Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 18: White Riot in the Streets
Part 1: Rage Against the People (Final Revision)
Part 1: Rage Against the People (Final Revision)
Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,
Where wealth accumulates, and men decay.
Never interrupt your enemy
when he is making a mistake.
Where wealth accumulates, and men decay.
Never interrupt your enemy
when he is making a mistake.
11 october 2014.Amanda: News flash! The Party has officially announced that its newly picked leader for Seattle was killed by a terrorist bomb!Everson: He is an immortal martyr who died for the love of Our Nation.Amanda: The infamous Socialist Revolutionary Organization has claimed responsibility!Rodchenko: The vengeance of the people has spoken!Amanda: The local Patriot Militias have vowed revenge!Col. Braddock Green: We will wreak holy vengeance against the people to save America from Commonism!Amanda: His body was obliterated in the blast, leaving no carnage fit for broadcast.Rodchenko: The murder of the people shall be aven—Spanner: Schmucks. You fell for the obvious bait.Amanda: The Party’s Seattle office officially denies scandalous rumors involving child prostitutes.
It is the third year of the Conservative Revolution against democracy in the American Empire. The violence has not ended. In fact, it has hardly even begun. The revolutionary leaders have made it their sacred vow to never again let it end, for their profits depend on it.
By embracing terrorism, the Socialist Revolutionary Organization, left-wing vigilante posse and self-proclaimed last defenders of democracy, have only inflamed their Conservative enemies to riot against the people.
seattle. Hordes of Patriot militants swarm out of their bombproof Hummers and into the streets screaming at the top of their lungs in the Unknown Tongue like an alien jihad. They wield bats, crowbars, flamethrowers, and incendiary bombs to attack the concrete and steel giants confounding their bicameral minds; they beat up every civilian in reach; they do battle with local and private police. Echelon’s drones swarm overhead to protect them.
penguindrome. They watch the news reports and security video on the KCUF monitors. Sparks hugs a horrified bright-eyed girl.
telesphere. Now that they have a Big Story, the MSM news channels enthusiastically report the official Party position.Nameless woman: (sobbing) What’s going on here?Sparks: The further decay of the Conservative Revolution.Ariel: The fall of an empire that even magic can no longer sustain.Willa: The breakdown of the capitalist order.Wellspring: The death of God.
whistler’s lab. Shira and Kira lie on side-by-side hospital beds. Jennifer and Karen strip them naked. Liz and Radica stare at them strangely. Liz asks, “How come you two ain’t ashamed?”Fox: The parasitic underclass is on the rampage again!Sun: The undeserving are telling us again how much they want something for nothing.ABCNN: That’s what you get when you give the liberal commonist traitors an inch!QVCBS: Where’s the police when you need ’em?ESPNBC: There oughta be a law!
Spanner: You’ve heard the official spin. In fact, you’ve had it hammered so hard into you the past two years, you can’t possibly forget it, like a song so bad you can’t get it out of your head. The song’s called “Too Much Is Not Enough.” Here’s how it goes:
[a bad 1980s hair-metal instrumental plays]
Greed is good. Greed is God. Greed is the king of all virtues. Robbery’s okay because it makes you richer. Murder’s A-OK as long as you get richer. Backstabbing your friends is the way to power and glory. What’s not okay? Being generous to those in need only makes you poorer and turns the needy into moochers when they should be pirates.
Second verse, same as the first. In the “middle eight,” all the rich people tell the poor to die.
[switches to video of drug-maddened fighting dogs tearing each other into bloody shreds]
It’s a dog-eat-dog country. It’s Tournament, brought to you by the MSM. Remember, kids: business is war.
Kira glares back. “How come you are?”
Frank stares at the apparatus. “Can you guarantee this won’t kill ’em?”
“Sorry,” Dr. Whistler says, “no guarantees. This version of my Process is experimental. It could be fatal, or worse.”
“Just do it,” says Shira without hesitation.
“We’ll be dead if you don’t,” says Kira.
“They wanna take the risk,” says Zac.
“Let’s do it,” says Deth Pussy. He, Zac, and Jennifer take their positions by the machine. Luna throws herself into the violet-eyed girl’s arms and holds her tight. Liz, Radica, and Irina group-hug in a corner.
“Game’s on,” says Oz. Shane nods. They strap the twins in. Karen moves to another corner to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for them unobtrusively. They take a deep breath. Whistler switches the machine on.
copco seattle. Jack Becket rages at the riot unfolding before him. “What the fuck do those idiots think they’re doing?”Sparks: Look at these fools. They’re acting like spoiled children. They think they’re Men. You’re better than that.Nameless woman: You didn’t think that before.Sparks: And I hurt you for this? (bitterly) God damn my father and his precious “law ’n’ order”!Willa: (behind them) Lo and behold, the fruit of his quote-unquote “justice.”Sparks: (rolls his eyes, says nothing)
Locke Holmes grimly replies, “Letting the terrorists get away’s what they’re doing.”
