Wrecking Krewe, and our very own anonymous reporter.”

“I’m gonna help every way I can,” says the bright-eyed girl enthusiastically.

“We’re gonna hold this election and win it, whatever it takes.”
Announcer: Recent events prove the perversity of humanity. Police agents succumbing to the temptation of corruption, subversive forces trying to tear down the barriers that protect you from crime. COPCO has your public security solution.

Introducing the new generation of automatic agents, now equipped with the latest hardware and software antivirus and antihacker solutions. Trust COPCO to put the bite on crime.
ferry terminal. Shira signals silence and calls for the Bremeloes to huddle. She points out the security androids in the area. “Don’t let anybody say anything as long as those bots are around,” she whispers. “Anything we say, we're saying in front of You Know Who.”

“I’m betting their mics are parabolic so they can hear for miles,” Jennifer replies. “I hope they don’t have remote brain scanners that can detect our thoughts.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised.” Sighs and rolling eyes echo her.

spec headquarters. Ross has an audience with Jack Becket. “I hope you’re right, John, and your androids can keep order better than those glorified gangsters of Colonel Green’s.”

“The virtue of my RoboAgents,” Jack proudly declares, “is that they don’t have human weaknesses like greed, lust, and ambition. They’ll do exactly what you tell ’em to do and nothing more.”

Fleer barges into the office. “What your robots don’t have, John, is religious faith and warrior honor. Furthermore, they can be hacked. And when they are, my warriors shall crush that traitorous Student Union conspiracy with all the force necessary.”

Jack snarls, “Alan, your warriors are even stupider than my robots.”

“We’ll see.” Their murderous staredown unnerves Ross.

Spanner R4 Resumes Today with 19.3

This last week I suffered a bad case of "editor's block", and the post schedule suffered. I've broken the block (bringing my NaNoEdMo hours to 43) and completed most of Chapter 19. I'm finally editing ahead of my post schedule, so 19.3 and 19.4 are now ready to post and (at this writing) 19.5 is almost done. What saved me this time? The realization that I need to meditate regularly in order to calm my chaotic mind, and that I write (and edit, and draw) much better to a musical soundtrack (I edited 19.5, for example, while listening to two hours of Sigue Sigue Sputnik).

So Spanner R4 resumes today with 19.3. And I'm confident at last that I can not only win EdMo this year, but finish editing all of Book 1 this month, all the way to the end of Chapter 23 and into Chapter 24. I'm into it at last.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

NaNoEdMo 2013: Here's the Mid-EdMo Progress Instead

While my muse has forced me to take a breather, I'll just take the opportunity to report my progress this close to the midpoint of NaNoEdMo.

So far this is my most furious EdMo ever. I'm on my way to 40 hours of editing by the 15th. And 50 hours is how much editing you need to do to win EdMo! But I knew winning EdMo would be the easy part.

Then what's the hard part? Basically, trying to order that chaotic mess of scenes in Spanner Chapters 18 and 19 while still putting in the new scenes I came up with for the final Fourth Revision continuity. Fortunately, soon I'll get past Chapter 19 to Interlude 12 and the three double-length sections of Chapter 20. After that it should be smoother going, especially since I'll then have to throw away all the scenes that didn't make it into the final continuity by Chapter 20.

I'm still keeping to my goal of finishing Chapter 23 this month. In the meantime, I'll savor my impending EdMo win and then get back to editing.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Spanner 19.2: Building the Perfect Girl

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 19: Hackers of Reality
Part 2: Building the Perfect Girl (Final Revision)

telesphere. Sooner or later the MSM would have to hear about the hot new reporter with no name and the rebel network she reports for. The media conglomerate executives’ screaming tantrums have been censored for your moral protection.
Fox: ...excuse me, this just in: We’ve just received reports of unapproved propagandists flying around claiming to report the news.
Sun: ...a woman who looks like ESPNBC’s Amanda Currie and who claims to be anonymous...
ABCNN: ...we have not found any evidence of any people without a name registered in the Public Relations Guild records...
QVCBS: Beware of false news networks purveying lies. The truth only comes through us.
ESPNBC: ...excuse me, this just in: There’s a look-alike running around claiming to be me. (puts report aside) What in the world is that woman thinking? Is she out of her mind?
copco bremerton. “The iPhone case is closed,” Sparks protests.

“Good for you,” Shockley says. “I’m concerned with the hazardous waste your companion left in the arena the Toymaker blew up.”

“I never expected them to explode,” Shira protests. “AntiMeth is supposed to make tweakers puke, not boosters splorch.”

“No. You were targeting them.”

“They were targeting me. They tried to do it by sacrificing my friends to Satan. Gangsters have an insane obsession with their manhood, you see. Uppity women like me, and like you, insult their sacred manhood. Insult their manhood, they make you die. So we prepared for them.”

Sparks says, “Sounds perfectly reasonable to me. If, of course, your vendetta hasn’t gotten in the way of your reason.”

