Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 18: White Riot in the Streets
Part 6: Permanent Riot (Final Revision)
Part 6: Permanent Riot (Final Revision)
dictel stadium. Debbie has been hiding in the stadium office all day, nervously cleaning her guns. Frank says, “You really think you’re gonna redeem yourself and reclaim your ‘Special Friend’ by killing Shira on camera?”
She screams in his face, “Shut up!”
He shrugs. “Remember, little sister, you’re on live television.” He leaves, pretending not to notice her eyes shooting angry daggers into his back.
eightieth street. Jordie Skeever drives recklessly down a much emptier main arterial, Tony riding shotgun with his shotgun, with Johnny cursing their luck in the back seat beside a very dead Eddie. Johnny plucks the shuriken out of Eddie’s forehead; it’s shaped like a swastika. “Fuck fuck fuck fuckity fuck!”
His phone rings. He answers. “What the fu—”
“Silence!” commands Misty Everson Thorwald, the Shepherd-Mayor’s widowed daughter. “What comes out of your mouth may destroy you, John Skeever, so control your words, do you hear?”
“Is Shira Thomas alive?”
Her voice goes terrifyingly cold. “I paid you a great amount out of my late husband’s trust fund to kill Shira Thomas.”
“If Shira Thomas is not dead by the end of the night, you will pay back all of it. And if you refuse, I will force you to pay it back, with double interest. Do you hear?”
“We’re payin’ it back, ma’am.”
“And why is this?”
“Remember her dead sister?”
“The one named Kira? What about her?”
All three surviving brothers can hear Mrs. Thorwald gasp. “What?!”
dictel park. As soon as the students on the street side spot the Bremeloes and Charlie carrying Sylvia and Colette, the cry of “They’re alive!” and an unbearable feeling of hope spread throughout the crowd. The fighters cross a street that’s no longer so busy, to the paradoxical safety of the park. When Sylvia and Colette are lowered to their feet and swarmed by students crying their joy that they are alive, they allow themselves to wail their grief at the horrific deaths of the criminals who tried to kill them: they may have had no conscience, but these women do, and they know it is what makes them human.
From the grotesquely rebuilt Dictel Towers, Syndicate men who believe themselves above the human look down at the scene of civilian celebration with disappointment despite their glee at the broadcast annihilation of the park’s most violent gang. But they fear to retaliate, or even unleash their Deads, because they fear the fiery wrath of Pulse.
principal’s office. Suddenly a Very Important Man stands behind and above the principals: none other than COPCO CEO Brendan Sparks. He frowns at the sight of two Shiras. Surviving guards escort in his son James. He crosses his arms and stares down at Shira. “James, is this the suspected subversive you’ve been, shall we say, working with?”
“Suspected?” the son replies. “She sure subverted the TerrorVision producers’ plans.”
Shira grins. “And boosted their ratings sky-high, no doubt.”
Chairman Sparks points at Kira. “You’ll have more than just problems if we find out your long-lost sister’s been working against the Revolution!”
“Like the rogue factions of your own Party taking part in its latest disasters?”
“The Chinese Corporatist Party and several Mafias not only have financial interests,” Kira says, “they’ve slipped in who knows how many sleeper agents, in your company and the Party itself. I’d even go so far as to say that may explain your company’s snowballing failures. Could the sleepers be waking up?” She winks.
“James! Is this true?”
“I’m afraid so, Dad,” James replies. “Kowalczyk’s tracking their every move. Spanner’s bound to take advantage, and there’s no chance he’ll give us time to get ready.”
Shira says, “We’ve got evidence that Falconer pulled this TerrorVision stunt to distract from immoral activities.”
“We even collected video evidence courtesy of Mrs. Fleer herself. And if the Admiral overreacts, the accusations may have substance.”
Charmian protests, “That can’t be true!”
“You don’t control your father, Princess.” He directs an unblinking look at her. “And if he’s digging his own grave, you can’t save him either.” She slaps him and flounces out. “Assaulting a police officer won’t help you either!”
Everybody looks at Falconer. She shakes in rage, transparently masking her fear of being discovered. All the principals shake in fear; they all have secrets. Shira winks at Kira.
Suddenly the entire Nike Arena explodes. Spiekerman blurts, “What was that?”
Shira says, “Looks like the Toymaker himself has joined the competition.”
“You go find Debbie,” says the nameless girl. “I’ll go with Kira.”
The three of them do not kiss, but trade stares with Chairman Sparks. They wait until the debris from the destroyed arena has fallen. Only then do they leave.
dictel park. Students scream and shout at the explosion across the street; some brace for a shockwave. Out of her great love for them, despite her trauma at the horror she and Colette had witnessed there, Sylvia takes the bullhorn from Karen and declares, “School’s out until we receive further notice! Let’s all go home and heal!”
telesphere. The TerrorVision cameras broadcast the destruction of Bangor High’s Nike Arena to the whole Empire. The fireball caused by the Toymaker’s bomb burns the corpses inside and all around. As if embarrassed into action by the broadcast, emergency vehicles descend on the scene.