“Even worse,” Diana Shockley adds, “they’re giving the enemy political points we can’t afford to lose, not after losing Grandfather.”
“Hell, they’re giving the terrorists the bloody victory.”
Stu Kowalczyk and Lavette Perry report from the field accompanied by the Slasher Hunters’ Brandi Quinn and Arisa Saionji. “It’s a mess down here,” says Perry.
“Still, we know where the terrorists are off to,” says Kowalczyk.
Holmes says, “It’s obvious they provoked the Patriots into riot to give ’em cover.”
“A compromised Party chief? I think they were baited.”
“We’ll sniff ’em out,” says Arisa.
“They won’t escape us,” says Brandi.
Jack snarls, “Well then, go get the fuckers!” The call disappears from the monitors.
Henry Becket: (indignantly, hitting the podium repeatedly with The Black Book of Communism) This heinous act of terrorism is the kind of Communist horror the people of my generation and my father’s spent our entire lives snuffing out for the sake of America’s freedom, security, and eternal dominion!dictel tower. The press conference is over. The Party Chairman has barely stepped away from the podium when he sees in the door to the press room a beautiful woman wearing the 1960 costume of Lady Liberty with mask and capelet; in it, a younger version of his second wife: “Raylene?” He jumps off the stage and storms down the aisle to her. She stares at him with an ironic smile. He demands, “What the hell did you do to yourself?”
“You’re not looking too good yourself, Harry.”
He grabs her arm painfully and drags her out the door, barging carelessly through reporters and guards. “Excuse us.”
whistler’s lab. One machine mixes the chemicals. The solution flows through the tubes into the twins’ bloodstream. They smile at each other. Shira says, “You think we’re gonna die together?”
“We’d better be together if we do.” Kira winks.
Shira smiles at her worried nameless lover. “I love you.” The Whistler Process begins; the twins close their eyes and take deep breaths; the girl with the violet eyes and Luna stare at them, fearing the worst.
dictel tower. In the penthouse suite where his brother Richard drinks Factor Positive blood, Henry Becket and his ex-wife Raylene do battle, pummelling each other superheroically; he punches her across the room, she exploits his lunkishness to knock him down and make him stumble and fall; their battle rages until the suite is a complete wreck until he wins and they end up naked, him atop her: he kisses her brutally, she carves bloody scratches into his back with her reinforced fingernails.Simon: When I was your age, luv, Rock ’N’ Roll could still cause riots.Nameless woman: Why are these guys rioting?Simon: Against Rock ’N’ Roll. They call it Negermusik. This is its city.Willa: It pollutes their precious bodily fluids.
seattle. The newscopters arrive like a flock of excited giant birds feeding on the scenes of violence below. (Sparks laughs. Bright-eyed girl: “What’s so funny?” Sparks: “Reminds me of the time Shira stole Aya Shameimaru’s beak.” The nameless woman rolls her eyes and groans.) The onboard reporters breathlessly report their excitement at the exciting violence. Echelon smiles down upon the damage.
A field reporter accosts Kowalczyk’s team to attempt an aggressive interview. Kowalczyk and Perry grab him (“Hey! What are—?”), slam him against the nearest wall, and arrest him. When the cameraman gets in Brandi’s face — video from the camera over his eye: she grabs his collar, swings her fist back dramatically, and punches the camera lens, which goes dead.
whistler’s lab. The twins begin to breathe hard and twitch. Radica asks, “What’s this Process supposed to do?”Nick: This isn’t Zion’s righteous wrath against Babylon. It’s Suburbia’s last act of defiance.Nameless woman: What makes you think that?Nick: Think: entire cities built on the Corporate belief that society doesn’t exist, isolating familes from each other and the world? I left as soon as I could.Desiree: Reality is constantly threatening their faith.Willa: The last remnant of the bicameral mind is breaking down.Desiree: They’re fighting to the death against the world.Nameless woman: To prevent the death of God...
“Right now their powers are killing them,” Dr. Whistler replies. “This will stabilize them.”
Liz asks, “Is that ‘X factor’ thing part of it?”
“That’s why Irina’s here,” says Zac. The hoverboard girls stare wide-eyed at Irina, then at Jennifer; she shrugs and smiles.
The nameless girl says fearfully, “I hope you guys are right.”