Shockley glares back at him. “Who’s lost his reason?” She directs her glare down to his crotch, then back to his face. Sparks and Shira laugh. Shockley resists the temptation to bash their heads together.

western state hospital. The name is a relic from when northern Cascadia and southern Okanagan were a single state called Washington, after the first American president. This hospital is not medical, but psychiatric.

Psychotics crowd the common room: some florid, some dubious, some merely political prisoners sent there in the belief that political incorrectness is by definition a mental disease. One of the more florid cases prances and bounces around in her white gown. “Ichi ni san, ichi ni san,” Mina Tatsumi half-sings endlessly, convincing the other patients she’s crazy. “Ichi ni san, ichi ni san, ichi ni san—” She shuts up and stops in her tracks when she finds a business-suited man in her way. Curious about this man, she tilts her head. “Hello. Do I know you?”

Oliver Thorwald crosses his arms impatiently. “Mina, it’s me, your boss.”

Her jaw drops; she takes a deep breath. “Lars?”

“Oliver. Father’s dead, remember?”

“Oh, I’m sooo sorry.”

“Cut it out, Mina. I’m bringing you back to work.”


“Let’s go.” He grabs her by the arm and pulls her with him, out of the hospital to his waiting stretch Hummer.

black tower. Fleer stands on Brinkman’s desk in full uniform and scolds his co-synarchs as Litton sits back and watches from a chair in the corner. “Walter! You were the one who brought Grandfather to town and got him killed! Luke! You unleashed your faithful Patriots on the city and all we’re getting is our good reputation trashed in the media and our asses sued! Johnny, shut up!”

Jack Becket rises to protest “You—”

Everson lets out a contemptuous laugh. “Alan, do you really believe your oh so mighty warriors can succeed where Johnny’s police failed repeatedly?”

Fleer sneers. “Your men are amateurs, Luke. I command real warriors.”

“Are they willing to commit the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of their faith in Our Nation, Alan?”

Brinkman stands up. “Are your forces gonna fight over it, huh?”

Litton stands up and whistles. Four men glare at him. “You’re forgetting, boys. It’s almost too late to strike. Y’all better do it now, before they do and the angel of chaos pisses on our graves.”

The Fearsome Foursome, officially allies, publicly friends, stare each other down like mortal enemies about to draw their revolvers.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Spanner 19.1: The iPhone Murders

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 19: Hackers of Reality
Part 1: The iPhone Murders (Final Revision)

If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.
Malcolm X

Whom the mad would destroy, first they make Gods.
Bernard Levin

14 october 2014.
The riots die down. The militants lick their wounds. For once the people are left to themselves. They do not exploit one another like the Conservatives do. Instead, they band together and start rebuilding. They buy, they scavenge, they dare to repair; they cook for each other, tend to each other’s children, shelter the people in direst need, watch for predators and chase them away.

They are not like the great and powerful, the men like gods who live to deify the Ego. They are proud, simple, and above all social. If God spurns them for the great and the powerful, they can live without God. But they cannot live without each other. Their unity is their strength. In unity, in defiance of all Party directives and CPMC decrees, they rebuild, and the companies of the Consortium too.

Even SPEC must shut down Bangor High for a day to repair the damage the final episode of TerrorVision inflicted on the main building. Its insurers put Ross on a strict timeline; he reluctantly complied. Construction and hazmat crews hurry to rebuild walls and clean up carnage, even cleaning up bullet holes from Ron and Don’s final fatal rampage eleven days ago. Ross will open the school tomorrow, or the insurers won’t fund it, period.

Some use the day for free play. Charlie and Desiree give Sylvia a full day dedicated to sexual healing: cuddling her, making love to her, simply being there to give her their pure unconditional love. Kio spends the night making passionate love to his traumatized love Colette; her family and closest friends hug, kiss and comfort her during the day, before letting Kio treat her to another night of love. The reunited cinnamon twins take turns making love to their grateful mother, the girl with the violet eyes, and each other.

But others seize the day for action. While Sylvia and Colette heal, the Student Union meet at Mudlark House to prepare for the crackdown they expect from Spiekerman and Falconer, punishing in the usual Conservative way the student body for the crimes of the administration. They appoint Willa as their outside advisor and designate Jennifer to bring her cousins the twins into their operation.