All the MSM broadcast scenes of renewed right-wing rioting throughout the streets of Metropolitan Seattle.Dave: Does this mean what I think it means, Deb?Deb: It could only mean one thing, Dave.Both: Rebel Styles has won!
On all channels, the broadcast is replaced by the eight-bit face of Spanner, superimposed over raw video of the massacre, the subsequent destruction and the ensuing violence.Fox: Just when we thought all the debris had settled...Sun: The riots have resumed!ABCNN: Upset TerrorVision fans throughout the city are protesting the humiliating defeat of their favorite celebrity hitmen by the still mysterious Rebel Styles.QVCBS: She is known to have used video special effects and deadly chemical agents.ESPNBC: Does the return of Kira Thomas, assumed to be lost in the Revolution, have anything to do with the worst day in TerrorVision history?
Spanner: This, fellow Americans, is what you get when you try to wage revolution by reality show. But these are Conservative Revolutionaries, trying to bomb the world back to the good old days of their fantasies. Little do they know they’ve turned America into the biggest banana republic in history, believing they can prevent the permanent revolution of the masses with their own revolution’s policy of permanent riot.principal’s office. James Sparks says, “You see that? Explosions, riots, death and destruction, all of it looking bad for America. Knowing as Kowalczyk and I do what extremes our Party’s ambition-driven leaders are willing to be provoked into [winks at Falconer], it’s only gonna get worse.”
Rob nudges him. “Don’t forget, Tournament means ‘permanent riot.’”
“That’s right. Yet another revolution’s spiralling into chaos, and this one’s the big one. And we’re trying to bring back the old order? In the name of our sovereign Egos, we’re taking what order we had left and turning it into chaos.”
“But doesn’t chaos sell?”
“It’s the only thing left keeping the lamestream news alive. As they say, ‘it bleeds, it leads.’ Have a nice cleanup, Dad.” Jim and Rob leave the office as Chairman Sparks and the principals glare on.
downtown bangor. Shira, Kira, and the girl with the violet eyes detour through Dictel Stadium and over the razor-wired cyclone fence into the no-man’s land of the warehouse district. They run through the long rear parking lot past the first huge empty warehouse, past the wary guards the investor owner hired keep it empty at all costs, underneath the swarm of television and police helicopters.
cpmc boardroom. The Fearsome Foursome watch the show with Misty Thorwald, Rexelle Steele, and Drusilla AMERICA! “Hey!” protests Jack Becket, “what’s my daughter doing there?”Deb: There they go, like a rocket outta hell!Dave: Hey, who’s that awesomely cute blond schoolgirl following them with a sniper rifle?Deb: Why, that’s our final contestant, the adorably tsundere warrior princess, “Deadeye” Debbie Becket!
Rexelle snarls, “Doing what [elbows Mrs. Thorwald] this fool’s hired celebrities failed to do.”
Mrs. Thorwald snaps, “You’re only getting your little princess killed, Shepherd.”
Brinkman clears his throat to catch their attention. “John. Saturday you overkilled one riot and failed to quell another. Luke. Yesterday, you started a riot yourself and lost. Alan. I know all about your plans to usurp me to keep Father from knowing you’re cheating on my cousin. Misty. You hired the celebrity killers to kill my granddaughter only to get killed. And Rexelle.” He stands up and pounds the table with his fist. “Why do I have to keep cleaning up your messes?”
“Walter, you failed us first,” says Fleer grimly. “Your incompetence started the whole thing in the first place.”
“You’re accusing me?”
Shepherd-Mayor Everson points at both of them. “You’re both failures!”
Chief Becket fires a shot into the ceiling. “Now then. Aren’t we forgetting something? Namely, a certain video terrorist who’s destroying our reputations?”
Four men stare at each other with open hostility. Four men silently accuse each other of betrayal. All of them are right. Right now, the Fearsome Foursome are betraying each other.
downtown bangor. Knowing that with her uncanny aim Debbie has a perfect line of sight at any range, they dash into the next warehouse, filled with black-market merchandise by the Syndicate renting it, an almost unnavigable three-dimensional maze in which the Charmer twins can confound the super sniper. They silently thread through snaky passages that curl up on each other until they reach the clearing at the center—
Five guns cock. They hear a woman’s shocked gasp. They look up to find the wide-eyed and open-mouthed face of Talia Espinoza. “Kira—” Kira grins; Shira winks.
“This is no time to be playing games with us, Shira Thomas,” says Bram Rodchenko.
“Excuse me, bossman,” Shira replies, “shouldn’t you be shooting down tabloid newscopters right now?”
“We’re bringing TerrorVision to its permanent end,” the nameless girl adds.
“Silence!” barks Rodchenko. “We’re putting the moral terror of Rebel Styles to an end right now.”
Talia tries to protest: “But—” She’s knocked down from behind to the hard cold floor by Brent Michalski. Kira runs to the aid of her sister.
“I knew it!” exults Shira. “You people are the rogue Party faction I always thought you were!”
Four more guns cock. “Leave them alone, Sergeant,” says John Peck, the Black Terror, “they belong to us.”