He gently pats her on the back. “All we can do now is cross our fingers and hope for the best.” She begins to cry. as the twins start going into convulsions.
dictel tower. In the bed where innocent young women die to slake Dick Becket’s unslakable thirst for immortality and superpower, Henry and Raylene have violent sex as if duelling to the death: he stabs, she crushes, they groan and grunt like swordsmen in single combat.
seattle. The Patriot revengers swarm upon the food rioters, beating them up as viciously as they can, running them down with their armoured Hummers, destroying as much food as possible, to punish the poverty-stricken “moochers” for “stealing” their “blood.” The civilians try to fight back, but the Patriots immediately declare their resistance an insurrection, an act of insubordination, and fight twice as hard to defeat the people they waged their Revolution against. Some of them rape women, children, even men in an act of utter contempt for civilian existence.Ariel: Here is black theosophy: Brains, semen, gold, white skin, and the blood of Chosen men are the same substance, not objectively — that would be fact, the enemy of Truth — but mystically. That is why their blood is called “blue.”Nameless woman: What about the rest of humanity?Ariel: The mystical substance of their blood is not gold but dung, which turns their skin various shades of brown and of which “mud” is a Victorian euphemism. Hence: “mudblood.”Alex: And for that, the 4chan censorbot substituted “muggle.”Nameless woman: Aren’t the SRO “muggle supremacists”?Sparks: (snarls) Just a pack of vigilantes, if you ask me.Willa: They’re terrorists trying to force the people to be free. Their cause is even more lost.
whistler’s lab. The twins convulse violently and scream in excruciating pain. “Stop it!” the nameless girl screams, “you’re killing them!”Col. Green: Hit them commonists hard, Americans! Smash! Punish! Destroy!Spanner: Speaking of smooth moves, let’s remember exactly how the Old Confederacy alienated first the North and then ninety percent of the South on its way to war and defeat.Jack Becket: (accentally live) —fucking morons! Everything we try to do, they’re hellbent on fucking up the worst fucking way—
Shane and Oz struggle to keep her from smashing the machine. Jennifer yells, “We can’t! They’ll die if we stop it now!”
Zac commands, “Start the upgrade now!”
Deth says, “Roger!” A darker fluid flows through tubes injected directly in their brains. Irina takes the wailing violet-eyed girl into her arms. Luna flees to cower in the next room.
dictel tower. Reunited at last, Henry and Raylene Becket kiss. Until they stop. He says, “You only want me back because of my new responsibility.”Willa: Capitalism is a mighty castle built on quicksand, a pyramid scheme based on an inherent contradiction.Sparks: What contradiction?Willa: Socialized production. Privatized ownership. This manifests in the first law of capitalism: the law of the falling rate of profit.Nameless woman: They never taught us that in college.Willa: The history of industrial capitalism is a record of technological innovations reducing the cost of production at a higher rate than the fall of profit. But invention has reached the end of its diminishing returns. Capital can no longer afford democracy or even freedom. It cannot afford low-wage labor anymore and must rely on prisoners, then slaves, and finally robots. It cannot afford competition; it must consolidate until only one corporation is left, Chinese Corporatist Party (Holdings) Limited. The rate of profit is fast approaching zero. The singularity is coming. Soon capitalism will be impossible. Like all pyramid schemes, it must inevitably collapse.
“You never were fully aware of your own power,” she purrs.
“I don’t need anyone telling me what to do, Raylene.”
“You need me now, Harry, more than ever before.”
He glares down at her. She smiles up seductively. Their lips collide; their kiss resumes with extra violence of suppressed passion.
whistler’s lab. Shane, Oz, and Deth carry away the unconscious twins and the nameless girl who has fainted; Liz, Radica, Luna, and Karen follow them to give them a bath. Jennifer says with relief, “They’re still alive.”
Zac says, “Their neurocomputers upgraded without damage.”
The men return with champagne.
Dr. Whistler says, “The Process is a success.” The others cheer.
seattle. Five SRO vigilantes hold their hands behind their heads and slowly sink to their knees in the spotlights glaring in their eyes from police cars. Completely surrounded by police agents and bounty hunters all pointing guns at them, they resist the temptation to commit suicide by cop. They are vigilantes seeking justice, after all, not martyrs seeking glory in the other world.Wellspring: They deny the Law of Unintended Consequences too.Nameless woman: How so?Wellspring: They’re completely unconscious that they’re not only making the Chinese Corporatist Party (Holdings) acquisition inevitable, but creating the Marxist proletariat they hate and dread most.Nameless woman: Why do they always have to get so violent?Desiree: They're a dying élite. Their Empire is collapsing, and their total world domination along with it. So they panic.Wellspring: This land will no longer be their land soon. If they can’t rule the house, they tell themselves, then like Samson, like Hitler, like the ancient Assassins, they’ll blow it up.Willa: Their Lost Cause is lost forever.
But through the streets the Patriot hordes rage, smashing and trashing whatever they can reach, through the waning day and into the night, screaming the Unknown Tongue, determined to exorcise the demons of democracy and “commonism” at all cost, price no object. The city people, prevented by an angry Party from rebuilding their city and their lives yet again, hide from their rage, fearing the unsparing wrath of the Law and of Echelon in heaven.
Amanda: Go Team U.S.A.!
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Copyright © 2013 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
[Revision 4 Final, 3/4/13: Some scenes moved to 18.2 and elsewhere; the original KCUF sequence moved to 18.3; everything else is either now or heavily modified to fit Fourth Revision continuity. Original R2 section title: “Steal from the Poor, Give to the Rich” (now planned for Book 4); the final title belonged to 18.3 in R2.]