And on her birthday one of Lady Penner’s fangirl dreams comes true when her rich father gives her a special-edition iPhone, on the back of which is the most adorable picture of the most adored of all virtual pop idols, Miku Hatsune.
Fox: Today, Navy Admiral Alan Fleer, Supreme Commander of West Coast Forces, announced his intention to restore order to riot-plagued Cascadia by revoking CPMC’s public management authority.
Fleer: Brinkman is a complete and utter incompetent.
Sun: CPMC CEO J. Walter Brinkman delivered his response personally.
Brinkman: If Admiral Fleer thinks he can socialize the public management industry that is the pillar of Our Nation, he’s only revealing himself to be a typical socialist government looter.
ABCNN: The Admiral publicly denies rumors that his actions have anything to do with suppressing rumors of sexual indiscretions.
Fleer: There is no truth to those lies.
QVCBS: He has ordered the United States Police Force, Bringing Home The War On Terror™, to bring order under his command.
USPF Spokesman: There is no power struggle here. All Conservative Revolutionaries are united in our struggle to eliminate the plague of Communism from Our Nation. The enemy has attempted three insurrections against us in two weeks, and we have put them down with righteous ruthlessness and the power of Jesus America. We’re taking measures to prevent any more insurrections. America Bless God!
ESPNBC: COPCO CEO Brendan Sparks criticized his decision.
Chairman Sparks: If the Admiral thinks that pack of trigger-happy yahoos can keep order, he needs his head checked.
All: Admiral Fleer refuses to comment.
technosphere. The Darknet “kremlinology” discussion boards come to an unusual agreement: there’s a coup d’état going on in Cascadia. Alan Fleer is using the United States Police Force to overthrow the Cascadia Public Management Corporation.

The killer invades the bright-eyed girl’s dream: if he kills her, she’ll die for real. Four younger women surround him to protect her: she knows them as the Blonde Phantom, the cinnamon twins, and the girl with the violet eyes. “Fools!” he yells, ”I have a target to terminate!”

Shira flashes him an ironic smile. “You’ll have to go through us first.” The girls shift into the form of angels with red, gold, and black wings, armed with thunderbolts, holy fire, and a ring-pass-not in which they trap the assassin.

“That’s impossible!” says the assassin. “Angels can’t incarnate!”

Jennifer says, “You’re assuming Catholic doctrine. Shamans and pagans long ago broke those barriers.”

The violet-eyed girl warns, “Don’t you mess with our friend, motherfucker, or we’ll mess with you, big time.” She Repulses him out of the bright-eyed girl’s dreamworld; he screams and vows revenge as he disappears.

15 october 2014.
shira’s apartment.
The phone wakes Shira up. She picks it up: Sparks. “Hello?”

“Good morning to you on this lovely Wednesday.”

Shira looks out the window. Dark, cloudy, rainy: stereotypical Cascadian weather. “So what trouble’s in store for us today, J.T.?”

“Oh, the usual. SNAFU, y’know.”

“Fleer’s declared martial law yet?”

“And his ‘Fearsome’ comrades are already sharpening their daggers.”

“He won’t know what hit him. Love ya ’bye.” Shira puts the phone back on the nightstand next to Arvid’s card and rolls over to kiss the groggy beauty struggling to wake up beside her.

“Mmm. That woke me up,” says the girl with the violet eyes. “What’s so urgent?”

“One-Eye and the Preach fucked up, so Big Al’s making his move.”

“Oh, great.” Leila scrambles over Shira’s body, runs to the window, hurriedly shuts the blinds and curtains.

“You’d think these guys got the sense to figure out when enough is enough.”

“I know these people. They have no sense whatsoever. Only ambition.” The girl leaps back onto the bed and Shira, then kisses her harder than usual. ”You know how much I need you. But right now you need me. When we go outside, I don’t want you to wander so much as an inch away from me. We’re together at all times once we get out the front door, okay?”

“Gotcha, babe. But why all this concern over me?”

“Fleer hates you more than any of the Foursome.”

Shira shows her the card in its case. “Fears is more like it. I don’t think he’ll be getting out of this intact.” She reaches back and sets the card on her phone. “This time, though, I intend to be nice to his daughters.” She winks.

school lobby. Construction workers frantically try to finish rebuilding the entrance when Team Bremelo arrive. The guards know them well enough to let them through without an ID check. The propaganda on the new screens lining the entryway is not Fashion-Industrial this time, but Party. “Where’s the adverts?” asks the girl with the violet eyes.

Jennifer frowns. “The advertisers are blackmailing SPEC.”

“Figures.” The girl sneers at the propaganda. “So they torch liberal strawmen yet again. How repulsive.”

“Hey,” says Shira, “strawmen burn easy.” Kira rolls her eyes. Shira spots Marina rubbing the bump on the back of her neck. “Still bugging you?” Marina nods. “I can arrange to get it removed.” Marina sighs in despair; Shira hugs her.

Lady walks in, her attention fully absorbed in Miku’s latest hit and furious texting. Charlie gives Sylvia a pep talk, reminds her to be upbeat and cool, and gives her a hug and a kiss while another ’ship forms around them. Fangirl factions threaten war, with the established Lira and Shiffer ’shippers joining forces against the Shkira interlopers; Shira ignores them, hugs and kisses in turn the nameless girl, Jennifer, Schuyler, Karen, Mimi, and her own twin sister. Kira playfully slaps her own butt. “No-panty fuku and we’re getting away with it? Cool.” Shira kisses her and winks. She then goes on to kiss all her boyfriends starting with Bremeloes Connor, Rob, and Cory, as a crowd of students marvel that she has an identical twin.