Rodchenko snarls, “Your bounty?”
“Our best Track—”
“Kira?” gasps Arisa. “Weren’t you dead?”
Kira says, “That wasn’t Shira, Arisa-chan, that was me.” Arisa gasps in shock.
Twelve more guns cock; twelve men in Party-militia uniform yell in unison, “Mudblood traitors, die in the name of Jesus America!”
“So the sacrifice is still on,” the nameless girl says.
Peck demands, “Who are you?”
The Patriots reply with one voice, “We are Jesus America!”
“I mean your names.”
“We are Jesus America!”
“I’ve heard of these guys!” says Shira. “They’re Patriot Rejectionists!”
Ten shots ring out. Ten Patriots twitch and flail and fall off their perches to their death below. Shira shouts, “I got her!” She runs toward Debbie, takes a peek and a smile and blows a kiss to lure her away from the others, climbs up and down the warrens of stolen merchandise crates and forces her to follow, lures her into an awkward position where she cannot simply shoot while Shira climbs up the ladder to the trapdoor leading to the roof. Debbie curses her lack of Tracker ability and finds her way to the ladder leading her to Shira.
Vigilantes and bounty hunters surround the last surviving Patriot. The SRO’s Adam Gabriel and Mikel Blaney sneak in warily, with guns drawn. The Slasher Hunters’ Martin Lansky disarms him. Peck and Rodchenko take their positions before him with pistols drawn.Deb: Hey! They’re coming into view!Dave: Radical! We’ll see the climax to this exciting episode yet!
The name on his militia uniform: Kovels. Rank: Corporal. This Patriot has the unworldly look of dreamy rage peculiar to the true terrorist. Peck says, “Corporal Kovels.”
“I am Jesus America,” Kovels says in the tone of a cult fanatic.
“You were almost killed by your own comrade.”
“I am dead in Jesus America, jungle beast!”
"Soldier!” says Rodchenko, “what are you really fighting for?”
“You know what, traitor.”
“What are you fighting for?”
“Purging Our Nation of Godless traitors like you and your evil cult!”
“Monster! We sacrificed our lives and freedom to serve our country, and you call us traitors, just because we refused to whore ourselves out to greed-mad predators?”
The fanatic gasps. “How dare you blaspheme the saints Jesus American blessed with His blood!”
“Your saints destroyed our country!”
“You people stabbed Our Nation in the back! Burn in hell, infidel traitors!” The Patriot terrorist takes out a grenade, pulls out the pin and swallows it. His eyes roll up into his head; he emits a loud war cry in the Unknown Tongue disturbingly similar to the war cry of Islam.
“Out!” commands Peck. The vigilantes scatter out of blast range. The grenade blows up, blasting contraband, setting crates on fire, and blowing a hole in the roof above through which fire and smoke escapes.
Above, the Reality TV Sports helicopter is on fire, its fuel tank shot by Debbie’s bullet. The pilot panics. “Oh my God we’re gonna diiieeee!” He leaps out and falls screaming to his death through the burning hole in the roof, in front of a laughing Kira.
All cameras are on Debbie as she holds her Colt 1911 pistol at Shira. Her hand trembles as the seductive Charmer comes slowly closer.Deb: (cheerfully) Is this the grand finale of TerrorVision?Dave: There’s still a chance our warrior princess can pull victory out of the jaws of defeat!Deb: Stay tuned, everybody! The excitement’s not letting up yet!
She shoots — her arm was deflected. She finds herself in Shira’s arms. Shira stares hypnotically into her eyes for what seems like forever. Those eyes... so green, so beautiful...
Shira plants her soft lips on Debbie’s, kisses her long and hard; Debbie struggles to escape her embrace, but her body surrenders and she gives up with a long ecstatic moan—
The TerrorVision helicopter slams into the warehouse roof, exploding in a spectacular fireball, silhouetting the passionately kissing Shira and Debbie as the girl with the violet eyes looks on and smiles.Deb: (disgusted) Ewwwww!Dave: There oughta be a law!
And in a converted police copter above, Desiree and pilot Shane Chantry wave at the Scope’s eyecam. He turns his head toward an eager and casually dressed young beauty who looks exactly like an Amanda Currie with longer, browner hair and an actual personality. Confident that viewers and network executives will mistake her for yet another celebrity double, the bright-eyed girl reports:
KCUF Reporter: This is your anonymous reporter, reporting from the scene of the fiery finale of TerrorVision. Who sent it to its destruction at the hands of the sinister Rebel Styles? Was it an attempt at personal revenge or political assassination? You’ll hear the facts only on Pirate Television News!
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Copyright © 2013 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
[Revision 4 Final, 3/9/13: Contains mostly new material in a single sequence. Added from the Project Notebooks: the penultimate and climactic scene. Original R2 section title: “Chaos out of Order” (an ironic reference to the complexity theory book); the final title is an equally ironic take on the Trotskyist slogan “permanent revolution,” referring to the Conservative Revolutionary Party’s insurrection strategy and the fact that one of its founding factions is the ex-Trotskyist “neoconservatives.”]